Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Riding the clutch

Slowly getting used to the time continuum necessary for training and the mind of an ultra runner.  I know 50-60 miles a week appears paultry to serious runners, but it doesn't zip by at 6:45 - 7:15 per mile pace anymore.  I go more by time, so if it is 8 - 9 minutes a mile so be it.  Soon, I believe I will move my 60 minute runs up to 1:10 which has always been my bread and butter goal.  I think that should go by rather quickly in my head, but I guess we'll see once winter actually gets here.  The 1:10 sessions worked well in 2009 so I won't get greedy. 

I actually wasn't looking forward to getting back to morning runs, but it is nice to be done.  Like Clem said a week ago, "It's like your cheating."  Kind of.  I get home and can just not worry about it.  Of course it's nice knowing on this end someone is down the road waiting for you to show up.  Accountability can be a good thing.  When you get home in the winter your tired and they are making dinner.  The conditions are crap and it is pitch dark.  It is so easy to take a "recovery day."

Running daily eventually toughens you up.  I feel tired, but after moving around all day and a decent nights sleep your ready to do it all over again.  After several months our loop time has decreased by 2-3 minutes, though it doesn't seem we are running any faster.  That is the training effect.  Because it takes a while to get there it also doesn't disappear after 1-2 weeks of illness or injury.  I have a few small issues, but nothing serious at this point.  Most dents have been from mis-steps or slips.  Usually a couple miles loosens things up and you get back to work.

I am running all about I want to at this point.  Wouldn't mind approaching 70, but I need to stay somewhat conservative.  Not sure I can continue to "stay fresh" for the serious training needed in a couple months if I push the limit.  When the hard training comes it is just that.  Hard.  The odd part is, on the runs themselves I can get the work in.  It is the constant feeling of tiredness throughout the day which is difficult.  I want to get there in good enough shape that this is limited to only the weekends and an occasional week day. 

I've laid out my plan.  It is about 80% of past volume.  The strength/speed portion will be close to 95% volume at about 85% of past effort.  This could change a bit, but I don't expect I am capable of doing sub 6:00 miling too much and incorporating the long runs necessary for the sport.  I just don't recover like I used to.  The long runs are a big portion of the sport, so I don't want to drag through every one of them.  I also don't want to be fully rested.  This will be where the experience comes in.  Easy days will be required.  Hard training will be required.  Finding the proper mix is what makes this sport entertaining.  One thing I do know, the bigger the base the higher the peak.  There is a bit more room for adjusting.  When you are in a position you feel you absolutely have to do something due to lack of training...mistakes are made.  I've lived it.

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