Monday, February 18, 2013

By The Numbers: Part 3

This is Part 2 of a three part series taking a closer look at my training numbers leading up to my four previous Vermont 100 finishes.
To read Part 1, please click HERE.
To read Part 2, please click HERE.

So here it is, one last look at four different years of Vermont 100 Training. I consider myself lucky to have finished all four of the Vermont 100 I have started. I'm even more grateful that three of those runs were in under 24 hours.  2007 - 23:19 | 2008 - 23:37 | 2009 23:27 | 2010: 28:58

So what's been the point of this series? That's a really good question. I wanted to point a few things out and really encourage all of you to track your progress through the years. The data you collect can actually be put to good use.

1.) Track your training
Yes, I have almost 11,000 Miles worth of running tracked in an Excel Spreadsheet. This doesn't include 2004 and 2005, which were my first two years of running all together. But the tracking I have done includes the years I regularly started running Ultras as a way of life.

I've been able to look back on those truly successful years and can account for my success based on the type of training I did. I can also truthfully and honestly answer those questions in regards to the last two years of DNF's. You know, we spend far too much time trying to come up with reasons why we didn't finish a race. Some call them excuses. For awhile, I came up with stories, now I recognize them as excuses. 

We DNF for few reasons.
1.) Lack of adequate training and/or preparation
2.) We didn't want it bad enough.
Some folks will add, "just not having any fun." This is an excuse.. not a reason. The excuse is, not having fun. The reason is.. "WHY.. are you not having any fun?" I bet you can find that answer relates very closely to number 1 or 2 above.

2.) Set reasonable goals
Because I've had this opportunity to really look back at my most successful years of ultra-running, I am now more capable of creating a training plan for this year that closely resembles those successful season. This is important as I have set out to not only run my 5th Vermont 100. But to run it in sub-24 hours AND set a personal best time. I need to train accordingly, or my goal is not a reasonable one. 

3.) Hold yourself accountable
There is no easier way to hold yourself accountable than to recognize and understand what works and what doesn't work. To act upon that knowledge and plan accordingly. Look... I'm going to be brutally honest here. I've never (knock on wood) been injured as an ultra runner. I really am proud of that fact. I've remained injury free through high miles and low miles.. and no miles. I know what runner burn-out feels like and looks like. I've run with plenty of runners who run with no rhyme or reason. Their miles are seemingly arbitrary. They crash and burn more often with high miles than those with low or no miles. Tracking your progress over time allows you to refine your training plan to help you, not hurt you. 

With all of this in mind.. I have created a training plan for the 2013 Vermont 100 that I think is the best of the best and will best prepare me for sub-24 hours at the event. For awhile, I've been thinking about running that sub 24 hours and pray for sub 23. Recently, I've been eyeing sub-20 hours and I am confident that it's doable providing my training stays on track. It's more than miles. It's diet. It's time in the gym. It's listening to your body and remember that it's ok to back off and rest a bit if you need to. To ride a bike, just keep your legs moving with no impact. WHATEVER IT TAKES.

Look familiar??
Above is my training plan heading into this years Vermont 100. It includes miles all ready run in October-January and planned miles for the months to come. April will be closer to 200 than it indicates.. one weekend is blank due to Niwot's Challenge. Unsure how much I'll run that weekend in training. This training plan is the perfect reflection of 2007, 2008 and 2009 plus the extra I feel I need to do in order to make it happen.

Events Leading Up:
11.25.13: Boulder Brass Knuckle FA
12.15.13: "S" is for Santa 50K FA
1.6.13: Southside 50K FA
1.26.13: Frozen Front Range Marathon FA
2.9.13: Frozen Dead Guy 50K FA
2.23.13: Twin Mountain Trudge 22mi
3.16.13: High Line Canal 100K FA
4.6.13: Rockin' K Trail Runs 50mi
5.18.13: Grand Canyon R2R2R
6.1.13: Golden Gate Dirty 30
6.29.13: North Fork 50K

2013: Vermont 100 - ??:??