Training nirvana

May 6, 2008

As implied by my last entry, my perfect day of training might entail 12 to 15 laps around Green Lake, with the lap times never varying by more than a few seconds.

For many others, though, that situation would essentially be Hell on Earth. Based on my reading of a few fellow ultramarathoners’ blogs, here’s how they might spend their ideal day of training….

Matt Hart: a few hours of running followed by a few hours of mountain biking, a few hours of skiing, and then perhaps a few hours of kayaking. With a few dozen Clif Shots for sustenance.

Andy Jones-Wilkins: a long run on the Western States course, accompanied by chatty Oregonians. (Has anyone else noticed that 10 of his last 12 posts have mentioned Western States? The man is truly obsessed!)

Anton Krupicka: 30 miles in the morning, at altitude, with lots of climbing, accompanied by Kyle Skaggs (about the only guy who can keep up right now). A quart of ice cream for lunch. And then another mountainous 30-miler in the afternoon.

Brian Morrison: a long run on Chuckanut Mountain followed by several hours of isometric upright posture exercises — i.e., standing around — at a Pearl Jam concert.

If anyone else out there wants to describe his/her own unique formula for achieving a “runner’s high,” please go ahead!


  1. Hilarious. For me it is a slow jog up a big hill and an out of control srint back down. Chocolate milk top lip. 2 hrs max.

  2. For me, it's a flat six-mile route I know so well I could run it in my sleep. On a perfect day I run it in my sleep, stopping every few minutes to talk, for as long as ten minutes at a time, to people I know along the way. Restrech after each conversation because I've gotten cold and stiff. Striders at the end, consisting of several minutes of fully awake nonstop 9-minute-mile jogging. Quick-paced overpriced coffee at coffee shop on the way home.

  3. Greg,today it was 15x400m.sunday it was a 12k.friday, it was a 1 hour uphill and downhill loop.No matter what i do, i always get high.Go figure…

  4. I am trying a new approach…I hope by reading all of the blogs you listed I will somehow be virtually trained and not have to move from in front of my computer screen.

  5. Some old forest road, 2% grade, 4 o'clock sunshine, cedars above, sword ferns below, Craig on his bike beside me holding out a cheeseburger…

  6. Long trail run at Frontenac Provincial Park over some pretty rugged Canadian Shield….followed by a quick dogsled run in the evening (snow permitting).Then, a pint of Guinness with the dogs while listening to The Pogues and rehashing both runs.

  7. Greg,Great post! And, you're right, I am obsessed with WS. Especially at this time of year.AJW

  8. 3 – 5 hrs road and trail run in the Wissahickon in morning. Kids and house projects during the day. Dinner and many beers with wife and friends that night (this is last Saturday's training run). Repeaet every Saturday for April, May and June.

  9. 8 hrs in Columbia River Gorge, starting before sunrise, watching the sun come up and warming the mountains, with some climbs totalling over 8k gain, good long downhills, sneak views at the lake (and may be a dip or two), turkey sliders on the go and best friends to share it with. Getting lost is an added bonus:)

  10. Running on the soft squishy trails of Cougar Mountain, my home. Especially when the ferns and bleeding hearts are in bloom. I run at work but not for "love" per se, I have road shoes but my calves often hurt, I suppose its my huge mountaineering calves and thighs.

  11. Running the bluffs along the St.Croix River or Sawtooth Mountains on the Northshore, all while thinking about how great a fresh hunk of smoked salmon and a bottle of cold Two Hearted grog will taste when I am done.

  12. Greg,Cool post.Just running with no destination and no time to be home or at work or anywhere.By the way, how can I get in touch with you about the 100K team, I was hoping to discuss same with you in a more private setting?Cheers,Mike

  13. Mike: feel free to email me (trappedinlab@yahoo.com) and/or call me (work: 206-598-0973; cell: 206-290-8826).

  14. Are you planning to do the Western States this year? If so, what are the dates? We'd enjoy coming up to cheer you on.Barbara and Leon

  15. Barbara: Not this year … but I appreciate the interest!

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