Thursday, September 6, 2007

September Arrives - Football and Cooler Temps

Flipping the calendar from August to September always gets me excited. This generally signifies the arrival of football season and a reprieve from the summer heat. In North Carolina, the landscape will soon become picturesque with fall color.

This year September means my training for the GEER 100K (September 29th) is coming to a close. In fact, this week is my last big push with next week being a "mini push" of sorts before I taper for two weeks. Total mileage for this week will top out around 70 with another 50 or so next week. My training has gone very well as I have focused largely on leg turnover and improving my climbing. These are two areas that have limited my performance in some previous races and I wanted to really make a concerted effort to improve these areas. Hill repeats are hard in Charlotte as the longest climb can be covered in about 15 minutes. It is not realistic for me to get to the mountains mid week for repeats so I have had to improvise - treadmill!

I am not a treadmill fan by any means, but my climbing has definitely improved with the addition of 3 x 30 minute repeats on the treadmill at 12 to 14 incline. I usually alternate running and walking every 10 minutes with a 10 minute "recovery" on 0 incline at ~8:00 pace in between the repeats. The results have been good so far but the real test will be in three weeks. I have also done a good bit of tempo and threshold training to improve leg turnover and have incorporated segments of these into my long runs. The improvements from both of these workouts as boosted my mental confidence, which is also a very good thing.

Tomorrow I am headed to the mountains to do about 6 hours on technical mountain trails as my final long run before GEER. Hopefully, the weather will be cooler and my legs will stay strong. Last but not least, my friends Mike Mason and Brennen Wyssong are both running the Wasatch Front 100 this weekend in Utah. This is a tough race that I hope to do someday. Both Mike and Brennen ran very strong at Massanutten this year and I am sure both will do great out west. Good luck guys.

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