This training cycle…has not been kind.
Going into it I felt like things were going well, and I was improving and advancing how I should. Then something happened.I committed to an ultra, began to hit trails more frequent and my body became a magnet to injury. 2 “major” (ok at least major enough to me to throw off my training). Let’s take a look at this year’s training cycle’s.
CYCLE #1 – February 1 – April 6 (11 weeks – this was cut short and bridged into cycle 1.5 for ultra transition)
CYCLE #1.5 – April 6 – May 31 (8 weeks – balance of cycle 1, and transition into cycle 2)
CYCLE #2 – May 31 – Oct 13 (23 weeks, currently 18 weeks in – major cycle for ultra training)
Below I am going to break them down, but in essence you could look at CYCLE #1 as 19 weeks or CYCLE #2 as 31 weeks.
PRE Cycle January 1 – 31 (4 weeks)
Totals below are running only until the Activity breakdown
AVG PACE: 9:23
EG +/-: 6,345/6,869
TTL Activities: 37
SUMMARY: I was training to train I guess, was planning on running the half marathon in April, but figured it wasn’t enough of a challenge anymore and got bit by the ultra bug. Talked with Coach during this time and set Sehgahunda as goal #1 with the plan in the fall to run a 50K. January ranked as 3rd highest mileage, and 4th highest TOF despite being outside of my training cycle. Only 3 trail runs, amounting for very little time/mileage (I think there are a couple trail races in there though)
CYCLE #1: February 1 – April 6
Totals for Feb/Mar
AVG PACE: 9:35/9:20
EG +/-: 8,466/8,253 //10,846/11,117
TTL Activities: 29/31
SUMMARY: February was ok training nothing special, still high mileage on road for both months as opposed to trail. Feb was #4 in mileage and 6th in TOF. March however ranked as one of my best months, 1st in mileage and 2nd in TOF. I began to ramp up and things were going well, things looked “promising”. However at end of this training cycle I faced a mental fatigue and needed a change and went and hired Ian Sharman as an ultra coach. I had changed my plans on running just a 50K and opted for the 100K
CYCLE #1.5: April 6 – May 31
Totals for Apr/May
AVG PACE: 10:27/10:31
EG +/-: 8,587/8,302//13,183/12,835
TTL Activities: 19/23
SUMMARY: On April 15th I hit my first key injury. This sent my training back and pushed back my realistic goals for Sehgahunda. Not only did April’s injury affect April but it went into May and lingering effects for most of summer. April was 7th in both mileage and TOF. May was 6th and 5th.
CYCLE #2: May 31 – Oct 13
Totals for Jun/July/Aug/Sept
AVG PACE: 10:50/12:28/10:21/12:38
EG +/-: 16,144/16,326//16,593/16,450//5,440/5,055//7,452/8,029
TTL Activities: 28/26/26/6
SUMMARY: This training cycle has had some interesting moments to say the least. Sporting one of the best months in June (2nd in mileage and 1st in TOF) and worst in August , 9th in mileage and 9th in TOF. August was mainly due to a key injury with my ankle again, and dealing with fatigue, an inhaler for the first time, and heat. September is only 9 days in and I have almost surpassed all of August. I also had to drop Ian as my running coach.
So where does this leave me?
I don’t know. I am ready to quit and drop out of Oil Creek. I think the stress of running for mileage has taken it’s toll and needs to be changed. I have been feeling strongly about changing my training over to time on feet runs and just to let the mileage happen. I reached into my log and pulled out 4 of my highest weeks in mileage compared to highest weeks in TOF:
1 – 6/25/12: 61.29 / 12:42 / 6 runs
2 – 3/26/12: 60.64/9:28 /6 runs
3 – 6/18/12: 58.11 / 10:03 / 6 runs
4 – 7/2/12: 56.06 / 13:04 / 5 runs
1 – 7/2/12: 56.06 / 13:04 / 5 runs
2 – 6/25/12: 61.29 / 12:42 / 6 runs
3 – 6/18/12: 58.11 / 10:03 / 6 runs
4 – 3/26/12: 60.64/9:28 /6 runs
What i find interesting is that only 1 of my highest mileage and TOF came from my highest mileage month in March. The other 3 are consecutive back to back to back weeks from June. I consider June my best month of this whole training cycle.
My longest run of 28 miles fell into the 7/2 week which led to an overall TOF increase as my body slowed down. In reviewing my data somewhere between 14-15 Hours would yield me a 70 mileage week…on trails. On road I am probably looking at 10-11 hours. Up until April 12/96 runs were on trails. From April on 59/102 (of 10 races included all but 1 was on trail) the bulk of that road was done during April/May/August while I was recovering from injury. It kind of blows my mind to think that for 2 straight months I only ran 4 times COMBINED on the roads.
Roads and trails are so very different animals, and I think I got WAY to tied up in trying to get mileage in. If I use 9:28 as my highest TOF based on road running yielding me that 61+ week, I have had 13 weeks that have been over 8 hours and 5 over 9:28. IF I stuck to roads and ran that 13:04 TOF on roads I could possibly be looking at an 83 mile week instead of the 56 it netted me on HARD trails.
Yes I know its all relative, but here’s what I am finding…mileage means diddly. Yes you need mileage to actually do distance running, but I’ve been doing distance running, my mind is STUCK in mileage mode.
Time for a Change
It’s time to overhaul my training, dangerous…yes, BUT I think it will help me mentally to get off of how many miles I am putting in and focus on hours. I can plan hours and TOF and just let mileage happen as it may. I was going to hold off on doing this until after the 100K but I don’t think I’ll make it thru, let alone TO the 100K unless I make a change now. So what has my last month looked like in TOF vs mileage?
1 – 6:29 /33.52
2 – 5:05 /27.11
3 – 10:09 /46.8
4 – 5:33 /28.6
It hasn’t been great, but I’ve been focused on getting mileage and squeezing mileage in, I haven’t been planning with a time goal.
Starting this week with 4 weeks to go, I switch modes. I’m going to use a TOF that is constant whether I run ROAD/TRACK or TRAIL. I converted my plans of mileage to 1 mile = 10 minutes. For Road this is a slow easy pace conversion but on trail it is a faster pace on avg trail. My AVG road pace months fall around 9-9:30, AVG trail pace for month around 10:30-11:00. So irregardless of what I run on, I am aiming for time over miles. Just let the miles happen as they may, TOF will get me to where I want to go. I am goign to COMMIT to use this thru the 100K and then work on a plan to use it thru the remainder of the year and see what happens. Maybe my mood will change, better runs? Faster times. Mental is such a big part of the game and it has worn me down. I think having a definitive time goal will be better for me.
This week: 8.6hrs
10/1: 6hrs (taper week 1)
10/8: 1:45hrs (taper week 2 & race week)
Its an experiment, lets see if it works!