Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

The Three R’s

Well, the 2011 racing season is underway, and the intensity will only build over the next two months.

In the middle of April, there was the 26-turned-16-hour Rev3.

Last weekend we knocked out the 10-hour Yough Extreme.

In a week and a half, Brent, Bruce, and I will be tackling the 24-hour GOALS ARA Cradle of Liberty.

Last year's cradle, in the 95-degree heat

Three weeks later is the 30-hour NYARA Longest Day (sure to be one of the highlights of the year!).

From the 2009 Longest Day, my first overnight race

And from the morning after... Poor Keith and his sunburnt head.

And then, just three weeks after that, our five-day Costa Rican bonanza.

That’s a lot of racing.

A lot of recovering.

And a lot of rebuilding.

Between the Rev and the Yough, I followed a sort of equal parts recovering and rebuilding, but I’m not sure whether that was the best strategy.  I didn’t do anything long, but I did get in some quality maintenance miles and a couple key hill and speed workouts.  That was partly intentional and party because of the end-of-semester frenzy.

So far, this week, I took the day after the race as a rest day, followed by an easy ride Monday, strength training and core Tuesday, and a ride yesterday.  I’m battling a bit of an end-of-semester bug (finished teaching at 12:15 Tuesday and, like clockwork, started to feel a sore throat coming on by 1:00…), so I tried to keep that in check by keeping yesterday pretty easy.

Today I’m scheduled for strength training, intervals, and mountain biking, tomorrow a potential trail run, and Saturday a monster ride with Brent.

But really, I’m not sure whether this is quite right, either.

How do you maintain and build from one long race to the next, while still giving your body the necessary recovery and rest?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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9 responses to “The Three R’s

  1. Kari w/ Running Ricig May 5, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Ah! Sunburnt head! That used to happen to my dad (because he’s bald) and now he favors bandanas and safari hats…he looks crazy on lawn mowing days.

    I don’t really have any good recovery advise, since I’ve never done any really big races. Sorry!

  2. Mallory May 5, 2011 at 9:11 am

    I think it’s so awesome that you do all of that. I can’t imagine the crazy workouts you must put in. I just came off a half marathon on Sunday and will be starting marathon training in a month so between now and mid-June I am trying to increase my base training, while making sure to properly hydrate and fuel. A few things I’m really trying to do are drink only on weekends (I had a beer at dinner once this week so I’m still working on it), cutting down on my sugar intake (it’s mostly candy that I’m bad with, as well as soda on occasion) and getting more sleep. I think the combination of all those things will help me out. How do you fuel your body for all that?

  3. Tim May 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I think this is one of the hardest parts of training. I don’t do the really long events like you do, but it is still a major issue. I always try to have a plan, but I let my body have the final say. Particularly, when there is a short break between races. I did Broad Street on Sunday, and have a the ODDyessy half-marathon on May 22nd (my primary spring race). This is the last week I can really put in some miles, and still have an adaquate taper. I was supposed to run intervals on Tuesday, but my legs just weren’t back yet, so I kept the total milage the same, but did an easy run instead. After a short day yesterday, I have a long tempo planned for today. But, if I am struggling to hold pace, I will shut it down. Better to get to the starting line a little undertrained, than to overtrain, get hurt, and not make it there at all.

    • Abby May 5, 2011 at 10:38 am

      Yeah, that’s generally been my philosophy, too, and it’s generally worked out okay. Such a tough balance to find, though.

      • Tim May 5, 2011 at 2:47 pm

        Yeah, I guess if you are doing it right, you are always on the edge of falling apart. And, if you puch it too much, you usually don’t figure it out until race day (with an epic collapse).

  4. Denise May 5, 2011 at 11:23 am

    ha! his head looks like andy’s…his is always burned! it’s not the same but the few times i did marathons so close together, i just tried to move every day and maintain what i had with a moderate distance run on the the wknd. and i didn’t do speed work or anything high intensity so i wouldn’t get injured.

  5. Shelly May 5, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Your racing schedule looks so tough! I haven’t yet done an 24hr event so running at night is something I haven’t yet tackle. Well, racing at night I mean. I have pulled runs in the middle of the night but with kids you do what you have to do.

    I don’t think I am at your level so don’t put too much weight on my advice. My goals are more about going the distance and less about amazing paces so while doing a bunch of longer races close together I ease up on my speed work and usually keep it to the treadmill. This year I am completely lacking in strength training and I know I MUST change that if I want to go beyond the 50miles. My best advice is to do what you are doing and listen closely to your body. If it is telling you to ease up or rest, you should listen.

    I love reading about your adventures!

  6. Black Knight May 6, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    The first photo looks like a war council….

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