Back to the Basics

Hunter Cote recharging for a night hike off Franconia Ridge.

After a summer full of experimental training, it's time to reset and start looking at what went right / wrong with my running this summer. First, the goal was to set myself up for the VT100 and that meant hop on a 100 mile plan averaging 50-70 miles per week running on similar terrain (hilly dirt roads) and add in a little bit of biking. 

The result was fairly low volume plus some nagging tendonitis and almost zero time in the mountains. With some time to reflect on this training block, there were a lot of things I never realized about my previous years of training. The first is that my cardio suffered. Without mixing in all the extracurricular activities (mountain biking, hiking, and swimming) I didn't have the base to build off of. The second issue was coming out of ski season my arch / run muscles were weak and prone to injury - HIKING FIXES THIS. It's amazing how I overlooked the benefits of hiking but it puts your heart rate over 100bpm for hours at a time, elevating your aerobic capacity across the board. It also strengthens key muscles that are critical for running ultra distances and high volume. The last thing is recovery. Clearly I need plenty of recovery before jumping in other events. 

Where to go from here. The plan is to adopt a nordic skier style training program focused on a few different phases - base / threshold, base / race tempo - speed, race season / recovery. All this will be guided with heart rate to ensure the level of effort is in the wheelhouse I'm training for. 

The most important thing is to get back into the mountains and be consistent with my running. I have a few really interesting projects lined up for the fall but I need to scrape together some last minute training to make it happen. Looking forward to sharing the journey as I continue to learn from all this data I'm collecting.

Monday: 1 hour recovery ride. Stiff after Ragged, right knee tight but biking definitely felt good.
Tuesday: AM 3 miles, PM 3.5 miles. Last week of Whitaker Woods fun run. Knee not happy with running but kept it very easy.
Wednesday: Bike - 1hr 45mins. Keeping it super easy.
Thursday: Hike up to Lafayette (3.8 miles / 3.5k). Heavy pack.
Friday: Hike out (1hr 40mins).
Saturday: Bike: 1hr 45mins.
Sunday: Run on the Beast of the East course with Hilary & Squall (12 miles / 3 hrs)

Total: Run/Hike 7hrs 30 mins, Ride 4hrs 24min