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…

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