Sunday, August 09, 2015

One year down

On the surface it might seem like my athletic approach this year is very similar to last. While it is true I am very run focused, if you go inside the numbers some notable differences appear.

1) Last year I had 117 runs totaling 1005 miles. That's an average of 8.6 miles per run. This year through the first week of August I already have 114 runs totaling 664 miles. That's 5.8 miles per run.
2) Going into my "racing" months I weigh more than I have since 2003. No six pack, more like a six pack with a coozy!
3) I feel great. I felt good last year, but man I'm happy with things right now. My energy and recovery are the best I can recall. I was good last year too but did have some illness hit me during peak training.
4) I feel quite well rounded as an athlete. I did a little open water swimming yesterday, nothing too long but more than 100yds. Hopped on my mountain bike for a few rides last week as well. Legs snapped back quickly. Butt...well something had to be unprepared, didn't it?! :)
5) No doubt it is largely result of the long periods of training (and the extra weight!), but I don't need to ingest nearly as many calories as I used to, in order to perform how I want and my gut is thanking me. Gone is the PowerBar sport drink. In is Nuun, salt tablets, Clif Shot Bloks (3 bloks per hour). Race day there will be some gel because of the higher effort/energy expenditure.
6) I eat a lot of watermelon and a decent amount of blueberries. Actually during the 6 weeks I didn't my paces slipped. Okay, full disclosure there was a lot of other stuff going on then too, but I'm back on the melon, the old stresses are behind me, and the paces are good.

I've raced once this year, a 50k for which I was woefully under-prepared. I ran well and got a good result. That was really the catalyst for this slightly revamped approach. More repetitions, less middle distance mileage. Short and focused or long and steady. Next Saturday I hit the same 50K course on which I started my journey into Ultra last year. We'll see how it goes.