I went in to Boulder yesterday to redeem a gift certificate to the Boulder Running Company that I had won at a race. All the shiny and fancy $100-$190 (WTF?) running shoes
I also stopped by (the main reason I went to Boulder) Rocky Mountain Anglers to freshen up my supply of flies for our 10 day camping trip that starts tomorrow. Really nice shop with excellent staff. I ended up hanging out for a while chatting with another customer and the guy working. I learned a ton. I've been needing a fly case but they all cost too much so I made my own. I finally found a use for my old college track All-American medals... or the cases really. I threw the medals back in to the shoe box.
I learned a ton from training simultaneously for the Mt Evans Ascent run and the Silver Rush bike/ run (where I DNF'd which according to some people on the interwebs makes me a pussy and is unacceptable. I'm sure a "real" mountain runner would have finished the bike and then finished the run) and the Leadville 100 bike. I placed 4th at Evans only a minute or three behind 2 Olympians and I had averaged maybe 40 miles a week of running in the months leading up to that race. Very sparse on the long runs. I may have placed better had I run more but the focus was on the 100 bike and it showed me that running mileage, for ME at this point in my too long running 'career' (see previous comment regarding my homemade fly cases) has a point of diminishing returns. ~50 mile weeks seem to be my sweet spot in terms of adaptation. I always liken mileage to weight lifting. The best power lifters in the world only do squat sessions 1-2 times per week. A lot of endurance athletes tend to believe that rest is bad and that pushing constantly is how you get fit... but that's incorrect to a point. Rest is what allows for adaptation. Try this- put ~60 pounds on a squat bar and start doing squats, don't stop. Just keep doing squats with out rest. Do you get stronger as you go? Nope. You go to failure. Now come back the next day and do it again. And the next day. And the next. Count the number of reps you can do each day and I'll bet that number very steadily declines as fatigue increases. That's a silly comparison but more definitive in regards to measuring performance than just flogging oneself with miles. With running, when you get super fatigued, you can still step out the door and do more but it may not actually make you more fit. Its the Law of Diminishing Returns... it's a law. And too often I've been sucked in to the numbers game and my performance declined... and notice I said performance? Performance is rarely measured in just sheer volume and most often is associated with the speed of that volume. At the end of your squat week yes you did more squats than the power lifter... but he's squatting a half ton more than you. It's important to look at the numbers that matter. The 100 mile week number is the worst ever too. I think runners tend to look at what elites are doing and think that's what they should be doing. Elites usually don't work full time plus they were probably running 100 mile weeks in high school and they most likely picked the right parents. High mileage is of course one key to running success but once you've done months of it in a given year or over the years then adaptation has occurred. Doing the same thing over and over and over, once again, diminishes the returns... move on and work your weakness. It's the change in stress that brings about new adaptation. Now I'm just digressing.
Anyway... with Leadman I have to run a (sub 4:00:)) marathon while preparing to mountain bike 50 miles soon after. The build up to the marathon and bike will be planned out 100% Canova style with a liquid transition between training intensities based only on how quickly I adapt. For the 100 bike and 100 run; that will be a mix of what I have done for both before. Long runs of ~30 miles on Wednesday and/or Thursday followed by a long bike (with moderate intensity) on Saturday. Monday will be a hard tempo run followed by a hard tempo bike. All other days will be zeros or very easy and short recovery efforts. Looking back at the past Leadman results the 100 run is where you win it. I think I can go under 19:00. If the next fastest guy runs 24:00 (the Leadman record holder ran 24:10) then that's 5+ hours he'll need on me going in to that race. For sure the focus for Leadman will be the 100 run. I also get to start the 100 bike in the first corral which will allow me to ride reasonably fast but not pressured and I plan to take the bike quite easy, of course if I ride a single speed there is no such thing, and if I lose an hour or even two to someone then that's fine.
And of course anything can happen, this years Silver Rush for me proved that. UTMB for Team America (f**k yeah!!!) last week proved that. The first goal of course has to be to finish. It's a long ways off to be thinking so much about this (though I realize it's too late)... time to camp and fish with my boys!