My calendar is more sparse this year than in the past, but the races from here on out are ballbusters: Quad Rock 50 in May, Bighorn 100 in June, and the insane Bigfoot 200 in August.
I've retooled my training a lot to focus on three things:
-Long runs at a variety of paces
-Building muscular strength and general body-hardiness
My workouts vary incredibly in distance, intensity, and focus from day to day, and this has allowed me to pack on quality miles and workouts without getting injured. It's like microcycling within microcycling, or basically what every coach probably tells their athletes to do - whatever, reinventing the wheel works.
The past couple of weeks I've been pushing harder and harder, without feeling exhausted or over my head. The pi-day group run up and down Towers Road 3.14 times (for just shy of 22 miles and 6000ft of gain) was sandwiched at the end of a high-mileage week:
Sunday: 6 miles to the gym, 90 minutes of lifting.
Monday: 12 miles out to Reservoir Ridge and back, easy
Tuesday: 10 miles on the Foothills trail, 5 miles at tempo
Wednesday: 14 miles out to Reservoir Ridge and back, easy
Thursday: 6 miles to the gym, 90 minutes of lifting
Friday: 8+4 miles double, both easy
Saturday: 22 miles up and down Towers @ 35-40 min up, 30 min down.
This past week has been equally intense. I followed up the Towers long run with repeats up the Mill Creek climb, the infamous, body-destroying penultimate climb of Quad Rock. I think I'll keep hitting that and Spring Creek hard in the coming months, sort of a weekday grinder.
I've put on about 25 pounds since I started weight lifting a year and a half ago. I've focused on deadlifts, incline/decline bench, shoulder work (rows, hanging pulls, Arnold press), and a miscellaneous assortment of other free weight movements. I think deadlifts, more than anything, have helped me get to the point where I can train at high mileage and remain injury free. I just needed more back, glute, and upper body strength to balance my legs and strengthen the entire running motion chain.
Quad Rock is coming up, and the end of March and April is shaping up to a big mileage month with lots of vert and miles - March Madness (37?) miler, the Crosier Triple Bagger, Quad Rock training run, and Round Mountain Ladder are all on my agenda.
I'll be doing the Zion Traverse about 10 days after Quad Rock, followed up by some high-er country runs to get those big climbs/descents I need for Bighorn.