Laying out the Leadville Plan

I’ve been cast­ing about for a goal for the last year or so, some­thing phys­i­cal, some­thing hard, some­thing worth doing for the expe­ri­ence of doing it.  It began to coa­lesce in Novem­ber as some kind of long dis­tance run­ning race, gained clar­i­ty on a Rim-Riv­er-Rim push at the Grand Canyon in mid-Decem­ber, and was final­ly nailed down when I decid­ed to run the Leadville 100 this August.

Leadville is a 100 mile race above 10,000′ out in Col­orado.  It’s con­sid­ered to be one of the tougher 100s to fin­ish and if you do, is a worth­while accom­plish­ment.  It’s a hard race, but not impos­si­ble, and def­i­nite­ly meets the require­ments of a phys­i­cal goal.  I’m in.

I’ve trained for races before, as a swim­mer, a run­ner, a Naval Pen­tath­lete, and a pad­dle­board­er.  I used to hold two-a-days as the holy grail of train­ing, basi­cal­ly think­ing that mo’ train­in’ is mo’ bet­tah.  At 35 and a cou­ple of wins plus a cou­ple of injuries behind me, I’m through that phase.

Some of the best advice I got (although I did­n’t use it at the time) came from a crusty old Navy Mas­ter­chief named Lucky Ver­linde, the coach of the US Navy Pen­tathlon team while I was there.  He was a huge pro­po­nent of lis­ten­ing to your body and not being afraid to try new things.  With only 8 months to go from 7 miles a week to the fastest pos­si­ble 100 in 30 hours or less, I’m ded­i­cat­ing this effort to real­ly tun­ing in to what my body is telling me.  This means pret­ty min­i­mal mileage per week, a norm of 3 work­outs a week with the occa­sion­al extra lift­ing ses­sion thrown in, and a TON of recov­ery time.  The basic set up is 1 day of tough dis­tance (plen­ty of hills & ele­va­tion), 1 day of sprints/repeats, and 1 day of heavy lift­ing (squats, dead­lifts, and cleans.)

I’ve found a local run­ning bud­dy (Lau­ren M) who is into run­ning enough to not be afraid to push hard, have got a good sup­port group in the form of wife, dogs, and my local crew, and my good friend Kevin Mont­ford out in Col­orado has already signed up for the race, so I’ll have some­one to chase.

Lau­ren and I kicked off the “offi­cial” train­ing on Tues­day, Jan­u­ary 15th with a 7 mil­er in Mis­sion Gorge doing the For­tu­na loop, and then hit 5 x 800s in the park today.  It’s begun.

Am I crazy?  We’ll see in 8 months.  In the mean­time, fol­low along on this path of run­ning discovery.

Cheers!

-Nik

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