March 2017

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Focus Points for March:

  • Complete max aerobic threshold build with a few progression runs
  • Increase weekly verticle gain to approximately 10,000 ft.

Rational for Approach:

Before I begin the real Western States verticle focused build I want to have a strong aerobic base in place. The first two weeks I focused a few runs on cutting down to mid five minute per mile pace. The second half of the month I wanted to put a bit more structured climbing runs in place. My reasoning for targeting approximately 10,000 feet verticle was because historically I have averaged quite low verticle in my running at around 5,000 feet. The increase to 10,000 feet will narrow the gap for next month where I will be targetting 15,000-20,000 verticle feet.

Behind the Curtain: Meet Daniel Weston

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Daniel is a great candidate for a behind the curtain look at individualized coaching, because he has variables in his daily life that many people juggle. Daniel is a husband, father of two boys, and works Monday through Friday at NFU Mutual in Warwickshire, England.

Daniel and I took some time to talk about his lifestyle, goals, training background, and routine. Like all clients I start with we begin with a questionnaire (see below), so I can get a base level knowledge of what type of program I would like to put in place. This gives me the intel to be prepared for our introduction phone conference.

Next, Daniel and I got on the phone and chatted about some of the specifics to his training.

My initial takeaways about Daniel:

  • He has a substantial history in the sport of running. He has a decade of 4,000 mile years. This places Daniel in a unique postition that will help determine how we apporach his training.
  • He has a well developed aerobic system and the leg strength to support it at the aerobic level. This is clear with his Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) that comes in at approximately 6:05 per mile at a heart rate in the low 140s.
  • His race experience indicates that he is very familiar with speed work, which he has routinely checked through weekend races from 10 km up to 100 km.
  • His commute routine provides the framework for consistancy in his training.

Behind the Curtain: Introduction

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When I decided to start coaching individuals back in 2013 I had no idea whether anyone would trust me with their training and racing. I was excited when I got my first client and was able to dive into the inner workings of someone elses lifestyle, training history, and goals. As more and more people began to reach out to me it became a process of organization; staying on top of everyone's schedule and finding the right platform to collaborate with them.

February 2017

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Focus Points for February:

  • Race and recover Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile (ended up rolling ankle and having to drop out after 37 miles
  • Continue aerboic build for Western States 100
  • Begin some progression efforts at months end.

Rational for Approach:

I ended up getting a bit more structured training in this month, since my ankle roll DNF at Rocky Raccoon healed pretty quick once the swelling went down. Without a full 100 miles in my legs the recovery process from a muscular and mental standpoint was quick. With Western States 100 still months out, I did a lot of heart rate based runs. I aimed to get a good portion of my runs at around 140-155 beats per minute and see my pace within that window drop. As the month unfolded I noticeably felt the efforts become smoother, so on a couple instances when I felt really good I pushed a bit into a progression effort. This training should provide the needed base to interject a few more progression efforts as well as some tempo efforts in March.

January 2017

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Focus Points for January:

  • Continuation of late December base building to prepare for race specific workouts
  • Implement progression and tempo efforts
  • Rest for Rocky Raccoon 100 (early Feburary)

Rational for Approach:

In 2017, my goal races are all 100 miles or further; Rocky Raccoon 100, Western States 100, Javelina 100, and Desert Solstice 100 Mile and 24 Hour Track Invitational. I believe with all endurance events a very robust aerobic base is key. The stronger the aerobic base that is in place the better the response my body has to any course/distance specific workouts I may add in closer to race day.

Javelina Jundred

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Javelina was a mix of spur of the moment and long term desire for me. On one hand, I didn't plan on racing it this year until less than a month before the event. On the other hand, I have wanted to make my way to this event for a couple years now. It has all the beauty of trails, but with loads of runability. On top of that, it is put on by Aravaipa, which, for my money, is one of the best things going in regards to race orgainization in our sport. My misfortune at Cuyamaca 100k (see my race report) left me with no qualifier for Western States Endurance Run (WSER) and little time to secure one. With World 100k Championships scheduled for November 26th I didn't want to flirt with a super hard effort less than four weeks out, but Javelina gave me four weeks and I haven't raced hard since Spring, so I felt confident toeing the line at this year's edition of the party in the desert.

Cuyamaca 100k

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I was looking for a new experience heading into the Cuyamaca 100k, but got one I hadn't bargained for.

With Gobi 100k merely 6 days prior, my main goals were two-fold. For one, I wanted to get a Western States Qualifier on the books. For two, I was curious if I could deliver a poor man's Michael Wardian by competing in two events with little recovery time. Granted, Mike would have given himself hours between races, while I gave myself the luxury of a few days.

I am always fascinated with recovery and how it varies. This race looked to provide some new information on this front, as the quickest I have ever done back-to-back ultras above 50 kilometers in the past had been 13 days.