Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Training Log: November 7 to November 13

Sunday:  2.5 hrs, 10 miles, 4200 ft.  Easy.  Ran Grandeur Loop.

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 2 hrs, 3200 ft.  60 min of threshold; easy rest of the time.  Skied at Snowbird with Bart, Tom, and Quinn.  Fat skis (95 at waist, yeah), broke trail.

Wednesday: 1:15, 7.5 miles, 1000 ft.  Easy.  Foothill run.

Thursday: Intended to do interval session, but the alarm went off and I pulled the covers over my head.  Worried about making a sinus infection worse.

Friday: 1.5 hrs, 2950 ft, 8x4 intervals at my hill on Alta.  Was slower than last week.  Max HR 181.

Saturday: 4.5 hrs, 5750 ft.  3x20 subthreshold to threshold.  Easy the rest of the time.  Burned a lap up Hidden Peak at Snowbird, then met Brother Aaron, Billy D., Jeremy, and Walt for some action in Cardiff and off the Black Knob.  

Total: 11.75 hrs, 17,100 vertical.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Feet and Trail Shoes: And the Winner is . . .

A few months ago, I posted about "My Feet and Trail Shoes" and it has been the most-viewed post on this blog.  Weird.  Weird because I would think things like the WURLOS or Uintas Traverse or Skimo would be more interesting, but no; it's my ugly feet and their promiscuity with trail shoes.  In my previous post, I hadn't yet formed any solid conclusions, but now, after a solid 6 months of trail running, I have.  Here they are:

1. Minimalist Shoes Hurt My Feet.  There isn't a universally accepted definition of minimalist shoes, but I consider shoes with little to no arch support, minimal cushion, and a very low heel to toe drop to be minimalist, i.e. Five Fingers, New Balance MT 100, Inov8 Talon 212.  I like the lightness and nimbleness of these shoes.  Unfortunately, after 35 years of bondage, my feet are not strong enough to run in them all the time, on any terrain, for long distances.  Most of the summer, the my feet were bruised, my arches hurt and ached a lot.  I thought I had plantar facsciitis.  I probably ate an unhealthy dose of Ibuprofen to mitigate.

But I continued to run in wimpy flimsy shoes.  I ran the Wasatch Steeplechase, the Jupiter Steeplechase, and the Speedgoat in Inov8s.  I did it because I thought it was cool and that they made me faster.  I did it because they helped me adjust my running technique.  And because of the latter, the price in pain and discomfort was worth it, well worth it.  In hindsight, however, I probably could have also used some more supportive shoes to ease the pain and discomfort.

2. Trail Shoes Must be Sized Big and Not Tied Too Tight.  Many people have told me this, but I guess I didn't know that trail shoes need to be THAT big and THAT loose.  After I finished the Jupiter Steeplechase, I couldn't walk for a week and had to take an additional 2 weeks off before I could run normally again.  Why?  Because my shoes were tied too tight and my shoes were too small.  I thought that the key to preventing blisters and toe bang was to tighten the laces down.  I was wrong.  For me, the key is to have what I consider a very loose fit.

3. And the Winner is? My favorite most comfy shoe that I have run in thus far, and continue to run in, and will continue to run in for awhile (I ordered 3 pair), is the Montrail Rockridge.

Initially, I was skeptical.  In fact, I returned a pair before I actually bought one for keeps.  It's not a sexy shoe like the Crosslite.  There isn't anything uniquely special about it like the Hokas.  The heel to toe drop is a bit high at 10mm.  They look quite ordinary.  Yet, after a short break-in period, my feet are quite happy in these shoes.  They are amply cushioned, have a bit of arch support, and allow me to run down the rocky and rough Wasatch trails with more confidence and comfort than I do in other shoes.  My only complaints with these shoes are durability (the soles wear out fast) and the laces are too short.

I will continue to run in minimalist shoes every once in a while in order to refine technique and because it is the cool thing to do.  But the Rockridge is my go to shoe for now.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Training Log: October 31 to November 6

Sunday: Nothing.

Monday: 2.5 hrs, 60 min threshold, 4000 feet, Alta -- up to Baldy shoulder, down, top, main chute.

Tuesday: 1:50, easy 2400 feet, Alta, Baldy main with brother Jordan

Wednesday: 1 hr, easy run

Thursday: 1:30, 6 x 4ish intervals, 24 min of VO2, 2600 feet, Alta

Friday: 1 hr, easy run, 500 feet

Saturday: 5 hrs 10 min, easy, 7200 feet, went for a long walk and found and skied this:

From November 6. 2010

Great day to be out. Didn't see anyone. Recrystallized pow and November Corn!?!?

Total: 13 hrs, 16,700 vert feet

One of the keys to training -- so I've been told -- is going slow enough so that you can go fast when you have to. This week I focused on getting a lot of low intensity/level 1 time in so that I could get the most out of my high intensity workouts. More often than not, when interval day comes around, I'm too tired and too fatigued to get a quality workout. And doing intervals in this state certainly doesn't make me faster and probably makes me slower. Part of the problem is that I have limited time and when I'm out training, I want to make the most of it. Another part of the problem is that I get impatient and don't like to go slow. But what I have come to learn is that "making the most" of training doesn't always mean pummeling myself all of the time. "Making the most" of training means pummeling myself on the days I'm supposed to do that, and on the other days, training in a way that allows me to pummel myself on the days I'm supposed to do that, i.e., go easy.

It's tough to put this principle in practice, but I'm going with it. "You've got to trust your training." -- Billy D.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Training Log: October 24 to October 30 -- SNOW!!

I was able to get the first on-snow training of the year this week. It went down (and up) something like this:

Sunday: Nothing.

Monday: 2500 vert, 2 hrs, 45 minutes threshold, rest of the time easy/whatever. Went up the gut of Baldy Main Chute and back down with Bart and Andy. Rock skis -- BD Havocs with Dynafit toe pieces only. :)

Tuesday: 2500 vert, 1.5 hrs, 10 minutes of VO2, 15 minutes at threshold, rest of the time easy/whatever. Baldy Main again with Andy. Rock skis -- BD Havocs again (and still not enough time to remount heelpiece).

Wednesday: 3000 vert, 2.5 hrs, easy peasy. Baldy Main and shoulder with Billy and Jeremy, and as always, they gave me some valuable training advice. Manaslus. Jeremy made a little video:

Thursday: nuthin -- stomach flu

Friday: 3000 vert, 2 hrs, 30 minutes threshold, rest easy. Baldy Main and up to Collins.First day on race skis.

Saturday: 5 mile run around neighborhood, easy. Brother Sam's wedding.

Total: About 11k vert and 9 hrs.

I consider this somewhat of a transition week. I think the mountain running has helped, but skiing is certainly a different motion. Of note is the strain it puts on the hip flexors, inner groin, and lower back. Oh, and the DH? Ouch. Looking forward to getting faster on skis.