The past two years have been years of running; in some cases extreme volume. Last year (summer 2007) I had two strings of solid training. Most of my “build” weeks were in 110 mile range. I peaked at 140 miles with long runs in the 25-32 mile range, and the long days over 40 miles in two runs.
Last season (summer 2007), I completed my first 50km ultra, trail marathon, 50 miler, and 100 miler. I competed in and won, while setting a course record at the Spring Desert Ultra 50 miler in April of 2007. I then pushed on to Leadville with high expectations. I ran well for 85 miles, and then lost my stomach and my legs and gimped into the finish in just over 20 hrs. and a 7th place showing. I was humbled by the distance. But I was hooked; I loved the challenge of the 100 mile distance, and thus I launched into a fantastic string of high volume training, lasting from last fall and continuing until now.
Beginning at the end of October 2007, I have averaged over 114 miles per week for the entire 9 months. Long runs of up to 45 miles, with long days of up to 50 miles, and peak weekly mileage up to 180. I have had peak weekly vertical gain of 30,000 feet. Most weeks I run 8-9 times, with an average of 115 miles. In addition, I do rigorous core strength training, marginal amounts of stretching, and a varied amount of cross training. My primary aim has been on volume; both in distance and time. Recently I have shortened one or two days a week in exchange for intensity; to try and turbocharge my running economy. I am getting there. I have at times felt very flat, tired, sore, and lazy; and gotten up to run anyway.
The training this winter was incredible. This was the “worst” winter in Gunnison history. We had the highest snow total ever recorded and the usual extreme cold. I remember days of running either early or late in the negative 25 – negative 35 degree range; freezing and not being able to untie my shoes because my hands were numb. Annie helped me a ton all winter. Consistency was the absolute key. Tim Parr, friend, he and I trained together quite a bit; and he helped me a lot for those early AM runs. I have raced several times in 2008, starting again with the Moab Red Hot 50k+ in mid-Feb. I posted a 38 min PR on the 34 mile course and a 4th place result behind Anton, Kyle, and Justin.
I then traveled over to Salida in mid-March for the “Run Through Time” trail Marathon. I was in 2nd place and got lost on the brutal course. I ended up running approx. 31 miles and finishing in 7th place. I then did not start at the Spring Desert Ultra. As defending champion; that was a tough move, but my body was in a world of hurt; tired sore and “off.” So, I planned a few weeks of easy training to get back in line, and sure enough, I bounced right back.