Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Transition: Ski to Run

Since July 1st, I've tried to be a runner.  Several months ago, I signed up for the Speedgoat 50k, which occurs on July 30th.  At the end of last year's Speedgoat I vowed that I would be back and better.  By July 1st of this year, not having really focused on running yet, but motivated to keep my promise to myself (at least to run Speedgoat again; have some major doubts about being better though), I began a mini training cycle.

Between April and July, I have done a few runs and hikes and one marathon.  On top of that, I have done several longish days (7-8 hrs) in the mountains, probably every 10 days or so, mostly in ski boots.  Fitness-wise, that has given me a base.  And I'm encouraged that my body is acclimated to those longish efforts.  But what about running-wise? 

Since July 1, 2011, my training is summarized as follows:

10 runs
95 miles (mostly in the mountains on technical trails)
26,000 vertical gain

That small block of training has been fruitful.  By Saturday (7/16), I was toast.  On that day, Andy Dorais, Tanner and I ran from Wasatch Blvd. to the Canyons resort, which ended up being just shy of 23 miles and 7500 vertical.  We started off with Grandeur (3k vert in 2 miles), went off the other side, hit the Pipeline, ran up the Millcreek Freeway to Big Water, up the Great Western trail to the divide, and down to Canyons resort.  On the ups, I had nothing.  That was due in part to the 15 miles I did the day before.  I could barely hike, and Andy and Tanner had to wait for me.  But I was encouraged to know that I'd get some good over-distance and over-compensation as a result, so I plugged along.  Surprisingly, the downhills felt ok, and my feet (which have been a limiting factor since I started running last year) felt relatively good.  

From now until Speedgoat, I'll continue my training.  I won't do a full taper because I really haven't done a full build.  And I think I'm resigned to the fact that Speedgoat will just be a training event for things to come later in the year.  Still, I'm looking forward to it.  And I'm looking forward to employing a pacing strategy.  

Question for experienced ultra runners or endurance specialists:  In a 50k or 6 hour (more like 7+ for me) event, do you make a conscious effort to keep your efforts under threshold?  Or are you willing to pin it on the up and hope to recover in other places?


Jake said...

I think in pretty much any distance over a half mile, you are going to have your best result off even splits or a negative split. For speedgoat, I think that would mean holding back a bit on the climbs in the first half of the course and making sure you don't completely trash your quads on the downs. You want to feel like you have something in the tank for the last 10-15 miles. If you do, you'll roll down a lot of people!

BK said...

Definitely keep it under threshold most of the race, especially if you think you're a bit under-trained. Looks like speedgoat has a downhill finish, so you can make up a lot of time bombing down to the finish if your quads are still intact. That's generally worth more time than you'll gain from racing up the final climb.

Christian said...

Sound advice from Jake and BK. One thing I would add is the heat factor, especially up around 9 to 10k feet. The heat will add a few BPM to your HR, just depending on how "heat" trained you are. Salt and water are super important, make sure you're on top of them as you start the climb out of the Pacific Mine aid.
Good luck and see you out there.

Luke said...

Jared- the advice given previous is very good. To have a good tactical race in any ultra you should run sub threshold until at least half way. The first half pay very good attention to fuel and electrolyte consumption, more than you "need". For Speedgoat in particular the race doesn't really start until the mid point aid station. When you turn to run back up the backside of snowbird build momentum like a locomotive, slowly at first but building until you are a run-away train on the final descent. If you have fueled well on the first half you should be able to ride on fumes when your stomach goes south from the harder effort. Heat management at Speedgoat is key, wear a hat do you can fill it with snow and dip it in creeks, it will be a HUGE help. Good luck and race hard!

Jared said...

Thanks for chiming in. You guys amaze me. I'm going to run sub-threshold, which means, I'm not going to be running much of the first 8 miles. Last year, I tried to run those miles and tried to hang with the likes of Luke, and as a result I was well over threshold and well over-cooked by mile 20.

Luke, last year, would you say you and Nick/Schilling were sub threshold the first 8 miles -- to the top of the Tram?

KPRTS said...

I wasn't sure you would be coming back again this year. Glad to hear it, if you get slow enough, maybe I'll see you. If your interested their is a fun run this Saturday(23rd) starting at Jeremy ranch at 6:00am where the East Canyon road turns to dirt. Its about 26 miles, you climb to the top of Little mountain, run around in the ankle breaker rocks and do some good decents. It may be a good indicator for how hard you should be pushing in the speed goat. Its free, has some type of support, I'm just not sure how much. See you at the Goat.


KPRTS said...

Here is the link: