Four Week Preparation for Rocky Raccoon 100

Four Week Preparation for Rocky Raccoon 100

Four Week Preparation for Rocky Raccoon 100

Following the Brazos Bend 100, I treated the next week as a typical rest week to allow my body to recover from the stress of running 54 miles or seven plus hours.  This was the longest I have run to date so I figured it would be wise to take a few days off.  My quads were sore and I wasn’t able to do a whole lot on my feet.  I focused on other means of active recovery to hopefully get back on my feet quicker.  Monday I spent some time in the pool to keep from having to put too much weight on my legs, and Tuesday I did a few easy strides on the grass to get the blood flowing and assess the legs.  I was very gentle and paid attention to my body’s condition as to not overdo it.  By the weekend I was able to get in a couple decent runs, which was a good sign that my legs were responding and doing well with the rest and active recovery.  Other things that helped with my recovery was spending lots of time in compression boots, constantly stretching and foam rolling, and a couple visits to get acupuncture treatment, Graston, and ART.

I find ART and Graston method a very useful treatment and experience great results from frequent visits.  The ART can hurt and be uncomfortable at times but the results are relieving.  My doctor seems to find and target the problem areas and work them to break down the scar tissue. Equally important to active recovery is what you put into your body.  I also focus on eating healthy and taking vitamins and other supplements so my body is able to get what it needed to recover quicker.  I try to do as much as I can to accelerate recovery so the sooner I can get back to training.  I use a handful of Klean Athlete supplements (Multivitamin, Omega-3 Acids, and Antioxidants) benefit me the most and I always follow workouts with a Klean Recovery shake and a daily Klean Protein shake so that I’m repairing and growing muscle tissue following workouts.  It’s important for me to be fueled up and healthy for the next workout.

I wanted to keep the fitness I had and use it towards another 100 mile race.  At this time the Rocky Raccoon 100 miler on January 31st is six weeks out which allows enough time for me to get in a solid four week training block and also have a couple weeks to taper.  Fortunately, with all the training over the last six months I know what has worked best for me as far as how many days I should run or take off a week, and also how much rest is needed after a few consecutive long weeks.  For me, the optimum training week consists of two days completely off.  My days off are typically Monday’s which follows a long weekend of 40 plus miles, and Friday’s which follows another 40 miles during the week with some speed work.  If I don’t go above 90 miles a week then my body seems to handle four consecutive weeks.  At 90 plus miles a week I find it better to have a rest week every fourth week.  As long as I kept it in this range I felt like I could get a good solid training block in and go into Rocky Raccoon healthy.

The first week I was very gentle to my body and did most of my runs on trails or the local golf courses.  The only problems I experienced were dealing with painful side stitches (cramps) the first couple miles of each run.  I remember getting a side stitch in the Brazos Bend race and I must have aggravated something because I now experience the same stitch at the beginning of almost every run.  It takes about 10 minutes to control my breathing and for the stitch to go away.  This lasted for the first couple weeks.

Week two I started throwing in some speed work.  I had a really good track workout that consisted up a bunch of half mile repeats (look up Yassoo 800’s) which gave me a very good idea of current fitness level.  I was happy with the speed I had maintained and how comfortable I was during the workout.  I also had a 20 mile run a couple days later with a lot of hard and strong efforts, but that one took me over the edge and left me hurting for a couple days as I pushed it a little too hard.  That week I didn’t hit my goal weekly mileage,  but figured it was wiser to rest a couple extra days and listen to my body instead of pushing through and risk a potential injury.

I was fresh again for week three and had another key track workout with some good tempo efforts at 5:30/mile splits.  By that weekend I did my longest run of 32 miles which was a big confidence booster.  Due to some of the leg and back issues I was experiencing in my final training block before my last race I wasn’t able to get in a lot of 30 plus mile runs.  My longest run was 24 miles three weeks before my race.  The majority of the first three weeks was running in the rain and cold weather but I was determined to get the workouts in even when the weather was crappy.  It gave me a chance to try different attire to find out what is the most comfortable running in during the wet days.

The fourth week I stayed off the track and just got the mileage in without over doing it.  I had another 32 mile long run and felt very strong and comfortable.  I ordered a new pair of shoes that I would use in the race and started wearing them to break them in.  I also started doing a few different dress rehearsals on my runs to know what I would be wearing for race day.

I planned for a two week taper.  Week one included five runs and totaled about 40 miles.  I tried to do something similar to what I did before as I felt very fresh for my last race.  I kept the pace at race effort just to get a good feel for what I would be doing.  On the weekend Kyle Rodemacher (also racing RR100) and I went to Huntsville State Park and ran 14 miles of the actual race course.  It was a cold morning (low 30’s) and the wooden bridges were frozen.  It was good to get some familiarity with the course and I realized that my gloves weren’t keeping my hands warm enough. The following day I did a Fartlek workout on some other trails which allowed me a chance to focus on high cadence and foot placement.  I was feeling good with where things were headed.

The week leading up to the race was probably one of the craziest weeks you would not want before a big race.  On Monday I stepped on a coil of nails while on a job site for work and a nail pierced right through my shoe and stabbing my toe.  I put just enough weight on it to cause a little bleeding and soreness for a couple days after.  On Tuesday I got rear ended by another car, but fortunately it wasn’t anything major.  I just had to deal with getting a rental car and my vehicle into the shop.  On Wednesday I woke up with a severe sore throat and went to the doctor and found out I caught strep throat from my son that had it earlier in the week.  I was put on some antibiotics and worn down a little bit, but wasn’t doing much of any exercise that week so figured I was healthy enough already to bounce back.  Only problem was the medication kept me awake so it was difficult to fall asleep.  On Thursday my three year old daughter decided it would be fun to jump on my six year old son’s back and ride him like a bull.  Of course he knocks her off which resulted in a late night trip to the ER.  Fortunately, my wife took her and let me go to bed, but I was worried and unable to fall asleep easily that night which for me is the most critical before a big race.  Friday, I decided not to take any chances and didn’t go into work.  I was able to stay calm pretty much all week and by Friday I went for an easy 5K run and felt absolutely great.  I had seen my chiropractor a couple times and massage therapist once so I was feeling fresh.

12/18 – 01/18: 315 miles

Rest week:  25 miles
Completed 80 of 80 miles for week 1.
Completed 60 of 90 miles for week 2.
Completed 80 of 80 miles for week 3.
Completed 70 of 70 miles for week 4.

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