Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Love-Hate Workout

All is well getting back into a training cycle for the Quad Rock 50 in May.  In fact, that will kick off a series of three races in a span of six weeks.  One thing I can't ignore about these races is the vertical.  All of them will be quite hilly.

Quad Rock 50 = 11,000+'
Golden Gate Dirty Thirty (50k) = 7,680'
San Juan Solstice 50 = 12,000+'

With the above in mind, I've kicked off my weekday early morning Mt. Falcon sessions.  Instead of running a full loop and hitting every trail (which I enjoy immensely), I'm sticking with a 3-2-1 to force myself to workout on the most painful (mentally & physically) part of the park.  The first three miles from the lower lot is not fun, but provides the most vertical bang for your buck.  So starting at 5am, I run up to the shelter (3 mi) and back down to the lowest point, turnaround and head back up two miles, and then repeat by climbing that first dreaded mile.

It's funny how this workout creates the same conditions of mental anguish I've experienced in trail races with lap courses.  All I can think about during the first 3 mile climb is that I'm going to be doing most of it all over again.  I'm hoping that repeating this workout will toughen me to realize it's not a big deal and I just need to suck it up.

I resampled the GPS data and got 3893', but I'm thinking that is still several hundred feet too high.

The problem I see right now is I'm running too much.  I'm not talking about mileage, but how I'm getting my miles in.  I'm going to toss in an extra "hiking only" morning soon.  It's a weakness right now and I know all three races will expose it in short order.


  1. Let me know when you do this, I will try to join you for some of these. You know, suffering in company :)

  2. For the next month or so, Weds @ 5am are my days. It took just over two hours. I need to be heading to work around 7:15ish, so the timing works well.

  3. There has been a little talk about heading to the high country butt ass early on Weds to get a little vertical at altitude. Since we pretty much have the same race schedule (-dirty thirty) a little altitude will do us good. Probably start up in April, was thinking Mt. Evans road to begin with. Let me know if your interested.

  4. That sounds cool Todd....I think. I totally agree that getting some altitude in early will help, especially with SJS. I didn't do much if any last spring and it was a bit rough down in Lake City. Definitely keep me posted.

  5. Digging this workout you put together. Once I get back in shape, I'll have to meet up with you to share in the pain. Hopefully in a few weeks.

  6. That will be great timing. Currently, I need my headlamp for all but the last mile up/down. In a few weeks, we should have enough light to leave the headlamps behind. Get healthy!!

  7. Golden Gate is closer to 9000' of gain i believe. i ran it last year and will be back up there again this summer. i'm also headed to SJS and LT100. great minds...

  8. Dan - I read your comment just prior to heading out the door this morning to go do this hill workout @ Falcon. Thanks for the extra motivation to get after it. Please say hello at any of these races that we'll be at this summer.