Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Holiday Lake 50K on how many training miles?!?

When I heard about this one, I immediately chalked it up to youth and desire for bodily harm, but then I read more. The guy in the white shirt is Adam Eidson. Adam, 34, just finished the Holiday Lake 50K ultra in a fantastic time of 5:19. That put him in 75th place out of 257 starters. He finished ahead of some very fine ultrarunners. It turns out Adam is a very fine ultrarunner too, although his training is a bit atypical.

Before Holiday Lake, Adam ran a total of 7 miles. Really. 7 miles.

Adam runs RARE Crossfit in Fredericksburg, VA. Here is some info about his training, quoted from his website:

This race was about 34 miles long and preparation for it consisted of running a total of about 7 miles and doing CrossFit on a daily basis. Yes, you read it right, Adam has only run twice since October of 2008. He ran 3.1 miles on Thanksgiving morning and 2 weeks before Holiday Lake he ran 3.8 miles. All other training was CrossFit.

Adam also plans to run the Terrapin Mountain 50K, Promise Land, and Bull Run. Stay tuned to see how he does. I hope to talk to Adam soon to learn more about him, his training, and his ultrarunning goals.

P.S. Today's workout: Run to the park, warmup with 20 burpees,
then with a 15 minute timer running, repeat the following with no rest between exercises:

  • Sprint 100 yards 100% effort
  • 5 push-ups
  • plank 20 seconds
  • 10 jump squats
  • hold squat position for 20 seconds (this was tough)
  • repeat

The 15 minutes went by pretty quickly, but the "run" back downtown was a challenge. Total run about 4 miles (1.7 miles of sprinting).

Run hard out there.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

More ultrarunners, less mileage

I stumbled across this story of a 22-year-old woman who just finished the Rocky Raccoon 100 in 25-hours on very low training mileage. Yes, she is another Crossfit success story.

Speaking of that, I ran 13.5 miles on the AT today (my longest run since early December. In fact, this week was a 29-mile week, my longest training week since just before Hellgate). It was a cold, windy run with a mix of sun and snow flurries. I reached McAfee's Knob in 51 minutes, a recent record for me. Then I stormed the descent and continued a couple miles toward Tinker Cliffs before turning around and running back. I met a guy coming off the Knob who was carrying a 45-pound backpack, training for some mountaineering. I was impressed.

If I can get just one more power run up there on the AT, then I know I will be ready for the Catawba Run Around. I think the next training run will be on North Mountain. It's been almost a year since I've been up there.

Run hard out there...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Today's workout -- no running

(photo taken from http://www.athleticadvisor.com)

Today's workout did not involve running at all, so only read on if you are interested in a good one. It really wiped me out and I just have to share it.

Working continuously for 15 minutes (that means no rest),
repeat the following circuit:
  • 5 push-ups
  • 10 squat jumps
  • 5 pull-ups (I used a pull-down machine)
  • 10 dumbbell snatches

I was sore from yesterday's hill sprint/burpee workout, so this one started off rough. Once I warmed up, however, it started to flow. Five minutes into it, I was sweating profusely wondering if I would make it through the whole 15 minutes. At 10 minutes I was in a zone, and 15 minutes was there before I knew it.

The exercises:

Push-ups: 5 reps seems low, but you are doing 5 reps about every minute for 15 minutes. It adds up.

Squat jumps: You squat down, and explode up so that your feet leave the ground. It starts to burn after a few sets.

Pull-ups (or pull-downs). I did not have a static pull-up bar available, so I did pull-downs at 120#. I don't have the strength yet to do that many reps/sets of much heavier.

Dumbbell snatches. If you don't know this one, you almost have to see it. Squat down with a dumbbell on the floor. Explode up with your legs as you raise the dumbbell over your head, arm extended. See it here, along with some other great lifts.

Snatches and jumps are very aerobic when done quickly. Especially the snatches because your heart is forced to pump blood to both your lower and upper extremities. That really gets the heart going fast.

And I thought a runner's high was good!

I felt so good after this one. I'll pay for it for a couple days, but exercises like this, especially when done with high intensity, carry over to running in so many ways. Since I've started working out like this my hill running has improved greatly, as has my overall strength. I hope to prove it in the upcoming Catawba Run Around.

Run hard out there...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Run Commute

(image courtesy of http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/)

When I really want to peak for a long race, I turn to the Run Commute for that extra challenge.

I live about 10 miles from where I work, so that is too far for me to run without having to get up at 4am. Plus, a 20-mile road run commute would put an end to my running pretty quickly. So, I get up around 5:30, and drive a few miles in to a convenient parking place. From there I shoulder my Hot Shot laptop backpack, turn on my Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS, and head towards town. The nice thing about the GPS is that I can select from any number of routes, and still know my exact distance.

I usually get in between 4 and 6 miles in the morning, then a more direct 4 miles in the afternoon. Carrying a laptop, along with the twice/day run, really challenges my body and gets me race ready.

I don't do this more than two days per week, and usually only within a month or so before a big event. I've used the Run Commute to train for all of my big ultras. It's a lot of pavement pounding, so I tread lightly and get off road every chance I get.

The Run Commute is not for everyone. But if you can swing it, give it a shot.

P.S., an update on The Interval Challenge. I've done this workout twice since I wrote about it in January, and taken almost 2 minutes off of my finishing time. Today when we finished (13:58 vs. starting time of 15:52), we joked about how we might have to start doing it twice!

P.S.S. I have changed my Bike to Work goal for the year to include running. My goal is now to Run OR Bike to work more than 90 days this year. With my run in this morning I am up to 5 days. Slow start, but warmer weather and longer days are coming.

Run hard out there...


Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hurricane Training

I read in the March issue of Men's Health about trainer Martin Rooney. He has a book out targeted toward mixed martial artists, ultimate fighters, etc. called Training for Warriors. Now I'm no warrior, and the average ultrarunner is about 100k from Rooney's target audience. But, I like to challenge my body and workout hard. So after reading the article this morning over breakfast, I decided to incorporate what Rooney calls the Hurricane Workout into my morning run. The idea behind the workout is that you go from one exercise to the next with no rest. After 5 exercises, you rest 2 minutes, then do it again for a total of 3 sets.

Here's how my workout went:

Run to the park (3 miles)

Hurricane workout:
3 X
  • 1 min sprint
  • 1 min bench jumps
  • 1 min crunches
  • 1 min pushups
  • 1 min squats or lunges
  • rest 2 minutes

Jog home (3 miles)

Holy cow. The "Jog Home" was more of a walk/jog home. That's all I could do after getting hit by the hurricane.

I recognize that this type of workout is geared more for training fighters. Intense 5 minutes of work (e.g. a round in a fight), followed by 2 minutes of rest. I'm not training to be a fighter. I'm a long distance runner. Runners, especially ultrarunners, don't need that kind of fitness. Right?

I guess that depends on on what kind of ultrarunner you want to be.

Give this kind of workout a try sometime. You might like it.

Run hard out there...

Friday, February 6, 2009

1 minute intervals

Today's workout was 10 1x1 (1 minute intervals with 1 minute of rest).

I warmed up by slowly jogging to the soccer fields where I run a lot of my sprints.

Then, using my Garmin Forerunner's "interval" workout, I ran 10 sets of 1 minute sprints with 1 minute of rest. The rest periods were mostly spent bent over, hands on knees, followed by a little bit of walking. I covered 2.36 miles over those 10 intervals. The intervals were between .18 and .21 miles each.

Then I ran a slow cool down for a total of 5 miles.

1 minute intervals. If you go out all, they are intense. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Run hard out there...