Friday, October 21, 2011

School Me, Runners ...

Howdy y'all!

The weather has been absolutely fabulous here in the Houston area.  We have been experiencing morning lows in the upper 40's and afternoon highs on the lower 70's. No humidity. No clouds. Lots of running!

My next race, the Rocky Raccoon 50K Trail Run, is a mere two weeks away and I am excited to get it started. This will be my second foray into the Ultrarunners world and I am praying expecting a much less painful experience this time around.

Last time was in December of '09 and I was a rather inexperienced runner.  Around the 22mi mark my concentration waned and I slipped on a wet root and hurt my leg. The IT band got plucked and I was left hobbled. It sucked not only because of the pain but because I was at the front of the pack when it happened. I ended up shuffling the final 9 miles to the finish line and still, to this day, was the most pain I have ever experienced in endurance sports. Got some unfinished business with this course. Click Here and Here to read about my first Ultra experience.

Okay, I have a question for all of you badass runners: Are my Saturday long runs too long and am I peaking too early?

Before you answer lets provide some background. The last three Saturdays have been: 22mi, 12mi, 20mi, and another 20mi planned for tomorrow.  I have been running everyday using active recovery runs after hard efforts and long runs over the last three months.  Over these last three months I have totaled about 500mi by gradually increasing the volume each month and will be around 220mi for the month of October. My legs feel great and the increase in volume and run frequency has led to an increase in speed. As of today, I am experiencing zero aches and/or pains or any signs of a potential injury. *knocking on wood*

Now the reason I ask about my long runs is that an experienced runner friend of mine thinks I am emptying the tank early and am going to be flat on race day. Admittedly, this friend performs better on lower volume training and I seem to excel when racking up consistently high miles.

Do you agree with my friend, should I cut back tomorrow's 20mi trail run and start my taper or since I am feeling great should I continue along with my plan and mash out another 20miler?

Talk to me Goose ...

Thanks for Reading,

Jeff


33 comments:

  1. Totally individual. Just like your buddy can go on low volume and you can go on high volume.

    If you are training wisely, and I don't question that you are then you know your body and will put it in position to be in the best possible place come race day.

    I would schedule the 20 miler and run it but if you feel flat then start to cut it short. The tricky thing is to know if it is a my legs are shot or I just don't want to do this anymore type of thing.

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  2. I'm thinking stick to YOUR plan.
    Keep the 20.
    Taper starting Monday. My. Two. Cents.

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  3. Long distance running is still a foreign concept to me, so I have nothing, but I am eager to see what more experienced ultra runners have to say. Have you consulted EMZ yet?

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  4. I suggest you take the day off and go out to the race venue with a chain saw..
    Spend the day going down the trail cutting all the exposed roots...

    Just a thought... hope it helps

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  5. Wow! Good advice Bob! Freaking roots are all over that place.

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  6. if you feel good tmrw, then run. run as far and as long as you feel good :)

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  7. Nothing you don't know already but here is my $0.02. The ability to handle miles is directly tied to sleep and food. I am sure you can sense how recovered you feel. The human body can take a lot of abuse given it gets lots good nutrition and lots of sleep. My recovery profile is always amazing when I get 9-10 hours of sleep and eat paleo. Can't speculate on mileage without the other pieces.

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  8. Sleep like a rock and eat like a rabbit (a fat, cage kept rabbit).

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  9. The training plan will tell you if you have too much mileage. meaning, no huge jumps in mileage or you will have damage and essentially "peak" too early.

    My personal opinion, all this peaking talk is bull shit. You know your body, if you are feeling low on energy, then adjust. If you are feeling fresh and energetic, you are fine. You already have a base built up so you can run that distance whenever you want ... PEAKING is essentially the point that you begin to taper and allow the body to fully recover prior to the race.

    Next year I plan to over distance train. Meaning I will have at least 2 long runs over 26.2. Most people tank in the 20's during a race... mainly I feel that is because your body knows from your training that this is typically when you are allowing it to shut down and stop. Well, its like your lactate threshold, gotta keep pushing it back.

    The reason most plans don't do this however is because running for 3+ hours puts the body in injury territory. I plan on risking it to feel better and assure that I will have the performance I expect.

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  10. Given everything I would think at two weeks out you could simply run the time you expect the race to be at a low intensity. Let the miles sort themselves out. Good day to test race day nutrition too. I tend to do these kinds of runs with multiple passes past home base/car if things go wrong or I run out of water/food. Recovery should be quick if intensity is low and your feet will be strengthed while sparing your legs. Interested in what you do. Mileage does not always paint the whole picture without knowing intesity.

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  11. IMHO, do what works for you!

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  12. Well. I usually start a marathon taper 3 weeks out, but it's not unheard of to go two weeks out. And since you only have two other 20s under your belt, I would say go for it tomorrow. In fact, go for 22 if you can, and then add another 10 onto Sunday (there's an ultra formula to get this kind of mileage in two days). Then...taper down pretty hard for the last two weeks. Trust in me! ; )

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  13. It's all about the recovery runs

    Bobby

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  14. i do think we all have different training styles. My best marathons have always been on very high mileage training, but for others it just doesn't work that way.

    i would say gauge how you feel both physically and mentally from the long runs. if they make you mentally feel strong that is important too

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  15. I read an article in Runners World that actually suggested doing up to 29 miles in marathon training. I had never heard that before, so thought it was interesting. It seemed to be based more on your mental outlook. If you do a longer long run you go into race saying, "well at least it's not (this many) miles."

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  16. Your mileage is awesome, you could start the taper and be good to go on race day. The most I've ever run for a 50K is 20 miles (twice) and would've done well except for the intangibles. Those are rocks, roots, and leaf covered rocks and roots. Watch the footing, you'll do fine.

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  17. Completely different for everyone. Some people train by doing 40 mile runs for an IM. Some people never go over 20. Both can have solid performances on race day.

    Look at what training styles have worked for you in the past and go by that, and only really judge by what works for you once you've crossed the finish line.

    Heck, some people out there would say you need MORE volume.

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  18. dang dude
    220+
    freaking impressive!~!
    go with what you feel - run

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  19. I think you've run enough, Jeff. Time to sit on your ass, eat cheetos and drink beer until race day.

    But seriously, maybe start out with 20 clearly in mind but if anything feels remotely tweakish, cut it short. You are not going to gain fitness or speed from this one last run so if it winds up not being 20, so be it. But I do think doing the 20 (or even 22) and feeling GREAT will be a confidence-boost. I'd say you're good either way and play it by ear.

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  20. You have gotten such great advice already! I agree with the majority...do your planned 20, but cut it short if you're feeling a little tired. At 2 weeks out, there is really no need to push yourself..that will only lead to injury!
    Good luck!!!

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  21. I don't know how old you are, but when I was doing my Ultra stuff (late 20s, early 30s) I was running the Ultra and then running long on the "off" weekend and then doing another Ultra distance two to three weeks later. So yeah, it's all individual.- but you should have seen my 10 k times! Awesome! Best of luck!

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  22. After surveying all your comments, I would stick with root cutting...

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  23. I don't know anything about running, really, but if it were me, b/c it's all about me, I would cut back the 20 miler and do maybe 13 or 15 as part of the start to a two week taper. But I'm a pussy, so what do I know. Being injured a lot has made me very conservative.

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  24. I'm with steady pursuit, it depends on how your mileage balances w food and sleep.
    Other than that, it's all about how YOU feel.
    Interested to see what you do. No pressure, but whoever's advice you don't take on here is gonna be pissed!

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  25. Yeah, screw all you guys I am going to ride my bike! Ha!

    Doing the 20miler in the morning!

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  26. Great decision :) The only person you should listen to is yourself!

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  27. I am totally late on this. BUT. I am a lower volume girl just because I think my legs are made of glass...meaning it seems my calves give me the finger if I push the volume too much. Or my hips. OR... SO I have to watch it.

    BUT If it works for you then do it.

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  29. I would definitely go with your planed 20 miler (I think this may have already happened since I'm a little late to the party as usual). It is totally individual. Some people can do a 16 miler as their max long run for a marathon and do just fine, I need to hit the marathon distance in my training at least once. But that's me and I've heard all the "you should never run over 20 miles BS" from lots of others ...goes in one ear out the other and I always beat their ass to the finish line! Go for it Jeff!

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  30. Run till you puke then run some more, the real BAMF dont break stride while puking

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  31. You should come do this one with me!
    http://www.hurt100trailrace.com/

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  32. I don't have any advice, but if you are doing a 50k trail run, you too are badass and know more about running than me.

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