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Stalking 50

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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:46 am

Here's a slightly more detailed look at what I'm thinking right now.

I see breaking this preparation process into three phases: Base, Build and Peak*

January-February: Base Period, long runs increasing from 12 currently to 20 miles.
March-April: Build Period, with long runs in the 20-22 mile range.
May-June: Peak Period, with long runs in the 23- to 31-mile range.
July: Taper/Race, cut back for race on Saturday, July 13

I'll precede the long Monday runs with sorta-long Sunday runs, though I don't know how far I'll go up in the peak phase. Dare I do a 20-30? I don't know. Maybe if I feel like I'm up to it.

My midweek runs will include a barefoot run and a medium- and sorta-long run. Some of the runs will be on hillier routes. I will do as many of the long Monday runs on trails as possible. I'll try to make step-back weeks match up with weeks with schedule challenges. I'm not sure what the mileage will peak at; I'm guessing in the 50-60 mile range? I will keep using low HR training principles, working to optimize a nice, steady level of effort to maximize endurance.

Whew! That's almost overthinking it, but it's good to have at least a rough idea of the general strategy. I'll try to concentrate on the two month segments and fine tune as I go. I should probably know by March if I'm in the MH50, so that'll be a good motivation point when I switch from Base to Build.


*-And for those of you who have read Pfitzinger, yes, I had to resist the urge to start throwing around terms like mesocycle and microcycles....
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Kenny B. on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:54 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Glad to see you have joined the living again, Mark. Look into the "Justin" brand of spreads as they make several different mixtures.

Yes, Michele, I can breathe again! Not something you want to take for granted, believe me. Yipes. Better yet, it's cleared Alita's system now, as well.

I saw the Justin brand in the organics aisle at the supermarket. Looks like I may have some fun experimenting. Smile

Justin peanut butter etc is the bomb. Not vegan though so I have not had it in sometime. I believe it has honey in it. I used to eat that like it was going out of style.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mike MacLellan on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:30 pm

I like the plan, Mark. In your build period, I would hit hills as much as possible. Then dial it back just slightly for the peak while increasing mileage.

Also, I just ran the last mile of my run today barefoot. ...And I liked it. affraid
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:42 pm

@Kenny B. wrote:Justin peanut butter etc is the bomb. Not vegan though so I have not had it in sometime. I believe it has honey in it. I used to eat that like it was going out of style.

I bet, Kenny. Just an almond butter and honey combination is delicious. But dangerous. I started craving it last night as an after-dinner snack, and very efficiently managed to suck down several hundred calories that I really didn't need. Oopsie. Gotta watch that.

@Mike MacLellan wrote:I like the plan, Mark. In your build period, I would hit hills as much as possible. Then dial it back just slightly for the peak while increasing mileage.

Also, I just ran the last mile of my run today barefoot. ...And I liked it. affraid

Good thought, Mike. It just so happens that I have a great route from my house that almost qualifies as hill repeats. I was planning to work those in on at least one of the midweek runs. I can also choose hillier routes for my trail runs from time to time.

And of course you liked it barefoot! Just don't do too much, too soon. You want to allow your body to adapt to proper form gradually, to give the bones and ligaments time to get stronger.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  T Miller on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:11 pm

Hey Mark, I came across this site and there appears to be quite a bit of valuable information. I haven't had much time to look though it all but it looks very promising. http://www.ultramarathonrunning.com/training/
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:51 pm

@T Miller wrote:Hey Mark, I came across this site and there appears to be quite a bit of valuable information. I haven't had much time to look though it all but it looks very promising. http://www.ultramarathonrunning.com/training/

Thanks, Tim! I'll be sure to check it out.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:05 pm

Low HR Run: About 60 minutes (5.09 miles)

Weather: Chilly and damp. 36 degrees, 97% humidity. Gear: Testers, tights, T, pullover, jacket, hat, gloves (shed eventually). Fuel: Post-breakfast, experimented with a half almond butter/honey sandwich before and was burping stomach acid 40 minutes later. Carried water.

This was sort of a shake-out run as I try to get back in the rhythm of things. My body wasn't quite on board for it, however. I couldn't maintain heart rate, even though I was going a lot slower than usual. I kept trying to get my form to work, but that only made it worse.

I'd toyed with going 90 minutes but realized that it was time to turn around at about a half hour.

My experiment with the nut butter and honey didn't go so well this time (started burping stomach acid), but my stomach was a little off before I started - so I'll keep experimenting and see how it goes.

Hopefully my body will be more agreeable to a longer run tomorrow.

Walked first 5 and last 6 minutes. Average HR for entire run: 133
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:41 pm

Icy Low HR Run: 90 minutes

Weather: Icy! Partly sunny, widespread black ice, patches of glare ice, some wet spots. 32 degrees warming to 34, 99% humidity. Gear: Testers, tights, long-sleeved T, pullover, jacket, hat, gloves. Fuel: Breakfast and nothing else. Took a Gu during run. Carried water, needed more.

Well *that* was an interesting run. We had freezing fog this morning, which creates the sorts of conditions in which you find big SUVs on their tops in the ditches. Previously, I'd opt for a nice safe treadmill run in this sort of weather, but I read a piece by Scott Jurek yesterday about how running with dicey conditions can help your coordination, proprioception and supporting muscles.

Boy, I'll say. There's nothing like feeling ice underfoot to improve your concentration and tighten up your form. It slowed me down, of course, but I was able to keep my HR in the proper zone despite the heightened anxiety you get when you realize that your foot isn't really adhering to the ground.

I ran closer to barefoot form than I've ever have in shoes. I could feel my toes trying to splay and engage to make sure my touchdown was as secure as possible. It was kind of cool, if a little tiring after a while. It's easier barefoot.

I didn't top off the fuel tank before the run, but I guess I needed to. When I got to my turnaround point, my legs started to feel like lead. So I took a Gu and felt more springy. Still, when I got home, I felt depleted again and rushed inside and devoured a PB and honey sandwich. I don't usually get that hungry after a run, but I was famished.

Average HR for entire run: 134. Walked first and last 5 minutes.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:46 pm

Ha!

I may not have registered in time to avoid the wait list for the Mount Hood 50 in July, but I am locked in for a site at a campground close to the start/finish line. The reservation window opens six months in advance, and as soon as they opened up today, I pounced. cheers

(See the campground here!)

Now, all I have to do is nail down a free trailer (I'm working on my brother in law, in exchange for doing the Goofy Challenge with him in 2015.) .. or rent a less-than-free RV. Either way will work, and should be fun, so it's all good now that I have a spot to park something.

Now all I have to do is make it in to the race, and get ready for it! Piece of cake. Wink
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:12 pm

Low HR Run: 60 minutes (5.2 miles)

Weather: Cold and gray. 27 degrees, 97% humidity. Gear: Testers, tights, long-sleeved T, pullover, jacket, hat, gloves. Fuel: Post breakfast. Carried water.

The weather service was issuing dire warnings of freezing fog and ice-covered roads, so I delayed my run this morning to make sure I wasn't going to play slip-n-slide for another day. Turns out, the freezing fog never materialized here, so it was simply cold with low clouds. That, I can deal with. Smile

My HR didn't want to play, though. It kept riding higher than my target, though my legs were happy to go a little faster than on Friday. The cold was invigorating but not uncomfortable...though a hole I've worn in the toebox of my shoes did make my big toe very cold for a mile or two!

Walked first and last 5 minutes. Average HR for entire run: 135
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  John Kilpatrick on Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:26 pm

Good golly Mark - hole in your shoes running in 27 degrees. I thought I was the dumb one Razz

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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:38 pm

@John Kilpatrick wrote:Good golly Mark - hole in your shoes running in 27 degrees. I thought I was the dumb one Razz

Just remember: these are testers, so I am suffering for all you Nike users out there. It's my sacred duty to the Swoosh! Rolling Eyes

(Also, the hole is in the upper, so it's not that big a deal.)

Of course my long run is tomorrow, and it'll still be sub-freezing, so I will probably dig out some warmer socks. Smile
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:00 pm

Long Run: 12 miles

Weather: Overcast, cold and gray, with a couple of random snowflakes. 29-31 degrees, 94% humidity, an occasional breeze that made it feel a lot colder. Gear: Testers, tights, long-sleeved T, pullover, jacket, gloves, hat. (Never really got comfortable.) Fuel: Post breakfast. Split package of granola bars (pb) at 30, 60, then took a Gu at 90... and was bonking in the last mile. Sheesh. Carried water.

This was a challenging run. To start off, it was gray and cold with little chance of clearing or warming. In fact, there were even a few small snowflakes. I tried not to overdress and probably ended up a little underdressed. I never warmed up the whole time.

I ran my Salmon Creek Greenway route. Lots of ice on the ponds, but the path was dry. I tried to keep an even effort level but my HR stopped cooperating after a couple of miles. I'm not sure if that was effort, form, fuel or cold... but it was a little frustrating. I got fatigued about 2/3 of the way in, and my HR started swinging more wildly than usual. I ended up walking up a few hills.

I experimented on fueling. I had Grape Nuts for breakfast and went out without topping off the tank. I took a package of peanut butter granola bars and had one after about 30 minutes and the second after 60 minutes. One I tried to eat while jogging slowly (not easy), the second I did while walking (easier, and it didn't take that long). I had a Gu at 90 minutes and wished I had something else at 120 minutes, because I started to bonk a bit in that last mile home and got a little fuzzy-headed. I only had water on the run.

All in all, it wasn't a carefree romp in the outdoors. But it's good to have runs where things don't go well, so you have experience managing challenges.

Walked first 5 minutes, last quarter mile. Average HR for entire run: 137

Note: Once I got home, the occasional tiny snowflake turned into a full-on snowing. Not sure if I'm happy or disappointed it waited until I got inside to start.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  charles.moman on Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:52 pm

In Bryon Powell's book he seriously recommends doing some of the shorter mile days with power walking only.
I think too many people underestimate the need to really practice it.
I doubt Tim or Wendy will be doing much or any walking in their upcoming 50-milers, but nearly all mid to back of the pack folks do a fair amount of walking in a 50-miler.
At Tecumseh, one guy said he was just going to walk it and crashed bad.
His calves and hamstrings were just killing him and he had to drop out.
He found out - the hard way - that walking uses muscles in a different way and you need to practice.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:11 pm

@charles.moman wrote:In Bryon Powell's book he seriously recommends doing some of the shorter mile days with power walking only.
I think too many people underestimate the need to really practice it.
I doubt Tim or Wendy will be doing much or any walking in their upcoming 50-milers, but nearly all mid to back of the pack folks do a fair amount of walking in a 50-miler.
At Tecumseh, one guy said he was just going to walk it and crashed bad.
His calves and hamstrings were just killing him and he had to drop out.
He found out - the hard way - that walking uses muscles in a different way and you need to practice.

Excellent point, Charles! I doubt I will be in contention for a podium spot (understatement of the year), so walking is critical. Part of my walking strategy, in addition to walking hills, will be lunchtime walks at work. I can usually get in 2-4 miles that way, a couple of times a week. I think that will help.

Walking is actually a trouble spot for me. It tends to irritate the part of my foot that flared up at Tecumseh. So it is something I need to work on, with an eye on good technique.

I feel sorry for that guy at Tecumseh. Hope he has learned from the experience.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  T Miller on Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:39 am

@Mark B wrote:
@charles.moman wrote:In Bryon Powell's book he seriously recommends doing some of the shorter mile days with power walking only.
I think too many people underestimate the need to really practice it.
I doubt Tim or Wendy will be doing much or any walking in their upcoming 50-milers, but nearly all mid to back of the pack folks do a fair amount of walking in a 50-miler.
At Tecumseh, one guy said he was just going to walk it and crashed bad.
His calves and hamstrings were just killing him and he had to drop out.
He found out - the hard way - that walking uses muscles in a different way and you need to practice.

Excellent point, Charles! I doubt I will be in contention for a podium spot (understatement of the year), so walking is critical. Part of my walking strategy, in addition to walking hills, will be lunchtime walks at work. I can usually get in 2-4 miles that way, a couple of times a week. I think that will help.

Walking is actually a trouble spot for me. It tends to irritate the part of my foot that flared up at Tecumseh. So it is something I need to work on, with an eye on good technique.

I feel sorry for that guy at Tecumseh. Hope he has learned from the experience.

Good point Charles. Although I don't currently have a race plan I do expect it to include some periodic walking breaks. I would also add that Scott, while training for Leadville, used to come visit and would spend hours just power walking on our treadmill with the incline adjusted to the max.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:59 pm

@T Miller wrote:Good point Charles. Although I don't currently have a race plan I do expect it to include some periodic walking breaks. I would also add that Scott, while training for Leadville, used to come visit and would spend hours just power walking on our treadmill with the incline adjusted to the max.

Hmm. Interesting idea, Tim. I remember seeing video of Scott plugging away on your 'mill, but I didn't realize he spent quite that much time doing it. Hours, huh? Hm. How often did he do it? I could see how it could be very helpful.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:52 pm

Missed your earlier comments about what Scott Jurek said regarding dicey conditions. I feel much better now as today was the first day in a few weeks where I only ran into one ice patch in my entire 6 mile run. It will make you tougher, and we can whine about the lousy ice (and snow) together.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  T Miller on Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:23 pm

@Mark B wrote:
@T Miller wrote:Good point Charles. Although I don't currently have a race plan I do expect it to include some periodic walking breaks. I would also add that Scott, while training for Leadville, used to come visit and would spend hours just power walking on our treadmill with the incline adjusted to the max.

Hmm. Interesting idea, Tim. I remember seeing video of Scott plugging away on your 'mill, but I didn't realize he spent quite that much time doing it. Hours, huh? Hm. How often did he do it? I could see how it could be very helpful.

I think he was trying to get one walking session per week.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:52 pm

Walk: 3.86 miles

Weather: Gray and chilly, breezy. 36 degrees

I decided to extend my lunchtime walk today, and to try picking up the pace. I ended up averaging about a 16:15/mi pace, which felt pretty good - except I had to shed my coat and walk in just a sweater so I didn't pit out my work clothes! I was cranking the heat, despite a wind that brought the wind chill down to about freezing.

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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:16 pm

@Michele "1L" Keane wrote:Missed your earlier comments about what Scott Jurek said regarding dicey conditions. I feel much better now as today was the first day in a few weeks where I only ran into one ice patch in my entire 6 mile run. It will make you tougher, and we can whine about the lousy ice (and snow) together.

Being able to whine with justification is always a good thing! That said, I'm glad it's not icy now. It's one thing to avoid slipping and falling on ice... it's another to worry about some joker in a car losing traction and skidding into your path. I ran past a couple of spots where somebody put their car/truck into the ditch.

@T Miller wrote:
@Mark B wrote:
@T Miller wrote:Good point Charles. Although I don't currently have a race plan I do expect it to include some periodic walking breaks. I would also add that Scott, while training for Leadville, used to come visit and would spend hours just power walking on our treadmill with the incline adjusted to the max.

Hmm. Interesting idea, Tim. I remember seeing video of Scott plugging away on your 'mill, but I didn't realize he spent quite that much time doing it. Hours, huh? Hm. How often did he do it? I could see how it could be very helpful.

I think he was trying to get one walking session per week.

Hm... I might be able to wrangle that. Though probably not for as many hours as Scott probably did it. Of course, I'm not trying to get ready to race 100 miles with 14,000 feet of climbing and a peak altitude of 12,600 feet, either, so that's probably okay. Wink
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:15 pm

Barefoot Run on the Treadmill: 3 miles

Weather: Chilly and damp outside, dry and balmy inside (68). Gear: Bare feet, shorts, T (shed). Fuel: Post breakfast.

Experiment time! I've been wanting to get barefoot back into my regimen, but I've been hindered by a sudden change from cool to cold weather. I'd adapted my feet down into the 40s, but near freezing? Not yet.

I've been debating whether to bite the bullet and get a set of VFFs or switch to treadmill running when it's too cold. It's a conflict between losing skin-to-surface contact and being slave to a mechanical device. Neither's a great choice. Today, I tried the treadmill.

I did three miles. It went okay, but there's a world of difference between running like a robot at a predetermined speed on a synthetic belt and running like an animal, adapting constantly to changing surfaces and directions. In other words, it was boring and tedious. Next time, I'll try something thin between my feet and the ground -- maybe even giving my Lunas another chance -- or just biting the bullet and adapting my bare feet to colder temperatures.

Average HR for entire run: 138
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  KathyK on Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:27 pm

Well...now you know. Barefoot on the treadmill is no fun. But, to me, barefootin' when the weather is in the 30's...or even 40s doesn't sound like fun, either. Spring and summer is on the way!
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Mark B on Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:57 pm

@KathyK wrote:Well...now you know. Barefoot on the treadmill is no fun. But, to me, barefootin' when the weather is in the 30's...or even 40s doesn't sound like fun, either. Spring and summer is on the way!

I think it's an acclimatization thing, at least partly. Still, I went so far as to go to REI today and try on a pair of Vibram FiveFingers (the EL-X variety, if you're interested in seeing them) - and I would have bought them, except they didn't have my size. I almost just bought them online, but my internal cheapskate emerged from wherever it lurks and made me close the window before I entered my credit card number. Sheesh.
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Re: Stalking 50

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:06 pm

I wear those shoes while kayaking, but have never run in them. I got injured trying to go to the PureFlow shoe - can't imagine what running in the Vibrams would do!
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