Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Just plugging along

Get up, train, eat, work, train, eat, sleep, repeat.

Good, now I don't have to post again for a few months...

Last night was 4 miles, starting at a 10 pace, eventually dropping to an 8 pace and then gradually back to a 10 pace. This morning, I lifted - jump squats, lat pulldowns, DB push presses, DB Romanian deadlifts, Bulgarian split squats, incline reverse crunches and side planks.

Tonight, I'm going to spend time stretching and doing some "massage" with my foam roller.

The main issue I've been thinking about for the past two days is where I am in my training right now, where I need to be, and then, how do I best get ready for WS?

I've basically got 20 weeks until the race. Twenty weeks from today, I'll be in the air to CA. I really need to drop about 20 pounds of bodyfat before the race. That would have me at the race lighter than last year and lighter than I've been for any ultra except Hardrock in 2004. So, weight loss has to be a priority. Yeah, I've finished 100 milers at my current weight, but it's not fun, and I haven't done it in extreme heat. And right this minute, I weigh a few pounds more than I weighed when I got pulled at mile 93 a few years ago.

(I seem to have deleted a paragraph here somehow, and I'm adding it back now)
For me, I think I do best with fat loss when my workouts are focused on lifting and interval work. The interval work can be done running, on an elliptical trainer, on a bike or anything else that gets my heart rate very high. I tend to do worse with weight control when my workouts tend towards pure endurance. I've read some recent studies that seem to support the idea that many pure endurance athletes have a difficult time with weight control. I find that harder, shorter training sessions seem to help me more with weight control.

At the same time, endurance work is very important as well. Hard intervals and weight training help me more in my never-ending quest to drop bodyfat. But, that kind of training is far from ideal for getting ready to run 100 miles.

Right now, I'm simply not capable of lifting hard, doing interval work, and doing long training runs, at least during ski season. I think that for right now, I need to prioritize the fat loss. It's easier to fit those kind of workouts into ski season anyway. But, I am entered in a snowshoe marathon in 4 weeks. And, I'm scheduled to pace 50 miles at Umstead in early April. I need to be able to complete those distances.

I think that I can squeeze in a couple long runs and get through those two races. The runner I'm pacing at Umstead is shooting only to finish, so I'm guessing it will take us about 16 hours for the 50 miles. I should be able to pull that off on minimal long runs. If I can do the snowshoe marathon and then maybe do one other long run in March, I should be ready for Umstead. Especially if my weight is lower than it is now.

If I can do one more long day between now and the snowshoe marathon, I think I'll be OK for getting through that race, at least slowly.

Right now, I guess I think it's more important to prioritize the weight loss, so that I can train hard, closer to my race weight, through April and May and into early June. But, I worry that I'm cutting it close in terms of endurance work if I take this approach.

Without a doubt, my approach to nutrition is very important. We have a benchmark number we track each week in the coached nutrition program I've been doing since November. The goal is that 90% of your meals are "compliant" with the program and that any non-compliances are reasonable "cheats". That might mean having one beer or glass of wine with a meal, or eating a reasonable serving of one food not appropriate at the time you eat it. It doesn't mean eating an entire pizza and drinking a bottle of wine or a six pack of beer.

Through the holidays, I had some weeks where my compliance was below 50%. Then, starting in early January, I started to hit 80%. For the past 3 weeks, I've been above 90%. If that trend continues, my weight will continue to drop like it has the past couple weeks. If it doesn't, I'm putting my goal of a Western States finish in major jeopardy. This race has been tormenting me for 20+ years. It's time to spend 20 weeks really obsessing about what I need to do to finally cross that finish line.

In reality, it's time to stop talking about it and just do what needs to be done.


David Ray said...

We'd like you to keep talking about it *while* you're doing it. ;)

janinsanfran said...

I'm not in your league, but I've always found I had to focus primarily on weight loss, rather than endurance training, in order to lose weight. I can train and train along and stay remarkably fat. We're adaptable creatures. I've become all too good at conserving heft.