"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In Which Steve Gets All Defensive

Where do you get off, pretending to be some expert, when you're a terrible trail runner?

I used to be a very good road 5K guy, winning small races, winning my age division in medium-sized ones, taking home 3rd place age-class trophies in big ones. But I was stagnating and looking for a challenge. What was I going to do, wait to turn 50 and try for the state age record (16:17), just to have Dan Carlson run 15 something a week later?

I took up ultras and trails and found I had a learning curve about as steep as Carlton Peak (the turn-around point of my goal 50K). I've done a lot of crappy races in the past couple of years, but I've learned a lot and I feel like sharing what I've picked up along the way. One learns more from failure than success - and that's an important lesson, when you're looking for advice; all the training plans out there are being made by very talented athletes or their coaches and they would've been successful no matter how they trained. They have nothing to say that interests me.

You put all this theoretical stuff on your blog. Why don't you just tell me what I'm supposed to do?

There's a lot of people who are willing to tell you what to do - and take your money for it as well. If you understand what training and racing is all about, you won't need someone else telling you what to do.

Do you coach? Will you coach me?

1) Yes. 2) Probably not.

I coach one runner at a time and I'm very picky about who I coach, because I take coaching very personally and live and die with my athletes (they often succeed just because they fear disappointing me). I'm not interested in good runners trying to cut five minutes off their marathon time, but in those who have set a goal that's just barely possible and only possible with my help. The one I'm currently coaching just set a state record (disqualified from record status on a technicality) while undergoing cancer treatment.

THAT's my kind of runner.

Why don't you tell me what you're doing and maybe I can base my own plans on it?

You're not listening. That goes against everything I've been saying. Training is too specific for that. But here goes:

My original plan for what training for 4:40 at the Superior 50K looked like the following, with Tuesday focusing on depleting fast-twitch a fibers, Thursday fast twitch b, Saturday slow-twitch and Sunday liver glycogen:

Monday 4 miles in 33
Tuesday 10x800m in 2:55-3:00 w/ 3 minute rests (coincidentally Yasso-like) plus 9 miles in 74.
Wednesday 4 in 33
Thursday 9 in 74 plus 16x100m sprints
Friday 4 in 33
Saturday 7 in 47 plus 9 in 74
Sunday 24 in 3:17

Because I need to work on hill strength, running hard for extended periods and running trails for hours and because I can't handle the stress of three hard runs per week any more, it morphed into a two week cycle:

Monday 30 min.
Tuesday 75 min.
Wednesday 100 min. hills and sprints
Thursday 75 min.
Friday 75 min.
Saturday 45 min at marathon pace plus 75 min
Sunday 24 miles of trails
Monday 75 min
Tuesday 75 min
Wednesday 10x800 plus 75 min
Thursday 75 min
Friday 30 min
Saturday 13-15 at mar. pace plus 30 min
Sunday 30 min.

Why don't you post pictures?

Good question!


ShutUpandRun said...

I know you would coach me because we could dish about Chelsea Handler and Chuy.

Glaven Z. Heisenberg said...

Hey, here's a question I don't see you asking:

Why did you, like a total d*ckweed, reveal to the whole blogosphere that my real name is Glaven Z. Heisenberg? Do you realize how many of our overseas undercover operatives were compromised by this revelation and have since been captured, killed and tortured - in that order*? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE - Dick(weed) Cheney?!1!?

Or maybe you just want Teh Terrorists to win**?

Answer THOSE questions! (But don't get all defensive about it.)

In conclusion, will you coach me? I think I could learn more from you than Dr. Nic learned from Parsenn, Teh Doctoral Dog Who Puts The "Pee" in PhD.
* Yeah, see, the guys who caught them are slightly f*cktarded.

** Pffftt! You're SteveQ ... you want Teh Theorists to win. WHICH IS WAY WORSE!1!

joyRuN said...

Oh goody!!!!! I can see your post has similarly been defiled by GP.

I'm not interested in good runners trying to cut five minutes off their marathon time, but in those who have set a goal that's just barely possible and only possible with my help.

So would you coach me if I told you I wanted to BQ?

I've thought about getting coaching services. Contacted one & everything. But then running would get all serious & accountable & stuff. Heaven forbid.

nwgdc said...

GZH is all over the place! Wow!

Michele said...

I am a very slow runner who has no desire to or hope of winning anything. I like your blog because its interesting. When you get too far into the minutiae, I just stop reading. When you are not, you teach me things and keep me entertained. Keep up the good work.

prashant said...

Answer THOSE questions! (But don't get all defensive about it.

Work From Home

Beth said...

Geez, we all know why you don't post pictures. Thanks for sharing what you've learned, although I don't think it comes from as much failure as you would lead us to believe.

SteveQ said...

Ah, Glaven, now you've gone and told everyone that I am indeed Dick Cheney and I'm going to have to shoot you in the face (but you'll have to wait. I've got a 3:30 appointment for 8 more stents in my heart 3 sizes too small).