Friday, January 13, 2012

Training by Racing

Here are my training logs from July of 2011, starting a with the week in Telluride, Colorado doing trail work for the Hardrock 100.  Believe me, that was a workout.  That was followed by the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 a little over a week later.  The point in the charts is to show how I dealt with the time between races.  This is also the first time I have run so many races in such a short period of time.  That is a really great way to train.

For me, it is a lot easier to go out and run a 50 K for a training run than to just go out and run 7 or 8 hours.  I also know that I run a lot harder in any race than I do running alone out in a secluded area.  The thing you have to figure out is what you need to do between races.  After a 50K, like a marathon, you have to give you body some recovery time.  If the races are two weeks apart, as they were in September and October where I ran a 50K on Sept.18, then 13 days later ran another , much harder, 50K, then 14 days later ran a 50 mile race, there isn't time for the usual recovery - build up - taper cycle.

It seemed to work very well to just run a recovery 2+ hour run the next weekend and race again the next.  I felt strong at each race, including the 50 miler that I did not finish.  Following the 50 mile race I did have time to go through the a short recovery cycle and build up mileage again for the 50 miler in December.  Again, I used two back-to-back races, the two 21Ks on November 12th and 13th as "HARD" runs in the training cycle.  If you don't think running back to back 21Ks on very hilly courses qualifies as a hard run, I suggest you try it sometime.  This was followed by a few more long and hard runs before tapering for the Lookout Mountain 50 Mile race on Dec. 17th.

This racing schedule turned out to be great timing for preparation for the Rocky Raccoon 100.  I was able to run a 2:40 recovery run the one week after the 50miler.  Four hours the second week following the 50 and my 8 hour run on the third week, ready to start tapering for the 100.  I just didn't count on a leg injury, probably a tibial stress fracture.  And No, I didn't go to the doctor.  The Dr would just tell me to take it easy and not run for six or eight weeks.  Besides, they really can't tell if it is a stress fracture until they take a second xray a few weeks later.  And, of course, there is nothing "really" broken, just damaged.  I always have something damaged!  That is why I will just get out my tri-bike and ride the next few weeks.  It is time to taper and I can ease back into running easy runs a week or so before the RR.

Five weeks after Tahoe I had built back to about 5 hours.  I also ran 5 hours on the 6th week, then ran 5 hours again on the 7th weekend, (September 4th.) On the 8th week, Sept. 10th I ran a taper run for 4 hours and then ran the Autumn Equinox 50K at Oak Mountain on the 18th.  Two weeks later I ran the Stump Jump 50K in Chattanooga, TN.

On October 15th is when I ran 38 miles of the North Face Challenge 50 mile race in Pine Mtn., Georgia.  I immediately came home and entered the Lookout Mountain 50K.  I had to redeem myself.

November 5th, I volunteered to help with the Pinhoti 100 and got very little sleep that weekend.  I did not run any.  In fact on the weekends of October 23th and 30th I did trail marking and clearing for the Pinhoti.  That was a workout.  The numbers off the bottom and side of the page of hill repeat times.  November 12, was the Ruffner Mountain 21K and November 13, was the Xterra 21K, both races here in Birmingham.  That was another first.  I never ran two races in two days.

Starting in November I began counting down the weeks to the Lookout Mountain 50 mile race down the right side of the chart.  I listed the Tashka 50K, in Tuscaloosa, on December 10 and really wanted to run it, but I could not expect to do well in the Lookout Mountain race if I did so I skipped it.

The Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile Race is February 4.  I ran two recovery runs from the Lookout Mountain 50 miler and then did the 7:56 training run at Veteran's Park on January 7th.  That is the run where I think I caused a stress fracture in my tibia.  It is a little better now on the 13th but still pretty sore to the touch and there is still some swelling.  I still hoping it is only a really bad bruise.  It still has 3 weeks to heal before RR.  I am going to ride my bike for the next couple of weeks only.  No running.

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