Friday, February 18, 2011

Week 7 - 15,165' (84,135')

I can see why they call them the Blue Ridge Mountains.
43 - 1,000' up/down on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
44 - 2,000' up/down on Shut-In.
45 - 2,100' up/down on Shut-In to Sleepy Gap.
46 - 2,650' up/down on Shut-In (1,400'), then some up only on treadmill (1,250') *
47 - 2,215' up only on treadmill. **
48 - 1,400' up/down on Greybeard Trail.
49 - 3,800' up only on treadmill 6%/6mph. (119,131,133,133,133,135,134,136,137,137,141,144) ***
Another big week for me, my 3rd in a row now. Perhaps I shouldn't call these big weeks anymore if I'm feeling very capable of this. Was right around the 10:00 mark for time on feet and still feeling strong. Still not seeing any signs to pull back yet, so I'll keep doing what I'm doing.
* = Was feeling really good on the climbs on this run, but very weak on the descents. So I eased way up on the way back down the trail and went home to get a little more up only on the mill since every other part of me felt strong. What happened today led to a very important discovery in my training that I will talk about in the Side Note.
** = After a nice, easy and steep warm up I did 1h/1e for :30/3 miles at 6% with the hards being at 8mph and the easy at 4mph. I felt very controlled and thought that I may have picked the right speeds for the workout today because the max and min HR's for each 2 minutes were staying very much the same. The last rep my HR started at 129, then maxed at 157 at the end, then after the 1 minute recover at 6%/4mph it was back down to 129. Just for fun I decided to remember my 1 minute recovery from the last rep in :15 second increments - 157,153,147,138,129.
*** = Had every intention of doing 10-10.5 miles at 6%/6mph today. As a matter of fact, the first 15:00 were so bad that I must have said to my self 100 times during that 15:00 that I wouldn't run more than 30:00-40:00 today. After 30:00 though I started feeling good and after 40:00 I was into quite a nice rhythm. Then for the next hour my HR and PE hardly budged so I thought this would be a good time to go for the full 2 hours, something I hadn't planned on doing for another 4-5 weeks. Looking back at the 10 miles I did like this 2 weeks ago I noticed my HR being the same at miles 11&12 this week as it was for miles 9&10 2 weeks ago. Legs felt great and are very comfortable at 6 mph. It may be time to increase the speed of this run with the idea of building from 90-120 minutes again.
Side Note - I believe I discovered, perhaps, the most important run I do every week. During Tuesday's run (day46) the down hills were just tearing me up, my feet and ankles felt brittle, but every thing else felt strong. I looked back at the prior weeks and noticed that on Monday or Tuesday I always hit the mill for an easy up only run. The past 2 weeks I was out on the trails on Monday and Tuesday adding more downhill miles to my body, which caused the weak, brittle feeling I had Tuesday. I carry alot of mass. If the East Africans call this guy a fatty, then they would think I'm a contestant on The Biggest Loser. Anyway, it's very important for me to do less downhill vert than up vert simply because of the added stress it puts on my body. The mill can get a little boring, but I've learned how necessay it is for me to recover from the descents on the trail.


  1. Must descend, unless you're training for MW and/or PPA and the like, no?

    That 6%/6mph is a nice groove for sure.
    10 miles. . .nice!

    What's up with the brews?

  2. Hey Matt - actually 12 miles today ;-). I'm definately looking at MW or Mt. Evans so yea, up only on those courses.
    Brews? Well, I'm working on a Leffe Blonde while cooking some Indian food. It's going to be a good night!

  3. I started leaning towards Mt. Evans a couple of weeks ago because it's not a lottery and pretty much the cost of traveling to either MW or Evans is the same. The lean is starting to turn into a fall, there's a much better chance of me doing Evans than Washington. Plus, It'd be cool to see some of the CO boys!

  4. A good Blonde is a lot of fun, especially with some of her Indian friends ;)

    The thing about that pure ascent stuff is weight/power ratio? Start dropping lbs like a Hollywood blonde.

  5. We have the spare bedroom if you want. With the power to weight ratio it's easy to focus on the weight thinking that losing a bunch will always be best. But I have always found it's better to find your ideal weight and then focus on the power component. It's POWER to weight ratio. Force your body weight down and you lose power. It's a very difficult balance to strike. I would also recommend weighted (camelbak full of sand or a 6ft log chain works) hill intervals, they are right up your alley. Very masochistic :)

  6. That spare room sounds perfect, thanks Tim!
    I probably have a better chance of improving my weight to power ratio by gaining power than losing weight right now. My logic tells me to hill train like Walter Payton, eat right and let the weight be where ever it's going to be.

  7. For sure. I'm definitely not saying you go on some lame diet, but it's just the eye test that strikes me. The real climbers are like horse jockeys. Strong as nails, sure, but almost gaunt, skeletal, wafer-like.

  8. I definately hear what you're saying Matt as you were suggesting to only lose the weight that really needs to be lost - I have some weight to drop that would only contribute to being more powerful. I have no problem putting myself through as much pain as possible training and racing, but I'm the biggest pussy when it comes to being hungry ;-)

  9. Also have spare room if you need it.

    So - let me get this straight - you are going not run downhills?

    Wonder if you have heard anything about the IF stuff in regards to wt. loss.

  10. Thanks GZ! Damn, you guys are making this easy, I might just register for Evans right now!
    Never heard of the IF stuff, what is it? IF I don't need it then don't eat it?
    I'll still do plenty of downhill, but will just be tuned in to the impact recovery that I need. Looks like if I throw in an up only on the mill every Monday or Tuesday I'll be fine. Ran some numbers and about 40% of my vert is up only, so on a 15,000' week I'm still doing 9,000' of downhill running - that's plenty for me!

  11. Intermittent fasting.

    The take on it I have heard is this. Eat a reasonable dinner, say at 5-6 PM. AM - eat nothing, do a good aerobic workout. Delay eating until lunch.

    Ben Greenfield (whose also has some stuff I don't agree with has talked about this ... there are other articles out there as well). Supposedly good for wt loss. Sort of makes sense anyway since it is just less calories in.