The past month of training has been solid. Training weeks have been over 130 miles per week. Very good. I have not hit the volume goals which I had deemed reasonable back in the end of the winter, but I have been hitting very solid and consistent weeks which have included many substantial long runs, several key interval sessions, and numerous quality strength training sessions. In addition, the very beginning of the cross-country ski summer training season is upon us and I have been partaking in several short and low intensity roller-skis and pole-hikes with a couple of the athletes I work with. These sessions have been great for these young athletes to get back into a training routine, and have been great for me to begin the ground-work for successfully developing their training plans for the summer and into the next ski race season.
One thing which has been challenging is the weather. It seems that every day is cloudy, overcast, raining, snowing, and exceptionally windy. Challenging indeed; but hardly noticeable in the grand scheme of things. I only wish we were having some warmer weather with which to deal with. I have fully embraced the fatigue that comes with 10 weeks and 1300 miles of training. The legs seem to be heavy or sluggish at the starts of most runs and then they simply get better from there. I have also had to deal with trying to avoid my body getting too tight and stiff. This has been a struggle which I have combatted with stretching, foam-rolling, icing, soaking, and the use of a rolling pin. Largely, the tightness and stiffness which comes with this type of training has not manifested itself in any truly negative way. This past week I did have to deal with an extremely tight glute/hamstring issue which was brought on by running repeat 400s. I managed to suffer through another interval workout and then I became more serious about the recovery process and managed to get rid of the problem. Very good news indeed.
Also of note is my nutritional intake. Annie is on a special diet where she is eliminating wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, cheese, etc. I have, for the most part, taken part in this special eating plan. We have seriously increased our ‘real food’ consumption: more vegetables, fruits, water, tea, meat, greens, other grains, dried fruit, etc. Clearly I am not going down the Scott Jurek path, although I am envious of how great his diet is, however, I do feel a noticeable difference on limiting the dairy. Maybe my body is slightly lactose intolerant. (I am still eating whole milk yogurt every morning). I am still eating quite a bit of meat and also trying to limit my carbohydrate intake. (processed carbs: pastas, breads, etc.). I am doing a pretty good job of this, and coupled with a huge increase in ‘raw’ or ‘real’ food intake over the past couple of months, my body feels great. Great energy. Great digestion. Great feel. I am maintaining my body weight the best I ever have and I feel very positive about the diet.
On the products and supplements front, things could not be better. I am taking my daily multi-vitamin and a liquid calcium supplement from Lifeforce. I am using and greatly enjoying the benefits from the entire First Endurance Product Line. Ultragen has been an especially great product for recovery. Also, I am utilizing Vespa, coupled with the above-mentioned dietary changes, as a key component to helping my body breakdown fat for fuel. I used Vespa during my long runs this past week (as I do for most of my long runs) and noticed I was consuming a good, consistent amount of other products with no highs and no lows from the sugar. I felt solid and consistent and I recovered fantastically on the back-to-back big run days. Another product which I primarily use as a ‘meal-on-the-go’ are PROBARs. As I have stated before PROBARs are a tremendous product rich in raw foods, high in good fats, fiber, and protein. They also taste very good and are a fantastic option to grab when you are in a hurry as a big snack or a small meal. Lastly I have had the opportunity to test a prototype product from the local company Acli-Mate. I normally use Acli-Mate as a daily thirst-quencher and booster of energy and minerals; almost as another daily supplement. They are in the process of creating a product to be used specifically for endurance sports called Acli-Mate Enduro. It is not commercially available yet but I have been very fortunate to be able to test this great product rich in electrolytes and minerals.
(Rob O’dea Photo) Parr, DC, Burch at Leadville 2009
It has been fantastic to continue training with Tim Parr and Ryan Burch on a weekly basis. Typically Parr and I run in the afternoons and Burch and I run in the super early mornings. We have been able to put in many great miles together. Most of the time one of us is having an ‘off-day’ and it helps very much to have some one else there to drag you out. We have created a list of loops and runs in and around the Gunnison Valley, (We have named most of them, meaning that these are not official ‘destination’ loops), and we have had a grand time checking these runs off our lists. One of the other incredibly fun things we have done is run Signal Peak (A 9000′ peak about 5 miles from town) most days of the week. We have created a checklist for different ways to run this peak which has certainly helped to keep the running fun and interesting.
I am now on day 108 of my running streak and feeling good in my tenth week of ‘real’ training. These weeks have been solid and have produced a fitness base that I have not had for sometime. It feels good to be fit right now as this fitness will be used next weekend at my home race, The SageBurner 50km, and in one month at the Big Horn 100. My mind and body feel up to the task of tackling these races and I can’t wait to toe the line as the bulk of the race season begins. Here’s to a great race season.The week that was: 5/10/10 – 5/16/10:
AM: 2 hours. 14 miles. Signal Peak and add-on in the super early AM with Burch. Sit-ups/Push-ups.
PM: 1 hour 20 minutes. 11 miles. Signal Peak Direct. Rushed this run: in a hurry. Sit-ups/Push-ups.
PM: Full strength session at Main Street Gym. Solid session. 60 minutes total time.PM: Interval Day. With Burch. Warmup. Then 6 x 800 m in 2:45 (or so). 90 Seconds rest. Cool Down. Not blazing speed; but good for the turn over and some good hard running.
AM: 2 hours. 13 miles. Signal Peak and add-on in the super early AM with Burch. Snow on the ground. Sit-ups/Push-ups.PM: 2 hours. 12 miles. Signal Peak and small add-on with Parr. New summit direction. Bushwhacking. Sit-ups/Push-ups.
PM: 65 minute 8 mile recovery jog on the ‘W’ Mountain Ranch trail. (Tomichi Creek and flat).
Friday 5/14/10: AM: 5 hours. 32 miles. Hartman Rocks SageBurner Course and add-on. Pack, bottle, etc. Felt slow, but felt very very solid and strong. Good vertical. Good nutrition day. Good Hydration day. Sit-ups/Push-ups.
AM: 6 hours 15 minutes. 45 miles. Road miles on the County Road 10 and Allen Lane and the entirety of out and back on Ohio Creek Road. This is a flat road loop with little variation. Ran with a pack and bottle. Good nutrition. Good Hydration. Good day. Felt slow early on and then started running fast at the end with the last 21 miles averaging sub 8:00 minute pace. Strong day. Legs a bit beat up. Good mental day.
PM: Easy 60 minutes on the contour trail. Recovery run. Sunny and warm! No shirt. Very nice run. Felt good toward the end of this jog. Very positive. Sit-ups/Push-ups.
21 hours of running. 25 hours of training. 150 miles of running. Solid intervals. Solid long runs. Solid strength sessions. Good cross training. Body is feeling good. Decent nutrition week. Poor recovery practices week. Looking forward to a couple more weeks of big training and then cutting it down to get ready for Big Horn. Here’s to some more great training. Thanks for reading. Happy Trails. Live well. Train well. DC