Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Leadville Training Part 1: Winter, Spring and a 5K Win

Okay, so I may or may not consistently provide updates on my Leadville training....I guess you'll just have to sit there at your computer every day in giddy anticipation to find out.  But I'll give it a shot, so here goes with part 1.

I "officially" started training for Leadville a couple of weeks ago.  No gun went off, no gong was rung (do you ring a gong?), I just went for a run.  And it was a cold run at that, a balmy 25 degrees with a brisk 25 mph breeze.  Good times.  Of course, three days later I was running Lookout Mtn. on a sunny, 70 degree afternoon.  Such is the end of winter/beginning of spring in South Dakota.

My training plan is pretty much entirely homebrewed, based on random crap I found via Google and my own experience of what has worked for me before.  It's 24 weeks long and split up into six, 4 week cycles.  Within each of those cycles, the first 3 weeks are relatively high mileage (the mileage getting progressively higher with each cycle), and the 4th week is a cutback week.  Every single Monday and Friday are recovery days, just an easy 6ish miles.  Tuesdays and Thursdays are either doubles (with the 2nd run being a 5 mile grind up Lookout) or medium distance trail runs.  Wednesday is speed day, either 800s on the track or 0.2 mile hill repeats on a road outside of Spearfish (those bastards suck).  Saturday and Sunday are long run days.  I started off with 30-35 miles total for those two days and will bump it up in subsequent cycles.  Of course, these days get shuffled sometimes to make room for real life like, for example, when my son has a basketball tournament all day Saturday and I have Friday off, well then Friday becomes my longest run day. You gotta take the miles when you can get em.

In any case, it's working out well so far.  The last two weeks I've logged 75 and 82 miles respectively.  This past weekend I ran 15 on roads on Saturday morning and then a 20 miler on the Centennial on Sunday morning.  My legs still felt good, so I jumped into a local St. Patty's Day 5K on Sunday afternoon and won the damn thing.  It was a small field and it wasn't a blazing fast time (19:39 on a short course), but it still felt good to be able to stretch the legs a bit and still be able to push the pace only hours after a 20 miler. As a bonus, I took home a $25 cash prize, which I think technically makes me a professional runner.  I expect the sponsorship deals to start coming in any second now.

Oh, and I've started doing some core work again for the first time in a long time (we're not talking weeks or months, but years here).  I was pathetically sore after the first ab workout and even more sore after running 800s that afternoon (with a side stitch the whole time), but it's getting easier.  Amazing how hard it is to make myself commit to 15-20 minutes of core work three times a week, but I have no problem getting up at 5 AM on a weekend morning so I can spend 4 hours running in the mountains.  Like a wise man once said, 50% of it is 90% mental.

So, I think I've got the workout routine down pretty well.  Now if only I could add about 5,000 feet of elevation to the Black Hills...