What’s Next: Finding what works best for me. Training, racing, focus, balance, energy levels, commitment, & competition. Focus on the Marathon! I’m torn between racing more frequently versus, crushing a long training block…

Happy New Year! I’ve enjoyed a few weeks of unstructured training and base building, as well as, strategizing how I’d like my running in 2018 to unfold. I’m carrying a new training perspective into the New Year. Here’s why:

In 2017, I focused solely on running. I logged over 3,000 miles and felt that consistent  running was the best means to achieve my goals. While I achieved those goals early in the year, I lost my edge in the 2nd half of the year, and never quite regained the strength and confidence from earlier.

Following a few visits to Dr. Conley at Total Health Solutions, I’m revitalized by having a clear-cut understanding of why my body has been acting up and what needs to be done to push beyond my current limitations.

The biggest takeaway from my gait analysis and consultation at THS, is that I’ve lost some of my general leg & glute strength. I’ll chalk it up to a higher preference for road running last year, that allowed some stabilizer muscles to go by the wayside. By developing strength in my feet and calves and utilizing my glutes more to power my stride, I’ll correct the crossover gait that detracts forward propulsion and reduce painful hot spots due to imbalance.

“Julia above Inversion” New Years Day / Mt. Morrison.

I’ll touch more on my training plan in a bit, but for the month of January, I’m set on powering through work commutes on the trails, and prioritizing strength and mobility sessions in the gym. My daily and weekly mileage is insignificant. I’ll be tackling the Honeymoon Incline (16th Street) on my trail commutes, rather than the more gradual switchbacks of 18th & 19th Street trails that climb to the top of South Table Mesa. Isn’t climbing 500-ft in a half mile the perfect way to wake up on a Monday morning! When I arrive at the gym at work, I’ll drop my pack, shed a few layers, and grab the dumbells for squats.

I’ve been doing the following circuit, 3 sets of 10 reps each:

  • Squats
  • Pull-ups (max reps per set is 5 right now)
  • Bicycles/deadbugs
  • Lunges
  • Oblique twist
  • Single-leg deadlift

So that’s the strength portion, I’m also fortunate to be able to cover the mobility portion in a few breaks during my work day. I loop a resistance band above my knees and perform 30 thrusts on an exercise ball. Next, I lay on my side and do a variation of clam shell/side plank, as prescribed by THS to address glute activation.

The final piece of my puzzle is stretching. Since I’ve shortened my run commutes, I have more time, once I return home, to shower and stretch before Julia rings the dinner bell. My flow covers the hits of hip openers and leg stretches. The basics includes variations of deep lunge into pigeon, supine twist, & butterfly.

The crew gang climbs at North Table Mesa.

Training Plan: So that’s the day to day. Here is the layout of my training plan for the next 5 months. My goal race is the Wings for Life World Run in Zadar, Croatia on May 6th, 2018!!!

I piece together months of training using a Google Spreadsheet. Last year’s title was Wings for Consistency. I feel like I lived up to that title: no injuries, 3,000+ miles of running, and a lot of easy miles commuting to and from work.

The title for 2018 is Focus on Fierce. This year I want more intensity in my training. I want to make the hard days hard, to get butterflies the night before a workout, and to feel rested and recovered on easy runs. A static capture of my training plan is located here. You’ll notice there’s no weekly mileage expectations, and very few daily mileage goals. The static training plan is a guideline, and I’ll make determinations of distance and intensity based on how my body feels. I hope to fill in the spreadsheet with actual data, so that it can inform next years training.  [Message me if you’d like the editable Google Sheet… you can create your own plan. I’m super happy with the formatting and it’s a breeze shifting workouts around.]

The gist of the training plan is that I’m going to work hard every Thursday morning at PlayGldn. I’m going to work hard on a long run each Saturday. And I’m going to work hard every other Tuesday morning through an interval session. On alternating Tuesdays, I’ll run up Lookout Mountain Road for a moderate effort and continue on to work. Since I usually run twice a day Monday-Friday, this schedule allows three recovery sessions between each hard session. Not being tied to distance goals, I’ll be able to better dictate my recovery sessions (usually commutes) based on how my body feels. I’ll also take Sunday’s completely off. And every fourth week will be EASY with only one fierce session at November Project Denver’s PR Clovers.

Ain’t no sunrise not worth running for.

I’ve also penciled in a few in-training races. I haven’t registered for anything yet, but I reaped the benefit of a racing a half marathon last year. I’m hoping to cash in on my fitness by running a road marathon a month before WFL. I’ve keyed in on the Eisenhower Marathon on April 7th in Abilene, Kansas for a few reasons:

  • The timing is great, a full month out from WFL, I’ll be primed for a fast long run to push my limits. Also, a month is plenty of time to recover and/or regroup should anything go south.
  • It’s within driving distance (6-1/2 hours away), on a Saturday, low frills, low stress, and at lower elevation ~1,300 feet.
  • It’s a two loop course, probably not terrible scenic, which will provide the mental monotony that is key for surviving the WFL brain game.

That’s the plan! A few focused sessions per week where I’ll emphasize the phrase “make the hard days hard”. This is gonna be FIERCE.

Endurance Changes Time,


Make the hard days HARD.

Bilbliography (the stuff I’ve been in to over the last two months):

  • Andrew SkurkaI reviewed all of Andrew’s Boston Marathon training from Strava, which he succinctly sums up here. He was working with David Roche during this training block and crushed BoMar in 2:32.
    • Then I realized I’d rather review training history of another athlete, but not myself. Forcing myself to compile all of my WFL training.
  • Book: The Way of the Runner – Japan
    • Idaten god of running
    • Quigong Practice
    • Marathon Monks of Mt. Hiei

The constant movement for 1,000 days gives you lots of time to think about this, to reflect on your life. It is a type of meditation through movement. That is why you shouldn’t go too fast. It is a time to meditate on life, on how you should live.

Tight calves lead you to stand back on your heels, said Alter, then you tend to lock your knees. That’s not good, because it puts undue pressure on the knee joints. It also tightens your hamstring muscles in the back of your thighs. Then your pelvis swings backward, you start arching your back and lumbar pressure takes over from there.

It’s not good enough to just have a strong engine. You need to have a strong chassis too — mobility, stability and strength.

Javier Gomez maximizes the elastic energy his tendons re-inject into each stride. That’s because muscles burn tons of energy at high running speeds, while the spring-like action of tendons uses considerably less.

The only fitness resolution we need: “On January 1, 2018, there’s going to be a lot of people in need of a cheerleader. Instead, they’re going to be facing the peanut gallery.



One thought on “Periodicals

  1. Pingback: Running Update – No Goal Race, Gait Analysis, and Lumbar Instability | Endurance Changes Time

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