The Long Run – Week # 3

Distance: 33.5 miles
Time: 5:28
Pace: 9:54
Elevation Gain: 4140ft – although getting ready for a race that is 25,000+ ft of elevation gain…
Drink: 80 oz in bladder – water 1x GU Roctane Drink. 1 solid drink at water fountain = 110oz (cooler temps today – fog until noon)
Food: Nature Valley Granola bar & ClifBar. 1 pack Chomps, , Clif Oatmeal squeeze, Justins Hazelnut Almond Butter Packet = 900 cals (plus some in Roctane drink)
Breakfast: 5 eggs, 3 cups of chard, spinach & kale mix, sprouted wheat bagel with butter. 18oz of water, 12oz of coffee
Podcasts: The WSJ What’s News, TrailRunner Podcast, TED Radio Hour, Freakonomics Radio
AudioBook: Extreme Ownership: Leadership Lessons from a Navy Seal. Chapter 1-3

Observations: I got sick after the last long run 12 days ago. I knew something was wrong given my exhaustion from that 50k. I ended up not training for 3 days – although the first day I did an easy indoor cycling class that I teach. The following 2 days I was wrecked: head cold, and the completely congested lungs. After 60 hrs of rest I was able to fight through an easy hour run while hacking quite nicely. But this also kept me off my legs for 3 days, and it forced me to truly rest, sleep and recover. Last week was ‘supposed to be a recovery week, but due to the sickness and a weekend completely off, and gradually built into the week and ran 25 miles on Thursday. I felt 85% healthy but also felt way better than the previous long run. Heading out today I felt good, and things stayed quite connected until mile 22/23. I hope to get to a point where I can run the first 30 in my event while connected, relaxed and not really focused yet: just fueling and hydrating for the hard miles ahead. The bladder worked a little better for drinking than bottles, but am surprised I drank less. I assume that running with a bottle keeps my drinking more than a tube coming out of my pack. Calories were fine as well, although if I were to run longer – I need to eat more in the last hour. As we all know – when we are close to being done, we look forward to eating real food at home. I paid attention to stoppage time today: took a break every 10 miles to get some real food and drink in me. Check in with the world, and head into the next 10 miles with fuel, focus and hydration…

Goal of workout: Since I ran 25 on Thursday, and then a bit over the weekend, the goal is now to start compressing the time of 100 miles in a certain amount of days. Look like I am currently on pace for 7-8 days. That is plenty for early June. Later this month I will compress this to 6-ish days. While that is not a lot of mileage in the UltraRunning community, I still have July and August to go and I still maintain a solid 12-14,000 yds of swimming per week and a fair amount of cycling. The goal today was twofold: 1) feel better than the last 50k – 2) improve how I run the 50k. I know what I want to feel like at certain parts of the day. I like the ability to wake up, eat, answer some emails, run 30+ miles, come home, eat, and answer some more emails/work etc. It is not the same as cycling – 5.5 hrs is a solid day – but does not leave the legs pounded like 5.5 hours of running.

What I learned today: More fats and more fats. I need to start my morning with slightly less carbs and a bit more fats. Mainly since these runs are so low HR, its all fat burning (60-70%!) – so while carbs are surely needed (this 1600 calories in glycogen deplete as well despite the low HR/aerobic effort) – I need to start bringing some healthier fats with me (real food: avocado on bread, nut butter packets etc.). Continue to up the drink. 20oz of fluid per hour worked today, but if temps were higher it would have been a nono…Learned about the first DQ at Western States – despite him finishing first…and it was an interesting perspective since I am friends with the guy who ended up the winner that year (2006).

Commentary: Best long run so far in this build. I have a nagging ankle issue – I rolled/ripped/did something weird back on Thanksgiving of last year – and despite a solid marathon build up for Boston, it now is tightening up at 20ish miles. Will need to monitor closely. Stoppage time was 30 min today – but that too is part of Ultra training. Chill out….

Next long run? Next week I might look for 40, but let’s see how the body is feeling. No rush. Maybe an overnight in Tahoe next week in order to get some altitude in.

The Long Run: Weekly post #2


Oh – yes – I get to play on some wonderful trails every day!

Distance: 30 miles
Time: 4:56
Pace: 9:55
Elevation Gain: 3720ft
Drink: 5 bottles, 22oz each. 4x water, 1x GU Roctane Drink. 1 solid drink at water fountain = 120oz
Food: PeanutButter filled pretzels & ClifBar. Chomps, 1/2 pack, and Roctane Gel late = 700 cals (plus some in Roctane drink)
Breakfast: 4 cups of oatmeal, banana slices and strawberries. 16oz of water, 20oz of coffee
Podcasts: This Morning with Gordon Deal, The WSJ What’s News, TED Radio Hour: The Meaning of Work, radio-Wissen (German Podcast), Planet Money, HBR IdeaCast: Be a work/life Friendly Boss
AudioBook: Rise of Superman – Chapter 6 & 7

Observations: gorgeous morning in Marin. Out the door at 8:30am. New gear (shorts and pack) worked well but need to tweak some pack things. Felt great, cool temps until 10 miles in. Should have eaten more early on – and when planning 4+ hr runs, I need to pack foods that address morning and lunch interests, vs. just one type of food (Bars etc.). Felt energy lull around 16, held on to steady feeling until about 20. 20 miles seems to be the current mark of switching from running to ultra running: which means different stride, slower pace, settling in to an all day affair. Important in ultra running as well is the achiness and lower energy is where the training day actually begins. Not physically, but mentally. Stopped at 23 for a moment, bit wrecked. 3-4 min later was ready to go. Important in this sport as well? Being in no hurry. Body definitely hurt more this week from 24-30…those are the ‘new’ miles – the extension as I like to call it.

Goal of workout: gradually building miles on long run. This week minimum goal was 10% more than last week but an eye towards 50k. First 90 min is all up, so effort level and energy drain is there. While goal of 50k in May was achieved, the goal of feeling connected and controlled was not.

The Long Run – weekly post #1

During my training for Kona I captured some of the big training weeks in a blog. I don’t have the time nor is it nearly that interesting in running as I prep for the Wasatch 100 mile endurance run. BUT, as I am constantly reminded by my clients and friends, there is always some tidbit of information that is worthwhile sharing in the longer training days. This past weekends’ IM TX downloads once again highlighted the need to repeat the fueling and hydration needed for ultra endurance events on a hot day. Actually, any day. Combine this with the amount of work, training time, energy and thought processes that go into prep for an ultra endurance event – it is highly frustrating for athlete & coach to see things derailed by components of the day that CAN be controlled – like hydration & fueling as well as body scans, observations, emotional control and process management.

So, as I go into this next build up in training for my longest event ever (100 miler two years ago in Texas was fairly flat – so those 17ish hours will be maybe the 75 mile mark in this event) – I thought I’d share the inputs from my weekly long runs. These will build up to 8-10hr runs, so a valid input for ultra endurance training. And no, this is not some Strava noise of what I did and how fast – its more about how I went about it and why.

I started my build 2 weeks ago, and with 16 weeks to go, today I am at a 3.5 hr long run point. I have had a spring of road miles getting ready for my first Boston marathon, so I do have a fair amount of running consistency in me – but as any ultra runner will tell you, road running and trail running are not the same sports. Same motions, but different sports. Sorta like mountain biking and road racing. Any ways – week one was a 2.5 hour run that got cut short into 2:15, and week 2 was a 3 hour run that got cut short to 2:45…why? Because life got in the way.

So – here the format that will always include these bolded points:

Distance: 22.8 miles
Time: 3:31
Pace: 9:18
Elevation Gain: 2600ft
Drink: 3 bottles 20oz each. 2x water, 1x GU Roctane Drink. 1 solid drink at water fountain = 68oz
Food: ClifBar at 1.5hrs. Chomps, 1/2 pack, at 2.5hrs = 340 cals (plus some in Roctane drink)
Breakfast: 4 slices of whole wheat toast, fancy european butter, blueberry jam. Banana, 3 cups of coffee, 16 oz of water
Podcasts: The Dan Patrick Show Hours 1 & 2, This Morning with Gordon Deal, A State of Trance Podcast with Armin van Buren, HBR Ideacast: Let Employees be People.

Observations: out the door once back from dropping kids at school. Have short window as I need to be back by 12:15 for lunch at son’s school. Felt good until 3 hrs, then right foot/ankle started getting quite tight and achy. Stiff, not painful. Temps are good, body is alert, connected throughout. Form stays attached until that 3hr mark when things get achy/stiff. Downs felt good – no soreness. Ups I hiked mainly. Avg pace still too fast for when runs go over 30 miles, but rest from running yesterday allowed for fresher legs.

Goal of workout: gradually building miles on long run. This week minimum goal was 20 miles. As of 3 hrs in Marin you get some solid terrain/climbing in, so the long run is a valid build component for the training week.

What I learned today: Need a bit more water. Breakfast was a bit too small for anything longer than 90 minutes. Rex Chapman once scored 39 points on Jordan. There is no such thing as a girl skateboard.

Commentary: Build is working. Very gradual and slow – but still have little under 4 months. My goal for this build is to not hit big miles until needed, and running more than 100 miles a week will not happen until mid summer. This build will only have one peak, 100 mile weekend in a 40hr window. Goal is to close out May with a controlled 50k in my regular training week (10-12k of swimming and 100-125 miles of cycling). Will have time for that next week. Then I plan a lighter recovery week of multiple 2 hr runs.

As I progress into these long runs, hopefully you get some value out of these posts…