Monday, September 5, 2011

Big'uns! Mountains that is...

Training has been going great.  It's nice to be building up a strong base with relatively low pressure to prepare for a race.   Since most of my races are at the end of the year, I've tried to slowly and consistently build up my mileage as well as throw in some cross training on the road bike.

Along the way I have once again confirmed a few tenants about running.  Although these are probably widely known they always seem to naturally reveal themselves during training.
1) Recovery is hugely important.  Not just in macro-cycles (a few weeks off once or twice a year), but also micro-cycles (a day or two off weekly and a down week every three weeks.  After running at a fairly high volume for the past ten years, I can definitely tell when my body is getting worn down.  Although many running books prescribe recovery periods, I think the more you run the more you can play it by feel.
2) Heat sucks!  Seriously, it sucks both ability and motivation right out of me.  This is a prime reason I've started to race later in the winter and early in spring. 
3) Tendonitis is a fact of life for runners.  Almost every little ache and pain is some sort of tendonitis that is best managed with ice and ibuprofen. 

Anyway, I've recently completed big week with 56 miles and over 7,500' of elevation gain.  It's been a great week of running trails in North Georgia and Tacoma WA.  Yesterday's run accounted for almost half of that at 21.5 miles and 3,600',  most of which was up and over Rocky Top on the beautiful Benton McKaye Trail.  Add in the Sunday just prior and the eight day total is 74 miles and 11,000'.  Needless to say it's time for a little rest and ice (see above).  Which makes me extremely happy to be waking up to eggs, bacon, coffee, and no run on the schedule this morning.
COLD Ice Bath After Sunday's Run

I'll probably run very little this week to recover and get ready for Saturday's race, the Assualt on Pine Mountain.  A week ago Sunday I ran a double on the course.  It is a short 8 mile trail race with plenty of single track and a couple of steep mountains thrown in.  The footing is not too technical.  The course suits me well but it is a little short so I'll have to try to go out fast.  Normally I conserve and hold back but I might have to stay with the leaders from the start on this one in order to have a chance for the win.  We'll see!

A Couple of Fun Climbs in the Assualt on Pine Mountain Race this Saturday!


  1. Jason - I'm glad you mentioned tendinitis. Maybe you can help me decide what's ailing me... I have been dealing with some knee pain for the past 2 weeks. My guess is that it is either an IT Band issue or tendinitis. Both seem to have the same symptoms...The pain is not so bad while a run (in fact, very little pain during runs), but about 30 minutes after I run my knee gets achy. This pain last for about 24 hours then begins to subside. Any advice??

  2. Wes- I believe the IT Band IS a tendon or atleast a tendon attachment. To me, the pain feels the same as tendonitis. Either way, I think it is treated the same.... Ice. Ibuprofen. Massaging that tendon a bit. Every time I get a little tendonitis I eventually figure out its name by researching but in the end treatment is always the same...and it's always effective. The only treatment that I don't necessarily follow is the Rest part. I basically kind of feel my body out and as long as it's not getting drastically worse I keep running. (This was actually also a recommendation by a pediatrist for achilles tendonitis that I had once.) If I stopped running for tendonitis I might never be running. I have a hunch that's the case for most runners!

  3. Thanks man! Glad to hear this is something that is to be expected. I have been ramping up my miles recently and doing a lot more speed workouts, which I think is contributing to my issues. Along with ice and meds, I think this week I'll pull back a bit and do some easier runs. Thanks again. Hope your having a good summer (thank God it's almost over!)