First off, I have been sick for the last 10 days (which led to laryngitis for 4 days). I am just getting over this now and combined with my crazy travel schedule as of late, I admit that finding the time to run, swim and strength training (I'm not cycling too much) has been challenging. The illness put a damper on my long runs but my basic goal the past five weeks was to try to hit the pool 2-3 times per week and run 3-4 times per week, even if the runs were short on a hotel treadmill. Doing an ultra is all about time on feet and I'm not new to this type of training regimen. Any opportunity I have to walk around or be on my feet has been beneficial. Thus, all of my presentations and walking endless miles through airports and parking lots have actually been a blessing in disguise!
Let me get to my long runs and provide you the progression that has happened in the last five weeks:
- Week of October 15: long run of 18 miles, felt great, average pace of 8:27 min/mile, 751 vertical feet gained; weekly TSS of 268 (a measure of training stress score that I monitor in Training Peaks)
- Week of October 22: long run of 14 miles, felt great, average pace of 8:15 min/mile, 794 vertical feet gained; weekly TSS of 287
- Week of October 29: Metabolic efficiency testing week; long run consisted of 7 miles during my test; weekly TSS of 108
- Week of November 5: long run split due to time, treadmill runs of 2x8 miles separated by 4 hours, average pace of each 7:38 min/mile; weekly TSS of 87
- Week of November 12: long run of 13 miles, felt great, average pace of 8:15 min/mile, 741 vertical feet gained; weekly TSS of 136
- Week of November 19: long run of 22 miles, felt great, no calories on this run and only 20 ounces of water that took just over 3 hours, average pace of 8:15 min/mile, 1470 vertical feet gained; weekly TSS of 306
It appears that my physical training adaptations are progressing, even in spite of not putting in many miles (or as many as I should with the ultra 7 weeks away!). This further supports the fact that exercise, while a very important part of the metabolic efficiency improvement equation, only accounts for up to 25%. The most robust changes come from altering the nutrition.
This high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate nutrition plan has been nothing short of spectacular for my body and I hope you can see by the distances, vertical feet gained and paces, that my body is adapting from the physical side as well.
Just a small tidbit (because I know I will get asked) about today's 22 mile run:
- 7:30: breakfast of 3 eggs fried in coconut oil, 4 sausage links, 16 ounces of smoothie (pineapple, banana, coconut, coconut milk, half and half, olive oil, chia seed gel, whey protein powder, ice); roughly 35 grams of carbohydrate
- 9:45: pre-run snack of 1 tbsp natural peanut butter with 1 tbsp homemade chocolate coconut butter; roughly 8 grams of carbohydrate
- Long run: 20 ounces of water, no calories, energy level was fine
- Post-long run: not too hungry but dehydrated, had 3 ounces of pineapple juice with water, 10 almonds and iced tea (caffeine free); roughly 8 grams of carbohydrate
Until next time...