April 2017 Recap

Green Mtn. summit on 4/12
Happy May! Is anyone reading this? Am I talking to myself? Oh well, wouldn't be the first time in my life. :)

As I really start to focus on my ultramarathon training, I'd like to start taking a page out of Kendrick Callaway's book by writing a summary of my training at the end of every month. In each of these posts, I'll include my monthly totals for mileage, time, and elevation gain, as well as general thoughts on how the month went.

The idea behind this is to give myself an opportunity to reflect on my successes, analyze missed opportunities, and make the most of the time and energy that I put into this sport. At some point, every runner has to ask, "Am I doing everything I can to be the best I can?" I'd like to make sure that the answer to that question is "Yes" more often than not.

So here's my first monthly assessment. Let's have a look.

APRIL TOTALS:

Distance: 75.5 miles (down from 84.7 in March)
Time Spent Running: 12hr 54min 53sec (down from 13:12:00 in March)
Elevation Gain: 6,151 ft (up from 3,992 in March)

THE BIG PICTURE:
I am finishing this month with very little regret, and with a strong sense of forward progress! I feel focused and motivated. Most of my goals for the month focused around prepping for the Greenland Trail 50k, and I feel super confident about that event. 

If there's anything I've learned from looking at my peers' stats on Strava, as well as listening to stories on Ultrarunner Podcast, it's that I need to start increase my weekly mileage. Right now I hover around a mere 20-30 miles per week. That's fine for marathon training, but ultras are a different beast. Let's see if we can't work that number up to around 50-60 per week by the end of the Summer!

THE GOOD:
  • I started keeping a running journal. 
    • For a while in 2014-15, I was keeping a basic training log to help track my mileage totals from month to month. Once I got on Strava, I let my spreadsheet lapse. And a lot of my focus lapsed with it, so I'm back to the spreadsheet! I've built it from the ground up instead of using a generic template. It includes elevation gain, weekly totals, average heart rate, and even a column for notes.
  • I increased my elevation gain. 
    • Living in the burbs, I've got a lot of flat pavement to run on. In April I went to the mountains and got my climbing muscles working. With incline comes strength and speed, so let's keep it going!
  • I filled in my training/event calendar. 
    • I loosely modified one of Sage Canaday's 50-mile training calendars to plan the rest of my year. The goal is to finish my season with a 50-miler.
THE LESS-THAN-GOOD:
  • I still don't have my nutrition dialed in. 
    • I work at a BBQ and craft beer joint, and I get free food when I'm there. Talk about a recipe for disaster! It's so hard to say no to a pulled pork sandwich and a pile of fries when that's all you can see and smell.
  • Too many unplanned recovery days. 
    • I let myself get away with too many lazy days. Sometimes I'll use the weather as an excuse. Other times I'm "too busy." I'd like to start holding myself accountable.
Well, that's all I've got for now! I'm going to be running the Greenland Trail 50k this Saturday, so wish me luck! The weather is looking great. Knock on wood.

~JVB




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