Each of us who have committed to running the Annapurna 100 as part our efforts to make a difference in the lives of Nepali school children are in various places in our training and testing. Here are summaries of each athletes’ goings on as they prepare to run along the side of the mountain in the picture above. Each of us will commit something like 250 to 500 hours of our time, running to prepare for this event. Too often, folks try to raise awareness for an issue they think is important, but they don’t give to the cause until it hurts. These folks are giving till it hurts!
Each athlete was asked the following questions:
Jeff Gaura – I have been dual training for both this race and my normal Duathlon Season. Each week, I structure cycling and running work-outs , in addition to Pilates, stretching and strength training. All are important-if I skip one of them, I set myself up for injury. Preparing for this epic event is a process, but there are events along the way to maintain the process. My first “test” race of the year is this weekend when I run the Badwater Cape Fear Ultramarathon. Here is a link to that race. Once this event is over, I will switch back to a more balanced approach to running and cycling. I anticipate both looking and feeling like the animal in this photo-took this photo in 1988.
When I run, I think about something else-performing and playing music is common, as is imaging the next goal. Sometimes, my goal is to make it to the next stop sign without looking at it. Other times, I am thinking about how blessed I am to be able to go so far, without pain.
Go to food? Right after a workout, I have a protein and carb shake (I use Endurox) Then, sometime in the next hour, I eat a plate of protein, veggies and some fat/carb thing. Pizza, bowl of pasta…..or both!
Ben Looney. Ben’s workouts happen down in Texas, where the weather can be really hot. Here is Loonman’s take on “getting ready” for a real race.
Currently I am training for a 50-mile race in Ithaca, NY on June 3rd (fun times….). I have started a (2) long run week routine. I’m doing a 3 week build with one week easy. Right now, I’m doing a 3.5 hour trail run and a 20 mile run at the end of each week. I’ve also been focusing on lateral strength training on my legs. My legs are strong but I have weak hip flexors. Usually when I run I visualize not tripping over any stumps, since my training partner and I have an ongoing bet that whoever falls the most has to by lunch. This has greatly increased my mental strength. Ha!
Go to food? “A burrito bowl from Chipotle. Breakfast food like eggs and sweet potatoes with a waffle thrown in there is always welcome! After a race, I usually go to In-N-Out burger as a treat and get the 4×4. Every once in a while, we will go get pizza. Ice cream is my vice. Don’t forget I have a dietitian for a wife so she keeps me in check. Otherwise I would live off pizza and ice cream!
“My regimen is that I know each week I need to run 5-6 times. Since I have been on the road traveling all over the place, the one constant is running. Sometime I can’t do weight or hill work, but if I keep the running, I know that is ultimately what will make me successful.
Visualize? I never really think about it. I just run. I used to hate running, got bored. Now it’s a game within myself to keep doing it w/o boredom and running in places like Croatia, Portugal and Nepal help tremendously. As hard as it will get, I tell myself how far I have come and how easy a 10-minute mile is now compared to when I started. Step by step, the running and hills get easy and sometimes you don’t appreciate that until you are finished for the day.
Go to food is chocolate milk but as I train in Nepal it’s either a mango lassi or milk tea with honey, you’ve got to adapt.
I appreciate what this race is doing for me mentally. I have a singular focus and goal each day (get out and run). This really helps create the framework for my day and makes exercise something I welcome instead of avoiding it.
I have done several long runs and a half marathon. Knees holding! So happy. Heading to Mt. Whitney Portal for some training at altitude. Hope to do 18 miles at 10K feet through ancient bristle cone pine (oldest trees in the world). Contemporaries of Jesus will be on my trail.
I began on January 1st and could run two miles. I have roughly 9 months to improve to the necessary level of 31 miles. I read 6 books and synthesized my own custom 9-month training plan including not only the concept of gradually increasing my running distance, but also periods of interval training and other cross training. I was proceeding as planned in January with 4-6 short runs per week in my Vibram five finger shoes. However, in February my plan was quickly torpedoed by two weeks of flu, and also knee pain. Once recovering from the flu, I addressed my knee pain by developing a daily program of 7 foam roller exercises for my legs, and also using kinesiotape as recommended by Becca Bazzle. Now my knee pain has almost completely disappeared, and I began running again around the beginning of March. My plan was to be somewhat conservative so I ran just 3 times a week – a 5 mile run on the beach at Long Beach NY each Sat and Sun, and a 3 mile recovery run on Wed. I was doing fine until this weekend but have now developed a persistent pain around my inner ankle. I’m somewhat worried it could be anterior tibial tendinitis, so I need to plan to address that now before I get back to running actively again. I expected to experience some challenges along the way to developing the capability to run 50km starting from almost zero in 9 months. So I’m not too surprised by what has happened so far in the sense that although I didn’t know exactly what the challenges would be, I certainly expected that there would be some. I’m fully confident that I will overcome these and any other issues, and run this race. My overall feeling is that I am experiencing these leg pains not because running inherently causes leg pains – I do not believe that can possibly be true because running is such a natural human activity. I think the pain is because I have neglected my natural human impulse to run for many years, and now my legs need to repair back to their natural active state, which will take some work.
When I run, I am generally either concentrating on the mechanics of running, or thinking about other things entirely. I really have not visualized the actual race much yet at all, because it seems completely impossible that I could run the race right now. Although at the same time, it seems 100% possible that I can prepare myself in 9 months to do make something currently impossible become possible.
After running I often blend a shake of coconut water, whey protein isolate powder, chia seeds, carrot, spinach, celery, and some variable type of fruit.