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Posting a Follow-Up to
Training for the Ascent in Northern VA
Chuck in Cincinnati
10/7/2013 1:14:45 PM
First off I only did the PPM once. I was training for the full. My weekly routine from Feb. thru June Monday & Friday - YMCA treadmill ˝ mile warm-up at 4.0 flat, then 15% at 3.0 to 3.2 (RUN) for 2 to 3 miles (harder than you think. That is slow enough that you can walk it, but I chose to run) ˝ cool down flat. Tues. Hill & trail work I had 4 hills to choose from (1/2 mile steep (200 ft elev change), to .9 med(130 elev change) up/down combined for a total of 4 to 5 miles) Then I’d drive to a nearby nature center for 3 to 5 miles of trails. Wed. off Thurs. was a regular 6 mile road loop mostly flat. Sat. or Sun. was 12 mile staple run on a semi hilly road course. Increased mileage closer to PPM Weekly mileage was 28 to 35 miles per week, but mostly 31 to 33’s I was 49 yrs old at the time running 3:50 to 4:20 marathons depending on the day ? That training took me to 3:36 at Little Rock, and a 3:32 at the Flying Pig By mid June I was burnt up and had back issues. So I was forced to drop to 3 to 4 day per week running. So I cut out the tread mill running, because I hated it anyway. But was still at 21 to 26 miles per week I thought I was ready for the PPM ? As it turned out… physically I was ready, and had little problem making the summit, because the ascent turned out being a brisk hike in the conga line with short runs when able to pass, which I didn’t do often, while allowing as many to pass me as they asked. (made it in 4:07:52 ?) In reality, I was not ready for the mental beating I took concentrating on the trail. That trail is similar to running a creek bed but tipped UP ! The trail has a continuous camber change from right to left to “V” with roots and rocks sticking out everywhere. And the constant running gate change. So, when I do it again, thinking back to the June burnout, I am going to take out the Monday treadmill incline, and replace it with two miles of flat railroad tie running along the tracks for the mental toughness and stride gate change needed. If you’ve never run railroad ties…. It’s tough running and thinking…. BTW don’t mess with the trains, you’ll lose !!! Believe me, I hated that trail after the first 5 miles, and I couldn’t wait to get off that mountain ! But had registration opened up within a month or two after the finish ? I would have been first in line to do it again. That freak’in rock grows on you in a hurry !!!! You may hate every step during, but you’ll love every moment after !!! Good luck training !! Listen to the vets, their advice is dead on !
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