I took a week totally off after the Carlsbad Marathon on Jaunary 19th. This has pretty much been my standard recovery time frame for any race…marathon to ultra marathon. Next up will be the Tarawera 100km followed by the Northburn Race ultra trail race (I’m only doing 50km) in New Zealand!
A lot of people and sites will mention that the “season” has just started (as coinciding with the calendar year), but I’ve always thought of any given month during the whole year as being a time to race. [this is most likely because I came from the collegiate running scene where you raced cross country hard all fall, then burned it hot for indoor track all winter and then followed that directly with the outdoor track season in the spring…then in the summer you busted your tail running triple digit mileage weeks!] Sure, you have to periodize your training and take mini breaks between training cycles and target events (often forced breaks as in the case of me getting the flu in December), but being in decent aerobic shape at any given time of the year helps build up one’s strength and speed very effectively for the future. The key is being consistent and staying healthy! Training both the aerobic system but also the skeletal muscular system at the cellular level for positive adaptation is always the goal.
As I look forward to returning to New Zealand again in a couple weeks to defend my title at the Tarawera 100km, I think back to my training and racing last year and analyze what I can do to improve. One thing I’ve noticed has been working to utilize higher percentages of fat as a fuel source so that I don’t have to rely on taking in so many carbohydrates (ie soda pop) at aid stations. So, in my training for the past several weeks (2 weeks worth listed below) I’ve gone into some Long Runs after fasting a good 12-14 hours overnight with only had 2 spoonfuls of almond butter with my plain coffee for breakfast. The idea behind this is to go into a long run in a slightly depleted state so that the body shifts to fat-burning relatively early in the run. I also employed this tactic (much to Keith and Kevin’s dismay) while training at Hansons before I ran my personal best in the marathon.
Of course after about 20 miles into these long runs I’ve been injecting enough significant pace/effort to justify taking a Vfuel gel or two (I took one on my 25 miler and three total on my 30-miler which had a lot more climbing with Mt. Sanitas) I am confident that at lower intensities (ie 60-65% of max HR) I can endure a long run without any intake of calories at all (such instances last year and earlier this year found me reduced to walking, sitting, and nearly crying after about 28 to 30 miles) Fuel is the name of the game! [or shall I say managing your fuel sources].
[Here’s some video action of the training I’ve been doing in the new HOKA ONE ONE Rapa Nui 2 Trail shoe]:
In terms of diet, I will not give up my Avery beer (or pizza and pasta for that matter) and go “low-carb”…they area all too delicious! Studies have shown that even a short 2-3 week phase of ingesting less carbs (ie 30% of total daily caloric intake) can improve fat utilization during moderate intensity endurance running. Still, I believe that my intake of higher amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids (usually from Flora’s 7 Sources/Udo’s Oil, and copious amounts of almond butter and avocados) as well as a diet generally low in refined sugar help me become a more efficient ultra runner. The magic isn’t in any radical diet but rather a combination of periodizing a generally healthy diet with healthy doses of aerobic training. In my opinion, adaptaions from your running alone are going to have the biggest influence on your performance and efficiency (with sleep, stress, and diet being a close second!). Three days before I start a 2.5 day carbo load before the Tarawera 100km I will discipline myself to having less carbs, and then of course during the actual race I will probably ingest around 25 to 30 Vfuels! [note: Vfuel gels also have fractionated coconut oil as a fat source].
That’s the short of my nutrition rant for now. Here’s my last 2 weeks of training (I also post all of my runs/workouts on Strava)
2-9-14: Easy 9.25 miles in 70min on Boulder bike paths. 300’
2-10-14: AM: Ran up Green Mtn. with a friend (2hrs) for 6.75 miles and 2800’ [beers at Avery]
PM: Easy 5.5 miles bike path in 45min( 200’)
2-11-14: Easy 2-mile warm-up to Marshall rd. Then Lactate Threshold session of 4 by 2 mile repeats back and forth (slight U-shaped hill with changing wind direction). Splits 11:05, 10:41, 10:54, 10:35 with a half mile jog (4:30) between. Little slower than marathon pace, but effort felt about right with HR in the 160s-170! Not too shabby coming off the marathon break given the wind and altitude. Legs solid.
14 miles, 500’
2-12-14: Easy 12 miles icey/snow trails on Eldo Canyon with Sandi (shooting some film with the SLR). 1700’ in 2.5 hrs.
2-13-14: no-breakfast LONG RUN: 25 miles in 2hrs, 50min. Headed out to the Res..encountered a lot of slush/mud on the trails around Coot lake so hit up some roads (some dirt some paved) before finishing around the Res. Wind was horrible. Went on zero calories until mile 20 then popped one Vfuel to maintain mile splits in the 6:30 range. 800’
2-14-14: Easy 12.5 mile run with Sandi up Mt. Sanitas and around the backside trails. Snowy and icy! 2800’
2-15-14: AM: Easy 5 miles and 300’
PM: Easy 4 miles steady and 200’ (threw in 7 miles of biking to and from US Cross Country national meet watching)
Mileage: 94 miles
2-16-14: Easy 2.5 mile warm-up to NCAR hill. Then: “Vo2max power” 7*( 2min Hard uphill reps, 1:30 recovery jog downhill). Worked my way up the hill working on power/speed. HR hitting around 170. Gasping for air! Little bit of lactic acid felt. Continued up towards Messa trail before going back down the hill. 10.75 miles and 1300’
2-17-14: Easy 10.25 miles trails. 1200’. Legs a bit tired (hammies).
2-18-14: Bear Peak up west ridge. Did a lot of back and forth and stopping to film. 13 miles, 4000’ , 3hrs.
2-19-14: LONG RUN (no-breakfast beforehand save for 2 spoonfuls of almond butter and plain coffee…started late around 12pm as well). 30 miles in 3:36. Threw in Mt. Sanitas in the middle just for kicks and that climbing effort required me to take 3 Vfuel gels total after zero calories before all that climbing). 3100’
2-20-14: Easy 8 mile flat recovery run. , 350’
PM: Easy 11 miles up Bear Canyon with 3 Cameras and a full backpack on my back. 1500’ and 2hrs
PM: Easy 4 mile night run. 100’
2-22-14: warmed-up 2.5 miles, Then: Lactate Threshold workout of 2 by 4 miles W. Res trail loops: 22-22:30 efforts each with HR in the 160s. Took a mile jog recovery (8:30) between. Got the muscle tension in the legs up climbing on the loose rocky trails and split some sub 5:20 miles coming back on the trail with a tailwind. Solid.
Extended cool-down. 15 miles for the day, 700’.
Mileage: 102 miles
AND, Finally, some exciting news:
Sandi and I still have a few more slots left for our Vo2max Productions, LLC Monthly Coaching online service. We offer custom, monthly training schedules and feedback for runners of any speed and target race distances (5km to 100 miles) from the mountains and trails to the road and track! Cost is $100/mo.
Thanks to the generous support of donors on the Kickstarter page, The MUT Runner film project is underway with massive amounts of editing and interviews already complete. We’re still planning a tentative release in May 2014 on DVD and digital download. For additional support (much appreciated) you can still donate (for awards as per listed on the Kickstarter page) HERE. Thank you!
Furthermore, you can check out and subscribe to my other videos on YouTube. Here’s my latest “Training Talk” series on breathing while running:
I wish you all the best in your running and hope to see you at some events! Thank you again for all the support!
About the Author (Author Profile)2-time Olympic Trials Qualifier, Mountain runner, Author of "Running For The Hansons," trail runner, videos for Vo2max Productioins, LLC.
Sites That Link to this Post
- Recovery Reading 03/02/14 | Elevation Athlete | March 2, 2014