Monday, November 12, 2007

Resting and Planning

I've been looking forward to this time all season long. Currently I am nursing a nagging hamstring injury, sleeping and eating a ton, and savoring time with my family and time off the trails. In fact, I am looking froward to getting a out of shape, doing some skiing and re-charging the batteries. I know that sounds weird but it's true. There's plenty of time to get in shape. Right now, it's rest...and planning!

In thinking about that, of course, I am focusing on what I need to do to get ready for Western States. As anybody who knows me clearly understands Western States is the focus of my entire season every year going into 2008 I am directing all my energy into an attempt to break 17 hours if conditions allow. With a 17:07 in 2005 and a 17:20 in 2007 I think I can get there. It will just require total focus.

So, my plan is channeled into three areas:

1. Weekly Long runs on Western States type terrain
2. Once a week hill repeats both up and down (on an 800 meter hill with 300 ft of climb)
3. Speedwork in the form of long 1200-1600 meter intervals on track or bike trail.

All other runs will be easy runs on trails between one and three hours.

Assuming I can have a foundation in place by the beginning of February I'd like to follow the following program leading up to the Big Day:

Week 1 - Feb 3 - 15 miles hilly trails, 3x1200, 2xhill
Week 2 - Feb 10 - 17 miles hilly trails, 4x1200, 3xhill
Week 3 - Feb 17 - 20 miles hilly trails, 5x1200, 4xhill
Week 4 - Feb 24 - 18 (Sun) and 12 (Sat) miles hilly trails, 6x1200, 5xhill
Week 5 - Mar 2 - 12 miles flat (Sun), NO SPEED OR HILLS THIS WEEK, Way Too Cool 50K (Sat)
Week 6 - Mar 9 - NO SPEED OR HILLS THIS WEEK - 16 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 7 - Mar 16 - 10 miles flat, 3x1600, Coyote Two Moon Ultra 100 Miler (Sat)
Week 8 - Mar 23 - Recovery week
Week 9 - Mar 30 - 14 miles hilly trails (Sun), 3x1600, 3xhill, 22 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 10 - Apr 6 - 18 miles hilly trails (Sun), 4x1600, 4xhill, 24 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 11 - Apr 13 - 20 miles hilly trails (Sun), 5x1600, 5xhill, 26 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 12 - Apr 20 - 22 miles hilly trails (Sun), 6x1600, 6xhill, 28 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 13 - Apr 27 - 20 miles hilly trails (Sun), Recovery week
Week 14 - May 4 - 52 miles "Ice Cream Sandwich Run" Cal 2 to Swinging Bridge and back , 4x1600, 4 x hill
Week 15 - May 11 - 30 miles hilly trails (Sun), 3x1600, 3xhill, 20 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 16 - May 18 - 14 miles hilly trails (Sun), 4x1600, 4xhill, 38 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 17 - May 25 - 32 miles hilly trails (Sun), 24 miles hilly trails (Mon), Recovery week.
Week 18 - June 1 - 20 miles hilly trails (Sun), 6x1600, 6xhill
Week 19 - June 8 - Western States Training Camp 124 miles in four days:
June 10 - Michigan Bluff to Last Chance and back (24 miles)
June 11 - Foresthill to Last Chance and back (38 miles)
June 12 - Foresthill to Driver's Flat (18 miles)
June 13 - Placer HS to The River and back (44 miles)
Week 20 - June 15 - 2x1600 (Wed), 12 miles hilly trails (Sat)
Week 21 - June 22 - Race week!

It'll be fun to see how it all pans out!



Dr. Marc and Tanya said...

On your weekly long runs, what is your pace like. Race pace?,Easy?, moderate? Or does your mood dictate your pace on long runs?
Maybe we will see you at WS100 my wife is in the lottery.

AJW said...


Thanks for the note. In my 100 Mile training I try to run all my long runs at 100 Mile race pace which for me essentially amounts to 9-10 min per mile depending on terrain. I save the fast stuff for the track and the hill repeats.


Dave - Atlanta Trails said...


Thanks for sharing how you set up your training.

I look forward to see you performing well at WS in 08!


Paul DeWitt said...

Holy crap - I'm tired just looking at your planned schedule! Seriously, looks good and hope you are able to get the sub 17.

My one comment would be on the mile repeats; I think they are great if you as long as you are taking short enough rest (under 1 minute) otherwise it might be helpful to alternate a 4 mile tempo run every other week. If you are running the mile repeats faster than a 1 minute rest allows, you are probably well over your areobic threshold and thus not working the system that is most important for racing at sub-maximal efforts.

AJW said...


Great point. I should probably have said that I do the 1600's at about 5 seconds faster than 5K race pace (for me that is between 85%-90% of Max HR). I usually rest just long enough to get my heart rate back down to 60% of max and then crank it up again (usually 60-90 seconds).

Again, thanks for the feedback.


Paul Charteris said...

Hi Andy

Thanks very much for sharing your training schedule, it provies a great insight. I have a couple of questions:

1. What day if the week do you schedule your hill repeats (I assume you need some recovery time before/after the weeknd long runs)?

2. Your hill repeats and on a relatively short hill. Do you believe there is greater benefit in doing many repeats on a shorter hill than fewer repeats on a longer hill? I seem to remember an interview with scott Jurek and sounded like he did few repeats on a really long hill.

Cheers, Paul

Olga said...

Thanks for sharing, always up for different plans to compare!

AJW said...


Thanks for the questions:

1. I try to do the speedwork on Tues PM and the hill repeats on Thurs PM

2. You're right, the hill is short but the repeats are placed in the middle of a longer 90 min workout on rolling terrain. Essentially, the repeats take up between 20-40 mins in the middle. I save my longer hills for the long runs.


I am a runner. "We are what we repeatedly do" said...

Andy, you make me realize I undertrain badly! I agree with Paul. A tempo run of 30-60 minutes at a steady 1/2 marathon race pace might add a lot to your fitness. You have shown you have incredible strength, recover well, and handle hills and heat well. Maybe all that separates you from the win is some speed sustainability.
Good luck,

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