Friday, September 30, 2016

Tahoe Taper : 3 Week Lead-up to the Spartan Ultra Beast

I have some taper guidelines that I use for marathons, that I think fit well enough here for the UB:
  • Last speedwork 10 days pre-race
  • Last strength session 10 days pre-race
  • Long runs (and even normal runs) should be of a mileage equal to or less than the number of days pre-race
  • Keep things easy in the last week

Sunday, September 11:
I wanted to make up some Amerithon miles, so my intention was to do 2 hours on the bike, but I only did 1 hour, because my inner knees weren't thrilled.  But I got to do a strength session for the next 45 min, instead... my body was up for it because it wasn't wrecked from the Fort Bragg Sprint the previous day.  Prior to the strength session, I had an Organic Fuel Chocolate Milk recovery drink.  I'm normally not a sugary beverage person, but it was mid-workout, and it was delicious.  Racked up some more Deez Nutz WOD reps:
  • Plank: 4 + 3 = 7 min
  • Sit-ups: 175
  • Lunges: 70
  • Push-ups: 25
  • Squats: 135
  • Flutter Kicks: 70 + 65 = 135
  • Mt Climbers: 130
  • Plus a bit of dumbbell work
Tuesday, September 13:
Another hill session, my second, with 6 miles at 7 degrees of incline at 9:49 ave = 7:43 effort.  I wasn't feeling a long run on the treadmill that day (I've only managed that once or twice before, anyway), so I went with hills.  I figured that I probably have endurance already, and needed hills more.  Watched the Spartan Race series while doing the run.  I stuck around 6-6.3mph most of the time.  Since I was still kind of recovering, I didn't push the pace.  My right knee was a bit wonky at times.

Thursday, decided that sleep (recovery) wouold be the best thing I could do for my body, rather than trying to force a workout.

Saturday, September 17:
Last reasonably long run.  14.1 in 2:25:03, 10:17 ave on the trails at the Whitewater Center.  1026 ft of elevation gain.  Time included tying shoes twice and letting a mountain biker pass.  Went without food or water during the run.  Could've gone on for a bit longer, but 12 miles is typically what I have scheduled 2 weeks out.  It was cloudy, which was a nice surprise.  Did a bit of wall climbing afterwards.  I did improve from 2 weeks ago.  It will be fun to see where that goes, and what it does for OCR.

Sunday, September 18:
90 minute bike session, a recent-history record, time-wise.  24.4 Amerithon miles.

Monday, September 19:
My last strength session before the UB.  Deez Nutz WOD.  I've been noticing that back muscles have been coming back in recent days (they've been gone since I stopped playing club ultimate frisbee post-college). 
  • Sit-ups: 125 + 65 = 190
  • Plank: 3.5 + 3.5 + 2 = 9 min
  • Squats: 140 + 205 = 345 (with some holds for a few seconds during the first set)
  • Flutter Kicks: 90 + 65 = 150
  • Burpees: 60
  • Jumping Jacks: 110 (calves tightened in the second half)
  • Push-ups: 20 (always so hard)
Been sleeping poorly for the past couple of weeks.  Would desperately need a nap after work, which would make me stay up later as a result once I did wake from the nap. 

Thursday, September 22:
Third and last hill session.  6.0 mi at 7 degrees of incline in 57:37, 9:36 average = 7:36 effort.  Had half a bottle of water in the last third of the run.  Harder than it should've felt.  After waking in a jarring manner from a 2-hr nap.  Legs are finally feeling better again, after the Sat/Sun/Mon workouts. 

Found out that it's snowing in Tahoe!  Sub-freezing temps... uh-oh.  I had to reconsider using a wetsuit.  I tried it on, and it was surpisingly easy to move in it.  Not that bad at all.  Then, I realized that I had been trying it on backwards, the whole time... once I turned it around, it fit much better, haha.  Race-day, the temps will be upper 20's to upper 30's, plus random wind tunnels, and cold water swims. 

Friday, September 23:
Record bike session.  I managed 2 hours on the stationary bike with 33.3 miles... same distance covered per hour as my previous one-hour sessions, but held it for double the time... excellent. 

I also revisited my pack decision... rather than use a racing backpack, I decided to rig together a waist belt setup.  The benefits:
  • Less likely to retain water after the swims
  • Smaller volume, in general, to lug around
  • Chest straps won't get in the way when I'm climbing over walls and stuff
  • Lower center of mass around my waist, vs. on my back, which will help with burpees, and which will help when I lean forward heavily when climbing
The main drawback is less volume to hold additional gear.  I'll bring some dry sacks that I can use in a pinch, though.

Saturday, September 24:
Last "long run" that's really just a medium run.  8.7 mi in 1:45:52, 12:10 ave, on the Whitewater Center trails.  Ran in Inov-8 X-talon 212's, which I may use in Tahoe, to double-check that it's good.  This is the second time running in it, after the initial 17 mile trail run up Crowder's Mountain.  It was good... laces stayed tied, no ankle rolling, wide toebox.  The only thing that may cause me not to use it is that it probably won't drain water well.  Certain obstacles are guaranteed to drop you in water, which doesn't really make changing out of shoes into dry bags easy, so I may end up running in my Reebok Beast All-terrains, anyway.  I'll have the X-Talons as a mid-race drop bag back-up, though.

During the run, my legs got tired in the last mile.  Hope I didn't push too hard.  The previous late-night, I had done the 2-hour bike session.  Spent the rest of the day eating non-stop... metabolism may be high with the increased muscle mass.  Also had a short nap, which is typical on weekends.  Nose breathed during the run after the initial 0.3mi (once I remembered)... that was a good way to keep the effort reasonable.  The breathing part wasn't difficult to manage, anyways.

Sunday, September 25:
90 min bike session.  Could've pushed on for another 30 min, but don't want to overdo it, especially after training on Thurs/Fri/Sat already.

Monday, legs sore.  Focusing a bit more on nutrition this week.  Good fuel, micro-nutrients.

Tuesday, September 27:
Last run before the race!  4.5 mi in 38:33, 8:34 ave, at 2 degrees of incline = 8:12 effort.  Going at 2 degrees after doing the past three treadmill runs at 7 degrees made it feel like I was going downhill!  Right knee still wonky at times, so I'll be KT Taping it for the race. 

Tuesday, the nerves in my legs feel singed/fried.  Also started packing... packing all this gear is hard physical work!

I'm feeling ready for the UB.  The cutoffs are reasonable, too.  Glad to have the wetsuit (found on sale for $5 randomly, once... thought it could be good for paddleboarding, but it will be a life-saver here).

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