Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week Ending March 7

Mon: Noon - 8.5 miles (2,100'). Horsetooth/Audra + add-on route. Sloppy out. Legs felt good after big climb week last week, although foot flared up a bit. Guess I just feel a bit fragile.
PM - 7 miles (1,750'). Towers. Way sloppy on connector and lower section. Good running above that. Felt good and smooth, but took it easy.

Tues: Noon - 8.5 miles (2,100'). As yesterday, but a little sloppier. Shorts and T. Beautiful out.
PM - 7.5 miles easy with FCTR on bike paths in town.

Weds: Noon - 8.5 miles (2,100'). Same again, firmer in places, sloppier in others. Hoping for 90% dirt by the weekend. Shorts and T again. Beginning to feel like spring is in the air.

Thurs: Noon - 8.5 miles (2,100'). Felt pretty sluggish today. Didn't help that the trails were pure slop in many places, but boy was it beautiful out. The woodpeckers have started attacking our house looking to build nests behind our cedar siding, which is a sure sign spring is just around the corner. Time to start hanging some CDs from the rafters. Feels great to finally be getting some solid running done now that the weather is turning.
PM - 11.5 miles (2,300'). To Soderburg from home, then Towers to top and back down to Westridge and down Horsetooth.

Fri: Noon - 8.5 miles (2,100'). Went super easy today as I was feeling a bit burned from yesterday. However, was feeling great by the end of the run. Love that feeling of being tired but strong. Really starting to feel some good fitness. Keeping the focus on June, but sure looking forward to some racin' in the interim.
PM: 5.5 miles (600'). Milner loop easy.

Sat: AM - 25.5 miles (6,200'). 3:58. Up Horsetooth from home, then across on a snowy Westridge to top of Towers. Then descent of Towers + two more up and downs, and home via Shoreline/38e. 56' to Towers (1), 25' to Soderburg, 39:49 up (2), 26' down, 38:30 up (3), 25' down, 25:45 home w/add on. After a big climb week, felt surprisingly good on this quad-burner of a run. Decided to fuel as I would a race (EFS Liquid Shot), which I rarely do in training, and that really helped with good energy the whole way around. I felt so good in fact that I finished the last three miles at tempo effort. Tested out a Nathan waist pack with a one bottle/one gel flask set-up. The waist pack felt good with very little jiggle, but the gel flask was a bit cumbersome to get in & out although better than ripping gel packs. Will try it again at Salida as I really want to find a hydration system for WS that doesn't involve carrying hand-helds. I also have a two-bottle deal that needs testing, but the one-bottle seems like it will work out okay - certainly for shorter legs between aid stations - which is a good start.
PM - 3.5 miles easy setting up T&H course. Legs felt good after a creaky start.

Sun - 4 miles while T&H was ongoing. Ended up running the last two at 6:15 to make sure I was back before the first finishers. Kind of dumb as I was only trying to get a couple recovery-pace miles in.
PM - 6 miles (1,300'). Up Southridge, down Horsetooth, around on Spring Creek to Falls. Met up with Dana and Alistair and hiked the last mile home.

Total: 113 miles (22,700')

Very encouraging week. Way more miles than I had planned on at the start of the week, but with 50k in the bag by Tuesday, I decided to grind out some volume to get the WS train officially in motion. All my running windows stayed open this week and I was even able to carve out some bonus time by getting up very early on Saturday. Outside of running, I was also pretty productive at work and with the family. Hopefully I can keep the balance going through the next three months.

Everything this week was about climbing and moving well on the descent. I don't really ever plan my training beyond reserving time slots to run, but I have something of a plan for Western States, which looks something like this: run lots. I guess I'll be looking to keep the mileage as close to 100 per week as possible, but that may or may not be plausible from a time and wellness standpoint. Currently I'm thinking that 14-day hill blocks, followed by 7-day flatter/faster blocks sounds like a plan, so I suppose I'll go with that until I change the plan again.

With two 20,000' weeks in the bag, the week upcoming will be about resting the quads a bit and working in some faster stuff in preparation for Salida on Saturday. There are a couple of guys running Salida who are at about my pace (Ryan B & Nick P) and one who is faster (Timmy P), so there should be some good company to help push out a hard effort. Looking forward to it.


  1. Awesome week! "I was also pretty productive at work and with the family"... best part.
    CD's keep woodpeckers away? Do you not like hydration packs like a Camelbak?

  2. I like the "run lots" training plan...although I would think that the occasional rest week would be good.

    Out of curiosity - why don't you want to use any handhelds? Also, I really like the nathan waistpack that has two smaller bottles. It is essentially the equivalent of one bottle in terms of liquid but I think distributes the weight a little better and allows for carrying two types of beverage. May be worth giving a try.

  3. Duncan had an article that said 2 bottles was the worst performing least for him. I tend to agree.

  4. Lucho - Anything shiny that woodpeckers can see their reflection in supposedly scares them off. Some people do shiny silver tassels, others do CDs, others use a shotgun.

    Not a fan of carrying stuff on my back for a couple of reasons: I find the jiggle to be way more significant with backpacks than with waistpacks, the weight is significant when full, and backpacks tend to take a lot longer to fill at aid stations. Of course, if you have a crew and a couple of packs then it's just a question of switching the empty one for the full one and the time factor isn't really an issue.

    Nick - yeah, 100-mile training isn't exactly rocket science, although I think a lot of people neglect the downhill training part for mountain 100s.

    On the handhelds, I guess Duncan's article got me thinking a bit. It's funny, the faster runners at most ultras tend to go with handhelds and then as you get through the field you start seeing the waistpacks, the camelbacks and then the full-on backpacks. I always just copied what the consensus at the front of the field was, but to be honest I find handhelds to be somewhat annoying, especially in longer races where you're constantly trying to get a bunch of other things accomplished on the run. Anyway, I got a bunch of products from Nathan, so I figured I'd at least give them a try and I really was pleasantly surprised by the one bottle/one flask set up - and I love having both hands free.

    I've always hated running with two bottles, so I might try one handheld/one bottle in the waistpack for longer stretches rather than two in the waistpack which seems like it would be too much weight on the lower back. I also have one of those Nathan vests, so should give that a go although I hear they can get pretty jiggly too. There was a pretty sweet backpack that they showed us the other week where the straps cross diagonally across the front of your body. It has some good adjustments on the shoulder for different body types and has a small pack (3-4 gels, maybe) at the front where the straps cross at the sternum. Supposedly, that design significantly reduces movement. Can't remember what it was called.

    Brandon - yeah, saw that. It was a pretty limited study, but the conclusions make sense. That said, there is the comfort x-factor which wasn't taken into account in the study. I guess that's why it's good to try these things in training.

  5. I should say that I was not saying that you should use/not use handhelds - I was more just wondering why you were switching since I know you went with two in the past. I agree that handhelds can be cumbersome (especially if you use two). I personaly think that one handheld and one small waistpack is good for longer stretches.

    On the backpack thing, I think they can also have an impact on how well you dissipate heat. It depends on the pack but I always found them to be worse in hot conditions for this reason.

  6. In a conversation with Matt Carpenter once about why he carries a water bottle tucked between his arm and ribs, just below the armpit, he explained he did a treadmill test and found that it saved him a heartbeat or two per minute to carry it that way, rather than in his hands out front of him.

    Sounds like he must have experimented a lot to figure out what works best for him, just as you're doing.

    Have a great race next weekend.

  7. Jim - yeah, I've seen pictures/video of Matt employing that technique on Pikes. Looks pretty uncomfortable if you ask me, but I'm not gonna doubt a guy with a record like his, and I know he's the master of preparation.

    I think he wore a camelback for his record Leadville run, or at least part of it.

  8. I think Matt C had a camelbak at every aid station. Or two at every aid station, for the out and back. He also dissolved powerbars in them, so he wouldn't have to waste time eating. He didn't even break stride through the aid stations, he would drop the camelbak he was wearing and someone would hand him a full one.