A passion for trail running, ultras, mountaineering, snowshoeing, hiking, and other outdoor adventures

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Bighorn (and Whitney) Training Off to a Great Start!

Bighorn Training Weeks 22 and 23 to Go
The 24 weeks of Bighorn training are officially underway and off to a great start.  I'm trying to follow, very loosely, a training plan of that length for a 100 miler, peaking at a few 70 mile weeks, that's contained in Bryon Powell's Relentless Forward Progress book. 
At the same time as I start to ramp up (from a good December base of 30-something mile weeks), I'm giving myself the luxury of "scratching the racing itch" more frequently than usual during this early stretch (maybe about President's Day?), as I raced quite little over the second half of '13.  Why that move in this base-extending phase?  Well, for starters, I've missed the racing and I think I need to get back into that mindset a little.  And second, I really want to inject some speed back into the legs, through some road racing, some more runnable 50k's and speedwork.  I'm also trying to work on flexibility and strength training. So far, it's nothing but "checks" in all those boxes!
I'll do separate posts on the Hot Chocolate and Watchung races.  I can't say enough about how pleased I am with my endurance and "stick-to-it" attitude at Watchung in the snow and bitter cold, and then how much I enjoyed and how surprisingly well I performed in my first time back on roads in many years.  Very encouraging, and now I need to find some synergy there!
Overall,  I was back pretty much on the mark for total volume last week, after understandably exceeding it with the Watchung race week before (wasn't supposed to hit 54 miles till week 7, but I'm not stressing about that!).    Here is the beta:
Week ending Jan. 5th:  Training through a fat ass race week
Total Mileage Goal=37 over 5 runs 
Actual Time on Feet=12.45 hours over 5 runs (one on snowshoes and counting Watchung 50K fat ass)
Actual Estimated Mileage=54.5
Speedwork:  One solo four-mile tempo road run
Long Run:  50K (32 miles in fact), trails
Strength:  One upper/core, one mini-Iron Strength full body
Cross-Training:  No
Stretching:  Uneven, most days
Week ending Jan. 12th:  Recovery then training through a road race week; beginning of Mt. Whitney climbing training for March

Total Mileage Goal=40 over 5 runs
Actual Time on Feet=7.8 hours on feet over four runs and one three-hour hike
Actual Estimated Mileage (incl. hike and 15 minute treadmill incline):  39.5
Speedwork:  Five half-mile reps with hills, 72nd transverse to Engineer's Gate, with 1:30 recoveries (4:11/4:00/3:47/3:49/3:45)
Long Run=15.5 total on Hot Chocolate race day with warmup and cooldown
Weighted Hike:  20 to 25 lb. pack with poles, Gate Hill trailhead, Harriman, out and back on Suffern-Bear Mtn. Trail, hiked 7 miles in about 3:05
Treadmill Incline:  15 minutes post-speedwork, with 10 uphill and 4 "down" walking backwards, all at 15% max incline
Strength:  One full legs, one upper/core
Yoga:  One 1:15 class
Deep-Tissue Massage:  One
Stretching:  Good

Planning Ahead

Checking the "master plan," I see that mileage goals for Weeks 21 and 20 are 44 (continued ramp-up) and 38 (pullback).  I'm thinking as much in terms of "time on feet equivalent" as miles, but I want to at least keep the overall flow of buildup and stepback weeks in synch with the program as much as I can.  That latter part (sequencing) should work out with the Batona fat ass (34 mile) this Saturday capping an otherwise light week, and then a week where I'll have a much shorter long run(s) with maybe the Brooklyn Half and otherwise try to dial it back in the first half of that week. 

Otherwise, thinking of both Bighorn and Whitney, I want to make sure I'm now getting the "magic weekly four" of one yoga, two upper/core, and one legs (Iron Strength counting as two as it gets all three elements).  Maybe getting in two leg workouts on some non-race weeks. And working in weighted hikes every few weeks, and the occasional treadmill incline or (once I invest in one) weighted-vest or pack-carrying stair workout.  When I can or need it, a ride or swim.  Biweekly massages.

Let's hope the strength, flexibility and speed keep coming together like they have been so far in this new year!

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