24 Week Training Plan

As the trails around vail dry out I am getting back into training mode. I took a plan from the book A guide to running ultra marathons by Byron Powell of irunfar.com. This worked well for me last summer getting ready for 50k races. There were two plans for races 40 miles to 100k, one for 50miles/week and another for 70miles/week. As Killian Jornet would say, “More miles, more fun” so I went with the 70/week plan. I write all the mileage on a calendar I hang next to my bed, I try to be flexible with when I get the miles in but make sure I get them. It may sound silly but it also really helps me know when to rest, Colorado summer is amazing and sometimes I want to run when I need rest, if there’s a R on that calendar I can take a easy hike or go hang by the river guilt free. Being flexible also comes into play with races and other scheduled runs, like the summer solstice ultra in June, a 54 mile group run June 21st. Anyways, it’s time to start logging miles and having fun!
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Book Review: Running on Air by Budd Coats and Claire Kowalchick

 

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Bud and Claire have written an excellent book that points out how important breathing is to running.  They provide an easy to adopt method to improve running form and prevent injury by focusing on your breathe.

Your diaphragm contracts when you inhale.  This creates stability in your core similar to when you clench your stomach to take a punch. When you exhale your diaphragm relaxes.  Think about taking that punch when you’re not paying attention.

Most people run naturally with a 2:2 breathe taking 2 steps for each inhale and 2 steps for each exhale.  The authors recommend a shift to breathing 3:2 taking 3 steps for each inhale.  This shifts you into an alternating foot strike with diaphragm stabilized and eliminates any imbalance caused by always striking on the same side when inhaling.

When I started trying to breathe in for 3 foot strikes it was tough.   My inhalation was so long it was overfilling my lungs.  This was highlighting a problem I have with low cadence.  So, 3:2 breathing has the side benefit of forcing me to speed up my cadence which is huge.

The less mechanical benefit of 3:2 breathing is that it shifts you into being mindful.  Sure, it’s good to let your mind wander at time during your run.  It’s also important to focus on things like foot strike, hip tilt and focusing on breathe shifts you into this mindful state.

The authors also present the Rhythmic Breathing Effort (RBE) scale as a tool for monitoring effort and training.  Personally, I found the RBE scale a little too complex to be useful.  As with most non-fiction running books, there are chapters with the usual stretching and training plan filler.

I highly recommend the book for anyone looking to avoid injury and improve your race times.

 

3/7/2014-North Trail

Went for a quick run up the North Trail behind Sandstone neighborhood. It was snowing out and Rooster really wanted to run. I was going to just go up the same road as yesterday but decided to check out the North Trail and was glad I did. It was a little choppy with post holes on the sides and an inch of fresh snow over some in ever single track. There were some ski tracks going up which was cool, I haven’t really seen that much snow back there before. I wore my Altra Lone Peak 1.5. It was a short run but nice to get on some trail!

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3/6/2014-Potato Patch Hill Climb

Quick after work road run up Potato Road behind my neighborhood. I am trying to rack up some vertical over March but it can be hard with all the snow. I wore my Salomon road/trial hybrids which felt really nice. I am not totally sure why but, I think it feels nice to have some more support under my foot after running in the Altra Zero drop shoes, which I also love. There are some great views of the valley and ski resort on top. I am lucky and blessed to have roads with views like this to run on. I know I could and maybe should be slogging through snowy trails but sometimes a good road workout is needed.

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3/1/2014-Spraddle Creek Road/Vail Mountain- 6.8mile

Been getting some good training in lately. To kick off March I went out for an evening run with Rooster and tried to get some vertical gain on my Strava. There is an online vertical competition for March on facebook, while the deep snow makes it a little hard to run uphill in the mountains during winter, I can always find some hills around town and thought it would be a good motivator for the month. To start we went up Spraddle Creek road and past Vail Stables, past the gate the snow was fresh and i was starting to post hole a little. I got some good views of Vail Mountain and the set up for this weeks Burton US open before turning arond. I decided to head over towards Vail Ski Resort for a couple more miles and some more vert now that it was after 5pm adn most of the skeirs were off the hill. We ran from Vail Village to Lionshead on the ski resort, which i love, the snow is soft like sand and its very peaceful in general. I took a couple GUs as I have been trying to fuel my training runs a little more, just to get more milage. I am still snowboarding alot as thats what I do here in winter and love it, which contributes to tired legs sometimes but I am definantly starting to ramp up the miles and look forward to summer racing.

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