Across the Years Training Week 7 Recap
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So I signed up for my first 24 Hour foot race and detailed my high level training plan and my nutrition plan.

So now I will detail my training from Week 7

across the years calendar week 7

I basically had a decent week. My first 4 days of running in one week and I got continued to get stronger in the gym.
The bad news was I didn’t race walk like I had on my schedule (and don’t think I can.. if I want to keep that up I think I need to do it at night) and I got hurt this morning on my run.

Some other things that I learned (or just wanted to discuss) from last week:

  • I had a discussion about my general schedule of training my legs hard in the gym and running the next day and incorporating race walking with my chiropractor this week and I feel even better about it. My chiropractor isn’t just a chiropractor.. he is a brilliant exercise scientist who has worked on and trained with over 28,000 athletes throughout his career. He agrees that by strengthening my legs and running when they are tired that I could have a really good chance come race day. He used to train his swimming in a similar way in College. His coach would hammer them week after week in the gym and in the pool and they generally felt like crap and were exhausted for most of the season. That is how I feel now. This is one thing I wanted to point out.. I don’t have any “easy” or “comfortable” runs really. I used to in different training schedules, but now they all feel tough. He said this is to be expected, but I should stop the gym 4 weeks out, reach my highest running volume 3 weeks out and then taper down hard. I should then feel phenomenal come race day because I am 100% healed. He said that they would have a smaller meet 3 weeks out from their big National meet and do terribly… close to last place and felt like junk because they were so tired from the training.. but then they would taper down those last 3 weeks (and they were already out of the gym) and they did awesome (and felt like champs) at their big meet. This is my hope for my race (if I can get/stay healthy).. that it all comes together those last few weeks. I think I may feel like crap most of this schedule and not have many really good runs. At least it was good to hear that that is not too unexpected.
  • There was a question on #ultrachat (which is every Sunday night at 8:00pm CST on twitter.. I love it! It is fun) a few weeks ago about “How many hours a week do you spend on training or aspects of your training?” and I didn’t have a good chance to formulate a good answer then (I gave one and it was pretty close) but thinking about it now.. it really is kind of crazy. Looking through last weeks schedule (and including the getting to and back from the gym, taking epsom salt baths, preparing to run and stretching after the runs.. etc.. essentially any time taken that wouldn’t have been taken had I not have been training) it comes to about 16:30 for the week. Wow… that is really something and gives me a better understanding of why I was so tired (and the heat helped the exhaustion too). 16 and a half hours… it is a part time job! Crazy.. and sort of silly in its own way.
  • I signed up for the 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb that I wrote about in last weeks recap! I am really excited (getting hurt this morning not withstanding) and what an amazing event. I really don’t know if I will be able to do it (especially since I am hurt a week out), as the most I have ever climbed is 66 floors, but it isn’t a timed race and I will be with a group of other firefighters so I am sure they will give me motivation. Each of us will climb in memory of a specific firefighter that lost their life and carry something in memory of him on the climb. When you sign up for the race, you choose from a drop down who you will be climbing for and I choose Kenneth Marino (I can’t give a great explanation why.. when I read his name I just felt something) and he seemed like a really special man. His wife put up a website in memory of him. I really hope I can do this climb.
  • It has been a long time (probably 15 years) since I have liked the way that I look as much. I am really starting to thicken up (especially my upper back and glutes/hamstrings) while staying lean. Yet it has also been a long time when I have felt so sluggish on my runs and generally so exhausted. It’s an interesting but explainable combination given my schedule.

So now I will detail my training from Week 7.

So onto last week:

Monday the 26th: Because I didn’t run on Sunday (from last week), I ran today. I took a vacation day, so in that sense (from not having to get up extra early) it was a little less stressful… but in another sense it was quite stressful and that was the heat. This last week has been horrible in St. Louis and it had an impact. It was 75 degrees and 95% humidity. 9:54 average pace. It was just awful but I ran. Mondays are my stair climbing days and I was off (and I stair climb at work) so, even though I thought about it, I didn’t stair climb this week. Kind of annoyed by that but at the same time.. I’m over it ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday the 27th: Solid 45 degree Leg Press ending with 540X3 twice

17 sets for Chest

11 sets for Traps

RaceWalking 1 mile total ending at 10:42 pace (with the last 400m at better than 12:00 pace). I have simply found that my idea of being able to do 2-3 (and having written that I would get it to 3-4) miles of racewalking directly after my gym work is not working. Mostly it is a lack of time, but it is also just crazy hard… but mostly a lack of time.

Wednesday the 28th: 5 miles at 9:57 overall pace. A slow annoying run because of the heat. As I tweeted out on Monday.. the runs this week are just survival runs… just get through them.

Thursday the 29th: Forward Lunges with 40 DB’sX20X20X20 First time being able to do all sets for 20 reps. Side Lunges with 70lb DB for 10X2 Heaviest yet Glute Press Back 130X12X10

3 sets for Abs and 2 sets for Obliques

16 sets for Delts (and the first time I was able to finish using the whole rack on the Eagle Overhead Press)

14 sets for Biceps

2 sets of Seated Calf Raises and 2 sets of 45 Degree Leg Press Calf Presses. First Calf workout of this schedule and they were light (intentionally) and felt nice and I didn’t get particularly sore from them

Friday the 30th: 6 sets of slow really hot miles at about 10:15 pace overall. Just stupid heat.

Saturday the 31st: 6 sets of TrapBar Deadlifts finishing with 345X5 (heaviest yet)

3 sets for Abs/2 sets for Obliques

19 sets for Lats Tried to do pullups (first time in a long time.. never liked them or been good at them.. even as strong as my upper back has gotten in the past) and couldn’t do them so used the pullup machine for a small boost. I really don’t like them but will throw a few sets in here and there.

16 sets for Triceps

Sunday the 1st: Was planning on running 12 – 13 with my fellow St. Louis Ultrarunners at the Flatlanders 6 Hour/12 Hour today but only managed 8. I intentionally ran in my run/racewalk style and (given the horror show conditions of 88 – 93 degrees with 60% humidity) it worked pretty well. I ran for 1/3 mile, walked for a 1/6 mile, ran a 1/3 mile and then walked a 1/6 mile. I did this each mile. It is a good routine I think because the walking doesn’t have that much of an impact on my overall pace because it is only 1/3 walking to 2/3 running (much better than 1/2 and 1/2) and the running is over with quick enough that it never felt too long. I am really happy that I found what I think it the right run/walk combination for the race.

There were two things about this run I wanted to discuss though:

1) I started later at 9:00am. No good reason.. lazy I guess even though I knew it was horrifically hot. It was 87 – 93 degrees and over 60% humidity the whole time. It just felt stupid. I don’t know how else to describe it. Before I go on.. I really want to say that I give tremendous props to the runners that were out there and they were giving it their best and that is awesome! Seriously I salute them. But I really questioned (and do now) why I was out there running. There was nothing fun about it. I was just suffering and I didn’t really feel like I needed it. A wonderful quote from a few years ago was.. a runner was interviewed at a 100 miler (Western States or Leadville.. I forget) and he was asked why the runners were doing what they were doing.. running in hard conditions crazy distances… and his response was “Everyone out here is either running from or running to something”. It was a brilliant observation and to me it meant that we do this because of some need… we need the suffering for some reason. To help with something. I really believe that.. that all of us (and especially marathoners and ultrarunners) are filling some need by putting so much time, effort and suffering into their training.. I really wondered when I was out there (and do now) if I still have that same need. I don’t know… I really don’t. I am sure I will write about this more fully in another post but.. I just felt like I was wasting a perfectly good Sunday morningย  and in turn (by running in horrible heat) ruined most of a perfectly good Sunday afternoon on a Holiday weekend. It does kind of feel that way.. that I really would have enjoyed doing something else today. I just didn’t feel like I was accomplishing much of anything.

The worst part of today’s run (and this week) though is that (somehow…) I got hurt again. My plantar on my right foot (the same one that I hurt early in the summer during my Track Series) really flared up at the end. I sort of limped back to the car and can’t lever up on it much at the moment. It felt “off” after Friday’s run, but it got better and felt ok this morning when I started. I have no idea why this is the case and why this happened.. and am obviously hoping that it heals itself quickly and I can continue to train. But it’s interesting.. at the same time.. I don’t know.. I don’t know how much I really care. I don’t know… I mean there is nothing that I can do about it except try and work on it. I definitely find it annoying though because it hurts and because I really want to do that 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb next Sunday. I really want to do that. I hope I can. We will see.

Best of luck in your training,

Chris

4 thoughts on “Across the Years Training Week 7 Recap

  1. Becky@TrailsandUltras

    Well this post was a bit close to the bone. We’re either running from or to something…just reading that makes my brain feel like its trying to veer away to think about other things instead. There is something about the isolation and physical hardship of ultra training that forms a defensive barrier against real life. The problem is, like any addict, you need more and more of it in order for it to keep working. So the challenges and the training become more extreme. I have no idea how this story ends. Hopefully in a happy place filled with rainbows, sunshine and puppies ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    1. Chris M Post author

      What a great comment Becky. So well put.
      I really do believe that each one of us has to be doing this for a “reason” and not just “lose weight, get in better shape” etc.
      I think any serious and dedicated athlete (not just a runner and not even just an endurance athlete) wakes up as early as we do, gives up the time required to train, accepts the exhaustion etc. for some need.
      Yeah it’s something that isn’t written about much.

      Thanks so much for the honest comment.

      Chris

      Reply
  2. Anna

    Wow! Great post – so many upcoming events, I am impressed! Have never done a 24 hour race but maybe that is something I need to build up to. Good luck with your training!

    Reply
    1. Chris M Post author

      Thanks Anna!
      Yeah my training involves a lot of different types of work. I like it that way.. keeps it interesting.
      Will also be interesting to see if it works ๐Ÿ™‚
      Tomorrow’s stair climb is going to be an adventure but I feel priviledged to be a part of it!
      You will know when you are are ready to move to a new distance.. sometimes you just kind of feel like you have to.. for some reason.

      Reply

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