All About Angela

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bunched Panties

The recounting of how I structure heavier training days during the week was not well received within my local running group....

Immediately upon sharing my post, which was intended to merely provide insight into how one might utilize doubles in order to build a foundation for running ultras, I was accused of being too fixated on mileage and neglecting critical components of ultra training such as terrain + elevation.

I want to be clear. Train for the race that you'll be running. But in my opinion, you don't have to skip a run just because you cannot mimic goal race conditions... for instance, run on technical trails or conquer hill repeats. During the week, it's not feasible to hit the trails.... I just don't have large enough blocks of time or a trail close enough to my doorstep. And I'm sure many are in the same boat....and that's OK. I'm still going to bang out the twelve miles on my plan....And I whole-heartedly believe those miles count....I believe all miles count.....Walking, hiking, running, crawling.....You'll probably be doing a little bit of everything in an ultra.

I would not suggest jumping immediately into doubling 5x's / week..... Nor would I suggest that you should do something just because it works for someone else. There is A LOT of science to back-up how beneficial running doubles can be.

1.) Increases endurance.... I've noticed a HUGE increase in my own..... Running will become so routine that it will start feeling easier and easier. With that, I noticed that I became more efficient (faster pace) even without formal speedwork.

2.)Can be easier on the body.... Because you have a recovery period between runs, there's less wear on the body for the same amount of distance. What makes this even more awesome is the fact that it's been discovered the physiological benefit is the same....Meaning 5 miles twice = 10 miles once.... Your body reaps the same positive training adaptations. Score!

3.)Increased metabolism.....Your body continues to burn calories after your first run AND second run. You will be a lean, mean machine much faster..... Or you just have a larger treat allowance (YES).

4.) You'll be a mental beast..... Doubles can be tough.... It's not all daisies and unicorns. I've skipped second runs in lieu of happy hour more times than I can count. But all those times that I toughed out a run when I just wanted to dive into cheese fries and suck down cheap beer.... those are the runs that really count.... even if you scramble along at a pace that's laughable.... even if "seasoned runners" tell you that the miles are junk.... I'm telling you right now those runs that you hate but endure will help you get through the final miles of an ultra.

Listen, DO YOU. Do what works best for you.

For me, I utilize doubles in order to reach the mileage laid out in my training plan without sacrificing ridiculous amounts of personal time or having to wake up at an ungodly hour. Admittedly, it's rare to touch dirt throughout the week aside from a flat trail that exists 1/2 mile from my office. However, I'm notorious for seeking out brutal road routes with an abundance of hills. Generally, I alternate "higher" mileage days (10+) with lower (< 8).  On lower days, I will stick with one run versus two UNLESS I have a yoga class on tap. On the weekends, I am in the mountains every chance that I get. Even if I'm not running, I'm hiking with the family. Again, ALL MILES COUNT. Ideally, I am running one longer run + one recovery run on the weekend. Once Spring starts, races will replace long training runs. You don't have to run 100 miles / week but it's necessary to build a foundation that will enable one to FINISH an ultra..... Only an elite few can squeak out 20 mile / weeks and still run 100 milers. I'm hovering comfortably in the 50 - 60 mile range.... I imagine that will become 70 - 80 with peak training. I'm an advocate for cross-training.... I'm an avid cyclist in the summer so in the winter, I spend significant time on the bike trainer to keep in shape. Additionally, I've been practicing yoga 2 - 4 hours / week. I don't drive so I walk or bike EVERYWHERE.... Thankfully, I live in a rural town where nothing I need is further than a 1.5 mile jaunt away.

And there you have it.

Take what you want. Leave what you don't.

Now for the best piece of advice that I'll ever give you....

Don't forget to pack that cheap beer to celebrate your summits.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Daily Chronicles of an Angela

I get asked a lot about how I balance "high" mileage during the work week. Here's a glimpse into what I consider a heavy training day..... I want to preface this post by saying that I realize this routine may seem excessive to some. Remember, I'm training for a ONE HUNDRED MILER.... Also, this is not the norm. At the end of this post, I will discuss another way in which I accommodate heavier training days.

I have a super weird morning routine. I actually shower and eat breakfast BEFORE I run.

My alarm is set for 4:45 AM. Being a chronic snoozer, I'm usually up between 5 - 5:30 (the latter today).  I wake up ravenous...I cannot even fathom the fasting method. Every morning, it's the same breakfast of two toasted frozen waffles piled high with almond butter and jam (I give serving sizes the bird).  And these are just old school Eggo Waffles....Sorry, foodies. Along with breakfast, I drink two scoops of Amino Energy; this is the only sports supplement that I take regularly....Not attempting to sell anyone on anything but I've had done well with this - nice boost without a crash.

Let's be clear ....My dog is about 99 percent of the reason that I'm so disciplined about running each morning. When I don't run with him, he punishes me until redemption is earned....He will outright reject my affection even refusing to look at me. And yeah, I love my dog A LOT... How could you not?!?!

Yoshimi is notorious for being a distracted runner....Bushes need marked and squirrels chased...No concern about pace here. Total for this morning was 6.5 miles. Tuesdays + Wednesdays are hectic because I have double runs AND yoga... I change my clothes FOUR times on these days....This makes for A LOT of preparation!
Life is much easier when I stick with clothes that I can easily strip out of and get back into.
Horrible picture but... A simple change of shoes and I'm ready to go for a run. Seriously. Except for the boots + scarf, my entire outfit is activewear (running leggings, fleece vest, tech shirt).
I live just over a mile from my office so I walk to work everyday....Perfect cool-down from a run! Around 10, my stomach begins to rumble without fail. This weekend, I was ambitious and whipped up some energy bars (oats + dates + dried berries + dark chocolate chips)....I inhale one of those and my clients are saved from a hangry monster.
I chow lunch down at my desk during slow periods. During my actual lunch hour, I conquer my second run. Three important things to note if you're wanting to attempt this.... (1) Eat early enough to allow proper digestion to least an hour! (2) Your lunch has to be somewhat on the safe side and (3) Take a later lunch if you've ran earlier so that you're ensuring adequate recovery.
Lunch was rice noodles, scrambled eggs, peppers, broccoli, mandarin orange chk'n
5.4 miles on lunch - It always takes a couple miles to fall into a groove but I LOVE escaping outside in the middle of a workday. I should bring up that I keep a duffel bag in the back room of our office which has essentials such as deodorant and baby wipes....This is mandatory for all lunch time warriors! After a lunch run, I'm a bottomless pit... It's imperative to bring healthy snacks to keep from diving into the candy bowl. Today, I munched on turkey slices with sharp cheddar + a banana.
Immediately after work, I head to the yoga studio down the street for ninety minutes of hot Bikram torture. Usually, I prepare a slow cooker meal for these nights in order to save my husband the burden of dinner. Thankfully, we were stocked with plentiful leftovers. For dinner, I had a GIANT bowl of white rice with leftover salsa verde chicken (not pictured). Dessert was a bowl of Coco Puffs because I have the food desires of a toddler.
Wednesdays are fairly similar in terms of training - double runs + yoga. However, I structure the days differently.  In the morning, I do just a few miles (3-4) immediately followed by the Bikram Express class. Depending upon how I feel, I run another 3 - 5 miles on lunch.....and then I'm done! I'm home at a normal to annoy my husband and hang with the hooligans.