I have a tendency to run myself into the ground. Many reading this are probably guilty of the same thing. For the most part though I’m not talking just about training, running, and racing. Generally speaking, I’ve been able to keep that part of my life sane, balanced, focused, and productive. No – mostly, I’m referring to the rest of my life. You know the drill – taking on too much, adding another job or two, starting new projects, studying a new subject, reading another 3 books (all at once). No matter how you ‘spin’ it, waking up at 3:00am is not a recipe for success in the long term. We glorify/worship/exalt this type of behavior way too much in our society. For the past three years I’ve taken this approach to life nearly year-round – all while forcing as much training as possible into my schedule – and have paid a heavy (fatigue-laden) price. Slowly, I’ve come to realize how unsustainable this really is and how counterproductive this actually is in the long run. You’ve all read my late-spring and mid-summer posts from the past few years – describing fatigue, burn-out, exhaustion, and a lack of fitness. Not this year. I refuse to do the same thing this year. Time to take a stand. This week, I made the decision to be okay with not forcing high volume training in the midst of a busy week, or similar time period. I may be able to fake it for a week or a month – but I want to be the most fit, healthy, and ready to perform during the months of August and September. With all this said, due to an extremely busy schedule, I’ve scaled back the training a bit. Take a look at the week that was:
Monday – 5/6/13
AM: Zero training today. Had a monstrously productive day at work. Feeling focused and positive. Took today and fasted. I ate very well the day before, including a large dinner. Did not eat breakfast today as part of an 18 hour fast. Ate a very nutrient-dense lunch, and then skipped dinner as part of another 18 hour fast. Trying to reset my body. 0 training.
Tuesday – 5/7/13
AM: Zero training today. Woke up feeling very alert and rested though. Best I’ve felt in a while. Had another solid day at work – at least until about 3:30pm – and then I started fading pretty badly. Slept well at night. 0 training.
Wednesday – 5/8/13
AM: Zero training today. Woke up with more mobility and less inflammation than I’ve had since the race. Very good news. All-in-all, the recovery from the Collegiate Peaks 50 Miler went well. My legs did not feel beat up at all and my overall energy was near-normal all week. Really just trying to think long-term and be well rested for my next big block of training in Bend, OR at the end of the month. 0 training.
Thursday – 5/9/13
AM: Back on it – kind of. Headed out for a 1 hour run in the morning. I was slightly shocked to feel as flat as I did, but felt much better afterwards. Snowing this morning – this put a bit of a damper on my mental outlook. Did this easy 1 hour run out on the Van Tuyl Loop. 1 hour training. 1 hour running. 7 miles running.
Friday – 5/10/13
AM: Rolled up to Leadville to meet with Strategic Endurance Athlete Dan Hartley. Dan is from South Carolina and will be competing in his first Leadville 100 this summer. I was able to show Dan many of the aid station locations and point out quite a bit of the course. We had planned on running the Turquoise Lake Trail too but that was completely snowed-in. Instead we ran from the Turquoise Lake Dam to the start-line and then back to the Dam for a total of 12 miles. Good run. Solid conversation. Excited to see Dan rock the Leadville 100! I fasted all day today and did not eat breakfast and lunch as part of a 24-hour fast. I did have coffee with coconut oil and a tiny amount of coconut milk stirred in, but other than this, I did not eat until 6:00pm. 2 hours training. 2 hours running. 12 miles running. Leadville!
Saturday – 5/11/13
AM: Amazing morning. Beautiful weather. Perfect temperatures. Parr and I ran Signal Peak, 4-Plains Ridge, and the Mountain Lion Trail. My energy felt sporadic, but legs felt bomb-proof. Great to run with Parr again – it had been too long. 2 hour run. 14 miles. Then I had a great morning hanging out with Jordan! Spent some time on the park. 2 hours training. 2 hours running. 14 miles running. SU/PU.
Sunday – 5/12/13
AM: Zero training today. Slept-in AND took a nap in the afternoon. I thought all this sleep would generate a slightly better feeling today, but instead I felt more groggy. Made it work though. Solid day. Planning for the next couple weeks is getting me excited. 0 training.
Totals – Week of 5/6/13 – 5/12/13
5 hours training. 5 hours running. 32 miles running. Took 4 DAYS OFF this week. Looking to build into another solid block of training. Nutrition is ‘dialed’.
For the past two weeks I’ve been finalizing the infrastructure for my coaching with Life Time Run. I can’t tell you how excited I am to begin coaching in earnest this week. We are now less than 100 days away from the start of the Leadville 100! Looking forward to a big summer of coaching and training! I’ve also been reading quite a few nutrition and fitness articles again and wanted to highlight a few. Here’s a good one from Ben Greenfield about adrenal fatigue and over-training. I would encourage every endurance athlete out there to take a few minutes and read it. Switching subjects – My favorite snack in the world? Nuts – almonds, macadamias, cashews, walnuts – you name it. So, I’ve been doing a little reading on the benefits of certain nuts and seeds, and how to properly prepare them to maximize nutrient absorption. This article by the folks over at Paleo Diet Lifestyle gives detailed information about the nutrition of most nuts and seeds. Lastly, I had a great time doing this podcast interview with the good folks at Trail Runner Nation. Enjoy some good tips for the Leadville 100. Psyched to feel rested, healthy, and moving in the right direction. Here’s to a solid week ahead. Thanks for reading. Live well. Train well. DC