2024 Advanced Training and Racing Thread (still competitive jerks) (Read 271 times)


    Dorathea - solid performance under the conditions! Congrats on the BQ - it's a major milestone regardless of whether it gets you in. I agree it was helpful to deal with your physical issues early in the cycle rather than later; glad you didn't have any major issues with them during the race.


    And yes, marathons are hard. Especially early in one's marathoning career, it's extremely difficult to know what pace to go out at, or what you'll be able to hold. A fade in the later miles is pretty standard fare. (I finally ran my first negative split in marathon #9.) Of course the heat of your race made holding onto the pace even more problematic; no one can run a strong race at those temps.


    I think we've talked about the fact that fueling can be optimized but is not typically a make-it-or-break-it issue. Usually the greater cause of a bonk is trying to outrun your fitness, adjusted for weather conditions. But things could be much worse, even at cooler conditions - Eugene was 48-52F, and this happened:


    A woman from my running group (a ton of them ran it) was just ahead of me nearly the whole race. I could see her but could never catch up, till finally around mile 23-24. I pulled up next to her, and as I passed I said “let’s go, the 3:20 pace group is right behind us!” She turned to me and her face looked like death. I mean, we've all been there, but she looked really bad. I never saw her after the finish; I checked the results the next morning and saw she took a DNF. I messaged a friend of hers (who I know better) and asked what happened. The friend said she passed out around mile 25 and had to be taken to the hospital.  She was apparently severely dehydrated with extremely low glucose levels, and was disoriented when she came to. I have no idea what her fuel/hydration intake was. Fortunately she’s recovering OK. But wow, how scary. Her friend said that seeing me was one of the last things she remembered!





        flavio - I am not as worried about eating; in marathon training I run 60-70mpw, and when not in training I run 50-60mpw. More speed work when in training, but I don't think that has much impact on calories burned. So not much of a gap there, and my body seems to naturally adjust to eating slightly more or less (or sometimes gaining or losing a couple pounds). That said - I am not nearly as analytical as you about nutrition, but I try to maintain a reasonably healthy diet. Mostly focusing on balancing carbs/protein/fruits+vegetables intake, and erring on the side of whole foods rather than anything overly processed. All that is more qualitative than quantitative; I may not be 100% optimizing everything, but I figure I'm doing better than most. Oh and I do often include ice cream at night, so sue me for that.






            Pain is my friend

              The crazy ultra guy is back. I ran the Bonneville Backyard ultra this last weekend. You have 1 hour to run 4.167 miles. If you finish early, you wait for the next hour. If you can't finish your out.


              I didn't end up winning the last man standing backyard ultra. I finished 4 but there is only one winner in this race. I kept it easy but in the end my mind and body said no more. I think I could have gone longer. But I didn't have a crew for most of the race. My wife came for some of the night time. But slept most of the time. The weather was great. Cloudy and cool. There was a good head wind on the way back for most of the race.


              The couse was an out and back with 450 ft vert per yard by a resevoir. Amazying veiws all day long. There was rain clouds all around but it didn't rain on us till yard 21 and then it didn't rain any more. I was about a mile out when the sky opened up and dumped on us. I wasn't ready for the rain. I didn't have my rain jacket with me. The weather man had been saying all day it would rain and it never did. I was drenched and freezing. I finished this lap up fast to get dry cloths. The rain storm had pushed my canopy about a foot and got everything at my aid station wet. I had been eatting a meat lovers pizza all night. It was so good and hit the spot. I got 3/4 of it finished before the storm made it all soggy. It was a depressing monment. My wife helped me find a few dry cloths and get to the start line in time. 

              During the 25th yard, the darkness of my own mind started to get to me. I was sore,tired and slowing. My crew had left and I was left to my own mind. I thought things though. I could keep running and make things worse. I could save myself for another day. The bottom line was, I wasn't having fun anymore and didn't want to suffer anymore. I wanted to win this race. It wan't my day. Maybe next time. I finished up with 26 yards. 108 miles and 10,700 ft vert. The winner ended up doing 31 yards.


              Take aways.


              I did lots of things right. I felt strong and paced each lap well. I ate 200-400 cal an hour and lots of Mountain dew. I finished most of the laps in 50 min and had 10 min to chill. It felt like a lot of time waiting around. Maybe next time walk more and finish some laps in 55 min. I don't know if I was fully recovered from my last 48 hour races. I still had a few niggles and they were magnifed after 25 hours. 100% should have planed to have a crew for the 2nd half or the whole time. My wife came with the pizza in the evening. She had to be funtional the next day. So she couldn't stay up all night. She would help for a few hours and then sleep for 3-4 hours.  A crew can keep your mind on the right track. They can tell you to suck it up and keep going.


              You win some you lose some.

              ATY 24   141.445 2019 1st

              Bear 100 22:08 2021 

              Jackpot 100 Feb 14:59 - 5th


              Pulse endurance 48 hr 175.3 miles

              Bonnevile Backyard ultra 

              Ute 100 Aug

              24 hour loop race?



                Krash - your antics never cease to amaze me. Sorry if it wasn't quite what you were hoping for, but what a phenomenal accomplishment that most of us can't even imagine. I suppose the key strategy is pacing - like any endurance event - but in this case it's whether it's better to run slower or to give yourself longer breaks. How did you decide how to plan for that? Or was it based on previous races in this format that you've done?



                Cobra Commander Keen


                  In another reflection, recently I've thought about how important recovery is in the training block and how there's little information about it as compared to the training part.

                  We know that's important to sleep well and eat well.

                  But whenever people talk about increasing mileage, I never see anybody talking about the huge amount of food you need to reach the calories to sustain that higher mileage. Especially considering the vast majority of that should be good food, lots of protein, good fats, good carbs.

                  Simple back of the hand calculation here: My base is 2500 calories per day, that's how much I spend if I do nothing all day.

                  Training 60 to 70 miles per week, I'm easily spending another 1000 calories on top of that.

                  It's HARD to eat 3500 calories in a day.

                  DUR DUR just eat a pint of ice cream per day!!! Yeah, do that and dive right into diabetes, it will be fun, I promise. Never mind the destruction of your gut biome.

                  I honestly have no idea how CommanderKeen does it, he must have an iron stomach (def. does considering the amount of bacon he eats LOL) and be extremely efficient at extracting the maximum amount of nutrients from food.

                  I honestly think that's why I did better running the marathon at a lower mileage, at that point I was able to eat enough to sustain the training and the body was then able to absorb the training better.

                  If you don't have good nutrition and sleep you're not absorbing training enough, at some point your training is pointless because you're not absorbing much at all.


                  Oh, this man gets it!


                  I'm quite convinced that most "overtraining" and many injuries are actually due to improper fueling/diet. Mostly not enough quality protein (read: from animal sources) to support the building/rebuilding that needs to occur to support a given training load.


                  I have quite a similar calorie burn rate as you - I had mine measured a couple years ago and mine was 2,490 cal/day if I were to just sit around on the couch. It's likely a bit higher now that I've had a solid 6 months of lifting and have put on some muscle. On a day like to day (intervals + weighs + easy double) that puts me at 4,00-4,200 calories for MAINTENANCE. It's absolutely a pain to eat that much, particularly without resorting to junk food. I can feel the hate coming from my wife just for me having typed that last sentence. 


                  My biggest go-to's are a "protein yogurt" (plain, unsweetened, whole milk skyr or greek yogurt with a scoop of whey protein and some plain kefir to help mix it in) for breakfast and a pound of beef for lunch. That kind of lunch is only possible thanks to my parents raising the beef that fills the freezer in the garage. Mostly fruits, sweet potatoes, or white rice for carb sources. DW doesn't really appreciate my calorie needs, though. Some nights (particularly chicken nights, like tonight) I'll end up eating a "snack" after supper just so that I'm not digging myself into a hole with a huge calorie deficit.



                  Krash - Great performance in that race, even if it wasn't what you wanted. That's a ton of vert for that kind of format.

                  5k: 17:58 11/22 │ 10k: 37:55 9/21 │ HM: 1:23:22 4/22 │ M: 2:56:05 12/22


                  Upcoming Races:


                  November 2  - Crossroads Marathon


                  Pain is my friend

                    This was the 3rd one I have done like this. Pacing was basiclly run the flats easy 10-11 min pace and walk all the hills. A few of the hill you could barly call a hill. I would run this slight grade. Maybe I should have walked them. But it felt so easy even after 80 miles.


                    Most backyard ultras have some vert. Bigs backyard Ultra the national chanpionship race had 475 per loop for the day loops and at night went to a road loop that had 100 ft per loop.


                    Krash - your antics never cease to amaze me. Sorry if it wasn't quite what you were hoping for, but what a phenomenal accomplishment that most of us can't even imagine. I suppose the key strategy is pacing - like any endurance event - but in this case it's whether it's better to run slower or to give yourself longer breaks. How did you decide how to plan for that? Or was it based on previous races in this format that you've done?

                    ATY 24   141.445 2019 1st

                    Bear 100 22:08 2021 

                    Jackpot 100 Feb 14:59 - 5th


                    Pulse endurance 48 hr 175.3 miles

                    Bonnevile Backyard ultra 

                    Ute 100 Aug

                    24 hour loop race?



                      Eugene Marathon Race Report


                      Executive Summary:

                      My 23rd marathon, finished at 3:18:52

                      Not quite what I was hoping for, but about what I should have expected, and a pretty good day.



                      I ran Eugene in 2018, but I went in injured and ended up running it just to finish. But I liked the race - fairly flat course, well-organized and good crowd support for a race its size (~1500 finishers). So I had hoped to run it again under better circumstances. I've had a pretty good run of marathoning over the last couple years. Fall 2022 I ran Chicago in 3:17:48 for a 4.5 min PR with a negative split; fall 2023 I ran Cascade Express, a downhill race, in 3:14:03 for another big PR and negative split. I targeted Eugene this spring thinking I had a chance of another PR - I knew the downhill gave me some benefit, but it was also a warm day, and based on the negative split I thought I could be more aggressive.


                      I finished 2023 very strong. In addition to the marathon PR in September, I had set a half PR in July (on the same downhill course), and in December I ran both 5k and 10k PRs (on flat courses). There's a local organization that keeps track of all age 50+ runners across WA state, and posts top 10 times at each of the 4 main distances for each age group. Then anyone who finishes in the top 10 for the year in all 4 distances is crowned a "Super Athlete." I made it on that list, one of one of only 10 people who did in 2023. I was feeling pretty good about my chances at Eugene.



                      Unfortunately the running gods usually have a way of putting you in your place. Right around the time to start my usual 12-week training cycle, I started to feel some hip pain. At first I ran through it, but ultimately I gave up and took a week off. I started back up and it wasn't completely gone, but it seemed manageable. However over the following weeks, I never really quite felt 100%, and all my paces were slower than they had been. I decided to just keep pushing through it, as one does. At some point I also had another of my trademark lower back pain flareups; I can't even exactly remember when, but it wasn't quite bad enough to take any time off. Things eventually did seem to gradually improve, and I had a half I had been planning that was 7 weeks out from the marathon. I ran the half in 1:31:32 with a negative split; I was happy with that performance (it was a non-downhill PR), and it gave me renewed optimism that I had a shot at PR at Eugene.


                      Training continued to go generally OK, but I was pretty inconsistent in being able to hit my target workout paces. So my mood was kind of up and down. I paced a 3:50 marathon 5 weeks out; some said that was unwise, but I had a 22-miler on the schedule at around that pace anyway, so figured it was close enough. I ran a 10k 3 weeks out. Maybe a strange choice there too, but I just wanted to do the race, and I figured I would soon be tapering anyway. That went about as well as you'd expect; I was definitely feeling peak marathon training fatigue, and started to run out of gas in the last couple miles. Still not bad at 42:13, but I had hoped for a bit better. Winding down the final weeks, my last couple LR/MP workouts actually went pretty well, and in the final week I was feeling nicely tapered and ready to go.


                      The Trip:

                      We headed out on Friday. I love Eugene, it's a cool town and oh btw my son lives there. So of course it was great to see him for the weekend. It's about a 5 hour drive with no traffic, but there's never no traffic, so it's usually at least 6. Sitting in the car is the worst thing for me; I start to feel my hip pain again as well as searing sciatic pain, and I can't seem to make any adjustments to make it go away. Fortunately once I can stand up it's fine, but that trip was no fun. And then I woke up after the first night in the hotel bed with more lower back pain - oh great. It was stiff throughout my 3-mile shakeout, and throughout the day it felt like one wrong move could set it off. Just hold it together, man!


                      Race Morning:

                      Weather was perfect - about 49 at the start, only warming up a few degrees through the race, and 100% overcast. I woke up at 2:30 and could not fall back asleep. Finally gave up around 4:30, got up and had my standard pre-race breakfast of a bagel with single-serving packet of Justin's almond butter + 2 cups of terrible hotel-room coffee. The second night in the hotel bed did not do any more wonders for my back, and I felt like I had to be super-cautious with every move. I was not worried about running 26.2 miles, I was worried about bending over to put my socks on; that's honestly the hardest thing I do every day. My hotel was in a great location, only a few blocks walk to the start/finish. A bunch of people from my running group were doing the race, and we met up for a pre-race photo. I had a banana, hung out and chatted for a while, and took care of bathroom needs. Then it was go time.


                      The Race:

                      I planned to target 7:25 pace for ~3:15, then see how I felt at the halfway point and maybe even pick it up. I would have gone out with the 3:15 pacer, but they only had 3:10 and 3:20. Maybe for the best. I had trouble holding 7:25 at what felt like the right effort; most splits were closer to the high 7:20s, some slipping into the low 7:30s. At the half my average pace was 7:29, which would give me ~3:17. I thought about a backup goal of beating my Chicago time. I tried to bear down a little, and miles 13-17 averaged 7:26.


                      But that was where the good times ended. Around 18 I started struggling mightily to hold pace: 18-22 were 7:35, 7:42, 7:42, 7:52, 7:47. It was a real grind just to hang on to that. And then I heard a stampede behind me - oh shit, I had an idea what that was. I turned my head and saw a pacer, and asked if they were the 3:20 group. He said "yes, do you want to run with us?" I said "no, I want to beat you!" It was good motivation for me; I was determined to stay ahead of them and finish in the 3-teens. I had to push myself just to keep up with them for mile 23 at 7:39, then decided it was time to crank it up and squeeze every last drop I had left in me for the final miles. Miles 24-26 were 7:34, 7:33, 7:29. I was giving everything. There were also some people from my running group spectating, each hitting a few spots the course. I saw two of them in those final miles urging me on, and that was a boost. Then the ultimate boost was the last 200 meters of the race on the track at iconic Hayward field. I managed a 7:13 pace for the final 0.4 on my watch, and crossed the line totally spent and relieved to be done.


                      Finish: 3:18:52

                      M55-59: 7/70

                      Overall: 692/3033 (twice the size as when I last ran it - they actually sold out for the first time ever!)



                      Not quite the time I was looking for, but I'm confident I ran just about the best race I could have. I definitely slowed for a handful of miles, but it was far from a blowup, and I was able to turn it around and finish relatively strong. I later did some research I should have done before the race. I think of this course as being flat, but it's not really - there are some rollers in there. Strava had it at 500 ft of elevation gain, compared to 175 ft I had in Chicago. When I plug my Chicago time into the FindMyMarathon.com race time converter, it tells me I should run Eugene in 3:19:03. Pretty close! So I probably had no business expecting much better. FMM also converts my Chicago time to 3:13 at Cascade; I ran it in 3:14 on a warm day, so that tracks too. Downhill races will screw with your head.


                      Next up:

                      NYCM in the fall! I was especially hoping for a good day at Eugene, because I know NYC is not a fast course. My goal will depend on training/fitness level and weather. I'm totally cool if I end up just jogging it for fun.



                      Hot Weather Complainer

                        Dave - That's a really good last 3 miles considering it sounded like you'd be gone by then.  It definitely sounds like you have the fitness.  I have no idea if you maybe did a bit too much a few weeks out but it's possible.  Still, to finish like that and get that time on that course when you didn't feel great is a really good effort.

                        5km: 18:34 11/23 │ 10km: 39:10 8/23 │ HM: 1:26:48 9/23 │ M: 3:29:54 6/24


                        2024 Races:

                        Motorway Half Marathon February 25, 2024 1:29:55

                        Christchurch Half-Marathon April 21, 2024 1:27:34

                        Selwyn Marathon June 2, 2024 DNF

                        Wellington Marathon June 23, 2024 3:29:54

                        Hagley Park Run July 20, 2024

                        Dunedin Half Marathon September 15, 2024

                        Timaru Ten October 26, 2024


                        Mmmm Bop



                          DK - I doubt nutrition was an issue at your race. I share the same opinion as Mikkey that nutrition is the icing on the cake, it might give you that 1% boost, but it's extremely overrated. Like Dave said, it's fitness versus pacing choice to account the conditions that rules.



                          Great minds think alike. 

                          I always cringe when I read a marathon RR blaming a lack of nutrition/gels etc when it’s ultimately down to bad pacing. Most people have a time goal when they enter a race, but some people won’t make any allowances for bad weather conditions on the day and with the marathon distance that can be disastrous!


                          I’ve run 42 marathons and there have been some that I really didn’t give a fuck about and it was just a fun day out!  The biggest shock result for me ever was running the Thames Meander Marathon in 2016 which is a trail race (partly muddy in sections) out and back by the Thames…I had a late night previously with no regard to nutrition and during the race I only had a couple of swigs of water on the turnaround and went 2:59. I still look back at that race with satisfaction and one of the most memorable. 

                          5k - 17:53 (4/19)   10k - 37:53 (11/18)   Half - 1:23:18 (4/19)   Full - 2:50:43 (4/19)


                            16:22 official. Pretty happy with this - went out a little hot but then found a good rhythm and enough left to gas the final straight. Really cool event, will try and do an RR in the next couple days. 2nd overall Masters male I think, and 1st M40-44.

                            3,000m: 9:07.7 (Nov-21) | 5,000m: 15:39 (Dec-19) | 10,000m: 32:34 (Mar-20)  

                            10km: 33:15 (Sep-19) | HM: 1:09:41 (May-21)* | FM: 2:41:41 (Oct-20)

                            * Net downhill course

                            Last race: Runway5 / National 5k Champs, 16:22, National Masters AG Champ!

                            Up next: Still working on that...

                            "CONSISTENCY IS KING"


                              Dave The part about putting your socks on being the hardest part of your day made me giggle. There's a Louis C.K. bit on that if you haven't heard it. I feel like 5 weeks out is enough time to recover from a run that long if it's at an easy pace. Way to hang on. Sounds like your marathon went the way mine did.


                              Krash What do people do in between yards during a backyard ultra? Obviously hydrate and fuel up but do you ever bother with some quick light stretching? Or sitting? I'm intrigued by the concept of these races but I feel like all the starting and stopping would get old.


                              Mark Nice 5k. I almost always start quick in 5ks. They are hard to pace in my opinion. I really hope I can join you in the 16's soon. Upper 16s for me though.


                              dk Congrats on snagging the BQ. That's exciting you are considering a 100. Keep us posted.



                                Krash What do people do in between yards during a backyard ultra? Obviously hydrate and fuel up but do you ever bother with some quick light stretching? Or sitting? I'm intrigued by the concept of these races but I feel like all the starting and stopping would get old.



                                In the later miles of a long run, whether racing or not, the restart after a 5-10 minute stop would be brutal. I can’t imagine doing that over and over again. I would almost want to time things so the last 5-10 minutes of every hour was just walking.