My solution to over-training: Racing flat, fast, and short

On Folsom Street with about 600 yards to go, with David Glennon in hot pursuit.

For my Outside blog I recently wrote about the unexpected benefits of running flat, fast, and short this spring, a break from my more usual up/down, slow, and long.

Read: How to Avoid Overtraining

I was not suffering from over-training syndrome, which is a debilitating physical breakdown that seems to have no cure. But if you closely follow this blog, you may have heard me mention the mental exhaustion of high-volume efforts. Remarkably, I’m entirely refreshed after just a single training block of “normal” running: 60-mile weeks, one or two track workouts per week, and no races longer than 35 minutes.

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2 Responses to My solution to over-training: Racing flat, fast, and short

  1. George Zack July 9, 2018 at 1:13 pm #

    Good read.

    I’d venture to guess that you are not going to see a “lot” of drop off in what you do at RRR this year. I base that on the fact that you are not too far removed (a year vs. years) from the bigger ultra training and given you are still doing something … well it accounts for something. In other words, while specificity in training still rules, generally training will get you generally there.

    I do also notice that the guys that go back to the track and the short stuff are typically the ones that came from there in the first place. I have struggled to understand the 20 something kid that starts in the ultra space when they have 24 second speed in the 200 and have yet to run a mile on the oval (but hey, no harm no foul I guess – or “you do you.”).

    I’d be interest in the more specific particulars … do you avoid slogs up Green Mountain, or repeats up Fern Canyon entirely to be sure you get the 400 meter reps in? Or do you occasionally sub one in for the other?

    • Andrew Skurka July 10, 2018 at 5:07 pm #

      Good thoughts and observations.

      Re “more specific particulars,” I think David and I are still figuring it out. My summer schedule is inconsistent due to private and guided backpacking trips, so it’s been tough to establish a routine. In general, it seems like I can handle two workouts per week, independent of a day or two with a lap on Green or similar. One of those workouts will be something on the trail; the other, on flat trail or the track, to keep up running economy.

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