Choosing an “A” race so late in the year (Run Rabbit Run is in Sept.) is a long way off for making a training schedule. This helped me decide that this winter I would start-over building base miles, slow and steady. No racing till spring. I took the month of November off, started running for fun in December, added in very different (to me) weight training (heavy weight, low reps) and slow MAF miles. I have kept up the changes to my diet; higher fat, lower carbohydrates, no processed foods, lots of veggies, some fruits..but not nearly as many as I have eaten in the past.
It all began a little more than frustrating, but was kind of a nice change as well. My MAF HR is 145, but I added a few BPM because I haven’t been injured and have been running a long time. Going out on the trails and keeping my HR between 143-147 was SLOW! Like painfully-mindlessly-walking up everything slow. Most of my friends stopped running with me, fortunately one friend, Nate, decided he was into trying this out as well, so we have been keeping each other company on the long, cold, dark mornings.
So putting trust into these slow miles was easy at first. I was tired and a bit burned out from last year. My first race was in March 2015 and wrapped up the year with the final race in Nov 2015…I was tired. I hadn’t really given myself any time to rest, it was race, recover, build, build, race, build, build race, race… I was ready to give myself over to something different.
December was long and slow, but finishing each run felt good. I had energy, didn’t have that insatiable hunger post run, I have been sleeping well, no GI issues..and slowly, but surely, my pace has been getting faster at the same HR/effort. I also don’t need more than water to run 3+ hours.
Another side effect of this slower running in the winter is that when the trails become super saturated from heavy rain or frozen over I have been varying my training on the Treadmill and roads again. I had almost forgotten what great running tools these two things are. The road to practice faster turnover, treadmill to really pay attention to my gait. Its been sort of wonderful.
Its now been 2 months and some change and I have felt stronger, and fitter than in the last few years. Last week I ran 115 miles, plus 3 sessions of weight lifting, and if I hadn’t run out of time my body would have happily gone up to 120mpw, which is something I haven’t done in two years.
From what I have read, and it makes perfect sense,(childbirth, and our hormones) make us, women perfect for fat burning. Peter Defty podcast about this. However, I do have to be aware that too low carbohydrate isn’t always a good thing. Sweet potatoes, fruits, and starchy veggies and nuts are still a part of my diet. I did try a week super low carb test and while I felt much better doing it, by the end of it I found that adding in some low sugar fruits helped me sleep better at night (plus I don’t think 115mpw is recommended while doing this carb intolerance test.). Which also leads me to wonder, 6 years ago I eliminated wheat gluten and felt better, I have since been eliminating sugars and feel much better. I did have may of the symptoms described at the beginning of the article, but over this winter I think I have figured out that its not quite a gluten intolerance but a carbohydrate intolerance. It has helped my HDL come way up and triglycerides level off actually. I have a family history of it, its always a surprise to every new doc I go to when I have a fasting blood test and I have high LDL with all the running I do.
Anyway, this update is as much for you as it is a reminder for me for the future when I fall off the wagon on a crazy sugar binge and forget that my GI, sleep, and skin problems are linked to my carb intolerance.
As for last week’s 115mpw it went something like this;
- Monday; easy/yoga
- Tuesday; AM 18.5m in the woods. PM 11 on the TM+lifting=29.5
- Wednesday; 10 easy
- Thursday; AM road run 20m, PM 11 TM+lifting=31
- Friday; 11 trail miles
- Saturday: 21 (really cold morning!)+lifting
- Sunday; 13
Links to more LCHF
- FASTER study Ultra Runner Mag
- Phil Maffetone
- Endurance Planet Jeff Volk and Zach Bitter
- Vespa, though I don’t use these often.