It is that time of year when everyone begins to review the past year. We spend this time embracing the bright spots and attempting to learn from the mistakes. First I need to thank my family for being apart of this journey, you are my inspiration. Second I want to thank my two sponsors Performance Running Outfitters and VESPA for all of the support and advice you gave me, it is because of you that 2012 was so successful. For me this past year can be summed up with two words “training consistency”. My goal coming into 2012 was to add to my trail ultra distance experience, and do it in an injury free manner. I guessed the best way to accomplish this was to run slower in the beginning and then gradually increase my total running mileage. Now this may seem very elementary but seeing that in 2011 I went directly from 5 mile races to a 50 mile trail race, I figured basic volume training was in order. This past winter was pretty mild so my longer tempo and long runs were all done outside on the trails. This had a 2 fold benefit; first as I was running on trails and not roads I went slower, and second there are always hills on trails. Because I was running slower and up hill, I was staying injury free while adding leg strength. I was able to race almost the entire season without injury.
During 2012 I made a dramatic shift in my diet and race day nutrition strategy. I began to realize the diet I relied on for racing 5k’s and short events was a hindrance in longer events and was not as healthy as I would have liked. With a lot of research as well as trial and error I slowly began to add in more healthy fats to my diet and lower my protein and carb intake. I took this one step further by eliminating gluten from my diet as well. During this process I had the privilege of speaking with Peter Defty of VESPA, and the pleasure of becoming one of their sponsored athletes. VESPA coupled with my changed diet of 60%+ fats, 25% lean protein, and 15% carbs, allowed me to not only race faster with more sustained energy, but also quickened the recovery time I needed after races and hard workouts.
All in all I consider 2012 to be a huge success in terms of racing results, I had 2 top 5 finishes and an age group win in my two 5k’s, an age group win in a trail ½ marathon, a top 15 finish and PR in my first trail 50K, and a 2 hour PR in my second trail 50 miler. Along the way I met many fantastic people who also happen to be great runners. I learned so much from all of them and I eagerly look forward to applying it to my training for 2013!
Speaking of 2013, just like everyone I have begun to review my race schedule for the 1st 6 months. I am going to take a different approach to training this year. In 2012 I was concerned with volume and consistency; I would like to make 2013 the year of speed. I plan on structuring my weekly routine to include many of the following workouts; intervals done on the track or as fartleks (5:00-6:00 depend on distance or time) on the road, race paced runs (6:45-6:50ish), sub race pace tempo runs (6:30-6:45ish), active stretching, and functional strength/plyometric training. The increase in the amount of time I will be running fast will require me to truly take my easy runs easy. Although a new approach for me, this is not revolutionary in terms of training methodology. Two great runners I have had the pleasure of running with or meeting after races have written articles recently regarding their similar approaches to training for 2013 (Zach Bitter & Eric Senseman) while another prolific racer adopts this as his normal training cycle (Ian Sharman).
My current plan is to race a 5k in early spring then a ½ marathon as a longer training run all in preparation for the
50K. Both of the runners I mentioned earlier Zach & Eric, plan on being there as well. Zach is going to take a crack at the 100K championship race, while I am going to do my best to keep Eric in my sights in the 50K. My plan is to then recover by hiking a lot of hills for 3 weeks and take the speed from the 50K into the Ice Age 50 Mile. I am excited to give this new routine a crack. Mad City
2012 Racing Totals
100+ miles raced in a little over 15 hours with a total elevation gain of 10,000+ ft.