Sunday, March 16, 2014

So I am now less than one week away from attempting my self-supported 40 mile bike ride (on cycling trainer) and 40 mile run on March 22nd to celebrate my 40th birthday (on 3/23).  Why I originally decided to do this is in the link.

In 2013 I dealt with injuries.  I ran some of my fastest times ever, but I got injured twice.  So was I going to be stubborn again in 2014 and continue to run in a stupid manner?  No.  If I ran faster and faster, I was going to continue to get injured, so why be dumb about it?

Late in 2013, I added cycling to my life and I enjoyed it.  I then learned and applied the Phil Maffetone running/training method

So how did the training go?  Pretty good.

Perfect?  No.  I still think I may not have run enough long days outside.  I also still believe I could have cycled more.  However, I did what I could according to my life style and new training methods.  I will trust that my preparation will get me through the event.

How did I stay injury free?  
To me, it was going to be a big accomplishment to just get through the training schedule and come out injury free based on what occurred in 2013.  I met that mini-goal.  Now the mental game of getting ready for the event begins.  Here are various reasons on how I think I had one of my successful training plans ever.
  • Phil Maffetone Training = This is aerobic zone and heart rate based training.  Ever since August until early March I hardly ever allowed my heart rate to go over 141 in cycling and running.  This put a lot less stress on my body and allowed to gradually increase my miles.
  • Left the Ego at the Door = Forgot about speed.  I will be lucky if I average 12 min pace during my event.  (Note = I was running 7:50-8 min paces last year.)
  • 10% Rule = For most weeks I never increased my total weekly miles by 10%.
  • Podcasts = Listened and learned from the experts about endurance training.
  • Google+ People = You know who you are...John, Rob, Scott and others, thanks for sharing your knowledge. Without you guys, I would have jumped ship from MAF training.
  • Hoka One One Shoes = I switched over to them late in 2013 and they feel great.
  • Cycling = I know the cross training was a big help, even if I had hard cycling sessions, it made me mentally and physically stronger in new ways.
  • Daily Yoga = Around February I started implementing 10 minute yoga sessions everyday.  Huge help for flexibility, core and overall recovery.
  • Weekly Weightlifting  = Around the same time as yoga, I dedicated myself to 2-3 lifting sessions per week to continue to work on strength.
  • Nutrition = My overall food intake was better.  A lot less unnecessary carbs. Veggie, fruit and supplement smoothies after each hard workout.
  • Monitoring Resting Heart Rate = I started doing this early March.  This was a good indicator to determine if my body needed more rest.
  • Massages = I had one massage per month.  It was great flushing out some tightness.
  • Rolling Out = I typically use a PVC Pipe to roll out my legs before every run.
  • Highest Weekly Miles Ever = I maxed out at 50 miles in one week.  I had two weeks over 40 miles and a few over 30 miles.  I had never trained like that even during my marathon training days.  It was all done injury free along with many miles of cycling.  I ran 183 miles in February and 170 miles in January...injury free.  How?  See above. :-)
  • Numerous Bricks = These are runs you do after cycling.  You learn to run with tired legs.  Most weeks I did 3-4 short ones.

What went wrong?
In any training plan, everything does not go perfect so this is what went wrong for me.
  • Very Bad Winter = I could not of picked any worse of a winter to be training for my longest running event.  It was cold, icy, snowy, etc.  So 90% of my runs were done on my treadmill.
  • Speed Never Came Around = I focused on HR training and I was expecting my pace to get better and closer to 10 min per mile by now.  It just never came around.  My event will now take a long time due to this.
  • Sleep = It got better in 2014, but still far away from averaging close to 8 hours.  
  • Sick = Last week I got sick.  It was an important week for speed training but at the same time it the tapering had begun.  However I had to shut it down because my body did not want to workout.  So I go into this event with very little speed sessions.
  • Nutrition For Event = I know what I will be doing, but I don't think I practiced this enough.
Goals for the event?  There is only one...Get it done.  It will be slow, it will be long, but I must find a way to get it done.

Running 40 miles for your 40th birthday is not unusual.  Most ultra runners do "birthday miles" every year.  However, by adding 40 cycling miles to the beginning is a bit unique.  My legs will be tired going into the run.

Since this will be my longest running event ever, it will be a challenge.  Am I scared a bit?  Sure.  But that is exactly the way I want it.  I love having the butterfly feeling.  I love to know that this will be my most difficult physically and mental endurance event I have ever been involved and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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  1. Awesome challenge ahead for you Fred! I know you have worked hard for this. You'll do great!! Great details here in the post- respect.

    1. Thanks Raina, I really appreciate it!