Author Topic: 9 weeks to go ... from scratch?  (Read 4514 times)

James Carlson

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9 weeks to go ... from scratch?
« on: June 20, 2016, 02:49:22 PM »
Hello all,

Last October, I set a goal of completing the PPA in 2016. As background, in college I ran 40-60 miles a week with a 5k PR of mid-16s and a 10-mile PR just under an hour. While I'm still a flyweight guy, those running days were 10 years ago.

So, back to present day. I trained for about two months in November and December last year, 20 miles a week with an 8-10 mile long run, all on flat land. Since then, I have trained not at all. No need to litigate the reasons for this. Just the facts. So ... it's 9 weeks till the Ascent, and I come to you sheepishly with this question: What is the best training from this point on? Any benefit to trying to fit in a few speedier workouts or should I just do shorter mileage during the week and get in as many long runs as I can on Pikes Peak on the weekends? (I live in Denver.)

Thanks for any help. Regards ... Sheepish Slacker

FlyGirl

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Re: 9 weeks to go ... from scratch?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2016, 11:48:15 AM »
Do those runs during the week (including speed work...it builds strength) and get a little elevation on the weekends.  Anything above 10k feet will help you immensely, but it doesn't have to be on the Peak.  Go enjoy the trails!  Don't expect to fly up the mountain and don't set expectations too high.  :)

Vomastic

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Re: 9 weeks to go ... from scratch?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2016, 04:12:21 PM »
Normally speed work is done after you have established a good base which you do not have.  I like the idea of doing Pikes on the weekend.  When I do trial PPA runs, I park on Manitou avenue just east of the start line or in Memorial Park nearby.  Parking in downtown or near the Barr Trail or the Incline is a real headache.  I start my watch at the start line just as if I was running the PPA.  You will need to carry water (I take 16 oz for each hour to the top) and nourishment.  There is a small restaurant and a drinking fountain in the summit house.  A ride down on the CoG RR was $22 last year (50% chance or less of a seat).  You can also hitchhike down.  I usually offer the driver $20, but many people don't take it.  Most tourists have a hard time believing that people actually climb all the way up the mountain.  You could try some speed work during midweek, if you feel rested.  Check the weather for Pikes (http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=38.8405&lon=-105.0444&unit=0&lg=english&FcstType=graphical ) and plan accordingly.  Usually clear in the morning with increasing cloudiness/rain/thunder in the afternoon.  Some days it's wise to stay  home.  Remember, the first priority is to get to the start line on race day.  At least 10% spend a lot of money on registration and never show up for the race.  Good Luck.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 07:09:15 PM by Vomastic »

John Garner

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Re: 9 weeks to go ... from scratch?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2016, 02:25:28 PM »
These are the two workouts that I would do:

1) Find a treadmill. Set it to 15% (if it maxes out at 12, add a 2x4 under the front). Set your speed to a fast walk. Start walking. Keep walking. And walking. Do this for as long as you can stand. I recommend bringing an ipad or laptop to watch movies on. Don't try and run unless you think you are going to break 3 hours (which is not going to happen unless you won the genetic lottery).

2) Once or twice this summer, drive to the summit of pikes peak. Jog down to the 3 mile marker. Hike back up. See how fast you can walk up.

I would not do any flat speed work, it is worthless for this race. Uphill speed work has some benefits, but only as the icing on the cake. You don't have your cake made yet.

James Carlson

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Re: 9 weeks to go ... from scratch?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2016, 12:17:11 PM »
You all are great. Thanks for the help.

Since then I've done three sessions on the mountain. For the first two, I took the Cog to Mountain View, powerhiked to the top and hitchhiked down. (Both times I did just around 2:20 from Mountain View or about 2 hours from Barr Camp. Despite similar time, the second session felt distinctly worse up top because I pushed a little too hard early.) The last session I did was this weekend. I did the full race route, starting from the start line in Manitou. Again, I just hiked fast with shuffling/jogging on the flats and downhills around No Name Creek. Finished in about 4:20.

During the week, I'm doing a 1-hour session on the treadmill at 12-15% grade and a 1-hour session in the stairwell of a nearby highrise. My goal for the PPA is 4 hours. I'm feeling good about it. I don't think I'll do much real speed work since I don't really have any base. It seems like solid time on my feet and some good time in high altitude is what I need. I've also started doing a lot of core work and some shoulder, upper back work. I'm a thin guy and haven't done strength training in more than a year. My form seemed to suffer up top because of this.

Thanks again for all the thoughts.

Vomastic

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Re: 9 weeks to go ... from scratch?
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2016, 11:11:09 AM »
I think your comment "My form seemed to suffer up top because of this" is enlightening .  The PPA is like a marathon with the last 3 miles above timberline like 20-26 miles of a marathon.  You may see some runners, at the end of a marathon, who have not done the long runs with a change of form.  The usual running muscles in the legs are shot and they are altering their stride/gait to pull in some other muscles that have not been tasked. 

The other thing is I tend to get a bit lightheaded above timberline.  It goes away when I cross the finish line and get some rest.  I have to concentrate on maintaining my balance especially on some of the step ups on the golden stairs.  It takes a lot of brain cells to maintain balance and coordination and the high attitude and lack of oxygen doesn't help.  Below is a link to an article I find interesting.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/why-walking-slowly-could-be-an-early-sign-of-alzheimer-s-disease-a6757861.html