Monday, January 14, 2013

2013 Training Plan

Hardrock Lottery: 3 vs. Me: 0

First things first. Sadly, 4 tickets wasn't enough to get me into Hardrock this year. I wasn't optimistic, but I couldn't help being a bit disappointed when I wasn't chosen. I moped around for few days feeling sorry for myself and not feeling very motivated to run. I think my odds this year (~9%) were actually worse than last year given the higher number of applicants and the drastically reduced number of spots for first timers. (Perhaps not getting chosen was a blessing in disguise given how difficult it will be to find time to train in 2013.)

With Hardrock out of the picture, continuing my streak of successful Leadville 100 finishes becomes the default goal. I just can't quite get excited about any other 100 miler right now. I'm not sure why. Wasatch? Steamboat? Big Horn? UTMB? The latter is sort of tempting because we'll be travelling to France/Switzerland this year to visit Christina's family. But after so many years of terrible weather and random, last-minute course re-routes, I don't know... it's kind of dampened my enthusiasm for UTMB. Plus I'm not sure I want to spend an otherwise relaxing family vacation stressing out about splits, aid stations, crew access points, cut-offs, mandatory gear, etc. In contrast, the thought of running Leadville again seems strangely... relaxing.

With a new addition to the family (little Ethan is 5 months now), I'd like to keep my running goals for 2013 relatively modest. Honestly, I'm not quite sure how my wife and I will juggle two jobs and two kids under 4 with training thrown into the mix. We'll see... Right now, the idea of running for 5 hours on Saturday seems impossible given the fact that we can barely survive a weekend with both parents on duty!

Maybe the theme of 2013 should be: simplicity. Stick to local races. The thought of a fourth consecutive Leadville 100 PR is exciting. I think that's doable as long as I can follow more-or-less the same training "plan" that I did in 2012, but prevent another case of ITBS.

En route to Black Cloud on my typical winter 10-mile run

Racing Goals
  • Leadville: ~27 hour finish.
    • Run injury (ITBS) free.
    • Spend less time at aid stations (especially Twin, Hopeless, and Winfield)
      • Improve time over Hope (<4 hours)
      • Improve time from MQ to finish (<3.3 hours)
  • Schedule:
    • Salida Marathon
    • R2R2R
    • Collegiate Peaks 25
    • Sage Burner 50K (?)
    • Leadville Marathon
    • Silver Rush 50
    • Leadville 100

Training Goals
  • Take it easy in November and December (~100 miles/month).
    • Run only when motivated. 
    • Re-energize for next year's training.
    • Fitness in Nov/Dec/Jan doesn't seem to affect my fitness in August.
  • I don't think I need to radically raise the quantity of miles I'm running. (Maybe add 100 extra miles over the course of an entire 24-week training period. These miles will come from more consistent, short midweek runs-- and staying injury free.)
  • I want to raise the quality of the miles I'm running (i.e., speed work).
  • I don't think I need to change much about my long runs (~15 per year).
  • I would like my weekly mileage to see-saw less leading up to training races. I should still run my normal 3-4 days leading up to a race, but lower the intensity (i.e., skip hills, speed work, etc.).
  • Bump up to a 5 day weekly average rather than a 4+ day weekly average.
    • Add 1 short run/workout per week.
  • A typical (peak) training week should look like:
    • 1 "fast" (anaerobic) run per week. This run will typically be on pavement or smooth dirt roads (e.g., Boulevard, Mineral Belt, Evans Gulch, Cal Gulch, Iowa Gulch, etc.). 
    • 1 "hill" run per week (e.g., Elk Run, Ball Mountain, Powerlines, Fish Hatchery loop, Mosquito Pass, Mt. Sherman, etc.)
    • 2 "easy" runs per week at MAF (e.g., CMC trails, Turquoise Lake, etc.)
      • Incorporate some "strides" at the end of one of the easy runs
    • 1 "long" run per week at MAF (i.e., 4+ hours or 20+ miles)
  • Over the course of training try to double the number of 14ers I typically climb for long runs.
    • Climb the local 14ers (and Hope Pass) at least 2 times each.
    • Extra 14ers and regular hill runs will help with Hope Pass.
  • Prevent ITBS with regular stretching, foam rolling, and hip strengthening exercises.
    • Incorporate an easy 30 min run or bike (warm up) plus a simple 30 min leg/hip stretching/strengthening workout into my routine.
  • Continue to supplement with the bike trainer during the winter months.
    • Don't discount the value of a hard 30 minute workout.
  • Continue to bike for active recovery after races.
  • Experiment with jumping rope to build leg strength.
  • Do a better job of consistently monitoring my heart rate.
    • Don't worry about average HR for the entire run-- just never go above MAF.