Never Summer training week four recap

Because the previous three weeks weren't very hard, I ran more this week than I will during my next break on week eight. Five days of running, one short speed workout, one hilly run, and one long run today. The numbers:

  • 6 hours, 43 minutes

  • 36.2 miles

  • 3,507 ft D+ (dénivelé positif or elevation gain)

For curiosity's sake I changed the work/rest ratio for my speed workout to four minutes of hard running and 2 minutes of easy jogging recovery. It's a subtly different workout. I was able to run at and beyond my lactate threshold (by feel) a little bit more with another minute of recovery. I might switch between 5:1 and 4:2 in the future.

Saturday I went out for two hour run on a hilly, 250 ft D+ per mile, route in Lory. The switch on our weather has flipped, as it does, from cool and rainy to roasting heat, and I was grateful for the water that still flows in Well Gulch, at Arthurs Rock, and along the Overlook Trail. I see long term forecasts from NOAA that predict that the hot and dry weather is here to stay.

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Eltuck trailhead and a thunderstorm west of Lory State Park

Today, Sunday, I ran from my house to Pineridge Natural Area and the first two little ridges on the east edge of the Rocky Mountains. I watched my heart rate and kept this run super easy, dialing my effort back on the small grades. I can run all out to the bench at the top of the "Skimmerhorn", a 10% grade for 0.4 miles, but today I hiked it very casually.

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Dixon Reservoir from the bench

It's a great time for wildflowers on the Front Range, especially the blue ones. I've seen extra large patches of penstemon and skullcap (from the mint family) this week.

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Britton's Skullcap (Scutellaria brittonii)

I'm planning to do a lot of alpine running in the next three weeks. Expect photos with tundra, rocks, and snow.

Never Summer training week three recap

I'm training in earnest again. During week three I ran six times, including a speed workout and back-to-back long runs.

  • 11 hours, 33 minutes

  • 60.8 miles

  • 7,858 ft D+

I did 5 minute repeats (with 1 minute recovery) on the Spring Creek trail for the first time since January. After weeks of walking and easy running only while I was rec from injury, I was only up for four repeats. The goal of this workout is to increase my lactate threshold, my capacity for harder running, and work on my form while fatigued. My standard workout comes from Krissy Moehl's book. The 5:1 work/rest ratio makes it more steady than a 2:1 cruise workout, while faster and less grueling than 25-35 minutes of steady hard running. I'm going to do this workout again next week, which will be a little lighter in anticipation of three very hard weeks to come.

Saturday I ran 19 miles at Lory and Horsetooth, a route similar to the second half of Quad Rock with two and a half of its three climbs. I hit the trail before 7 a.m. and had beautiful running weather all morning long. I didn't see many runners, mostly bikers, deer, turkeys, and wildflowers. Horsetooth Open Space is trying out a new one-way loop system and it did help make the Horsetooth Falls Trail feel less crowded.

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Arthurs Rock at 8 a.m.

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Mountain ball cactus beginning to bloom

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View towards Masonville from South Ridge Trail

Sunday's weather was very wet. I had intended to run up and down Towers Trail twice, but arrived at the Soderberg trailhead at 9 a.m. in torrential rain, water running off in every gully and gulch along Shoreline Drive. I waited in my car for an hour and then gave up. Around 5 p.m. the rain tapered off into a drizzle, so I went out for a long run from my house, up the Spring Creek bike path to Pineridge Open Space and beyond. The rain stopped within a mile and I enjoyed a cool, quiet, and peaceful run. I haven't run at the very end of a day since last year's Never Summer race and the dimming light and wet smells brought up a lot of strong, good memories.

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Arthurs Rock from Centennial Drive

Never Summer training week two recap

It was a light week of running for me. Only four runs and all of them under 90 minutes.

  • 3 hours, 50 minutes

  • 22.5 miles

  • 1,709 ft D+

I did two strength workouts, Tuesday and Thursday, and went hard enough to make myself sore. I rode my bike to the Pineridge trailhead and home again twice, but didn't count those trips in the total above.

I'm learning to navigate the county roads north of Fort Collins near the equestrian complex where my youngest kid is learning to ride. There are some nice views towards the northeast corner of Colorado.

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Thunderstorms in Weld County

Next week I'm planning to run 55-65 miles with a hard speed workout and back-to-back long runs. Something like week 14 in 2020.

Never Summer 100k training plan

There are 12 weeks between the Quad Rock and Never Summer events. I'm going to split this up into three four-week blocks of training. One block of working on my base with some speed work, one block of hard workouts and back-to-back long runs at high elevation, treeline and above, and one block of fine-tuning, tapering, and racing. With luck, I'll start Never Summer in better shape than last year. I'm excited about that.