A lot of folks have written inquiring about how to build endurance. I’m not big on dispensing advice, I’ve got a lot of learning still left to do myself, but I'd be happy to share with you a little bit about what I've been up to. My personal training for the Endurance 50 kicked-off with the ING New York City Marathon in November ‘05. Since then, I've logged between 60-170 miles per week. I've worked closely with Chris Carmichael and Jason Koop at CTS to optimize all aspects of my conditioning, from cross-training, to diet and nutrition, to work, family, and lifestyle elements. We've decided that one of the best ways to train for running multiple marathons is (surprise, surprise) running multiple marathons. And to further build endurance, mixing in a couple ultramarathons has helped expand overall capacity. A partial list of the marathons and ultra's I've participated in this season include:
-American River 50 mile run
-Whidbey Island Marathon
-The Relay (120 miles)
-Big Sur International Marathon
-Mt. Diable 50K
-San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon
-Western States 100 Mile Endurace Run
-Vermont Trail 100 mile run
-San Francisco Marathon
-Leadville Trail 100 mile run
So in the five month training block, I’ll have logged 925 race miles (185 race miles per month). Using these marathons and ultra's as training runs has been beneficial in helping us determine the right balance between pace and recovery. The challenge with the Endurance 50 will be to complete each marathon with sufficient time to travel to the next state, but not too quickly to compromise recovery. Through this training program, we've gleaned valuable insight into the various factors that impact recovery, and we're continuing to adapt our approach based on these learning’s.
One thing is for certain, I've been completely amazed by the resilience of the human body. At the conclusion of the Endurance 50, this year I’ll have run over 60 official marathons, as well as ten ultramarathons, including three 100 mile races, a 120 miler, and the 135 mile Badwater.
I guess the lesson here is something I’ve heard Ken Chlouber, founder of the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Race Across the Sky, say before: You’re better than you think you are and you can do more than you think you can. Whether you're running one mile or one hundred, I encourage you to test your own personal boundaries and expand upon your own personal limits of endurance. It's been tremendously gratifying for me to go farther than I ever thought possible, and I wish the same for you.
Long may you run...