Sunday, March 17, 2019

My 50K therapy: is that even healthy?

As we often say about ultra running: this is a big experiment of... one! There are so many parameters involved when running distances beyond the marathon, it's impossible to set rules working for everyone or every occasion. Even if you've raced more than 100 ultra marathons, you still learn every time as the stars never align the same way.

With that, I wouldn't want to be a coach. At least not a coach to me. If I was reasonable, if I was listening to my body, or mind, I would never push that much. Not just in races, but in training as well. Can you imagine being a coach after my mini stroke in 2016 when I decided to run American River 4 weeks later? While I must do a few things right given some results, I'm never sure about what I'm doing especially with my training. For the past 8 years I've averaged 100K (62 miles) per week and I believe that's now too much for my age, given the intensity I still put in races and training runs. Last year, I got caught up into reaching this threshold at all cost, and didn't find that healthy. While it looks unconventional from a self-development standpoint, my main goal this year is to run less, then. Yet, I need to ramp-up volume for the upcoming 100K races of this Spring, need to work not only on my endurance with long runs, but also hill training before Miwok and Quicksilver.

After a slow start due to a recalcitrant gluteus, I've decided to run though the injury if I may say. Racing in January and now running at least one 50K per week for the past 6 weeks, and 100K+ weeks. This week wasn't easy as I was working in Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh, one of the worst place to run outside. Thankfully, I managed to stop by Paris on the way back and could run my classic Paris-Orsay-Paris 50K course on Saturday. It's not Spring yet but the trees are already blooming, credit to global warming, mind the climate change deniers (and what a weekend to mention this as the youth is alerting us around the world, such an amazing wake-up call).

Back to the title, my gluteus is yelling so much this Sunday, I could only run 16 miles, barely breaking 8 min/mile. Does that mean I need to take some rest this week? Maybe, it sounds so intuitive. Although rest hasn't helped getting rid of the pain back in January. We are back to the experimental nature of ultra running, and training...

Short of an affirmative answer to this enigmatic title, see a few pictures in this fly-over (click on the image or this link):

And more static pictures below... Stay healthy, so we all run farther and faster at some point! :-)

The ongoing development of the new business park of Saclay
 On the Saclay plateau
 Eglise St Germain of the tiny Saclay Bourg:

 8th century, that's some serious history...

 Serge's collection:

Dang, I'm not sure I support these Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vests), this has been a disastrous weekend in Paris...

 A great water fountain (7.5 and 23.5 miles in)

 Parc de Sceaux


Peter said...


Your version of 100K / week is a lot for anyone of any age with your "life load" another venue where running was the focal point of life meaning running plus downtime 100K/week fat adapted and VESPA math would seem pretty easy for someone of your caliber....what you are capable of at your age or any age amazes me at your focus and drive in everything you do. Glad to be a part of your team.


Nancy said...

Nice to see your parents’ place!