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

Monday, July 22, 2013

Crazy-Ass Revisited

Looking through some old notes of mine, I found something marked "Crazy-Ass Training Plan" and I just had to take a look at it. It was a thought on how to train to run a rugged 100 mile trail race and a 1 mile track race at the same time. After looking through it, I found myself thinking that the idea itself wasn't bad, but the plan itself was, indeed, crazy.

If I were to try it - And that's IF - I'd do it differently.

One of the mistakes I made when training to run long was running too long on my long runs, making them difficult enough that I never really recovered. There does seem to be a magic point between 5 and 7 hours where my body switches to true ultrarunning, but I know about it from experience, I don't have to run that long in training. Running long made my stride efficient, but at the cost of agility and hip flexibility, making technical runs even harder.

I have below average balance - I fall a lot on trails - and part of balance is visual and I'm near-sighted and astigmatic (and don't wear corrective lenses when running) and have below average night vision. I'd need to work on agility so I could do technical well and it'd be a good idea to do it wearing dark sunglasses, to work on the visual thing. Because of the balance and vision problems, I tend to look at my feet when I get tired, which causes me to bend into a poor posture, leading to muscle aches - core training's needed.

I ran a lot of hills, but there's nothing local that compares to the long steep hills of a course like the Superior Sawtooth 100. Investing in a treadmill, even though it's the opposite of trail, makes sense, to get used to running continuously uphill. When I trained on hills, I didn't carry water; the added weight of carrying water in the races makes hills harder; a weighted vest is a good idea to make the hill training harder.

I made the mistake of thinking that, because I wouldn't be running fast in a 100 miler, that I didn't need to run fast in training. I've got 55% fast-twitch muscle fibers; not training half of what I have doesn't make sense. Training for a mile race is extreme when thinking of running long, but the speedwork aids in strength, co-ordination, range of motion... sort of the C.r.0$sfit idea [it's really hard to keep those guys from finding every comment people make about them].

Oh, man, does this mean I'm getting dragged back into it?


wildknits said...

Is that two posts now on Sawtooth?!?! Sliding down that slope again!

I hope my habit of running to work a couple days a week, with a pack, is an aid in successfully completing longer races with a hydration vest. Handhelds just lead to tendinitis issues in my elbows so they are not a viable solution for longer runs, for me. Besides, it's nice to have hands free for the inevitable fall.

Chad Walstrom said...

Sawtooth... Maybe in 2014 or 2015... I somehow need to complete a 100 by July 12th next year, so I'm all ears for different training ideas. I've been thinking that it would be interesting to put in a 5k or 8k road race in the middle of a long weekend run. 1 hour warmup, race, 1 hour cooldown or something of the like to simulate the added stresses during ultras. Just a thought.