With Spring arriving, I have had a few pretty cool happenings. I think I have successfully recovered from the South Carolina 24 Hour (SC24)—and thankfully dodged a bullet in terms of the Achilles issues that came up on that day. I have been able to train pretty much without a hitch for the past week. Post SC24, I participated in the FASTER Study, and I have done some last-minute preparations for the Mad City 100k.
The FASTER Study is a research study being put on primarily by Dr. Jeff Volek and his team of graduate students (some are on the cusp of becoming doctors themselves) at the University of Connecticut. It compares the metabolic pathways of elite ultra marathon runners who follow a high-carb diet and those with a low-carb diet. Preliminary data is showing that there is, indeed, a big difference! What struck me was the incredible attention to detail Volek and his team are taking in the methodology, particularly with respect to eliminating outliers in the data. The full results of the study should be coming out this summer, but my personal results will be available much sooner; I promise to share. But, even this early, we can safely say that what you eat does matter, especially in the ultra distances. This has given me some validation in that I can attribute much of how I feel and my performance over the past year or so to nutrition.
In other news, the Mad City 100k is coming up in a week and a half. Although my training doesn't have me peaking for this event, I do hope to be able to run a very competitive race. I currently have a slot on the US 100k Team, but it is my 100k split from Desert Solstice, so I don't have a lot of confidence that it will stand. At Mad City, I hope to at least lower my current 100k PR and possibly secure a more assured spot on the US 100k Team. My primary preparation for Mad City since SC24 has been a handful of longer efforts (up to 3 hours), and some high-intensity speed sessions (400s and below). I wanted to keep the speedwork simple, so as to not forestall the recovery process, while still doing enough to maintain my pre-SC24 fitness. It's a balancing act—but one of the more fun aspects of racing ultras.