Training Macrolog

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This is not the log of each workout I do, but rather a higher level summary of what's happening with my training overall. For a detailed log, I use SportTracks and publish to Dailymile at http://www.dailymile.com/people/JonathanS.

1 April 2017

April has seen a successful recovery from my reinjury, and I was able to gradually increase my mileage over the first couple of weeks. I’m hopeful that my mileage and fitness will continue to increase, and I’m working on shedding some excess body fat, which will make life easier.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
April 2017 216 30 8:24 24 18
March 2017 141 19 8:13 20 19
April 2016 191 29 9:12 25 16
The graph of April's training, using my SportTracks Dailymile Plugin.

As you can see from the image below, my training load has gone up quite significantly during the month. The brown bars are the daily training load (TRIMP), and the pink curve is the weekly training load. Looking at the TSB model of my training, you’ll see my fitness (shown in green) increased only slightly, while the red line indicating fatigue went up quite a bit. This results in an overall drop in my performance shown in the blue line. This matched my Mood State and I’ve felt the fatigue. Of course, the heat and humidity has made things tough here in North Carolina.

To put things in perspective, here's my last 5 years of training.

2 March 2017

The first half of February was going really well. I was lengthening my long runs, and picking up the pace a little, and feeling great. Then half way through the month (14th), I made the mistake of trying to pick up our dog who was recovering from sedation after having his paw looked at (he’s fine now.) I did a deep squat as I went to pick him up, and flexed my knee all the way. This appears to have upset my meniscus again; it was fine that day and the next, but two days later it’d stiffened up and was quite painful. I’ve taken it easy for a few weeks, and it seems to have bounced back quite quickly. I’m going to gradually build up my mileage and see how it goes.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
March 2017 141 19 8:13 20 19
February 2017 181 27 9:05 16 18
March 2016 99 15 8:55 9 15

3 February 2017

I only covered a rather disappointing 180 miles in February. Some of that is because February is a slightly short month, some of it is because I was traveling for 10 days to California, and some of it because I haven't pushed as hard as I need to. I didn't run as much as I should have while I was away, though I did try snowshoeing for the first time and loved it. It's obviously very different from running, and puts a lot more stress on your hip flexors due to the weight of the snowshoe and the resistance as you drank it forward across the snow. My knee held up pretty well to the snowshoeing, but I did notice a slight increase in the discomfort afterwards. I have high hopes for March being a much better month for training.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
February 2017 181 27 9:05 16 18
January 2017 256 38 8:48 27 17
February 2016 203 30 8:57 18 23
Snow shoeing at Lake Tahoe.

4 January 2017

I ran 256 miles in January, my best month since I tore my meniscus in November 2015. I've had no real problems with my knee this month, and it's not limited my running at all. There have been some occasional twinges, but nothing that is greater than is usual when running long distances. I have to be a little cautious during my sedentary activities, as things like sitting crosslegged cause some disconcerting discomfort. Looking back of my training log, I started ramping up my training in mid-October, so it's been some 3 months now and I feel like I'm regaining my fitness and endurance. I've mostly been able to run 16 miles 3 times a week and my body is adjusting to this stress.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
January 2017 256 38 8:48 27 17
December 2016 207 31 9:02 18 16
January 2016 198 28 8:34 26 16

5 December 2016

My December has been moderately successful. My knee has continued to improve, and while it's not quite right it's not limited my running. The information is largely gone, and there is rarely any pain, but the knee does not like to be fully flexed so I can't really sit crosslegged. So far, I'm glad I didn't have surgery. The main limit on my running at the moment is fitness, and running 16 miles 3 times a week is moderately challenging. My current thought is to build that up to 20 miles 3 times a week and then see about adding in some interval training and/or some Treadmill Descents. Most of my runs through December were just one run a day, where in November I'd split things into 2 most days I ran just once. (November average to 1.8 runs per running day, where December was 1.3.) One new running problem was that just before Christmas I tripped over my dog while walking and landed rather badly. I've damaged my ribs and it's painful to take a deep breath want to raise my left arm as I would to drink from a water bottle. I can still run, but it's extremely slow and somewhat unpleasant. I'm hoping that it will recover relatively quickly. I ended up with just over 2,000 miles for 2016, which is not a bad total given my knee injury, but is my lowest total in well over a decade.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
December 2016 207 31 9:02 18 16
November 2016 246 37 9:04 23 19
December 2015 108 16 9:01 14 16

6 November 2016

This is the highest monthly mileage I’ve had since I injured my knee a year ago. I had rested for part of September, then gradually built my mileage up to the point I was able to cover 16 miles. I continued to run 3 days a week in November often running twice a day on my running days. Most running days have been 13-16 miles in the morning and 3-6 miles in the evening. My knee has been doing reasonably well, and I’ve had very little pain while I’m running. The knee pain while I’m running has been fairly rare and quite short-lived, lasting only a few minutes of the multi-hour run. I’ve had more knee discomfort while getting up after protracted sitting, and my knee does not like to remain bent for any length of time. The main challenge to building up my distance has been overall fitness rather than my knee injury. I’m now finding that running 16-21 miles in a day is rather tiring, and I’m glad I’m only running 3 days a week. I’d like to add a 4th day, probably a short Treadmill Descent or a High Intensity Interval Training session.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
November 2016 246 37 9:04 23 19
October 2016 144 21 8:57 21 16
November 2015 261 39 8:56 28 26

7 October 2016

After I reinjured my knee in September I rested in it for three weeks, running just 3 miles a day plus plenty of walking. I like to think that this low level of activity is a little enough that my knee will heal up, and is enough activity to keep the knee joint mobile and improve recovery. Over those three weeks my knee function improved, and the swelling receded. Half way through October I changed to building my distance back up. Instead of running a trivial distance every day, I’ve been running three times a week and building the distance up from 8 miles to 16 miles. So far, my knee has tolerated the longer distance quite well, but I have to be particularly cautious about non-running activities that can tweak the knee. I found that my sleeping position is especially important. I’m now at the stage where the limit to how far I can run is my overall fitness rather than my knee, though I suspect if I did push in the distance my knee might object.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
October 2016 144 21 8:57 21 16
September 2016 117 17 8:48 24 11
October 2015 184 28 9:09 25 26

8 September 2016

I started September in Scandinavia, including hiking the classic Kungsleden trail. As a result I didn't do much running for the first couple of week until I returned home. My knee had been great the whole time I was away, but soon as I started running at home, my knee caused me trouble. I don't know if I injured it on the journey home or what, but my knee became painful and massively swollen after my first run. This time I seem to have both ITB issues and medial knee pain. I've reduced my mileage down to just 3 miles a day and some walking to give it chance to heal up. As of the end of September it's recovering slowly but it is recovering.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
September 2016 117 17 8:48 24 11
August 2016 162 24 8:56 24 16
September 2015 231 35 9:09 23 54

9 August 2016

The first two weeks of August saw great improvement in my knee and I was able to ramp up my distance to 16 miles just before I went out to Scandinavia. I fitted a little bit of running in while I was away, but not a whole lot so the month is lower than I'd otherwise have liked.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
August 2016 162 24 8:56 24 16
July 2016 179 28 9:13 16 18
August 2015 307 44 8:41 34 21

10 July 2016

July has been a surprisingly good month for me. While my mileage is vastly down on where it was last year, it's beginning to rise again, and my knee feels like it is slowly healing up. While I clearly have a torn meniscus, I'm far less convinced that that's actually the direct cause of my symptoms. If I deeply flex my left knee while it's bearing my weight, then I will get a pain from the area where the meniscus is torn. This typically only happens when I stepped down from a height of more than 12"/30cm. the rest of the time my knee issues are further forward on the medial size, and I suspect there are other issues. I've been gradually building my mileage up, and running 3-4 days per week. I'm now able to run ~16 miles three times a week without any issues from my knee, though the heat and humidity in North Carolina is still brutal. I've been able to start testing the BSX by doing some high-intensity treadmill runs and even the occasional Treadmill Descent. In addition to the longer runs, I've also been hiking with a 25lb/12Kg pack in the preparation for the Kungsleden hike in northern Sweden. We've been hiking for 6-10 hours on a Saturday, which does not leave time to do much of a run that day. I think I would be doing even better if I wasn't battling the heat and humidity; this is one of the worst summers I can remember for running.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
July 2016 179 28 9:13 16 18
June 2016 117 18 9:07 18 13
July 2015 325 48 8:47 26 22

11 June 2016

My June mileage was extremely low at only 117 miles, but is that gloomy number hides some optimistic indications. When I last updated this blog I was due to see a surgeon, with the hope that they would be able to fix my meniscus and I'd return to normal. After chatting to the surgeon, I decided to continue with a conservative approach which seems to be working quite well. Having had a protracted period of very low mileage, I feel that my knee is gradually improving. During the last couple of weeks of June I've been gradually increasing my distance, running three times a week, with a week of 11 mile runs, and then 13 mile runs. I've started to use a Treadmill Desk as my knee seems to do much better with movement than it does when I'm sedentary, and I'm walking more to get ready for my trip to the Kungsleden in September. For those interested in the details, there were several reasons why I declined surgery.

  1. The surgeon did not indicate that there would be a small part of the meniscus that would be removed, or that the surgery would probably result in a full recovery. If I'm likely to have impaired function either way, then the conservative approach seems more appropriate.
  2. The MRI suggests that the tear is worse on the counterpart of the meniscus but extends through to the inner edge. The proposed surgery is to remove only the inner part of the meniscus, and I'm concerned that this will lead to an increased stress in the remaining damaged outer edge.
  3. While I clearly have a torn meniscus, I'm not completely convinced that this is the source of my problem. Many people have a torn meniscus that is asymptomatic. During the manipulation tests, the doctors are able to elicit a distinct pain response from the damaged meniscus, but this is in a quite different area of my knee to my ongoing pain. The meniscus tear is in the posterior (rear) part of the meniscus, but my pain is further forward. The MRI did it detect some unexplained edema (fluid) in the patella (kneecap).
  4. My knee problems have been going on for a long time, but the problem is lessening very gradually. It is not inconceivable that the meniscus will heal itself over time. Even the meniscus that has no blood flow can heal through the synovial fluid.
  5. While the risk of needing intubation is relatively small, the consequences are quite a dramatic and could be life-threatening.
Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
June 2016 117 18 9:07 18 13
May 2016 129 19 8:37 31 11
June 2015 264 38 8:41 16 27

12 May 2016

At the beginning of May I finally decided it was time to talk to a specialist about my knee injury. I found a doctor that was highly recommended as a specialist in diagnosing injuries rather than a surgeon, and he believed I had a meniscus tear. This diagnosis was backed up with an MRI, and you can see the scans below. My next step is to talk to a surgeon and see what my options are for having the damaged area of the meniscus removed.

My knee MRI scan showing the tear as a light area in the dark triangle of the meniscus.
Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
May 2016 129 19 8:37 31 11
April 2016 191 29 9:12 25 16
May 2015 189 29 8:48 18 25

13 April 2016

My recovery during April was a little patchy. Those who know me well won’t be surprised to hear I built up my mileage a little too quickly. I started off running just 8 miles every other day, then built it up to around 12 every other day, then got cocky and did a couple of 16 mile runs back to back. The second of the 16 mile runs used the Galloway run/walk approach, which I found to be extremely effective at rebuilding endurance. These back to back long runs didn’t upset my knee directly, but they did tear my left calf. I did a little more running with the impaired calf, and that weakness and imbalance did upset my knee. I was able to repair my calf muscle through extended icing, but the damage was done. Not only did I upset the knee, but I also developed an unsettling weakness in my left quad. By the end of April things are beginning to bounce back yet again, so my challenge will be to avoid further wanton stupidity.

My latest Thermal Camera shows my left knee is doing better, but you can still see some additional heat. However, it’s vastly better than the thermal image you see a couple of months earlier. This is also reflected in the reduced inflammation in my left knee.
Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
April 2016 191 29 9:12 25 16
March 2015 99 15 8:55 9 15
April 2015 199 28 8:19 26 16

14 March 2016

I took far more time off in March to try to let my knee recover, so my mileage is extremely low. This is the least I've done since I started keeping records in 2004. Initially I was running 8 miles every other day, then I took most of 10 days off with just an occasional 3 mile run. This did make a difference, and the inflammation in my knee finally subsided. I went to see Dr Duffy, and he thinks it’s most likely pes anserine bursitis. Rather strangely, I’ve found a muscle trigger point about 3-4 inches above the back of my knee, in between the hamstring tendons, and treating that trigger point immediately improves my range of motion and reduces the pain on full flexing of the knee. I’ve no idea what muscle this is, though it’s a knee flexor so it could be the short head of the Biceps Femoris hamstring. As March turns to April I’m starting to run more, but the inflammation and pain seems to return.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
March 2016 99 15 8:55 9 15
February 2016 203 30 8:57 18 23
March 2015 231 31 8:02 21 50

15 February 2016

I'm continuing to battle medial knee pain problems. I've been focusing resolving problems in several muscles that support the knee, which is helping, but progress is slow. The image below from a Thermal Camera shows clearly the heat and damage around my left knee.

Here you can see the Thermal Camera revealing my left knee is hotter than my right, and this reflect the knee pain I’m suffering.
Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
February 2016 203 30 8:57 18 23
January 2016 198 28 8:34 26 16
February 2015 234 29 7:34 20 26

16 January 2016

My knee is continuing to recover, but it’s a slow process. I believe I have had multiple issues around the medial side of my left knee. I’m hopeful that the MCL has recovered, as has the Pes Anserinus, but to the meniscus still has some issues. (The Pes Anserinus is a common tendon for three muscles, the Sartorius, Gracilis, and Semitendinosus. The Sartorius has been a little problematic for me, but is recovering as well.) I’ve been doing a number of strengthening exercises using resistance bands each night and that seems to have helped far more than I would’ve expected. I’ve now transitioned from running a trivial number of miles each day to the earliest stages of normal training. I’ve started doing Treadmill Descent running, and I’m hopeful I can stretch out my longer runs to the 20-26 mile range.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
January 2016 198 28 8:34 26 16
December 2015 108 16 9:01 14 16
January 2015 236 34 8:36 30 27

17 December 2015

So my knee injury has proved to be more of an issue than I expected. My knees became a serious problem on Nov 23, when the pain became a cause for concern. I took it easy for about 3 weeks, running just 30-40 miles/week. My knee hadn’t recovered fully, but it was doing better so I ramped things up, doing a couple of 16 miles runs on consecutive days. This proved to be way too much and my knee pain got a lot worse and a lot more continual. As a result, I’ve taken two weeks off completely, and it seems to be recovering slowly. I suspect I’ve damaged the meniscus and/or MCL, and both of them are serious structural problems. We’ll have to see how things go in the new year as I return to running.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
December 2015 108 16 9:01 14 16
November 2015 261 39 8:56 28 26
December 2014 440 63 8:37 56 27

18 November 2015

Things started to come together in November until I injured my left knee. I developed some medial knee pain part way through November, and ignored it for too long. As a result I spent the last part of the month nursing it back to health.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
November 2015 261 39 8:56 28 26
October 2015 184 28 9:09 25 26
November 2014 445 66 8:57 60 26

19 October 2015

Two weeks vacation in Italy killed my mileage, but I enjoyed the break. My goal now is to build up my long runs back to marathon distance, and to drop some weight as the food in Italy was a little too good. I'm also planning on racing more frequently next year.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
October 2015 184 28 9:09 25 26
September 2015 231 35 9:09 23 54
October 2014 508 75 8:57 57 20

20 September 2015

My mileage stayed low in September due to travel and tapering for Hinson Lake 24 Hour (HL24). I only managed just over 50 miles at HL24, which was less than I'd hoped, but I better than I feared. My goal is to rebuild my mileage towards the end of October (I'm on vacation for the first two weeks.)

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
September 2015 231 35 9:09 23 54
July 2015 325 48 8:47 26 22
September 2014 491 74 9:00 54 50

21 August 2015

I've continued my lower mileage training through August, typically doing three days of 16 miles in the morning and a 4 mile treadmill descent in the evening, which gave me 54 miles of downhill running. I've been doing a Lactate Threshold run once a week to test out BSX and Moxy, and I'm finding that a good training run, though it's obviously high intensity at the end. Overall I'm feeling strong and positive, though we'll have to see how things play out at Hinson Lake 24 hour, my next race.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
August 2015 307 44 8:41 34 21
August 2015 307 44 8:41 34 21
August 2014 453 66 8:46 52 21

22 July 2015

Things continued to improve through July, and I've felt stronger and more motivated, in spite of the heat and humidity. I'm doing more altitude training (Intermittent Hypoxic Exposure), and Treadmill Descents, and my running is generally going well. I'm only running 3 or 4 days/week, but I'm sometimes adding a second run in on my running days.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
July 2015 325 48 8:47 26 22
June 2015 264 38 8:41 16 27
July 2014 387 78 12:03 46 135

23 June 2015

We had a bit of a heat wave in June in North Carolina, and I had a nagging Knee Pain from being stupid on the West Highland Way. I kept my mileage low and I've focused on rest and rebuilding. I finally feel like I'm starting to bounce back from last years high mileage.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
June 2015 264 38 8:41 16 27
May 2015 189 29 8:48 18 25
June 2014 446 67 9:00 58 21

24 May 2015

In May I hiked the West Highland Way, and I did little running during that time. That hiking did cover another 100 miles and 44 hours on my feet.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
May 2015 189 29 8:48 18 25
April 2015 199 28 8:19 26 16
May 2014 356 58 9:42 44 100

25 April 2015

I further reduced my training in April, with only 43 miles of Treadmill Descent, which seems to have helped a little. Given it's been four months of reduced training and I'm still feeling a little burned out, I'm becoming concerned this might be a mild case of Overtraining Syndrome.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
April 2015 199 28 8:19 26 16
March 2015 231 31 8:02 21 50
April 2014 416 66 9:27 56 100

26 March 2015

March was another low mileage month. It includes a taper for Umstead 100, plus running 50 miles of the race. I did 103 miles of Treadmill Descent, and my legs struggled to cope. I'm still feeling a little burned out after last year's high mileage.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
March 2015 231 31 8:02 21 50
February 2015 234 29 7:34 20 26
March 2014 446 68 9:06 59 100

27 February 2015

February had even lower mileage than January, but this figure hides some good news. After some downtime to recover enough from the DOMS so I could pace the Myrtle Beach Marathon, I've done 145 miles of Treadmill Descent, descending over 80,000 feet. My legs are adapting to the downhill nicely, and I'm pleased with the progress. I'm intending to continue focusing on the downhill for the first week or two of March, then transition to more normal running, then a taper for Umstead 100.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
February 2015 234 29 7:34 20 26
January 2015 236 34 8:36 30 27
February 2014 469 63 8:17 56 37

28 January 2015

January was a grim awakening for me, with only 236 miles, the lowest since June 2011. Here's what happened:

  • Over the years I've become a big believer in Downhill Running. In the first half of 2014 I did about 360 miles of Treadmill Descents that built a great level of endurance. I was able to run some 100 milers without any significant soreness afterward, something that was a big surprise to me.
  • After last year's Badwater 135 in July I dropped the Treadmill Descents and focused on base mileage. I finished 2014 having covered 5,200+ miles and feeling strong.
  • At the beginning of January I changed my training to do less mileage but include some speedwork, Plyometrics, weight training, and of course, Treadmill Descents.
  • Having been away from Treadmill Descents for six months I figured I'd take it cautiously, but I thought that the high mileage would convey a good level of fitness to build on. I'd been doing 26 mile Treadmill Descents in early 2014, so I figured that 10 miles would be okay, but it trashed my legs more than I expected. I did 14 miles a week later, before I'd fully recovered from the first 10 miles and my legs were nuked.
  • The next day I was scoring between 2 & 3 on my DOMS scale. I did a few short runs for the next few days, but my legs were in bad shape; trying to massage my quads was nauseatingly painful.
  • 10 days later I tried to run Weymouth Woods 100K but was DNF. I knew my legs were bad within the first few miles, and things got steadily worse.
  • I took it easy the week after WW100K, though even a simple 10 miler felt more like 30. Once I recovered I started to build up the Treadmill Descents a bit at a time. By the end of the month I was up to 16 miles at a 12% decline. I still have a ways to go, but thing are improving.

The key lesson for me is just how valuable the Treadmill Descents are. I look back at the 5,200 miles I ran last year and I feel like I wasted a lot of the time & effort. I'm more than a little bummed, and to add insult to injury I've put on about 7 pounds/3Kg in January. My goal now is to pace the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February and then cram in as much Downhill Running as possible in preparation for Umstead 100 at the end of March.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
January 2015 236 34 8:36 30 27
December 2014 440 63 8:37 56 27
January 2014 402 55 8:16 20 40

29 2014 Rievew

I'm rather unusual for a competitive ultrarunner because I typically run 4 days/week. I'm also a little unusual because I often experiment on myself, including experiments where I try to prove myself wrong. As a result, I tried running every day for the second half of 2011, which resulted in a mild case of Overtraining Syndrome. In 2014 I revisited this experiment, with a number of modifications from my 2011 regiment.

  • Back in 2011 I was running once a day, with 5-6 relatively similar days of Long Slow Distance and 1-2 easier days. This approach gives quite high mileage, and I ran 3,137 miles in the 6 months. This gave me a Training Monotony of around 2.5-3.0,
  • For 2014 I ran 2-3 times per day, but aimed to keep my Training Monotony as low as possible. To achieve this, I ran 20-30 miles/day for 4 days/week, and around 6 miles/day for the remaining 3 days/week. My mileage was lower than in 2011, with 5,262 miles for the year. I ended up with a Training Monotony of around 1.5-2.0, which is still much higher than the 0.9-1.2 I have when running 4 days/week.

This experiment has been interesting for a number of reasons.

  • I found it dramatically easier to run a given distance split over multiple runs in a day compared with a single run. A single 30 mile training run is tough, but splitting this into 20 miles, 6 miles, and 4 miles is relatively easy. Relatively.
  • I've come to enjoy the short evening runs. It can be tough to get out of the house, but I feel much better afterward. I also believe that practicing running through the sunset will help on ultramarathons.
  • As indicated by the science behind Training Monotony, small increases in my mileage on the easy days had a disproportionate negative impact on my recovery and fitness.
  • Knowing the importance of keeping the easy days short and light is not the same as being able to put it into practice. It's amazingly tempting to tack on a few miles to the easy days, especially if I wanted to bump up my mileage. Adding 5 miles to a 3 mile run is trivial (at the time), where adding 5 miles to a 20 mile run is a different proposition.
  • I find it hard to do speed work while running high mileage. I did include a number of High Intensity Interval Training workouts, but these are the first things to be abandoned as fatigue sets in. I also stopped doing my Treadmill Descents, which are probably the most important workouts I do.
  • I found a strong tendency to deteriorate into mediocrity. My easy days became harder, my hard days became easier, quality workouts get dropped, which all creates a positive feedback cycle.
  • Another danger is that of numerology. I would've abandoned my experiment much sooner, but I noticed my rolling 12 month average mileage was over 5,200 miles. The goal of averaging over hundred miles per week pushed me on when I knew it would be better to change.


29.1 Yearly Totals

My yearly mileage for the last 10 years, along with a count of the number of runs.
Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Average >= 26.2M >= 50K >= 50M >= 100M TRIMP
2014 5,262 802 9:08 619 135 21.0 20 8 5 4 71K
2013 4,652 683 8:48 222 106 21.0 112 14 5 2 58K
2012 4,091 567 8:19 235 120 17.4 31 6 5 2 50K
2011 4,659 623 8:02 251 146 18.6 36 8 3 1 57K
2010 4,594 635 8:18 217 133 21.2 79 19 7 2 57K
2009 3,937 615 9:22 234 130 16.8 29 12 3 1 50K
2008 2,945 465 9:25 276 100 10.7 7 5 1 1 37K
2007 2,278 335 8:50 271 51 8.4 4 4 1 0 28K
2006 2,937 427 8:44 337 84 8.7 15 6 3 0 36K
2005 3,534 459 7:48 363 52 9.7 16 1 0 0 43K

30 December 2014

Dec was a month of steady training, with my primary goal to round out my yearly mileage to over 100 miles a week (5,214 miles.) Once I hit that goal, I started to work on a plan for returning to running four days per week.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
December 2014 440 63 8:37 56 27
November 2014 445 66 8:57 60 26
December 2013 461 63 8:11 18 27

31 November 2014

November was a mixed month for me. I had a few weeks of good training, but I also had a stomach bug and a migraine. I've been running 2-3 times a day, and the results are still a little unclear compared with running just four times a week. It's far easier to put in a high mileage day; running 30 miles in a day over three runs is vastly easier than doing it in a single run. I've also found my body fat is fairly low, combined with a good level of muscle mass. On the downside, it's hard to get my Training Monotony low, and I'm suffering from a lot of fatigue. I'll continue this patent through December, then it probably try some variations.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
November 2014 445 66 8:57 60 26
October 2014 508 75 8:57 57 20
November 2013 394 63 9:42 18 107

32 October 2014

I had a week’s vacation in early October, visiting California and running in Yosemite and Big Sur. After that, I focused on getting back to my training, putting in plenty of miles. The cooler weather has helped, as well as reducing my weight by a few pounds. My nutrition is attending more towards high carb again, with a focus on fruit. I've also been working to keep my Training Monotony lower, which has helped.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
October 2014 508 75 8:57 57 20
September 2014 491 74 9:00 54 50
October 2013 505 70 8:17 20 32

33 September 2014

In September I got what I believe was a brown recluse spider bite on my wrist, which turned quite nasty. I ended up having to have antibiotics, which compounded the problems by upsetting my digestive system. As a result I decided to take things easy at the Hinson Lake 24 Hour race and cap it to 50 miles. I'm continuing to experiment with running more frequently, but I'm struggling to keep the Training Monotony low.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
September 2014 491 74 9:00 54 50
August 2014 453 66 8:46 52 21
September 2013 479 71 8:56 19 47

34 August 2014

My focus for August was recovering from Badwater and building my mileage backup. I experimented with doing my Treadmill Descent runs as short second runs through the week, rather than one long treadmill descent on Fridays. This seems to work quite well, though the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness builds up quite rapidly. I had a vacation to Iceland which was wonderful, but I didn’t run as much of their as I would like.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
August 2014 453 66 8:46 52 21
July 2014 387 78 12:03 46 135
August 2013 370 56 9:03 22 39

35 July 2014

July was all about Badwater, and my mileage was much lower due to the taper and recovery. If you exclude the race itself, I actually only ran 252 miles in July, which is remarkably low for me. That said, both the taper and recovery went remarkably well, as did the race itself. I'm also around 3,000 miles so far for 2014, and to my surprise, my rolling 12 month total is over 5000 miles. I'm not sure at this point how I will structure my training; should I continue with running frequently, or revert back to running four times per week? Initially I felt the more frequent running was helping me control my body weight, but now I'm less convinced.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
July 2014 387 78 12:03 46 135
June 2014 446 67 9:00 58 21
July 2013 381 66 10:23 20 50

36 June 2014

June has been all about training for Badwater 135 in July. Not only have I been building the mileage up, I've been doing a lot of Heat Acclimation Training, Altitude Training (with my DIY System), and plenty of Downhill Running. It's been a remarkably tough month as these stresses have combined, but I hope they will put me in a good position for Badwater.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
June 2014 446 67 9:00 58 21
May 2014 356 58 9:42 44 100
June 2013 372 53 8:35 18 50

37 May 2014

I ran the Keys 100 only six weeks after Umstead 100, which was my third 100 mile race in 10 weeks. Given my focus on tapering and recovery, I'm pleased with the 356 miles this month.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
May 2014 356 58 9:42 44 100
April 2014 416 66 9:27 56 100
May 2013 239 33 8:21 18 22

38 April 2014

I ran Umstead 100 only four weeks after the Graveyard 100, and I'd not sufficiently recovered. Most of April has been recovering, so mileage is a little lower than it would otherwise be. I also have the Keys 100 six weeks after Umstead, so that will also be a challenge. I'm continuing my experiment with running more frequently, thought the more frequent races make it hard to evaluate the effects. The extra runs are a nice time to experiment, but not surprisingly the distance and effort in these extra runs has to be carefully managed. It seems like even a trivial increase in distance in the shorter runs causes a dramatic impact on fatigue. I've also used the shorter runs to include some more High Intensity Interval Training which is another confounding factor.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
April 2014 416 66 9:27 56 100
March 2014 446 68 9:06 59 100
April 2013 237 38 8:28 18 62

39 March 2014

At the start of March I had a good race at the Graveyard 100, finishing 4th. My recovery went reasonably well, but there is only a four week gap to the Umstead 100 at the beginning of April. I continued my experiment with running more frequently, which seems to be effective, though the issue of recovering from Graveyard and tapering for Umstead makes this an odd month.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
March 2014 446 68 9:06 59 100
February 2014 469 63 8:17 56 37
March 2013 305 46 9:02 16 100

40 February 2014

In February I changed my training routine dramatically, going from 4 runs/week to running twice each day. This is an experiment, based on the idea that exercise improves muscle insulin sensitivity for a relatively short period. I've also been wondering if my longer runs are long enough to cause Insulin Resistance. In addition, I've also been striving to slow down my easy paced runs, while keeping up my Medium Intensity High Volume Intervals and High Intensity Interval Training. It’s too early to draw any conclusions, but my weight has dropped 4 pounds and it seems like it's mostly fat. This is without dietary changes, and normally I struggle with my weight, even running 100+ miles/week and restricting my intake. Of course, this could be due to the extra miles I'm running, but typically an increase in my mileage just results in an increase in my appetite. I also feel like running slower is making me feel faster, though it's way too early to know if that is just wishful thinking/placebo effect.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
February 2014 469 63 8:17 56 37
January 2014 402 55 8:16 20 40
February 2013 430 60 8:24 18 31

41 January 2014

A good start to the year, other than injuring my back and ribs while karting. I'm starting to experiment with more interval training again, both Medium Intensity High Volume Intervals and High Intensity Interval Training.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
January 2014 402 55 8:16 20 40
December 2013 461 63 8:11 18 27
January 2013 448 63 8:26 19 33

42 2013 Analysis

Below are a few graphs of my running in 2013.

This is a simple record of each week's mileage.
This is how often I run a given weekly mileage. You can see I'm often around 100 miles/week, with a couple of outliers near 200 miles/week for the Overload section of my Three Phase Taper
This is a histogram of how frequently I've been running in 2013. As you can see, I normally run 4 days/week, though I sometimes run more frequently for things like the Overload section of my Three Phase Taper.
This is the distribution of my daily runs, with a strong peak around 26 miles.

43 December 2013

December was a good month of solid training. I've changed my running pattern to Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, which gives me two sets of back to back days. This has proved harder than I expected, but I believe it is effective.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
December 2013 461 63 8:11 18 27
November 2013 394 63 9:42 18 107
December 2012 334 49 8:48 23 69

44 November 2013

My monthly mileage was down from October due to the taper and recovery for the 2013 Croatan 24 Hour.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
November 2013 394 63 9:42 18 107
October 2013 505 70 8:17 20 32
November 2012 298 37 7:31 19 35

45 October 2013

October was another high mileage month, partly due to some good consistent training and partly because I did another Three Phase Taper. This time my Overload week hit 200 miles, including 5 runs of 32 miles. It was tough, but I'm managing to keep things together with some deep Massage. I'm also trying a different pattern of Altitude Training, using my DIY Altitude Training system 3-4 days/week, with the remainder off. Unlike my running, I do my altitude training in one block of 3-4 days on, then 3-4 days continuously off. I've also added a histogram of how frequently I run, as people have been asking for more details.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
October 2013 505 70 8:17 20 32
September 2013 479 71 8:56 19 47
October 2012 286 37 7:43 22 25

46 September 2013

My mileage was a little higher in September, mostly because I did 190 miles in a week for my Three Phase Taper. Overall, the month went extremely well, though my failure at Hinson Lake was rather disappointing

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
September 2013 479 71 8:56 19 47
August 2013 370 56 9:03 22 39
September 2012 344 60 10:34 21 123

47 August 2013

My training in August was reduced by a trip back to England, followed by the combination of a nasty cold and a migraine. These factors significantly reduced my mileage for the middle two weeks of August, but other than that things went reasonably well.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
August 2013 370 56 9:03 22 39
July 2013 381 66 10:23 20 50
August 2012 370 50 8:05 22 25

48 July 2013

My training in July went well, and the heat and humidity of North Carolina has not been too bad this year. My average pace this month is quite slow because of the pacing I did at Badwater.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
July 2013 381 66 10:23 20 50
June 2013 372 53 8:35 18 50
July 2012 316 45 8:26 17 26

49 June 2013

As I've adapted to the ketogenic diet my training has bounced back and I'm now doing 26 mile runs on a regular basis. I'm just starting to experiment with different approaches to fueling my runs with the hope that the combination of a ketogenic diet and correct fueling will improve my race performance. So far my running seems a little slower than on a high carb diet, but my endurance is better. I've started to use a treadmill to do Downhill Running, and so far I've run 84 miles for 22,000 feet of descent. These training runs have given me some significant Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, but I've also found my legs are building up their resistance to downhill running, which I believe will also translate to better muscular endurance overall.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
June 2013 372 53 8:35 18 50
May 2013 239 33 8:21 18 22
June 2012 375 52 8:18 20 30

50 May 2013

At the beginning of May I was in Europe on vacation, and not running much. On my return I focused on my experiment with a ketogenic diet, which impaired my training for a few weeks. At the end of May I started doing treadmill descent runs, which I believe will make a big difference to my performance.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
May 2013 239 33 8:21 18 22
April 2013 237 38 8:28 18 62
May 2012 433 58 8:04 19 28

51 April 2013

April started off with some solid training, but I backed off before and after Umstead. I also started experimenting with a ketogenic diet.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
April 2013 237 38 8:28 18 62
March 2013 305 46 9:02 16 100
Apr 2012 309 40 7:46 17 24

52 March 2013

I started March with the Graveyard 100 and I'll start April with the Umstead 100, so most of March was taken up with either recovery or tapering.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
March 2013 305 46 9:02 16 100
February 2013 430 60 8:24 18 31
March 2012 347 46 7:54 17 50

53 February 2013

February's training went well, and I started to add in some High Intensity Interval Training. I continued with running four long runs per week, aiming for 26.2+ miles each time. I only had one run where the weather prevented me hitting my mileage target, so I had 15 marathon+ length runs. Looking at my all time totals, I realize I've done 249 marathon or longer runs since I started keeping electronic records in 2002. Overall I've run 33,936 miles, which is 1.36 times the circumference of the earth and burned an estimated 3 million calories which equates to about 900 pounds of body fat.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
February 2013 430 60 8:24 18 31
January 2013 448 63 8:26 19 33
February 2012 326 43 7:53 16 29

54 January 2013

At the start of this year I did some evaluation of the various training approaches I've used, and decided to return to running four marathon+ training runs per week. This has worked well, and I've changed my weekly routine from Mon/Wed/Fri/Sat to Mon/Tue/Thur/Sat so that if I have a minor race on the Saturday, I can still get the four runs in.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
January 2013 448 63 8:26 19 33
December 2012 334 49 8:48 23 69
January 2012 367 53 8:26 24 23

55 December 2012

December had two races (Table Rock and Freedom Park) so the rest of the month was recovery and/or tapering.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
December 2012 334 49 8:48 23 69
November 2012 298 37 7:31 19 35
December 2011 507 72 8:29 26 70

56 November 2012

I continued my low mileage approach into November, doing quite a bit of speed work, including Medium Intensity High Volume Intervals, Downhill Intervals and experimenting with running the Tabatas.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
November 2012 298 37 7:31 19 35
October 2012 286 37 7:43 22 25
November 2011 514 70 8:10 28 35

57 October 2012

Though my October mileage looks low, it includes nearly 300 intervals, of which 128 where on the hill.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
October 2012 286 37 7:43 22 25
September 2012 344 60 10:34 21 123
October 2011 553 73 7:54 29 26

58 September 2012

I did little training in September as I raced twice, so the rest of the time I was either tapering or recovering. Of the 344 miles I ran in September, 230 were racing and only 114 were training.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
September 2012 344 60 10:34 21 123
August 2012 370 50 8:05 22 25
September 2011 418 59 8:27 25 146


59 August 2012

This month I've focused even more on Downhill Running, including Downhill Intervals. These workouts are hard enough that if I continue them after the world championships, I may move to running three days a week rather than four. August included the overload week for my Three Phase Taper which went well with 150 miles, some of which was hard hill intervals. I've also dropped my body fat down to a lower level than before the national championships this time last year, but I've managed to increase lean body mass at the same time. I now have less fat, but weigh about five pounds more. I've continued to combineIntermittent Hypoxic Exposure with Electrical Muscle Stimulation and I think it's working well. .

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest
August 2012 370 50 8:05 22 25
July 2012 316 45 8:26 17 26
August 2011 614 82 7:59 30


60 July 2012

The summer eventually arrived in force here in North Carolina and the heat became a limiting factor. I had some downtime visiting Washington DC for a long weekend, and I had some minor issues with the muscles in my right foot. However, I've also started to do far more Downhill Running, so I feel like my training is proving effective for the upcoming 24 hour world championships in Poland. Even though this will be a totally flat race, I believe that the Downhill Running will cause adaptations in the muscle structure that will improve my endurance at long distances. I'm doing a little more cycling again, and I'm combining Intermittent Hypoxic Exposure with Electrical Muscle Stimulation which seems to be quite effective. I'm planning on using a Three Phase Taper for the world championships, but I haven't decided if I'll increase the distance on my usual frequency, or keep the distance and increase the frequency.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles
July 2012 316 45 8:26 17 26 19
June 2012 375 52 8:18 20 30 19
July 2011 529 71 8:07 27 27 19

61 June 2012

June was much cooler than you'd expect this year in North Carolina, which made my running better-than-expected. I did have a small taper for the midnight boogie, and unfortunately I'm minor stomach bug. Other than that, the training regime went well.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles
June 2012 375 52 8:18 20 30 19
May 2012 433 58 8:04 19 28 23
June 2011 156 21 8:12 10 27 16

62 May 2012

I started to get back into my routine during May, with my weekday runs at marathon distance on longer. I ended up with 11 my runs as marathon+ distance, which is nice. However, I'm not back to the point where my Saturday run, which is my back-to-back run, is a decent distance. Towards the end of the month the heat stress built up here in North Carolina and I really slowing down. My right kneecap acted up a little during the month, but managed to resolve that.I started page on Knee Pain but it will take some time before it's ready for publication. I also stopped cycling in May to try and keep my Training Monotony lower. I'd like to get back to the bike but I don't think I'm quite ready.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles
May 2012 433 58 8:04 19 28 23
Apr 2012 309 40 7:46 17 24 18
May 2011 376 48 7:35 17 28 22

63 April 2012

April started off a little slow after Umstead, but has settled into a reasonable routine. I'm much happier with running four days/week and the training seems to be more effective.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles
Apr 2012 309 40 7:46 17 24 18
Mar 2012 347 46 7:54 17 50 20.4
Apr 2011 312 41 7:57 15 78 21


64 March 2012

In March I was looking to find the sweet spot of optimal training. I suspect I tend to train more than is optimal, so I'm trying to back off to the point where things are improving more. It's tricky to work out when the impact of training stress lasts for well over a month. I've had a few nagging Achilles/calf issues, but nothing major.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles
Mar 2012 347 46 7:54 17 50 20.4
February 2012 326 43 7:53 16 29
Mar 2011 220 25 6:56 16 26 13.8


65 February 2012

February has seen me building back after my brief bout of Overtraining Syndrome. I've returned to running four days per week, which is helped enormously. My mood state has improved dramatically, and a number of friends have commented on the change. My experiment with running more frequently has given me some useful insight into the effects of Training Monotony and Overtraining Syndrome, as well as understanding how my body reacts to different training loads and regimes.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles
February 2012 326 43 7:53 16 29 20
January 2012 367 53 8:26 24 23 14
February 2011 310 40 7:43 14 42 22.1

66 January 2012

At the beginning of January I started to suffer from Overtraining Syndrome. This has built up over time and as a result I had to reduce my training dramatically. I also caught a serious cold for the first time in a while, which further reduced my training load. I'm going to return to my previous pattern of running four days/week, bringing to an end my experiment with more frequent running. Overall I've found the more frequent running had some advantages, but overall it is less effective and more time consuming.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Descent (feet) Cycling Miles
January 2012 367 53 8:26 24 23 14 28,600 21
December 2011 507 72 8:29 26 70 19.5 9,400 0
January 2011 188 24 7:44 17 33 11 26,300 42


67 December 2011

December was a quiet month, with some steady training and a slight taper in the last week of the year for Freedom Park 24 Hour race. My body weight has risen over the holidays and that is impacting my running significantly, so I need to shed some body fat. For the year overall, see 2011 Statistics.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Descent (feet) Cycling Miles
December 2011 507 72 8:29 26 70 19.5 9,400 0
November 2011 514 70 8:10 28 35 18 16,100 7
December 2010 401 55 8:17 16 116 25 8,900 11

68 November 2011

November was a pleasantly uneventful month other than a practice Three Phase Taper for pacing the 3 hour group at Thunder Road Marathon. My training is going well, and I'm enjoying the cooler weather. I may experiment with a return to four days/week again as part of my evaluation of different training patterns.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Descent (feet) Cycling Miles
November 2011 514 70 8:10 28 35 18 16,100 7
October 2011 553 73 7:54 29 26 19 31,300 5
November 2010 333 45 8:10 18 53 18.5 14,000 15


69 October 2011

At the beginning of the month I was still recovering from the North Coast 24 hour race, and it was not until the middle of November that I felt like I was back in the rhythm. I'm continuing my experiment of running most days and I feel like I'm getting a sense of the relative strengths and weaknesses of this approach when compared with running 4 days/week. I plan on writing this up in the near future, but I'd like to do some reading around any research that supports or disproves my embryonic ideas.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Descent (feet) Cycling Miles
October 2011 553 73 7:54 29 26 19 31,300 5
September 2011 418 59 8:27 25 146 16.7 9,300 0
October 2010 338 45 8:01 16 30 18.5 35,000 15

70 September 2011

September included a successful taper, 2nd place at the 2011 North Coast 24 Hour National Championships, and a speedy recovery, so I'd consider it one of my finer months.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Descent (feet) Cycling Miles
September 2011 418 59 8:27 25 146 16.7 9,300 0
August 2011 614 82 7:59 30 27 20 13,300 0
September 2010 472 67 8:29 20 133 23.6 3,000 0

71 August 2011

August continued my experiment with running every day rather than four days per week, which pushed my mileage to a new high. My peak week was 186 miles, running 27 miles for 6 consecutive days. I found that nutrition and recovery becomes critical with this amount of exercise. I'm in the process of writing a page for GOMAD Grazing, the technique I've found helped me with the higher mileage and I believe would be effective for other runners. I'm not sure if this high mileage approach to training is more effective than training four days per week or not. I'm a lot fitter and faster now than I was when I started, but I've also lost 13 pounds and been doing quite a bit of altitude training with the AltoLab. I'd like to think that this type of high mileage would change fast twitch muscle fibers into slow twitch, but there seems to be little evidence for that. Running 180+ miles per week and holding down a full time job puts huge logistical and psychological pressures in addition to the obvious physical strain. In many ways, my body handled the high mileage far better than my mind did.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Descent (feet) Cycling Miles
August 2011 614 82 7:59 30 27 20 13,300 0
July 2011 529 71 8:07 27 27 19 13,700 4
August 2010 435 58 8:00 19 33 23 2,300 0

72 July 2011

July was an interesting month for me.

  • After my return from England I decided I needed to lose some weight, though when I started, I had no idea how much I had to lose. By the end of July I was down 10 pounds and feeling much better.
  • I restarted my altitude training, which has gone far better this time. It may be because the heat has slowed down my training anyway, maybe because I'm eating more beetroot (vasodialator) or that I'm being more careful to avoid the lower O2 saturations.
  • The heat in Charlotte has been the worst I've known, and it's really slowed me down.
  • Without intending to, I found myself in the middle of the month starting to run every day. This was triggered by being unable to run on my usual days, so I started off with some extra 'back to back days'. I found that running every day helped keep my appetite more stable, and thus my weight loss was easier. This has contributed to the higher than normal mileage this month.
Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Descent (feet) Cycling Miles
July 2011 529 71 8:07 27 27 19 13,700 4
June 2011 156 21 8:12 10 27 16 6,700 29
July 2010 268 35 7:44 16 44 19 2,700 0

73 June 2011

I spent the first three weeks of June in the UK on the lead up to the West Highland Way Race. Being on vacation, and leading up to a race, I did little running, so my June numbers are quite low.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Descent (feet) Cycling Miles
June 2011 156 21 8:12 10 27 16 6,700 29
May 2011 376 48 7:35 17 28 22 11,000 76
June 2010 446 59 7:58 19 50 24 10,400 0

74 May 2011

Towards the end of the month I felt like I was getting back to training right. For the last two weeks I reverted to running four days per week rather than three, which seems to suit me better. I've added more hills towards the end of the month, and this has been tough but effective. The weather in Charlotte has also warmed up in the last week or so, and this has started to limit my pace.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Descent (feet) Cycling Miles
May 2011 376 48 7:35 17 28 22 11,000 76
Apr 2011 312 41 7:57 15 78 21 4,000 124
May 2010 395 58 8:52 19 100 21 5,500 0

75 April 2011

I feel like I'm beginning to get back on track with my training, but it's not there yet. The blister on my heel has continued to be an issue, and I've had some nagging problems with my left hip, but hopefully May will be a better month. I'm focusing again on moving to running three days per week rather than four, with two of the runs being generally shorter, higher quality. Doing a single longer run rather than two back to back long runs may be easier than I first envisioned. I'm finding that a small amount of speedwork in the middle or at the end of a long run seems to dramatically increase the effective distance.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Cycling Miles
Apr 2011 312 41 7:57 15 78 21 124
Mar 2011 220 25 6:56 16 26 13.8 145
Apr 2010 391 52 8:03 22 31 17.8 0

76 March 2011

March was another poor month for my running, rounding out a rather sad first quarter. At the end of February I blistered my heel badly at the Mount Mitchell Challenge, and this restricted my running throughout the month. At the end of March, I've started to try running three times a week again rather than four. This is a significant challenge, as doing one long run rather than two back to back long runs requires a lot more time and effort in the single run.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Cycling Miles
Mar 2011 220 25 6:56 16 26 13.8 145
Feb 2011 310 40 7:43 14 42 22.1 138
Mar 2010 350 49 8:27 16 100 21.9 0

77 February 2011

February has been a gradual return to fitness after my downtime in January from my Mortons Neuroma. After I accepted that I'd lost more fitness than I expected, and backed off a little, things returned reasonably quickly. The Mortons Neuroma has not been much of an issue, though it is still there and is improving slowly. I have not done as much downhill training as I need to, which will be a focus for March as I prepare for the Umstead 100 at the beginning of April. My body weight is up to around 140, and my fat levels are a little higher than I'd like, so I'll need to keep on top of that in the coming weeks. My weekly mileage is a around 80, which is working well for me as I am able to run at a higher intensity.

Miles Hours Avg Pace Num Runs Longest Avg Miles Cycling Miles
Feb 2011 310 40 7:43 14 42 22.1 138
Jan 2011 188 25 7:52 17 33 11.1 42
Feb 2010 320 46 8:40 17 35 18.8 0

78 January 2011

The statistics for January 2010 are rather sad, with only 189 miles covered, compared with 470 for January of last year. This is primarily due to the time off for my Mortons Neuroma. With hindsight, the time off did not help the healing process at all, but hindsight is always 20:20. At the new year I’d also decided to experiment with running 3 days per week and some dietary changes. It’s hard to know if these have hindered my recovery, but I’ve not bounced back as quickly as I would have expected. Therefore I’m “reverting to last known good configuration” until I’ve regained my previous fitness level and then restart some of the experimentation.

79 December 2010

My training is going well and my performance seems to be improving. I lost muscle mass and gained body fat after Hinson Lake in September, a change I've finally reversed. I've noticed a strong correlation between my running and my body composition. I'm now at about the best muscle to non-muscle ratios I've had since I've been a runner, with low body fat (guessing around 5-7%). Here are some things that I believe are working well for me.

  • I've added biking as cross training 2-3 days per week. I think this has helped to control my body fat, as my calorie expenditure is a little more even. Without the biking, I was burning 2,000+ calories on non-running days and ~5,000+ on running days, which is a huge difference. I'm generally biking for about an hour.
  • My protein intake is now much higher than it has been. After my long runs I'm typically taking 50-100 grams of Protein within the first hour, and probably 200-300 grams protein daily. While this is high by normal standards, to get 25% of calories from protein on a 5,000 Calorie day would require 300+grams! Since I raised my protein intake, I'm recovering better, have lower body fat and more muscle mass. I'm also less hungry than I have been, as the protein is remarkably satisfying. I'm following Nutrient Timing as a key part of my diet.
  • Doing a Tabata workout on the Bike may help with my aerobic capacity.
  • I've started to do some of my runs without any fuel to help train my body to burn more fat.
  • My mileage has dropped from a high of 100-110+ miles/week over the summer to around 90 this fall. This is partly because I've stopped doing any heat adaptation runs in the afternoon, and partly because I'm trying to focus more on quality, even at the expense of distance.
  • After MMTR trashed my legs so badly, I've been focusing more on doing hard downhill running. This often results in a much shorter workout, as Downhill Intervals take a lot out of the quads.
  • I still have no idea how to taper for a race. Balancing the need for rest and recover with the need to keep fitness up and control my body fat is tough. I'm experimenting with less time off before races, down to just a couple of days. I may experiment with doing the bike up until the race itself.

For the year overall, see 2010 Statistics