Sunday, January 9, 2011

Training Week One Recap (167 days to go)

I have a consecutive days running streak that exceeds 500 days, so some might say that I'm always in training. There is no question, however, that the intensity of being "in training" exceeds those easy weeks of mileage that I log most winter months. Under the guidance of my coach Andy Jones-Wilkins, I kicked off the official Week One of my Western States training this week. Here's a quick recap:

Monday: 6.05 miles. There will be plenty of nice and easy runs, and Day One was no exception. In fact, it was basically the same run I would have done even without a training plan, except I slowed it down even further than usual. My marathon training "easy pace" frequently falls in the 7:30 to 7:45 per mile pace, partially a product of the fact that I keep the intensity higher even on easy days to compensate for my relatively low mileage and partially in an effort to save a few minutes of time each day. As I ramp up my mileage for Western States, I'll also be slowing my pace down to something slower than 8:00/mile on these easy runs. There is something to be said for time on feet...and a good recovery.

Tuesday: 6.68 miles total in a trip to the track. Yes, that's right...a track workout as I prepare for a 100 mile race! The 800 is one of my favorite distances, largely because I ran it competitively in junior high and high school. This dark, cold, crisp night was my first time on the track since late September. It didn't disappoint. I knocked off splits of 2:44, 2:44, 2:45, 2:43, and 2:41. The strangest part of this workout? There was another guy running on this track, in the dark, in the 28 degree weather.

Wednesday: 7.14 miles, including 30 minutes tempo pace. I started out easy with the dog, then dropped him off and "dropped the hammer" for a bit over 4 miles. I finished up with a short cooldown and felt great.

Thursday: 5.79 miles in a hill workout. I am lucky to have a long, steep hill that runs through a nature park about a quarter mile from my house. I hit that hill for 4 sets of intervals, and my GI tract was thanking me when we finally finished.

Friday: Gotta keep the streak alive...1.05 miles with the dog before work. I think Lou appreciated the chance to get some fresh air.

Saturday: 20.44 miles. I was invited to join a group of ultrarunners from the area on an out-and-back trail run on what is known as the Greenrock Trail, which isn't too far from my house. It's an area I've run before on my own, but I'd never made it from one end to the other because I always got lost. We met at 7 a.m., the sun just starting to peak over the horizon, and the temperature resting at a chilly 14 degrees. I am grateful for having met these turns out two of them finished Western States in 2010, two others paced those runners, one finished the storied Leadville 100 in under 24 hours, and all have impressive ultrarunning resumes. It was a cold, but rewarding run...check out the sweat icicle that formed on my hat. My glove fingertips froze, too, causing me to run the last 10 miles with my hands in fists, the glovetips clanging like windchimes as I ran. Overall, we had 4000 feet of climb and 4000 feet of descent (it was an out-and-back, after all!), and a warm shower never felt so good.

Sunday: 10.15 miles, nice and easy. My legs felt surprisingly fresh...hopefully a good sign of things to come!

Total Week One Miles: 57.30.

I won't tell you what my all-time weekly mileage record is...but it's not too far from that number! The difference? Instead of slamming fast, hard miles, I focused on long, easy miles with effective speed and hill workouts intertwined. I've run several PRs in the marathon never even reaching 57 miles in a week, and here I am hitting that mileage in the first week of a 24 week training program. My legs feel great, though, and I'm looking forward to Week 2!

1 comment:

  1. Great first week, Chad. I know nothing about training for an Ultra - let alone the Ultra of all Ultras, so I am pretty excited to follow your progress. A 24 week training program makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Good luck!