January 2, 2013

Holiday Training Camp

I was off work for 11 days over the holidays... the longest stretch of not sitting at a desk since hiking the JMT in 2010. Since I was spending 10 of those 11 days in Arizona, I intended to take full advantage of the perfect weather and get in a microcycle of really solid training - quality workouts and higher mileage. Over the first 3 weeks of December I started to phase in a variety of tempo runs (8-10 miles, both progressive and steady), along with some interval workouts (25 x 400m, 6 x Mile... the basics), and several 20+ mile long runs. The goal during those weeks was to prepare myself to be ready to handle a much more intense period over the holidays. Here is my complete December Training Log.

During the 11 day "holiday training camp" here's what I did...

Dec 22
AM - 14.5 mi. LT Reps: 3-2-1 miles. Splits - 15:03 (5:02, 5:01, 5:00), 10:06 (5:04, 5:02), 4:55
PM -  8 miles
Dec 23
AM - 18 miles w/ last 4 in 5:21, 5:18, 5:13, 5:03
PM -  5 miles
Dec 24
AM - 14 miles
PM -  5 miles
Dec 25
AM - 16 miles. 10 Mile AT Progressive Tempo in 53:06 (5:19/mi avg). Splits - 5:33, 5:26, 5:25, 5:21, 5:20, 5:19, 5:17, 5:13, 5:10, 5:02.
PM -  8 miles
Dec 26
AM - 17 miles w/ last 4 in 5:19, 5:17, 5:10, 5:04
PM -  9 miles
Dec 27
AM - 12.5 miles
PM -  11 milesw/ 20 x 200m in 33.4 seconds
Dec 28
AM - 12.5 miles
PM -  8 miles
Dec 29
AM - 15 miles. LT Reps: 10 x 3/4 Mile in 3:41.2 average (4:55/mile pace). Splits - 3:45, 3:45, 3:45, 3:38, 3:42, 3:39, 3:41, 3:41, 3:40, 3:35
PM -  7 miles
Dec 30
AM - 15 miles
PM -  8 miles
Dec 31
AM - 15 miles. 10K LT Tempo in 30:52 (4:58/mi avg). Splits - 5:00, 5:02, 5:04, 4:58, 4:55, 4:55, 0:58.
PM -  7 miles
Jan 1
AM - 20 miles
PM -  8 miles

Now, that's a lot more mileage (253 miles in 11 days) and intensity than I usually put into such a short time frame. But, I didn't have anything else going on - I was sleeping / resting a lot, running on soft surfaces as much as possible, etc. I ran by feel (as always) and my body responded well.

I didn't post this to brag about one good week of running. Frankly, no one cares about that, myself included. I'm in this for the bigger picture, and I thought this would be a good lead-in to a couple different blog posts...

How do you put the puzzle pieces together in a training plan? Most people know the elements they need to include in their training, but putting them together in a haphazard fashion will not yield fantastic results in most cases. Rarely is a really good marathon run by accident. I always have a plan... I work w/ 8-14 week blocks of time... and while the individual pieces are very much fluid, I try to piece them together in a way that makes sense. This is how my first block of training in this marathon cycle ended up...

I'll post more on this topic - how I build training plans - in a future post.

But the next thing I want to address is a question someone asked me a few days ago, after seeing what I did in the 11 days captured at the beginning of this post...

How have you trained your body to recover and bounce back so quickly from each session?

So that's the question I'll address first in my next blog post... at first I wasn't sure of my response because I don't do anything "special"... but then I started jotting some notes on my iPad while flying back to SLC, and before you knew it, I had a pretty good list of things I do to recover quickly... I just don't think of them because they've become automatic for me.


  1. Man, that's a solid block of training. Once you start getting adapted to that type of stress, you'll really be flying. Keep it up!

  2. I am excited to read these upcoming posts.