Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Priming The Pump

Howdy y'all. Just thought I would check in and fill you all in on how I'm readying myself for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Because the sport of ultra running is really still a group of outliers, there is no set way to prepare for this ridiculous sport. Instead there is a mish-mash on ideas and loose principles eventually leading the athlete to a state of readiness, or at least we hope so. I'm constantly curious what my running friends are up to and always adapting my strategies combining the tried and true principles, new to me concepts, and the weird and wacky in hopes it all pans together producing the results I desire.

Up until now I've been in a stage I call Priming the Pump. This is an awkward stage in which I want to get my body and mind ready to tackle some serious training mileage but still not wanting to jump the gun. I need to avoid pushing the weekly mileage too soon in training which can lead to burn out or injury. So I've developed a plan to get longer runs in while still keeping the weekly mileage down. This means I have only been running 2-4 days per week with plenty of days off. I know of runners this time of the year that crush big mileage by cramming in a shit ton of 10 and 15 km runs, doubling up on most days. I find this inefficient and doesn't create reasonable adaptive stresses to create the change desired. Here is an idea of my mileage on my last 8 runs in a span of 2.5 weeks: 62km, 29km, 11km, 63km, 41km, 42km, 47km, and 38km.

Two things are being accomplished at this time, my body feels rad because I am giving my body plenty of time to recover and my mindset is positive about where my head space is at the end of these longer days.

So is this what the calm before the storm feels like?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Year in Review

"It was the best of times it was the worst of times."  The year 2016 was tumultuous at best. With three goals in mind I went into this season feeling like I can take on the world (and kinda did) and left sheepishly giving reverence to this sport that can leave oneself mentally damaged and physically crippled. So to not waste your time I'll separate this post into three sections:

Ran 260.4 kilometres on a treadmill at the Calgary Marathon race expo with the MitoCanada crew to break two Guinness world records and raise a ton of funds and much needed awareness. The negative was this left me as useless as a half cooked week old meat loaf and unable to race successfully the rest of the year yet alone pee standing up.

Lessons learned (written as if I'm talking to myself):
1. Dream big because we are far more capable and deserving than what we think.
2. The mind can be stretched to achieve great things but must be given time to regain its original and healthy form.
3. Stop underestimating yourself and understating your accomplishments.
4. I'm not 25 anymore.
5. A grassy patch on the side of a trail is far more comfortable than you'd think.

6. My wife is a saint.
7. The body must be near perfect going into a multi-day race.
8. Wearing mismatch shoes distracts people from noticing how unattractive my face is.
9. Mustaches are dead sexy
10. The mind can guide the body to do incredible things

Goals for next year:
I'll be a busy beaver this winter base building for the spring/summer races. I'll run Gord's Frozen Ass 50 for training, The Calgary Confederation 150 in late May, and River Valley Revenge in early June. All of these will be a build to my first goal race which is the World 24 hour Championships in Belfast on July 1-2. I'd like to crush a big number and challenge the podium with a 265 plus kilometre day. After that I don't really have any plans for the rest of the summer so if you have any recommendations please send them my way. Either way I'll be transitioning into multi-day training and making my way back to Across The Years in Arizona in December. There I'll try my hand at the six day in hopes to break the 48, 72 hour, and the 6 day Canadian records and try to run over 1000 kilometres. That being said, 2017 will be my biggest race year to date but will pale in comparison to what 2018 has in stock.