Hi all –
First off, Happy Holidays. We are heading into crunch time at this hectic time of year, therefore you being able to find some balance with training is pretty remarkable. I know family, work and life seem to get quite overwhelming so keep on your training. It might need to be abbreviated but at least stick to the usual AIMP motto: a little something every day….
Tucson 2014. In approximately 2 months is the AIMP Spring Training camp in Tucson, AZ. I have been coaching there for 8 years now and it is a great long weekend of training and feedback. I am working with some coaches on site to make some changes this year – so please email me ASAP if you plan to join. We will be renting houses and SAG Monkey will be cooking again, just this year way closer to our rides and easier for us to be together. Cost remains about the same as the past 5 years: aprox. $1195 for the 5 days, 4 nights all inclusive with food, housing, SAG, transport etc. So far we are 8 people. I’d like to cap it again around 12. That seems to be a sweet spot for coaching and camaraderie.
As many of you have seen, we are approximately 37 for the Coast Ride next month. Should be a great trip down the coast to San Diego!
Lastly, my weekly word:
Last weekend, during my 50 miler, I needed to make a brief, but difficult decision that I wanted to share with you. I had to pull out at mile 44, but it was not a DNF, it was a DNC. For me there is a difference between these two acronyms, and as a coach, it is valuable to share this with all of you.
We all know what a DNF stands for. But DNC? Did Not Complete. I apply DNC to an event when a bigger picture is in play. Could I have finished the 50 miler on Saturday? Yes. But with a 100 miler in 8 weeks, I wanted to be very careful on my recovery and ability to train the appropriate adaptation over the next 6 weeks. My right leg was getting quite sore (VMO – Vastus Medialis) from all the downhill running (10,000 ft of climbing on this 50 mile course) and knowing that I need it to recovery fairly quickly, I stopped at mile 44.
My training has been progressing well in that I recognized two things from Saturday: first, my progressions have been healthy. I have run 5, 6 and now 7 hrs at a time. I feel great throughout and have recovered quickly. Jumping from 6 hrs to 8 hrs in a a shorter window (2weeks) along with my usual weekly volume (approx 60 miles) would risk a bit much. Therefore stopping at 7 hrs Saturday, walking another 30 minutes down the mtn to the crew stop was a healthy decision. Secondly, my recovery has been remarkably quick. I am not sore from running 50k, 36 miles, even Saturdays 42 miles. Of course there is a deeper fatigue of sleep and hunger, but muscularly I feel nothing. No hip flexors, calves, glutes, not even IT bands are bad at all. To me this means my fitness is in line with my muscular endurance (This btw is a big factor for all of our endurance training: is your fitness in line with your muscular and skeletal fitness/endurance? More to this some other time)
Back to DNC’s – in this case they are quite important for all of us to understand. Many times in your training or racing you have opportunities to ‘open it up’, to push because it feels good, to throw caution to the wind and blow it out. While there are surely times for this, always keep your goals in mind. “Am what I am doing today jeopardizing my ability to train tomorrow or this coming week/month?”…If so – a DNC might be a better call. This applies to when we are sick (do I do the training or should I consider how this delays me getting back to full health/strength?) – or stress/life/work in general as we train. Sometimes going through the motions with the brain off, or stopping a workout early, is the best action in order to have a better tomorrow. Especially in racing this is a hard decision, since you don’t really know the answer until your A race some time in the future! In my case, I know it was good since I was able to run the days after for another 7 & 10 miles respectively.
While I am never a big fan of not ‘racing’ a race, there are surely exceptions (injury!). Would I have rather finished the 50 miler and then still do the follow up runs the next days? Absolutely. But risking a week off with a sore/hurt VMO, vs. being conservative and keeping the damage to a minimum – I am pleased with the outcome so far. More importantly I was able to move forward with my progression (6 to 7hrs at a time of continuous running) and maintain the training loads I have planned over the next 6 weeks.
I hope this helps you all in the coming season on making the best choices to have the best results possible. As always, please let me know of any questions.
Have a great week!