Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My favorite time of year - Fall running

Fall is my favorite time of year to run.  The temps are 30s-60s, the winds are usually light and the trees are beautiful.  The running part of me wishes it could be fall all of the time.  I appreciate living in Wisconsin and the different experience of each season.  Would fall really be as wonderful if it not for the exit of the heat and humidity of summer or the inevitable approach of the wind, ice and bitter cold of winter?

I am enjoying running through the goodness of fall.  No impending doom of goal races I am not trained to run or silly expectations of huge improvements from training.  Just the crunch of the leaves under foot, the morning frost on vehicles windows, the noisy geese heading south and me running ... running because it makes me happy.

Good running to all -

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NorthCoast 24 hour result

Wow that sucked!

A big shout out to Phil McCarthy 153+ and Connie Gardner 144+ our 2011 National 24 hour champions.  Also to Deb Horn (131+) and Johnathon Savage (146+) for securing their spots on the 2012 National Team with 2nd place finishes.  Finally Harvey Lewis (140+) and Lisa Bliss (125+) for putting up great races and getting 3rd place.

My race ... Easy - Not in shape and 20# heavy - Sounds like a broken record.  Time to stop racing and start training.  I will not make another attempt until I am ready.

Temperatures were reasonable, it did feel a bit warm on the part of the course with the wind at you back.  From 11ish to when I dropped (10ish) we pushed a pretty decent wind for 40% of the course.  At times maybe 5-10 MPH, a lot of the time 10-15+.

I came through the marathon in @ 3:55 ~ 9:00 pace and 50 miles in @ 7:45ish = 9:18 pace (Most of the drop was for bathroom breaks and stretching) 

By 8 hours into the race my red shirt was dry and white from all the salt.  I was sweating pretty hard and had taken 18-20 S-Caps.

About 12 hours in I just was not able to run at any pace into the wind and started turning 10+ minute laps.  I realized that if something did not change I would not hit the minimum of 135 miles.  For the next hour I tried different things to push it back down to the 9ish minute range.  It was not going to happen, so I pulled the plug to fight another day.

I was well hydrated, nutrition was good and electrolytes were as good as they could be.  So it comes down to my fitness level and weight were not anywhere close to what they need to be.

Time for a little less talking and hoping and more training.  I do not see myself running another serious ultra until May or June 2012. 

Good running to all!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pacing for NorthCoast 24 hour race

I thought I would share my pacing strategy for NorthCoast 24.  Having handicapped myself with 20 extra pounds and less mileage than I would like does nothing to my normal 24 hour pacing strategy.

That is because my 24 hour pacing strategy has nothing to do with pace and everything to do with effort level.  It is very simple, but very hard to execute.

Why is so hard to execute?  In the 1st part of the race, everyone will be lapping me, some lapping so often it will feel like I am standing still.  It will be likely if I execute my pacing strategy well, I will fall to 40th - 50th place or further early on.  When I hit 100 miles, I may not be in the top 20 yet.

1st 12 hours (9am - 9pm) - The pace should feel as easy as sitting on the couch watching TV.  Everything should be relaxed, if any strain comes into muscles or breathing, it's time to back off.

Next 5 hours (9pm - 1am) - Try to stay relaxed, the effort level picks up to what a 5 hour training run at easy pace would feel like.

1 am to 6 am - This is when a person finds out where they are mentally.  There is enough time left that it seems like a long time to suffer.  Your body is starting to hurt and it is easy to start to let the pain dictate slowing way down or walking for extended periods of time.   This is where I want to feel pain, lots of pain, welcome the pain and keep extremely focussed to get as much out of my body as possible.  My plan is to run these 5 hours like there are only 6 hours left in the race - pushing hard.

6 am - 9 am - The reason I am willing to push hard the previous 5 hours is because I believe if I am in position to get a good mileage with 3 hours left, I will find a way to get it done.  I will have ate, drank and electrolyted properly, so it will only be the strength of my mind that determines how many miles I can get in the last 3 hours.

So what does all this mean? 

I have no idea - I believe there is a large range of possibilities of what an effort based pacing strategy will yield.  But I do have an idea what I think it will deliver:
1)  1st 50 miles in 7:45-8:00
2)  2nd 50 miles in 8:15-8:45
3)  Last part of pace between 10-11 minute miles

Best case:  148
More likely:  139

Of course there are 10 things that have to go extremely well to get to the 139-148 range and any one of them going really poorly will dramatically decrease the mileage ... this is going to be fun!

Good running to all -

Monday, September 12, 2011

NorthCoast 24 - Let the pre-race tweaking begin

We drop the kiddos off Friday at school, then onto Cleveland, OH.  So I actually started thinking about the race today.

Tweaking = Over thinking about founded or unfounded issues for the race.

My tweaking
1)  Slightly injured achillies last Monday - I have ignored it and trained as if it were fine.  As of today it still hurts moderately.
2)  I have lost 10 pounds since Leadville - But I am still 215# - I have given myself a big handicap to overcome.
3)  Shoes - I have 15 pair out there, all moderately worn, none fresh enough for 24 hours.  Someone I have dreadfully mismanaged my shoes in the last 2 years.
4)  The competition - The list is already strong, but I hear rumor of a few more elite men being added ...
5)  To do well in the 24 hour it is an all or nothing proposition.  You have to be willing to destroy yourself totally and see what you get.  Anything other than an "All in" mentality - You might as well stay home.  I need to get myself ready mentally.
6)  Unlike other times when I race a 24 hour "All in", I am a long shot to making my minimum distance = 140 to make the trip worth it.
7)  Not having trained worth a darn since end of June - I ran 121 miles two weeks ago and 126 miles last week - So I am a little light on tapering.

With all that being said - I am getting pretty excited to go out to Cleveland and test my current fitness level.

Good running to all -

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Taper for a 24 hour race

This is the area that I feel least confident about.  I feel good about how I taper for a marathon = Run a bit less and keep light speed workouts the whole way in.  I usually run 90-100 miles the 2nd week out and 50ish miles the week of the marathon (Before the 26.2)

Here is my taper for the the two 24 hour races I did well at:

6/6/2009  FANS 24 - 147.4 miles
*  Training was marathon training (2 speed workouts per week) + a 30+ and a 40+ mile run every month. Mileage was in the 120-160 range (160 when a 40+ mile run was done)

*  Week # 3) 
108 miles

*  Week #2)
M - 21 Easy in AM
T - 5 Easy in AM / 5 Easy in PM
W - 12.5 With 5x5 @ CV (5:33 pace) in AM / 4.5 Easy in PM
TH - 6 Easy in AM  / 5 Easy in PM
F - 10 with 20 min Tempo (5:43 pace) in AM / 5 Easy in PM
SA - 12 Easy in AM
Su - 6 Easy in AM / 4 Easy in PM
92 miles

*  Race week)
M - 10 mile interval run 4x4 minutes @ CV / PM - 5 Easy
T - 6 easy in AM / 4 Easy in PM
W - 6 EAsy
TH - 5 Easy
FR - 4 EASy
40 miles pre-race

May 13 2010 Brive 24 hour - 154.48 miles - This race was a European race and between lost luggage and being a tourist in Paris - The last week taper was poor - I was in much better shape than the 2009 race.  To me the Brive taper was disjointed - There was a lot of life that got in the way.  I showed up to the race flat and lethargic.

*  Training was marathon training (2 speed workouts per week) + multiple 30+ and  40+ mile run every month. Even a couple of 50+ mile runs.  Mileage peaked with an 8 week average in the 200+ range.  Many times I would do my speed work after running 20-25 mile of a 30+ mile run, many times my speed work failed.

Week #4)
142 miles

*  Week # 3) 
76 miles

*  Week #2)
M - 14 with 4x5 @ CV in AM / 5 Easy in PM
T - 5 Easy in AM / 6 Easy in PM
W - 5 Easy
TH - 14 with 4 mile tempo in AM / 5 Easy in PM
F - 8 Easy / 6 Easy
SA - 5 easy (Travel - Stuck in Detroit)
Su - Off (Travel)
72 Miles

*  Race week) - Race was on a Thursday
M - 7 Easy
T - 5 easy M
W - 4 EAsy

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fitness Report Sept 5th - 11th

This week I need to get less calories in and more H20.  Goals are to average < 3,200 calories per day and minimum of 170 ounces H20 per day.  I would also like to get my walking total >= 15 miles.

R=Run, E=Eliptical, STM = StairMaster, W=Walk. Wts = Weights - So R6 = Run 6.  I make the assumption that 8 minutes of intense cross training = 1 mile

Day     Activity              Total "Miles"      Calories    Net Calories        H20
9/5      R18 R9                     27                  3,550         (2,630)             170
9/6      R8.5R11.5                20                   4,375(crud) (825)              110 (Bad)
9/7      R17R6W4                27                   3,225         (3035)              170
9/8      R5 R6 R6 W7          24                    3975         (1,785)              210
9/9      R6 R10                     16                   3800          (840)                180
9/10    R6 R6                       12                   3550          (530)                190
9/11    R11                           11                   3375          (565)                200

**  I failed to walk like I wanted to FR-SA-SU, but did have a good family weekend.  Went boating on Sunday - Likely the last huray of the boating year.

9/5 was a decent day.  Went to the state park and hikes with the family - Not real far as my father was along and had no desire to hike.  Played minature golf - Lost the pencil on purpose as it was to be fun ... My Dad still figured out we were all square after 16 holes and mad when I beat him ???  Yes my Dad likes to make everything a competition.  Also worked 5 hours on 2012 budget - Hey it pays the bills.

9/5 PM - Was stupidly cruising pretty fast (2nd fast run of day) - tweaked my lower calf / upper achillies area.  This time I am just going to ignore it - Although it will mean no fast running or hill running until it feels better.

9/8 Walked 7 miles on TM during part of Packer Pre-Game and 1st half - I am also out of walking shape.

My nutrition for a heavy training load

Nutrition becomes more complicated because it is not just how many carbs you eat, but almost more important is what type and when you eat them.  I tend to eat less solid food in heavy training and start taking more Endurox R4 (No I am not sponsored) immediately after most runs runs.  If I feel I am short on protein I tend to turn to Pro-Source Nytro Whey Extreme (not sponsored).  I am a heavy sweater, so electrolytes are always an issue, so I end up very reliant on Succeed S-Caps (not Sponsored)

When I get into really high mileage 170-200+ miler per week, I can no longer eat today to power my run tomorrow.  I eat today to help my body recover and not break down.  I eat right before my run and during my run to help give me the energy to power my run.  Yes, I realize I am also taking from fat and my depleted glycogen stores, but it is more the mentality that is important.  Eating during a run to power that run is great practice for 24 hour racing.  In long runs > 30 miles, I tend to take calories and S-Caps exactly how I would during a race.

I will post my in race fueling strategy for a 24 hour race a few days before NorthCoast 24

Good running to all -

I wish I could accomplish higher mileage nutrition with real food - God knows I love to eat, but I find I recover quicker for the next run with the above products.

Good running to all -

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Running 1-2-3 times a day & Nutrition for Heavy Training

For many of us time is the biggest constraint on training mileage.  Family, Friends, jobs and other personal interests all deserve their fair share of our time.  1st, most of us put these big blocks into our life's schedule and see what is left for running.  While seriously in training, some of us put our running schedule into life's schedule and fit what ever else we can - Making sure we can allocate a reasonable amount of time everything.

There are times I am running once, usually twice and sometimes 3 times a day.  I am blessed with a job that I can usually get 4-6 miles in at lunch.  If I had an unlimited amount of time I would run three times a day.  When I run one time a day I am fairly stiff for most of the day.  Twice a day is better, but by the next morning again I am stiff and sluggish.  But when I run three times a day, I am never stiff and running becomes much more fluid and coordinated.

The danger in running three times a day is over training - at least 2 of the runs need to be either recovery pace or slow easy pace - Garbage miles by some people's definition.  Nutrition, hydration and electrolyte balance will make the difference between breaking down or being a well oiled machine.

My next post will be about my nutrition for heavy training.

Good running to all -