Saturday, December 19, 2015

HURT 100 Training Update

In August I was fortunate to be selected to run the 2016 HURT 100 Mile Endurance Run (January 16-17). For anyone familiar with the HURT 100, you know that it is ranked by Outside Magazine as one of the top 9 toughest ultra marathons in the WORLD! Having volunteered and paced at the 2015 running of HURT, I know that I need to go into the race in the best shape of my life if I have any chance of finishing.

With four weeks to go until HURT, I am very pleased with where I'm at in my training. Here is a quick recap of my training and some of the elements that I feel are essential to my current fitness level, which hopefully will translate into a HURT 100 belt buckle in January!

1. Twice weekly DumBell Fitness strength workouts. I started doing these workouts in June and they have created a pillar of strength and agility that has allowed me to train hard and stay injury-free. I'm extremely grateful for my trainer Jennifer Lalani and DumBell Fitness owner Christina Bell Landry for the excellent program they have put together. My training partner Jeff and I always agree after every boot camp workout, "we wouldn't have done that on our own!" (Christina wrote up a great blog post on Jeff and me. Check it out here.)

2. Gradual base building. After running the Quicksilver 100k in May in a quasi-injured state, I took two weeks off and then began a gradual re-building of my mileage. This coupled with the strength workouts allowed my body to slowly adapt and prepare itself for the higher volume and intensity training that a 100 miler requires.

3. Hills, hills, and more hills. I've really tried to maximize the amount of climbing and descending in my training runs. Lately I have noticed my downhill speed increasing and feeling smoother. With 24,500 feet of elevation gain and loss over 100 miles, hill training is absolutely essential for success at the HURT 100.

4. Respecting the recovery. I feel I've done a better job of adapting my training schedule on the fly to respect the increased recovery requirements of my 41-year old body. In November I had some lingering pain in my heel that cropped up during the Peacock 50k. I took several days off and was able to get back into training without much fuss. With that said, I have noticed that I'm recovering much quicker between hard bouts. I believe that's what experts call "fitness!"

5. Foam rolling as religion. In addition to Active Isolated Stretching that I do after every run, I have been using my foam roller consistently every evening before bed. The foam rolling along with a few yoga poses before bed not only helps the muscles feel better, but also helps me sleep better.

6. Having a patient wife and kids. As much as I like to think I have a good balance between family, work, and running, the reality is that there are many weekends where family comes in second place to running. I am very grateful for my supportive family. Part of my search for balance is probably why I only update this blog a few times a year! For runners like me who are trying to measure running vs. life balance here is a good metric: if you return from your morning run and your spouse and kids are still asleep you are "winning" the balancing act.

7. Strava accountability. Following other HURT 100 runners' training and being followed by like-minded runners on Strava is a tremendous help in keeping me motivated. While I'll never log as many miles or climb as many mountains as Gary Robbins, it's highly motivating to watch how elite ultra marathoners train!

8. Awesome training partners. Having training partners who have no problem meeting at 5am or 5pm on a Saturday or Sunday for 6 hours of trail running is a very good thing! I'm especially grateful for the support of Tom Steidler (pacer #1), Sam Reed (pacer #2), Jeff Snyder, and Michael Garrison (Hawaii Running Lab founder).

Me (L) and Tom Steidler (R) having fun at the Peacock 50k. (Photo by Augusto DeCastro)

Here is a macro look of my monthly training since August:

215 miles
26,890 feet climb/descent
36hrs 21mins time on feet
5 strength workouts
Races: Maunawili - 4th place; Tantalus Triple Trek - 4th place

216 miles
17,875 feet climb/descent
31 hrs 10mins time on feet
8 strength workouts

222 miles
20,737 feet climb/descent
34 hrs 44 mins time on feet
6 strength workouts
Race:  Peacock 50k - 1st place

204 miles
25,965 feet climb/descent
34 hrs 40 mins time on feet
6 strength workouts

178 miles (target is 290 miles)
17,126 feet climb/descent (target is over 30,000 feet)
27 hrs 55 min time on feet (as of 19 Dec)
6 strength workouts (4 more scheduled)
Race: Honolulu Marathon - 4:00:00 - Paced my friend Elisa (a Hawaii Running Lab runner) to a 15 min PR!


  1. To my fabulous son, you are amazing. I do respect your discipline and I am thankful that Alice and the children are very supportive. Just looking at your mileage each month humbles. This 72 year old mother clocks about 50 miles / month but I'm so grateful you are my inspiration. Love you dearly - Mommy

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