Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Back To Training--Winter is Here! Or Almost Here! Getting Ready For Snowshoe Season

We have had some snow showers in the last few weeks after the Mendon Ponds 50k race.  Ashlee and myself are excited for Thanksgiving and the Holidays!

Beautiful view of Cortland!!!

The training has started to ramp up this week right before Thanksgiving. I am back to running strong and fast and have been putting in the miles and hills. For the week I am on pace to finish in the low to mid 80's, the perfect amount of work for me.  We had our first snow in Cortland, NY! The pictures above highlight the snow-crusted streets and the beginning of winter.  I love this time of year once all the racing is done and I can just get back out to going on fun adventure runs, just enjoying the scenery.  It is interesting, I never thought Cortland, NY out of all places would grow on me the way that it has.  I love SUNY Cortland, my classes and professors, I love the seasons here and the ability to run for the most part car free is always a wonderful thing. I love sharing these moments with Ashlee and our cats: Nollie and Libby. It has been a wonderful year with tons of growth in all aspects.
From a running stand-point, I have reached new levels I never thought I could. I gave the 50 mile distance a shot and love it. It is now my marquee distance. I ran 4 solid ultras this year with 3 course records and a 9th place finish at the Cayuga Trails 50. I am optimistic about next year and I look forward to sharing more adventures with everyone out there. 

School is winding down and it is almost holiday season which I love every year.  There is just something about this time of year that just gives you this energy and excitement. I know for some they cannot stand the holidays but let me tell you that this time of year is unique and we should in fact embrace the end of another year.  Fall into Winter offers a transition a slumber of sorts.  We are given holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukah and Kwanza and all these modes of celebration. We have New Years and holiday spirit.  I always look at this time of year as our time of reflection. We have lived through another year and our struggles have made us stronger and our victories have been sweet and savor those moments and move on forward to the next series of goals.


I am now going to focus on base training. I would like to get in the hills, the trails, the cold runs that build character for a race. I would like to experience life, through my own eyes.  It is about getting back to basics, about getting back to your roots.  I hope to run some great trail runs and training efforts to rest the body and begin to build fitness until snowshoe season rolls around in January. For speed I like to integrate my 12 mile run half at a standard 6:40-7 minute pace and then follow-up that with 40 minutes of 30 second surges then 30 seconds at a fast but relaxed pace. I often run this workout running 5:20-5:35 minute mile averages. A run like this gives me that stress of speed I desire for a longer race without sprinting or doing interval track workouts which I am not a big fan of. I also enjoy doing hill sprints usually on a loop course I make often I like to head out to the Cortland High School Cross Country Course in the woods and practice some repeats.
Rest this time of year is key. With all the racing I have done this year, I always believe in having fun with running and do not worry about the specifics of the training. If you feel good one day then go for it otherwise do not worry about it.  I always have a tendency this time of year to run my best or at least feel the best so that once Spring rolls around, I am ready to run smart and fast.  For all those reading this out there my best advice for training is to learn what works best for yourself. Always keep in mind these aspects:

*Race Specific Training
*Long Runs Build Endurance, Short Runs Build Speed
*Rest is just as IMPORTANT as training

I find that when I train based on a particular race, it helps prepare myself for the event. I always keep my base mileage significant 70-90 miles a week but add different target running to simulate race conditions. Maybe Race-pace running or running similar elevation profiles help the body and you learn what effort is needed come race day.
I also think that incorporating long runs to build endurance and some odd-paced or different paced running is key to test the body in different aspects. Having some speed not only makes you kick at the end of a race but you can also have a little better flexibility and leg extension which can help aid in running faster.
Rest is key. I say that because so many of us take this concept for granted. With my career getting off the ground the common pressure is to race at a lot of events at max-capacity. I have a system of 4 key races a year.  I focus a 50 miler for each season of the year. This gives me enough races to prove myself and proper rest and training blocks in-between events. If I feel antsy, I enter into a fun road 5k,10k or Half Marathon to mix it up a little and to test myself in a different running system.  I think this allows for us to grow in new ways. I do not agree with racing every weekend. Pick and chose your battles. For me, I know that a road race will not place me in the red but if I were to do too much maybe after a tough 50 miler than I would be dramatically altering my recovery.  This winter, I snowshoe run to mix it up and to stay competitive in the winter time. It is not only a great workout but because snow is soft, those with impact issues do great in snowshoe running because fresh powder is softer than even grass. I highly suggest looking into snowshoe running. If you are curious about it you can always message me. I would love to give you more information.  Happy Holidays Everyone and be Safe!

Here is also a great link about the Can-Lake 50 race performance from October! I hope you enjoy the read:

Running with Daven in the Early Miles Around Mile 10
Finishing The Can-Lake 50 in 5:47:23!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment