Training for Run Rabbit Run 100

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I’ve touched a bit on my training this summer in my post before the Leadville Silver Rush Races in “Summer Racing”. That build up lead to some really good races for me. Like I wrote about in my last post my goal for my 100 mile training was to stay healthy and just get to the start line… with that said I also wanted to show up fit and be able to run well. So my training wasn’t over the top… or too conservative… at least in my opinion.

I for sure could have picked and easier 100 to make my first. Run Rabbit Run is closer to 107 miles, it’s starts a noon on Friday so there is about 10+ hours of running through the night, It’s fall in the mountains of Colorado so it will be COLD at night, I am in the “hares” race so I can’t have a pacer… and the field is stacked. So yeah… I could of picked an easier one but we love Steamboat, it’s relatively close (3ish hours away), and why not do a really hard first so if I ever decide to do one again it may seem easier…. or at least shorter.

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My training for the 2.5 months from May 2nd through the Silver Kind Weekend (7/9-10):

  • Run: 55 hours (5.5 hours per week), 372 miles, 60,821 feet of climbing (37.2 miles per week, 6,082 feet of climbing per week, ~163 ft of climbing per mile)
  • Cycling: 102 hours (10.2 hours per week), 2,140 miles, 168,568 ft of climbing (214 miles per week, 16,856 ft of climbing per week)
  • Strength: 17 sessions

That was 10 weeks and included the Silver King race weekend. It was obviously bike heavy and running just enough… but it worked and I had a good 50 mile run the day after the mountain bike race. After the weekend of racing I had exactly 10 more weeks to get ready for Run Rabbit Run. The first weekend after racing back to back 50 milers (mtb and run) was obviously a much needed recovery week so really I had 9 weeks to pile up some training. My plan was to slowly increase the running volume while decreasing the cycling volume.

I respond really well to high volume… always have. However, I can’t just run high volume. It’s easy on the bike. I can ride 300-400 miles per week for weeks and never get injured. Every time I’ve tried to maintain a high weekly running volume week after week I’ve ended getting injured. So my plan to reap the benefits of how my body responds to a lot of training stress was to still run a good amount of miles (for me) but also keep riding my bike and get back to some heavy lifting (hatch program for squat and deadlift).  My hope was that this approach, which has worked in the past, would let me rack up the training hours and positive adaptations without, literally, running myself into the ground.

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This past Monday marked only 11 days and started the real taper. I guess you could say the taper started the week before as I did start dropping the volume but kept all the sessions the same and still rode my bike and hit the strength and core work hard. It’s funny because I posted a photo on social media stating it was taper time and I got a lot responses regarding on how early I was tapering. My plan, again, is to show up rested, fresh, and fit.. and that’s why I chose to do my last (really) long run 3 weeks out. Last weekend I still got out for some good miles but split 4 hours of running across Saturday and Sunday as to not dig any deep holes I can’t crawl out of by race day. When I put together this training plan I definitely got Maggie’s awesome advice. She knows me better than anyone and has seen me have good races and get injured. I also reached out to Mario for advice. He always gives me some good feedback which I for sure appreciate.

My plan was pretty simple.

  • Monday: 90′ easy recovery spin
  • Tuesday: 75-90′ run with some hill work, 60′ strength session (heavy squats and circuit)
  • Wednesday: 30-60′ Mellow flat run with the family (pushing Fi in the stroller), 60-90′ Moderate ride (trainer or outside)
  • Thursday: 90′ Hilly run, 60′ strength session (heavy deadlift and circuit)
  • Friday: 90′ ride
  • Saturday: Long Run
  • Sunday: medium long Run or Ride (I tried to not always run back to back long runs)
    • I would also try to squeeze in treadmill hike if I had time during the week which would usually come on Monday or Friday.

Here’s what I’ve done that last 9 weeks (I already included what I am going to do this weekend):

  • Run: 86:15 hours (9.5 hours per week), 545 miles, 81,300 feet of climbing (60.5 miles per week, 9033 ft of climbing per week, ~150 ft of climbing per mile)
  • Cycling: 45 hours (5 hours per week), 890 Miles (120 on the trainer), 46,620 ft of climbing (99 miles per week, 5180 ft of climbing per week)
  • Strength: 19 sessions

So the running and riding numbers have definitely flip flopped. Here’s a bit of break down (screen shots from Strava) of the 8 weeks of training starting after Silver Rush. My running mileage pales in comparison to a lot of the dudes I’ll be running against. I follow a lot of them on Strava and to see what they do is awesome. I wish my legs could handle running loads and workouts some of them do… but I didn’t want to push the limits too far in this build up and risk not getting to the starting line.  I didn’t want to get greedy, and thankfully, I had Maggie to remind of that whenever I came up with an idea to do something stupid! Since I have never run 100 miles I don’t know what “100 mile fit” feels like. I am confident what I did is enough to get me through 100 miles in the mountains… I feel fit and strong right now… I’m just not sure how it will all play out a week from now and how much suffering I’ll endure.

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Running Miles 8/4-9/4

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Running Miles 7/11-8/7

Just looking at my running volume doesn’t show the picture. I ride significant amount and each week and contrary to what some people think I believe I run better when I’m riding. Also, for some reason, Strava doesn’t add “XT” (cross training sessions) into the training hours each week. I would typically do one hour hike on the treadmill while Fi napped and two one hour strength sessions each week. So if you add three hours to weeks below that’s some solid volume. I’m going to have to bank on that.

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Combined Running and Cycling Time 8/4-9/4

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Combined Running and Cycling Time 7/11-8/7

So today’s Friday and I’m one week out. I’m starting to get super stoked. The fear of running 100+ miles is still there but it’s slowly getting replace with stoke. I can’t wait to get out there and give it a go.

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  3 comments for “Training for Run Rabbit Run 100

  1. September 9, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Good luck James! 100 miles is no joke. Even if you did get more volume in, there’s no guarantee that the day will give you an ideal finish. Just take what the day give you and do your best.

  2. Seth
    September 12, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    Cant wait to see how you do. Have a great day out there!

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