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A great book, new goals (Read 850 times)

    I just finished reading Dean Karnazes book - Ultramarathon man and wow, I'm pumped. I have set some pretty steep goals after the read, wanted to know if anyone else is doing what I plan to do. My first goal - Run every day for at least 365 days, keeping the minimum amount to 2 miles. My second goal - run a marthon for every month for at least one year, or until my body and mind say otherwise. I have run one marathon so far, and will start this new goal in March after I run the Shamrock marathon in Va. Beach. Any advice or constructive criticism is appreciated.
      Hi, Jesse. Looking back through your log, it seems like there are spots in it where you're taking a couple of weeks+ off at a shot, here and there. Injured? Starting/stopping running? Just not logging what you're doing? If it's either of the first two, it sounds like a perfect recipie for disaster... ie, getting injured and/or quitting running permanently because your goals were unreasonable for where you were at. All-or-nothing mentatlity gets a lot of people, not just newbies. That said, I have to tell you I've not read the book. I think I'd like to. Is he advocating training every single day in that thing, though? Most people need rest days in order to recover from the damage they're doing to their bodies during training. (Note: I can think of one person on this board who tries to run every day... but even he ends up taking days off due to real life.)

      Roads were made for journeys...

        While practically every running help book and article advocates rest days, there are people who seem to manage great without any. A 72 year old man who ran across USA in 124 days straight being only one example. I would say go for it but observe how your body reacts to all that effort. Then, a couple of miles on your "rest" days will not kill you, right? Smile I for one am very impressed with such goals since it is so hard for me to motivate myself. Good luck!
        I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
          Great book! Not everybody liked it: the usual complaint is that Karnazes seems a little full of himself. And I suppose that's fair - although I'm not sure how you write about your running exploits without sounding like you're boasting a bit. I thought the book was worth it just for his description of running his first Western States 100. Ever since I read it, earning my own WS belt buckle has been the ultimate future goal. Every step I take is partly because of that book; can't wait to run that thing! (And that scene with the projective vomiting in the company car after his first 50-milers was pretty awesome, too! Shocked ) (By the way, in case you didn't notice, we've got at least a couple ultra runners around here - JLynnBob and Purdey - and Lynn's getting ready to (hopefully) do the WS 100. So if you need advice on long, stupid, crazy things - they're a good resource!) As to your 365 days of running and 12 marathons in a year thing - well, you already know what kind of criticism you're going to hear, right? Wink But before I offer my $1.82 worth of opinion, a couple questions: * What is your goal/purpose for the 365 days of running idea? What's the primary objective? Is it to do it just to say that you did it? Or is the main goal to be the best runner you can be a year from today? * Same question for the marathon-a-month idea: is it for the challenge itself? Or is your main goal to maximize your marathon training? What's more important - the 12 marathons ... or the fastest PR in the marathon? * Since you remind me of me (sorry - no offense Wink) and I'm a charter member of the "all or nothing" club, here's the question I gotta ask: if you try the 365 days of running thing, what will you do if you miss a day? How will that impact your training, your motivation, etc? Ditto with the marathons - what will you do/feel if you miss one of your 12 in a row? * How fast/hard do you plan on running each marathon? * How hard/far do you plan on doing the daily runs? And what exactly is the purpose of the 2-mile minimum? Personally, my advice would vary wildly depending on how you answer the above. Bonus question: Ever seen the Costner golf movie "Tin Cup?" (If you've seen it - and liked it - you probably already know why I'm asking)
          E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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            Jake has some good questions.
            * What is your goal/purpose for the 365 days of running idea? What's the primary objective? Is it to do it just to say that you did it? Or is the main goal to be the best runner you can be a year from today?
            If the goal is to be the best runner you can a year from today, then I would recommend some "down" time--meaning days where you don't run at all. Even the elites have days where they don't run. Your body will need some recovery time. If it is to say you did it, well, then, good luck!
            * Same question for the marathon-a-month idea: is it for the challenge itself? Or is your main goal to maximize your marathon training? What's more important - the 12 marathons ... or the fastest PR in the marathon?
            If it is for the challenge of one/month--certainly doable. Many have and are doing that. If it is to run the fastest marathon you can--you won't do it running one per month. That is not to say you can't or won't run it fast--it just won't be the fastest you can run it. But then, maybe that's a goal for later.
            * Since you remind me of me (sorry - no offense Wink) and I'm a charter member of the "all or nothing" club, here's the question I gotta ask: if you try the 365 days of running thing, what will you do if you miss a day? How will that impact your training, your motivation, etc? Ditto with the marathons - what will you do/feel if you miss one of your 12 in a row?
            This is an excellent question. Hate to have run 335 days straight (or 90, for that matter) and then, for some reason, miss a day. What do you do at that point? Start over from day one? Risk further complications by running through an injury?
            * How fast/hard do you plan on running each marathon?
            This is a key question to the marathon-a-month. If you plan on "racing" each one, it could very well stress your goal. If you just plan on "running" each one, then one/month is not that difficult. You treat each marathon as a/the long run before the next one, and do a reverse taper.
            * How hard/far do you plan on doing the daily runs? And what exactly is the purpose of the 2-mile minimum?
            I believe I understand the rationale behind the 2-mile minimum. How hard/far, though, needs to be planned out. It may change as time goes by, of course, but you still need some scaffolding on which to build your long-term plan.
            Personally, my advice would vary wildly depending on how you answer the above.
            And wildly entertaining, I'm sure... Big grin
            Bonus question: Ever seen the Costner golf movie "Tin Cup?" (If you've seen it - and liked it - you probably already know why I'm asking)
            Man, do I ever know that feeling.
            My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
              Well, Pron8r sure saved me a lot of time! Cool What he said. Exactly. (He probably steals punchlines of jokes, too ... Dead_ Bottom line: if you're doing 365-in-a-row or 12-26.2-in-12 just for the challenge ... have at it. Enjoy. But be ready to accept the fact that some sort of fatigue or stress injury is almost a certainty, and that you may or may not be a much better runner in a year. You might even be worse. You might be so much worse that it derails your running for quite a while. Even if that doesn't happen - If your plan is to become a better runner, there are definitely better ways to do it. Stress + rest = improvement, in every sport. Skip the rest part, and not much improvement happens. I could bench press 3,000 pounds a day for a year, but I wouldn't be much stronger. I might be weaker. That's why lumberjacks don't look like Ah-nold. You know the drill. Then again, the three gents running across the Sahara Desert won't be running marathon PR's soon after - but they WILL be able to say they did it. So if that's your plan, go nuts. Tin Cup didn't win the U.S. open ... and scored something like a 13 on that last par 5. But, man ... that was one helluva last shot ...
              E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                Thanks for the advice, suggestions and questions. To sum it up and to save from copying and pasting each question, my answer is for the hell of it - to say that I can do it. Most folks I know wonder why I would try to run a marathon not alone run everyday for a year. That's what is driving me to keep them guessing. I suppose to even keep me guessing. Conventional wisdom tells you to rest after your long runs, speed work, etc. Then again, I wonder if Karnazes and others would have broke the testosterone threshold had they listened to conventional wisdom. As to the question of racing - trying to get better, my answer is I just want to become able to run long distances. I want to run the Western States in 2008. I want to teach my kids that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to - no matter how crazy at times it sounds. My only marathon I have run, I did so in 3:30. I could have done better, I think, had I not stopped and visited John for a while - you know, the portable John. I'd like to qualify for Boston this March with a run of 3:15, but then the next 11 I just want to finish at a decent pace. As to the question on my training log, I have hopped back and forth from this log to a cool running log I was using. I couldn't decide which log I liked better. Good question, though. I've been fortunate and have only been injured once in the last two years and that was a ankle sprain as a result of basketball. With all that said, does anyone want to join me in my endeavors? I'd love to hear how some of the ultra folks are training.
                  A couple things: First, You might consider being a little careful about comparing yourself to Karnazes. The man is a certifiable freak. Trying to imitate him is like a golfer aiming to be Tiger Woods, or a cyclist imitating Armstrong. If I spent as much time on the driving range as Woods, I'd still suck - I'd just suck while having dislocated shoulders or something. And speaking of Armstrong, it's worth noting that even though Karnazes does his crazy stunts (and tears his body up doing it) ... while he's actually TRAINING for those impossible distance, he trains very, very smart. For his recent 50 marathons in 50 days, he used one of Armstrong's Tour coaches, with the focus reportedly being ADEQUATE RECOVERY. (Which is quite a trick when you've got 20 hours between marathons!) And of course there's that other thing about Karnazes: he's one of those rare freaks who can run 150 mile weeks steadily without injury. You might be one, too; then again, maybe not. My opinion: lose the 365 thing, keep the 12-marathons thing. That's worth doing. Sounds like fun, too. I think you could even do 3 or 4 of them fast, if you used the others as long slow training runs. If I had the time this year, I'd join you. I hope to run 5 or 6 at least anyway. Just be careful. I'd hate to see this derail a real accomplishment like a future Western States. Come to think of it, since you have to qualify for WS, and then you have to manage to get in through the lottery ... you might want to start training for that if you're hoping for 2008. Which reminds me - Lynn, if you're reading this, don't you get your lottery results soon? As in the next couple weeks? (Speaking of certifiable freaks ... Big grin )
                  E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                  You'll ruin your knees!

                    Don(Pron8r) and Eric(JakeKnight) have made an excellent case for "careful" consideration of your goals, to which I can't really add much of value. I will chime in on something that I can speak to first hand. Don't underestimate the impact that persuing your goals may have on those closest to you. You say you want to do these things "to say that I can". Well, your little ones (not sure of ages, but have to assume they are 0-10 years old) already think you are superman and man, I would do whatever I could to keep them thinking that. Keep in mind that may require missing a run to help with coaching soccer or some other top priority! Going after goals like you have outlined can be considered very selfish by those closest to you. Don't think that your passion for non-family stuff won't be misunderstood, interpreted as you are searching for something they are not fulfilling in your life. Please, please keep open the communications with DW, your partner in raising the two little ones. Don't get me wrong, running is an INCREDIBLE activity, but keep it in perspective. You being injured and missing the 94th day may result in some collateral damage, if you let it go unchequed! That said, find ways to make your new passion a family affair! Tykes on bikes riding along with dad are an awesome way to get them out from mom's underfoot and building strong relationships with dad! I'm rambling now, but you aren't going through life alone... Now, best of luck to you as you work through your goals! Maybe I'll see you at Western in 2008. Lynn B Eric/Jake, December 2 is the lottery, results wil be posted by the end of the day. No big deal, if you miss the lotto 3 years in a row, you are automatically in the 4th. If I don't get in 2007, I'll find another great destination race to run in June/July...

                    ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)

                      my answer is for the hell of it - to say that I can do it. Most folks I know wonder why I would try to run a marathon not alone run everyday for a year. That's what is driving me to keep them guessing. I suppose to even keep me guessing. Conventional wisdom tells you to rest after your long runs, speed work, etc. Then again, I wonder if Karnazes and others would have broke the testosterone threshold had they listened to conventional wisdom. As to the question of racing - trying to get better, my answer is I just want to become able to run long distances. I want to run the Western States in 2008. I want to teach my kids that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to - no matter how crazy at times it sounds.
                      I for one aplaud you, especially the part about insipring your kids. I like to take my son with me on some of my long runs. He bikes after me as I run and keeps encouraging me. Sure, you have to watch that you don't injure yourself in the process, so maybe you can have easy, recovery runs after tough workouts. If you vary running surfaces you won't be putting the same type of stress on your legs day after day. Trail running will strengthen you ankles and knees but most of all have fun. I admire your drive and determination and I hope you will keep us posted about your progress. Good luck!
                      I would rather wear out than rust out. - Helen Klein You create your own universe as you go along. - Winston Churchill
                        Eric/Jake, December 2 is the lottery, results wil be posted by the end of the day. No big deal, if you miss the lotto 3 years in a row, you are automatically in the 4th. If I don't get in 2007, I'll find another great destination race to run in June/July...
                        Keep us posted. Because I am *so* getting a keg of a beer and a few rowdy friends and coming to watch.
                        E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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                        gimme some sugar, baby

                          I'll see you at the Shamrock Marathon this march. Did it last year and loved it.
                          George: Runner/Law Student
                          www.gimme-five.com