Saturday, June 30, 2007


Friday- 40 miles- 14:31 100% WALKING!!

That is right boys and girls...this ultraRUNNER did his final prep for the Vermont 100 WALKING. 40 miles on technical trails up and down the Massanutten mountains walking from first light until sunset. Longest break was 5 minutes. It was a Long Long walk.

Why the hell would I do something like this?

Simple: You have to suffer to be able to suffer- David Horton. In order to be able to mentally handle 100 miles and the many hours it is gonna take to cover that distance I really think it is important to get out on your feet and be moving that long. The little things that really suck in a 100; those things that people drop out because of, our have a miserable experience due to are all little things that need to be practiced:

1. Tolerating the ache and pain in your feet for a bizillion steps
2. Toughening the feet to be able to with stand blisters
3. Working the core stabilizer, leg abductor/adductor, butt-hip extensors, hip flexors, ect- all are not prime movers- but are really relied on once you are tired. What better way to train them than with a LONG walk?
4- Getting your stomach and GI used to processing food/water for x- hours
5- Mentally getting used to that "this sucks" logical voice in your head that becomes louder and louder (and harder to ignore) as the hours go by.
6- Training your body to mobilize fat stored in subcutaneous stores and put it into the blood, as well as breaking it down into energy. You need high levels of specific enzymes to make that process an efficient one....and you only can get that by being out an moving for HOURS and hours.

Why not run another long one??? Well, the race is 3 weeks away and I know MY BODY will not recover in time from a long run. And I DO NOT believe any ones quad muscles totally recover from a long run, deep down at the cellular level, in just 3 weeks.

Best advise I ever read was: Don't do any training that you will not fully recover and improve from. Thus I walked and did not run.

Let me tell you it was exactly what I wanted: A suffer fest.

I started at 5:50 AM and headed off walking the Boyer's Furnace course (the race that I direct) The course is a loop around Fort Valley and since it was a loop once I committed, there was no bailout options. I had drizzling rain start about 4 minutes after I began and continue on/off the entire day. Temps stayed cool but being wet and walking through puddles is something I have not experienced in a long time having been in Egypt. Being on technical trails was also new and today I can tell as my peroneal muscles and feet and ankles are all really sore/tired. I also intentionally did not eat very much so I rode a bonky-hungry annoyance feeling all day. (one to promote fat metabolism, but also to get me mentally used to that uncomfortable feeling)

The days biggest suffer factor was carrying a pack. I am a little man (5'7" 133lbs) and not very strong. Thus strapping on a full pack of 20+pounds (with 17lbs of liquid in it to start off) sucked. Even though I drank a pound of water every hour and the pack kept getting lighter, it still sucked. I just kept telling myself it was "good training".

Today is a day off to relax, then tomorrow I hope to bang out my last run over 90minutes in length between now and the big race.


Gregg said...

I love it! Such an interesting spin on the training. I have to say, I never have done an ultra but doing this kind of training sure seems like it should be very beneficial. Keep it up and best wishes on your last few weeks.

Sue J. said...

Welcome home Loomdog!! If you're ever in SoCal, give me a holler.... but not for a couple of weeks (I'm still playin' up here in WA State). =D

Ryan said...

Great post! Sounds like just what the doc ordered. What a great idea and good training walk for VT! Maybe I'll run into you at VT100...take care and enjoy the rest!

Lloyd said...

Nice post.

Reminds me the one significant long walk I did this spring: Pacer duty at MMT. Practically WALKED the last 38 with my runner.

Although not fast, it positioned me well mentally for the 100.

Great training cycle. Good luck.