I am a little more than half way through training and I decided to use this space this week to check my progress. Previously I listed out some goals, training spots, and a training plan to follow.
I have only been loosely following my RFP 100 mile training plan. This shouldn't be much of a surprise as all training plans are meant to be loosely followed. I am about 40 miles ahead of the plan's schedule YTD. More importantly, I am way ahead in terms of quality with two 30+ mile runs, a 50+ mile run, and three B2B weekends in the bag. And, I am crushing last year's vertical gain (roughly 66k more vertical YTD). March and April were slight blips as I tuned myself to run the Colorado Marathon.
Perhaps the biggest flaw in my training currently is the lack of altitude acclimation. There may not be a whole lot I can do about that. I am fortunate to live at 6500 feet, but driving an hour or more to 9k+ is not something I can do often. The good news is that I have experience running at 10,000 feet, including Leadville. Experience tells me that I'll be OK up to about 12,000 feet. That means I will likely only really suffer from altitude related issues the few miles at the top of Hope Pass.
Here were the mini-goals I put out there for the year:
- Six weeks with B2B long runs (each run 16 miles or more)
- 250K feet of climbing for the year
- 25 (or more) twenty milers
- 600 miles (combined) in June and July
- At least two 80 mile weeks
Another reason that my mileage totals are not impressive (relative to the distance of the race), is that I have been dealing with a nagging ankle. Rather than push mileage, I have opted to work in cross training on light days. My view is that total time training is what matters and to do one thing everday that gets me closer to my goal. Sometimes that one thing is core work or a quad burning weight session. Unfortunately, I can't go much beyond 12 - 14 total hours each week without impacting real life.
The rest of those goals are total year goals and very tough to evaluate at this stage. I have no idea how much running I will do after Leadville. And I don't have much of an idea how much I will push things. My gut tells me that I would like to continue trail running, but at shorter distances. The shorter distances should allow me to focus on getting better as a trail runner, attacking some harder terrain. That likely means that I will fall short of my year long goals for 20-milers and possibly for total vertical. I may even fall short of my total mileage from last year.
The list of places I planned to train has worked out great. I suppose it is a pretty obvious list given where I live. Nonetheless, I have found a variety of partners willing to get out to some fun locations with me.
- Barr Trail/Pikes Peak (Once, may go again)
- Colorado Trail Section 1,2, and 3 (Not likely)
- Deer Creek Canyon (Many times)
- Mount Falcon (Several times)
- Apex Trail (Once)
- Green Mountain (and Flat Irons) (Twice, including the Frozen Front Range Marathon)
- Indian Peaks Wilderness Marathon (May still happen, though it looks doubtful)
- Hope Pass (Scheduled for July 28th)
- Sugar Loaf Pass aka "Powerline" (Scheduled for July 29th)
In many ways, I have reached a point where I probably won't get much fitter or prepared than I am now. It is more a matter of fine-tuning and maintaining through the remaining eight hard training weeks. The possible exception is the San Juan 50 miler coming up in two weeks. This will be a great opportunity gauge where I am at and continue to work on nutrition and hydration for a long duration. I will also get some altitude training with a significant stretch of the race being above 12,000 feet. After that race, I should be able to set a goal -- as much as one can set a goal for their first 100 miler.
|Saturday||24||Light Trail/Road Run|
|Sunday||20||Mount Falcon Run|
|Total||70||About 8200 vertical feet|