Elevation Gain: 15,800' + 5,000' Hiking
Cross-Training: Not really. Does golf count?
I definitely hit my goal this week of ramping up the mileage. My rough goal was to run 80mi this week, but I'm even happier with 75mi of running/hard hiking plus another 23mi of easy hiking. Even if I'm not getting much of an aerobic boost from those easy hiking miles I have to believe the time on feet is beneficial for my Vermont 50 training.
I also got caught up in a low-carb diet plan for most of the week, trying to deprive myself of carbs until the evening with the goal of adapting my body to become a more efficient fat burner while running. I've been hearing/reading a lot about this type of diet from ultra runners who I really respect (Larisa Dannis, Pam Smith, Timothy Olsen) and figured I'd give it a shot, especially if it would have the side benefit of preventing the low-energy feeling I often experience in the afternoons.
The best example of how I planned to adapt was Friday's Great Range run/hike. I had one egg for breakfast and didn't eat anything besides a few handfuls of almonds until Saddleback, over 3hrs into the trip, spending most of the day in a pretty rough, bonk-like state. Even once I fully committed to carbs I remained mostly low-energy, as I was unsuccessfully trying to eat enough to power me through with glycogen stores that were presumably totally depleted. Not until the final descent off Marcy was I able to feel like I had anything in the tank for a good effort. I need to thank David for going with the flow and not caring that I was basically using our hike as a "bonk-run," even though it meant we went slower than he would have liked.
I continued the "diet" through Sunday, eating basically zero carbs until about 6pm, when I binged (pizza, pasta with veggies, french toast) in order to replenish glycogen stores so that I would have energy to run the next day. After reading more on the subject I've concluded that the science isn't really there to say that we can train our body to burn fat more efficiently by depriving it of carbs, and even if it was this time in my training cycle (where I'm doing the most mileage I ever have) wouldn't be a great time to experiment with a low-carb diet. I do feel I've learned more about how my body responds to carbs, and hope to be able to prevent the afternoon bonk by timing my consumption of carbs vs. fat in a more intelligent manner.
Enough of the diet talk--back to running. In addition to the Great Range I had two other significant workouts during the week. Wednesday's tempo run represents my speed work for the week: it's less than I'd normally do at a fast pace, but with Vermont 50 as a goal race I don't need to be running very fast. Hopefully the weekly tempo run will maintain my marathon speed so that I can still have a good race at Mohawk-Hudson. Sunday's run up and down Whiteface with Jeff was a great workout. I went by heart rate, trying to keep it under 160 (my guess at my max aerobic HR) and averaging 156, and we ended up running the ascent just 2.5 minutes slower than my race time from last year when my HR averaged 176. I can't wait to see how the race goes this year!
Monday: ATIS Hike: 20mi, 5,000' vertical gain, 12hrs. Redfield and Cliff at a very easy pace.
Tuesday: 8mi easy trail at Henry's Woods.
Wednesday: 13mi on 9N, with 8mi at tempo (6:30/mi) effort.
Thursday: 8mi on Keene roads.
Friday: 24mi, 9,500' vertical gain, 7:50. Great Range w/ David Mitchell. Steady to hard effort, limited calories.
Saturday: 5mi recovery on Hulls Falls Rd with Josh Gay.
Sunday: 17mi steady up and down Whiteface Auto Rd with Jeff Dengate, 3700' vertical gain. PM: 3mi easy hike w/ Josh, Meg & Finn (Pitchoff Boulders).
Looking Ahead: I hope to ramp the mileage up once again this week. A weekend trip to NH will provide ample opportunity for some long runs (hopefully with Ryan Welts on Sunday), and I'll do at least one long hike and a tempo run during the week. I'll also spend some time trying to find a good compromise between zero-carb days and carb-for-breakfast, bonk-at-4pm days. Fun with nutrition!