Lessons from Training for Hardcore Hundred Miles
On Deadlifts (DL)
1. DL made me stronger, although they are not a substitute for speed work. I ignored speed training too much.
2. Lift heavy, keep the reps under 5, and rest 5 minutes in-between sets. Include 6-8 box jumps, depth jumps, or broad jumps immediately following each set. This improves mass specific force delivery system.
3. Dropping the hex during DL produced less stress on my lower back and glutei. Also, I can lift heavier while dropping the bar due to less time under load. CON: Be extremely careful where you stand and notice the shape of the bar. I dropped the hex bar, and only once, did it spin forward and smash my big toe. I lost the toenail. I was, however, standing closer to the top of the bar. BE CAREFUL IF YOU DROP A HEX BAR.
4. Turn your feet out slightly during DL. This helped prevent my knees from caving in.
5. Engage your core during lifts by pretending to hold in a fart.
6.. New 1RM (one rep max) DL day. This happened twice…
3 weeks of gradually adding volume, strength, and intensity then…
Sunday: Easy 45min run. Monday: Moderate DL session (4-3-2-1 build 85-95% produced the best result) followed by an easy 30-45min run. Tuesday: 60-90min run with a bit of intensity. Wednesday: 1RM DL day 3x1. Fist lift 15kg under current max, second lift 5kg under current max, third lift 5kg OVER max. Twice I did this, and twice I set a new 1RM DL. Followed by a super chill 45-60min run. Thursday: Easy 45min run.
In hindsight, I should have used these “feeling good days” to set a new running personal best. Save the 1RM DL for the strength phase.
7. A real 1RM (1 rep max) takes the piss out of you. Ideally, you should max without maxing.
Food and Sleep
8. Fresh, young coconut works well as an electrolyte drink. Also, the more acclimatized I got to the heat, the less sodium I needed.
9. Being hungry before bed makes for a difficult sleep, but eating too much, especially something heavy like durian, jackfruit, Thai bananas, or coconut flesh makes me hot and I can’t get my body temperature down. The key: eat enough sweet, lighter fruit for dinner, mango, citrus, papaya….
10. Eat and drink more after a high intensity session. Your body is going to burn through fuel a lot more quickly when working hard, as opposed to the long, steady days.
11. Train first, then eat. As long as I eat enough during the day, I am not hungry in the morning. Eat breakfast after the morning session.
12. Sugar water makes me run faster but makes me extra thirsty. Also, it seems to speed recovery.
13. Mediation helps me sleep. Why? Because when I focus on my breath while lying in bed, I am less distracted by thoughts that could keep me awake.
14. Adjusting sleep patterns by 15min increments every 2-3 days is better than trying to drastically change your bed time or wake up time by many hours.
Running and Training
15. Don’t be afraid to do your best. I get scared that I may not be able to beat a previous time, or better a previous lift. You can’t always win, and just because you don’t attain a personal best, doesn’t mean you aren’t improving. The only way to get better at doing your best is to practice.
16. Plan harder sessions later in the week. The body is stale at the beginning of week, even though you may think it’s rested. Wednesday or Thursday’s worked best.
17. Focusing on minimizing ground contact time while running was my key to increasing turnover. “Tap” the ground.
18. Run lots with a fully loaded pack. Include all race gear and race food.
19. Swinging my arms during power hiking makes me go faster.
20. I absorbed low intensity volume well. During my first 100 mile week, my morning heart rate never went 6 over my rested recovery heart rate. 0-6 beats over rested heart rate means the training is being absorbed well.
21. I like doing fartlek sessions (speed sessions) without structure: using the trail to dictate efforts instead of doing 5x5min hard with 2 rest. Without structure, I run harder and longer to complete a hill or reach a specific point.
22. You don’t need a big toenail to run.