Across the Years Training Weeks 14 Recap

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 14

Significant progress in the running department as this was the first week in I don’t know how long that I ran 4 times during the week. Good feeling and important at this point in my training. Expecting to keep that up.

So a few different things that I wanted to share (in no particular order 🙂 ):

  • Marcona Almonds are such amazing food! I don’t write very much about specific foods, but I am a huge believer in healthy fats and almonds are a great source but Marcona almonds just taste unbelievable (different and better than regular almonds in my opinion)! And are a healthy snack that I find myself grabbing for two to three times a day. The best deal I have found by far is this little jug at Costco


  • I ran without my Garmin (unintentionally) on Friday morning and I remembered that I don’t really like doing that. I get the whole “running for running’s sake” and being free of technology etc. I do get that idea, but I am training for something pretty serious and I want each run that I have left (and I don’t really have that many) to count and be specific type of runs. The best way that I know of to accomplish that is to know how I am running as I am doing it. Plus the convenience of having the data automatically download when I return home is another huge plus. It didn’t really bother me that much during the run, but reminded me that it isn’t the way I want to do many of my runs from here on out. Oh and by the way, have you seen the specs and reviews on the upcoming Garmin 620? It looks seriously amazing! I love my 610 and I am really in awe of some of the added features of the 620.
  • I did decline bench presses with an Olympic bar this week and could just feel that it wasn’t a great thing for my right shoulder (which I am getting worked on). No injury or anything but could just tell that it wasn’t a stable position for my humerus. My chiropractor confirmed this to be the case. Your shoulders are being impinged when locked in that position with a straight bar when benching. It isn’t that I will never do them again, but it will probably only be every 6 weeks or so. Of all of the lifts, the bench was one of my weakest anyway so I am really not concerned. My pecs seem to respond to whatever movement I do so I will continue to work in other movements. Always like dumbbell bench presses so that is good. That extra rotation that you are able to do by turning your hands in does relieve a lot of pressure on the shoulder capsule.
  • I think I already wrote about this once, but I have to get a second and bigger pair of shoes for this race. They will simply be a half size bigger Minimus Road Zero’s (my go to shoe) but I feel like there is no way that I will not want/need them late into the race as my foot swells. In a way it is kind of annoying to buy a $100 pair of shoes for one race, but I plan on doing other ultras in the future and since I won’t probably run in them otherwise I won’t ever have to buy another bigger pair maybe ever. I haven’t written this before.. but I am also going to buy a pair of the best “Huarache” type running sandals out there.. the Xero Shoes. My feet will definitely be able to breathe in them as there is no “shoe” to constrict them, to they may feel very good late in the race. Of course I will run in them a few good times before the race to make sure all is good and will let you know my thoughts.
  • I need to really start thinking about my race day nutrition because it will be crucial to my success. I will think about it and detail it here in the coming weeks (will most likely have an entire post devoted to it) but I wanted you all to read an article written by Pam Smith “How the West(ern) was Won” It is a brilliant article on what she did before the race and during to pull off the fantastic accomplishment of winning the Western States 100 Miler (the Boston of Ultramarathons) when going in she wasn’t even considered in the top 10 women to be able to do it! The thought and attention she gave to her training, nutrition, race day and so forth is brilliant! I will be taking some of her learnings and advice and applying it and will let you know. Her thoughts on combining different carbohydrate sources with protein is spot on in my opinion. I think I may be bringing (and of course trying in training beforehand) Chain’d Out from ALRI It is a phenomenal source of Branch Chained Amino Acids and I am a huge fan of ALRI. Some friends of mine use it religiously during their workouts and swear by it. I bought two bottles and they will be here tomorrow, so I will of course let you know. Damn her article is a great and important read for any ultrarunner or aspiring runner in general. Enjoy.
  • I would also like to point you to a race recap by a fellow St. Louis Ultrarunner Group (SLUGs) member Eric Buckley. He is a very accomplished Semi-Pro cyclist and ultrarunner who is much stronger and faster than I, but details in his recent race report on the Heartland 100 Miler in Kansas how even elites can have very tough races and what he and we can learn from it. It is a great and honest race report detailing issues encountered and thoughts during and after a man trying to win a 100 mile race. A must read in my opinion.
  • I can tell when I run that my upper legs, hips and glutes generally feel great and strong but my calves are working hard. They haven’t been worked in the gym and I am pretty sure they will be the weak link at the race. I feel like it is too close to the race to try and start working them in the gym (and potentially get hurt again) and I need to figure out (after the race) if there is a good way to train calves in the gym and run. I will simply train them hard 4 days a week on the road. I am not worried about it but they need to get stronger on the road.
  • I decided that I am going to be stopping all leg work in the gym exactly 4 weeks out from the race and all upper body work (or so to say all gym work entirely) 3 – 4 weeks out. It will finally give my body a chance to work to fully recover and heal and be strong as possible come race day (where I can hopefully utilize this newly gained strength). I hesitate on if it will be 3 or 4 weeks on my upper body because I know how hard it is going to be to give it up for that long
  • I have finally found a waist hydration belt that I am comfortable with. I have written in the past that I can’t use handheld bottles (as great of an idea as they are and in some ways I envy those that are comfortable with them) mostly because it just throws of my arm swing and I always notice it there.. just isn’t comfortable or relaxed. I have used different waist belts (like Ultimate Direction) in the past and have had success with them, but always was kind of annoyed by how they bounced on my waist and eventually (as the race went on) got uncomfortable and even sort of bit into my skin. Well I was turned on to Fitletic (originally when I bought the belt without the water bottles it was called iFitness) by a local Triathlon shop. The salesperson swore that she literally could not run with any other belt.. and I understood that.. there have been races where I have literally thrown my belt off it got so annoying. So I thought it was worth a try. So comfortable that I literally don’t know they are there when running and they also have a few ingenious little pockets in them etc. Big fan basically…. except for two relatively significant issues:

1) The bottles stay really well in the pouches and don’t move around at all which is a positive in making them difficult to notice that they are there… but that stay put so well that they can be pretty hard to get out. And it can be a bit annoying to be honest. I found the best approach is to just turn the belt toward your front a bit and pull them out. I will work on finding better approaches and let you know. It most definitely is a small issue because I barely notice that the belt is there! 🙂

2) ** Update 10/21/13 Getting in contact with them has been resolved and in kind fashion. I am hoping I can work with them to be able to sponsor a giveaway. I am a big fan of their products! Will let you know.


The 12 Oz. Hydration belt


and the Neoprene Single Pouch with Race Number Holder (first time I have used one and what a great idea!) and add on Water Bottle.

  • Oh and just a side note… I am way behind on my Whisky reviews! I really need to get on that this week, because I can’t finish a bottle without reviewing it 🙂 and there are some phenomenal reviews coming!!
  • Oh and did I happen to mention I am going to be having a Halloween Birthday giveaway!!

So onto last week:

Monday the 14th: 6 miles run/walk averaging 11:03 pace. Good pace overall for walking 1/3 of a mile each mile. Too fast for the race itself but solid training.

Tuesday the 15th: Got to the gym really late that morning and was only able to get in 5 sets of very high rep trap bar deadlifts (although I was happy with them as a total of 90 reps and ended with 350X8)

Then 10 sets of again very high rep (continuing the theme of backing off of the heavier weight and lower reps for a while.. I think I am probably good after this week with throttling down the weight and will start heavy again next week) cable rows.. almost 200 reps. It felt good and it definitely had an impact.

I didn’t get to triceps, meant to get to them later in the week but didn’t. It is what it is. I will hit them hard this coming week,

Wednesday the 16th: 5.25 miles run/walk averaging 11:14 pace overall

Thursday the 17th: 6 sets on the 45 degree Precor Leg Press ending with 630X4 and 650X1 (my heaviest yet by a decent margin and I was happy with it)

16 sets for Chest with my main movement being decline barbell presses (as I described above I am becoming pretty convinced that Olympic bar bench pressing isn’t the best thing for my right shoulder and I am fine with that. Bench has never been my best lift anyway)

10 sets for Traps supersetting on the Hammer Strength Trap Shrug machine (my heaviest yet on these at 540 utilizing the entire sleeve on both sides plus putting a 45 on each handle)

6 sets of barbell and weight plate wrist curls

Friday the 18th: ~5 miles of pure running. I somehow got out to the trail completely forgetting my Garmin but know the trail so well that I know that I was quite close to 5 miles (probably a bit over). No idea of my pace exactly but felt like 9:45 or so overall. Was nice to do some straight running without walking. I ran without walking this time because I didn’t want to be late for my chiropractor’s appointment.

Saturday the 19th: Went in at 6:30pm because I had too much to do in the morning, but I got in a solid workout. It was a bit strange how few people were there (my grunts seemed to carry a lot farther 🙂 )

I didn’t do my usual glutes/lunge work because my left glute was sore again for some reason. It might have been from the leg presses earlier in the week. Still doesn’t feel like an issue but it did feel like I should back off.

I did 5 sets of abs/obliques all being hanging front or side leg raises… those never are not hard but they are so productive.

18 sets for delts (really am starting to like using the pec deck machine for doing rear delt work.. just feels really good and can really focus on the rear delt)

4 sets for biceps… I just wanted to get a bit of blood into them and not work them hard because of the Graston on my brachialis the day before

3 sets of Captains of Crush Grippers for reps (hitting 29 reps for my right and 22 on my left with the Trainer which is my best since I started back up a couple of months ago)

Sunday the 20th: 8.1 mile on the road using run/walk. 11:29 pace overall and I was really happy about it! One thing that I did find is that my running got faster as the miles went on and the walking got slower. This is fine for training here and there, but isn’t a good approach at the race and I need to be more disciplined (slower running and faster walking). I will probably have some training runs like this and that is ok, but I also have to train closer to how I will race on race day. So that is it for this week, but I got in 24 miles of running this week and that is great! Looking forward to getting into the 30’s and then 40’s (and possibly a few weeks of 50’s… that is a lot running 4 days a week).

Best of luck in your training,