Photo courtesy of Andrew King - D4 Productions

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 6-12

13 days. The big juan can't come soon enough! These next two weeks are brutal: excitement, doubt, anxiety, weight gain, and planning. All going on in the head while trying to maintain some sort of normalcy in the family and work life.

Everyone hates the taper because it's not an exact science. What is known though is that rest is needed to unload fatigue and restore the endocrine system, especially for 100 myles. I've done 4, 3, and two week tapers for 100 mile races. I even entered Wasatch a few years ago with no running at all in 22 days... albeit a injury, not recommended because fitness was definitely lost. Going into all 4 of my races this spring I did not take a taper, hoping to build endurance. Going into WS I will have a proper 3 week taper (65, 45, 20), something like that. While decreasing the volume, the intensity will go up to keep the tension in the key muscles. Hopefully the right ratio to get me to the start line ready to go.

My spring racing has been mediocre at best. I'm OK with that. I approached races differently this year; going in a little cooked and hoping for the best. In years past I would have a proper taper for each race with a 4 week mini cycle between each, creating multiple peaks. This year I've sacrificed races in hopes of making one peak on June 25th. We will see if it works. Take a look at my weekly - monthly mileage up to this point:
83, 80, 69, 85 - 344

83, 80, 74 (race week), 79 - 319

87, 83, 64 (race week), 89 - 351

80, 100 (race week), 90, 103, 73 - 399

82 (race week), 61, 88, 87 - 353

107, 65 - 147

Here is my latest week:
Monday - rare day off
Tuesday - 6 myles Bluffs
Wednesday - 9 myles Backcountry progression run
Thursday - AM 10 myles Bluffs Interval hill work
Friday - 4 myles Grigs

Total - 65 myles, 9 hrs 1 min, 10, 295 ft climbing

One thing to point out, I didn't actually run up Pikes Peak on Saturday but rather on trails around the peak. The route was Longs Ranch Road, Bob's, Barr, Elk Park and back. I firmly believe that the Elk Park trail is one of the finest single track running trails in the nation! It's about 6 myles long (all above 10K) with everything from smooth and flat, rolling hills, one lung busting climb, technical stuff, beauty, and best of all - hardly anyone on it. Next week I'll put up some stats on some killer climbs some of my friends run and compare it to the ones I know. For instance, Sun Valley has Carbo, Ft Collins has the Towers, Boulder has Green, Denver has Mt Falcon (to the shelter), and Colorado Springs has Barr and Longs Ranch Road. To give you a glimpse, Longs Ranch Road is 3.3 myles and 2500ft of gain. I busted a lung yesterday in a time of 35:14 - ouch.

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