Friday, January 22, 2016

Building for another great year and still having fun

     I just finished reading a great article from Andy Jones-Wilkins called Laying the Foundation ( and it got me thinking about the events I have in 2016. I have a couple 50ks planned a 100k and 1 100 miler in June with a possible 100 in Sept. The June race is the Mohican 100 which I DNFed at last year at mile 75 due to physical breakdown ( pain in right foot and blisters on both feet)  but looking back it was definitely more of a mental issue.

     In 2015 I took a different approach to the "off season" and did a lot of strength training with just enough running to keep my base. This seemed to work well through 2015 as I run more miles than ever, finished the OC100 and had a lot of fun while doing it. I did get a slight case of Achilles tendinitis that I am recovering from but other than that I felt great most of the year. My goal for this off season was to do the same but also add more cross training and move from the weight room for strength training to a more body weight style of strength training. As for the cross training I have added the bike and Jacobs Ladder to the mix a few times each week. 

     Above all I want to keep running trails enjoyable. I dont want to experience burnout or the burden of over training or worse yet peak way too soon for a race. After reading Andy's article I thought about which event was my goal event and the answer is Mohican so I need to plan accordingly, it will be a challenge not to try and peak for Hyner 50k in April or Glacier Ridge in May. I have to keep the focus on Mohican and realize that the 50ks are just a test of my training at that point. I had formed a goal for each that I have now taken back and decided to just do was well as I can without over training for June. 

     This year I will again be getting help in training and diet from Damian Stoy. Thanks to my sponsors ( Hammer Nutrition and Natures Bakery) my fueling will be on point as well. This will be the first full season that I will have a proper diet so I am excited to see where it goes and how fast recovery will be. I intend on keeping the miles quality not quantity because I tend to think the junk miles is where the injuries happen. I am also getting some reading in during this period of down time and a book I have really enjoyed is How Bad Do You Want it by Matt Fitzgerald. 

     As for having fun, well I am covering that part too. Just this last weekend I had some free time and wanted to explore some new trail. I went to the Dolly Sods Wilderness inside of the Monongahela National Forest in the West Virginia Allegheny Mountains. I spent a good part of Saturday running the trails that I could as the Red Creek was raging and I could not safely cross. I had a ton of fun getting to experience the area. One of the highlights was when I had passed a couple hikers heading into the trail as I was heading back towards the car. About a half mile from where I past them I found a water bottle, figured it belonged to the folks I just passed as the bottle was not covered in snow. So I did what I would hope anyone would do, I turned around and ran it back to them, they were very thankful for the effort. The very next day I ran the Moraine State Park trails in PA with a good friend of mine Pat Krott. This was another great day on the trails and made for a great weekend. 

Pat and I eating breakfast just before heading out on the trail

     In closing I just want to remind you to not take training so seriously all the time. Take time to enjoy the trial or the road, whichever you prefer. Don't lose sight of what interested you in the sport you enjoy. Keep your goal in focus and don't peak too soon..... most of all HAVE FUN!