Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lessons In Training

A Little Grand Targhee Sidecountry Action

The last four weeks of training has been crazy!
Week 1
  -Tibia Posterior strain; Honestly a good week of training despite the muscle strain largely due to the fact the elliptical trainer didn't bother the strain.  Ended up with 90+ miles with one solid workout but no climbing.  This strain wasn't from a single workout or run, but rather a week of 120 miles, 2 hard workouts and a 30 mile one way mountain run.

Week 2
 -"Knee Muscle" strain; The week before US Cross I managed to strain a small muscle just above my knee cap (it runs under the knee cap too apparently).  This week's strain was largely due to going a bit too big on my long run (was eager to get after it since my previous strain was gone).
 Marcus Allen is fully responsible for the miraculous healing of this unique knee muscle strain:  I no kidding hobbled over to see Marcus Allen shortly after I got the strain, he threw down some ART on the muscle, the muscle released, relaxed, etc... and I walked out of his office healed.  I was back at it, albeit I was just tapering for Cross, the next morning.  Cross went relatively well (see post before this one) that weekend.

Week 3
   -Hamstring strain; The day after cross I was on a mission to have a blockbuster training week with regards to mileage, climbing and speed.  Considering the previous two weeks and the fact I just raced a 12K, my ambitions were asinine.

-Tuesday I ran my hardest sustained effort run up Green.  In bitter cold I ran in mostly untracked fresh snow measuring shin to knee deep, Bear Canyon was particularly deed, from my house to Chautauqua, Greenman, Green, Bear, Mesa and back home.  The run took 2:45 with no water or nutrition at a sustained hard effort.  

-Wednesday 15.5 mile recovery day

-Thursday I ran 7x1 mile repeats in the bitter cold with Aaron and George.  The trail was a bit snowy and the repeats were at medium hard effort with splits between 5:39 and 6:08.  15.5 total miles Thursday.
Grand Tetons From "Mary's Nipple"

-Friday, after 4hrs of sleep Maggie, Felix and I started our 8hr+ drive to Jackson Hole Wyoming.  In Laramie, I ran a cool 13 mile loop recommend by my buddy Carl Leglieter.  The flat smooth terrain felt so fast and easy and I coasted in with a 6:42 mile average pace.  Did another 7 for a 20 mile day in Rock Springs where I felt my hamstring getting "tight".

-Saturday, before skiing at Jackson Hole, I ran a miserable 7 mile run where my hamstring totally tightened up.

I took Sunday and Monday "off" but skied and snowboarding at Grand Targhee and skinned up to awesome back county skiing Monday.

Again Marcus Allen repaired my slight strain (it helped I took two days off) and I was back to normal Thursday.  11 miles Friday, great run up and around Green with Levi Saturday for 15 and today I plan on running with Dave and Bob Affrica for at least another 15.

I need to be patient...  that really is it.

I have never been one to be "injured", ever, and this strain-a-thon is really not cool.
All and all, I still have my fitness, but it has been a bit of a on-off roller coaster ride the last 4 weeks.  One decent week of training this week, a week of taper and then off to Texas for Nueces!

Bros (Rob Parish, Me, Matt Bourquin, Jeremy Wolf)


  1. That is quite the gulley (skiing vid).

    Whatcha got on tap this week?

  2. I feel you with the injuries. Nothing bad but annoying more or less. I have had ankle and achilles issues for the better part of the last three weeks and hoping it goes away before Nueces!

  3. George,

    It was a very fun Coulouir with great snow and steeps! I was thinking of doing a timed Green ascent tomorrow (tuesday)at 6:30AM and then a flat land longer tempo Thursday at 6:30AM. Neither workout will be full effort as my 50 mile race is a week and a half out.

    Are you down George?
    All you other Boulder runners are welcome too!

  4. Michael,

    We have a lot of similarities with regards to showing up on the Ultra scene, changing our running focuses, Nueces, etc... Following your training on your blog, it looks like your ankle and achilies hasn't made too much of an impact on mileage though. A nice taper should iron out the few kinks hopefully!

    Let me know how your transportaion situation works out to Nueces too.

  5. You say you have never been one to be "injured." Same here, and I am wondering why I have been experiencing problems lately. Have you been increasing your mileage a lot from what you did in the past? I have, sort of.

    Ever since I have been interested in ultra's and more particular, since I watched that documentary video of Tony and learned that he had 17 stress fractures up to that point, I have asked myself: is training at high mileage (like 140 or more) inevitably going to make you injured (stress fracture, etc.)? What do you think? I would like to hear Tonys thoughts on this.

  6. Hey Michael,

    I have been increasing my mileage over the last couple years and much more so in the last few months. Running 140+ miles a week is going to result in injuries for most all people and even MOST runners in my opinion.

    The path to running even 100+ miles per week consistently is challenging.

    I know you and most serious runners know all this, but for my sake at least, it is good to think about from time to time to see where we might be lacking...

    These are the factors I see most important in getting to 100+ miles/week:
    -Body type; not many bodies are of "gazelle" design
    -Patience; it takes years for most anyone to adapt to 100+. The more mileage, the more patience required
    -Intensity; vertical, heart rate, surface. These factors have to be mixed with patience as well
    -Ancillary; Nutrition, core, mobility work, strength (to include barefoot)
    -Technique; Sort of falls under body type, but "natural running"(mid-foot strike, forward lean, lifting not pushing, etc... can be learned/improved upon
    -Nutrition, Sleep and Recovery

    While over-ambitious, obsessive and rock hard determination enables great athletes to be just that, it also results in injuries. I can easily see where patience, too much intensity and lack of ancillary work broke me down this last month, but it is so hard not to get caught up in the moment.

    I think it is possible to run 120, 140 even up to 200 miles per week and stay healthy, but the formula to get to that place is ridiculously challenging.

    I look forward to seeing how much we can do without breaking... sick, but fun.

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