A Staten Island triathlete and endurance coach ventures into the ultramarathon realm where there are seemingly no limits to human endurance. In 2013, he successfully finished the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (picture of 2013 Grand Slam finishers above; I'm second from right), becoming only the 282nd person (since its beginnings in 1986) and only the fourth New Yorker to finish four of the oldest and most prestigious 100 mile ultramarathons in the U.S. in only 10 weeks.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Is This Speed I'm Seeing? Also: SIAC Xtreme for April

For those of you who don't know what I'm trying to do this year, I'm doing a personal thesis of mine, which is, "Can triathlon training ultimately help me in ultramarathons as well as triathlons?"

The past couple of years, I had been relying on huge running volume with just a smattering of swimming and cycling to boost my ultra-running performance. Although I am experienced in triathlon (been doing them since 1990) I am still pretty much a neophyte in ultramarathons. So I've been experimenting for the best way to train for these events.

After last year's failure at Leadville, a very interesting question came to mind. Would triathlon training actually help in ultras also? Can it possibly be that not altering my old training and sticking with the triathlon approach do the trick? It might be possible.

Triathlon training decreases the weekly running volume a bit but significantly bumps up the weekly swimming and cycling volumes. As a result, my overall training volume is significantly higher than in ultra training.

I've always considered triathlon training to be a very balanced form of training, exercising a lot more muscles than just running alone. And since I'm exercising more muscles, my body will not tire as much. And therefore I can up my training time a significant amount more than just running alone.

Anyway, that's the thesis.

Three months into this thesis, I've seen some very interesting effects pop up. And all were good.

The first was my weight. Yes, I have voluntarily changed my diet to a more primal approach. But still, to lose more than 20 pounds in the first 3 months is a monumental achievement, so I can't really attribute it to the change of diet alone.

The second, which is really wondrous, is that my speed has returned for the large part. Thought to have been lost forever, I've tasted some of this speed in my recent races, first in the Cold Feat 10k and now in the Indian Trails 15k road race.

Last year, I finished this race at around 68 minutes. My goal time for this race was around 64 minutes.

I finished in 62 minutes and 37 seconds, a 6:44 mile pace. This is a significant improvement over last year!

It's a nice thing to see in my training. And I hope I can keep it and even build on it in the coming months.

Of course this doesn't help satisfy my thesis that triathlon training is better to prep for ultras, but I'll definitely find out in my first ultra in May, the North Face Endurance Challenge. And if what I am seeing this spring is any indication, I will hopefully be pleased with the results.


SIAC Xtreme...April is here!

There are 2 key events that fall within the realm of SIAC Xtreme.

Saturday April 21 is the Scholastic Trail run, put on by SIAC itself. This will be in Willowbrook Park and is a great final prep for the High Rock Challenge. There will be a 5k and a 10k trail option for everyone. Applications will be out soon; once available, I'll post it here.

Saturday April 28 is The High Rock Challenge! People will be parking at the JCC and will be bused to the Greenbelt Recreation Center for the start of the race.

SIAC and the Greenbelt Conservancy have teamed up to provide group trail runs to prepare for the High rock Challenge and have drawn HUGE numbers of runners. For this past weekend we had over 20 runners participate in these runs! We will have these runs this weekend as well, leaving the High Rock Parking lot at 8AM this Saturday, so come on down. These runs are easy paced and we will leave nobody behind.

Here is the itinerary off of the Greenbelt Conservancy's website, for your convenience:

Happy trails! And here's to an exciting and muddy spring on those trails! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Your training gains are very apparent and it is fantastic to see you progress....definitely making an excellent case for your triathlon training approach theory.