Tag Archives: Goofy Challenge Training

Dopey Challenge Novice Training Program

So what IS a novice runner anyway? While I leave the final definition up to you a good rule of thumb that I use is to look at three criteria.

  1. How long have you been running?
  2. How much have you run in that time period?
  3. Do you consider yourself a novice? (mentality/attitude/applied knowledge)

If you’ve signed up for the Dopey Challenge then I hope you have at least one marathon under your belt as well as a half marathon and perhaps a couple lesser distance races, but if you’ve already paid the registration and you plan to go the 48.6 mile distance across four days then take a look below for a simple program to get you across those four finish lines. First, seriously consider using the Galloway method as described on Jeff Galloway’s website or on the runDisney training website. Next, start training now. My assumption is that you are not starting from zero and you can run a good 5-8 miles right now without worry, but don’t wait to start training. Use this extra time to build base miles and as a good friend of mine says, “Respect the distance!

You may want to look at my previous blog post on the Dopey Training Program that I personally would use. I am not a novice runner as the upcoming Disney Marathon will be my 9th full marathon, but you can see the difference between the two programs. The program that follows is for a novice runner.  It is severely scaled back and cut down in comparison to the first program I posted for more intermediate to advance athletes/runners.  The following program is all about running and is based on the following assumptions.

Prerequisites/Assumptions

  1. You are healthy and injury free.
  2. You’re doctor says it’s okay to do this.
  3. You may have been running only 6-12 months or are returning from a long-ish break from running. (Not returning from an injury)
  4. You may have minimal races under your belt (1 marathon and maybe only 1-2 other long distance races).
  5. You run less than 15 miles a week at present.
  6. You can go out and run 5-8 miles right now non-stop, no problems, no big deal…you would say, “Let’s do this!”

The novice program I have designed is 31 weeks in length meaning you would need to start this plan in mid-June (June 9th I believe, but check my math) to complete it for the week leading up to WDW Marathon Weekend. The first few weeks are fairly light, but then the program ramps up quickly at a rate that is designed to allow your muscles, tendons, and ligaments to adapt to the work you are placing on them. A big component of this program is rest. Even if you feel great on a rest day do not run more or workout as the rest time is needed for adaptation.

Be sure to calculate your own program start date to ensure you have time to complete the plan in full. Details of what to do for the Bike and Core work follow the program table.

Week Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
30 Bike 30 2 miles 3 miles Rest Bike 30 5 miles Core/stretch
29 Bike 30 2 miles 3 miles Rest Bike 30 5 miles Core/stretch
28 Bike 30 2 miles 3 miles Rest Bike 30 6 miles Core/stretch
27 Bike 30 2 miles 5K Rest Bike 30 8 miles Core/stretch
26 Bike 30 2 miles Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
25 Bike 30 2 miles 4 miles 2 miles 3 miles 4 miles 8 miles
24 Bike 30 3 miles 4 miles Rest Bike 30 13 miles Core/stretch
23 Bike 30 3 miles 5 miles Rest Bike 30 15  miles Core/stretch
22 Bike 30 4 miles 5 miles Rest Bike 30 10  miles Core/stretch
21 Bike 30 3 miles 6 miles Rest Bike 30 17  miles Core/stretch
20 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30min Ellip 30 Core/stretch
19 Rest Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 5 miles 6 miles 12 miles
18 Bike 30 5K Easy 5 miles Rest Bike 30 15 miles Core/stretch
17 Bike 30 5K Easy 6 miles Rest Bike 30 17 miles Core/stretch
16 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 12 miles Core/stretch
15 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 21 miles Core/stretch
14 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
13 Rest Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 10K 8 miles 16 miles
12 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 17 miles Core/stretch
11 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 19 miles Core/stretch
10 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 7 miles Bike 30 14 miles Core/stretch
9 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 7 miles Bike 30 22.5 miles Core/stretch
8 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
7 Rest Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 10K Easy 10 miles 21 miles
6 Bike 30 5K Easy 10K Easy Rest Bike 30 19 miles Core/stretch
5 Bike 30 5K Easy 10K Easy Rest Bike 30 21 miles Core/stretch
4 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 23 miles Core/stretch
3 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Rest Bike 30 15 miles Core/stretch
2 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Core/stretch Bike 30 20 miles Core/stretch
1 Bike 30 15K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core/stretch
0 Rest Rest Rest WDW 5K WDW 10K WDW Half WDW Full

Special Weeks:

Dopey Practice Weeks:

Weeks 25, 19, 13, and 7 are designed to give you a little Dopey Practice to prepare you to run four days in a row at distances that build across the 4 days.

Pull Back Weeks:

Weeks 22, 16, 10, and 3 are Pull Back Weeks designed to give you extra rest from the long run in comparison to the two previous weeks.  As the program progresses these are still fairly long runs, but less distance than the previous 2-3 weeks.

Push Weeks:

Weeks 21, 15, 9, and 2 are Push Weeks which fall between the Pull Back Weeks and Alternative Training weeks.  You will notice the Push Weeks come back strong with the long run pushing out a bit further than before the Pull Back week.

Alternative Training Weeks:

Weeks 26, 20, 14, 8, and 1 are Alternative Training Weeks. These weeks mix things up with a break from the standard schedule, a couple easier and shorter runs, and an elliptical session. These weeks will help you with the mental fortitude and motivation to keep training by giving you a break from the “same old same old” routine.

Taper Weeks:

Weeks 1 and 0 are the days leading up to The Dopey Challenge. Week one is an alternate training week, but also the start of your tapering off period for the 4-days of running you have approaching. Follow the program, trust in your training, don’t add workouts, and if you must change anything opt to be over-rested rather than over-trained. Try to minimize time walking around the Disney parks on the 2-3 days before the 5K and across the 4-days of The Dopey Challenge. It would be a shame to train all this time to just throw it all away by being too tired.  The average park guest walks 8 miles per day when visiting a Disney park.

Types of Workouts in the Program:

Bike:

30 minute bike sessions should be on a cadence/rpm of 80-100. Add a resistance that will allow for you to have a “good effort”, but not so difficult as to make the next day’s run difficult.  RPMs are more important than resistance on the bike. Push with the heel down, NOT the toe when pedaling.

Elliptical:

As an alternative form of exercise that is less impactful on joints, but still works the running muscles I have added an occasional elliptical (Ellip) session during alternate workout weeks.  Notice a Core workout follows these so as to give your legs a rest. If you don’t have access to an elliptical at a gym then just walk for 30 minutes at a brisk pace, but do not run.

Core:

Working your core is imperative for your training as a runner especially for the novice runner.  As you run long distance your core stabilizes your entire body from your upper torso to your hips and more. As your core fatigues your running form begins to degrade and you must expend more energy to keep running or maintain pace. Worse yet, as your core stabilizers weaken across the long miles it is easier to become injured as your ability to recover from a quick side-step or a high curb lessens. DO NOT SKIP your core workouts! Ask me if you don’t know how to do these exercises. I’m happy to explain!

Oh, and forget sit-ups. Sit-ups are worthless.  I almost didn’t add crunches as I don’t do them, but I know the standard crunch is a recognized exercise by many people. Try to move from one core exercise to the next with minimal rest between exercises and only 30-60 seconds of rest between sets. After you finish the core work stretch out the major muscle groups for 20-30 minutes holding for 15-20 seconds for each muscle and do 3 sets each. Hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calf muscles should all be stretched after your core work.

Standard Plank 60 sec 3
Low Plank with one leg off the ground: both legs 60sec 3/leg
High Plank position. Knee to elbow. Both legs 15/leg 3/side
Crunch with arms crossed on chest 30 3
High Knees 50 3

Rest Days

If you must do something on a rest day then opt for an additional core workout or just take 30 minutes and stretch out the running muscles, but stay off your feet as far as running, walking, elliptical, or anything else as much as possible. Try to get extra sleep whenever possible especially after long runs. Your body needs the extra rest to recover and adapt for the next session.  Shut off the TV, close the laptop, get off Facebook, put away angry birds and go to sleep!  Many times injury happens not because of the intensity of the training program, but because proper rest and recovery wasn’t taken on rest days. If in doubt, trade a bike or elliptical day for an additional rest day if you need it.

I’m here if you have questions. Don’t feel you have to know everything or tackle this alone. I’m happy to answer questions and respond to comments. If you connect with me on Facebook, just let me know that you’re a runDisney/Dopey-to-be runner!

Happy Training!

Brian

Dopey Challenge Intermediate Training Program

I’ve been busy designing a training program for The Dopey Challenge based on where I am in my training so let’s begin with some assumptions of your level of experience and current training level if you were to use this program to train for the inaugural Dopey Challenge. If you are a newbie runner of less than six months running experience then I would seriously consider doing something less than the Dopey Challenge as your body hasn’t the time to adapt to the kind of stress you will need to put it through across four days and 48.6 miles. Specifically, your tendons, ligaments, and muscles need time to adapt. This happens in months of training, not days and weeks.

Prerequisites/Assumptions

  1. You have six months of long distance running experience at a bare minimum (12 months preferred)
  2. You have run at least one full marathon BEFORE starting this training program and in the last six months (2+ marathons in the last 12 months preferred)
  3. At present (today) you could go out and run at least 13 miles with no problem.  You would say, “Yeah, no big deal, let’s do 13 for fun.” (15-18 miles preferred)
  4. You’ve run at least one 5K, 10K, half, and full marathon and can discuss your own pacing differences for each race distance.
  5. Your doctor has said it’s okay for you to do this.

If you meet all five of these assumptions and your physician gives you a green light then this may be the training plan for you.  If you meet assumptions one, two, and three then you will probably be okay.  If you meet only number one and two then you may want an easier plan, but that is for you to decide. If you meet just number 1 or none at all then I’d pass on this program and wait for me to post the novice plan in a few weeks. This plan is not for beginners. This plan is not for newbie runners.  This is a mid-level plan that will help someone cross the finish line four days in a row and still be able to walk afterwards assuming they are healthy and injury free when they start the program. Of course if you meet all of these assumptions and then some I will be posting a more advanced plan after I finish the novice plan.

This is a complete program. If you delete or modify any part then you run the risk of not getting the overall benefits of the program.  I’ve designed in cross training, lifting, rest, and three different types of running to prepare your body for four days of running that will double (or more) in length each day from one to the next.

The Dopey Challenge is quite unique. Some would say that it would be easier to just run 50-miles since you wouldn’t have to worry about having tight muscles, lactic acid build-up from one day to the next, and warming up day after day after day for what will most likely be longer periods of time to warm-up while running on limited rest. Compound this with the fact that you may foolishly go to the parks for more mileage after each race and the Dopey Challenge may prove to be more than some people trained for so with this in mind, read on, enjoy, ask me questions, and let’s get Dopey!

The Program

The program I have designed is 25 weeks in length meaning you would need to start this plan in July to complete it for the week leading up to WDW Marathon Weekend. Make sure you calculate your own program start date to ensure you have time to complete the plan in full. Details of what to do for the Bike, Intervals, Lifting, Tempo Runs, and Elliptical follow the program table.

Week Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
24 Bike 30min 2 miles 4 miles Lift #1 Bike 30min 13 miles Core
23 Bike 30 2 miles 5 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 15  miles Core
22 Bike 30 3 miles 5 miles Lift #1 Bike 30 10  miles Core
21 Bike 30 3 miles 6 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 17  miles Core
20 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core
19 Lift Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 5 miles 6 miles 12 miles
18 Bike 30 5K Easy 5 miles Lift #1 Bike 30 15 miles Core
17 Bike 30 5K Easy 6 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 17 miles Core
16 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Lift #1 Bike 30 12 miles Core
15 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 20 miles Core
14 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core
13 Lift Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 5-mile 8 miles 16 miles
12 Bike 30 5K Tempo 10K Easy Lift #1 Bike 30 17 miles Core
11 Bike 30 Intervals 1 10K Easy Lift #2 Bike 30 19 miles Core
10 Bike 30 5K Tempo 7 miles Lift #1 Bike 30 14 miles Core
9 Bike 30 Intervals 2 7 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 22.5 miles Core
8 Bike 30 5K Easy Rest 5K Easy Bike 30 Ellip 30 Core
7 Lift Bike 30 Rest 5K Easy 6 miles 10 miles 21 miles
6 Bike 30 5K Tempo 10K Easy Lift #1 Bike 30 19 miles Core
5 Bike 30 Intervals 1 10K Easy Lift #2 Bike 30 21 miles Core
4 Bike 30 5K Tempo 7 miles Lift #1 Bike 30 23 miles Core
3 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Lift #2 Bike 30 15 miles Core
2 Bike 30 5K Easy 7 miles Core Bike 30 20 miles Core
1 Bike 30 15K Easy Rest 10K Easy Bike 30 Core Ellip 30
0 Rest Rest Rest WDW 5K WDW 10K WDW Half WDW Full

Special Weeks:

Dopey Practice Weeks:

Weeks 19, 13, and 7 are designed to give you a little Dopey practice to prepare you to run four days in a row at distances that build across the 4 days.

Pull Back Weeks:

Weeks 22, 16, 10, and 3 are pull back weeks designed to give you extra rest from the long run in comparison to the two previous weeks.  As the program progresses these are still fairly long runs, but less distance than the previous 2-3 weeks.

Push Weeks:

Weeks 21, 15, and 9 are Push Weeks which fall between the Pull Back Weeks and Alternative Training weeks.  You will notice the Push Weeks come back strong with the long run pushing out a bit further than before the Pull Back week.

Alternative Training Weeks:

Weeks 20, 14, and 8 are alternative training weeks. These weeks mix things up with a break from lifting, a couple easier and shorter runs, and an elliptical session. These weeks will help you with the mental fortitude and motivation to keep training by giving you a break from the “same old same old” routine.

Taper Weeks:

Weeks 1 and 0 are the days leading up to The Dopey Challenge. Follow the program, trust in your training, don’t add workouts, and if you must change anything opt to be over-rested rather than over-trained. Try to minimize time walking around the Disney parks on the 2-3 days before the 5K and across the 4-days of The Dopey Challenge. It would be a shame to train all this time to just throw it all away by being too tired.  The average park guest walks 8 miles per day when visiting a Disney park. This is why I’m just doing the marathon this year and saving Dopey for 2015.  I need park time!

Types of Workouts in the Program:

Bike:

30 minute bike sessions should be on a cadence/rpm of 80-100. Add a resistance that will allow for you to have a “good effort”, but not so difficult as to make the next day’s run difficult.  RPMs are more important than resistance on the bike. Push with the heel down, NOT the toe when pedaling.

Elliptical:

As an alternative form of exercise that is less impactful on joints, but still works the running muscles I have added an occasional elliptical (Ellip) session.  Notice a Core workout follows these so as to give your legs a rest.

LSD:

All long runs on Saturday and Sunday are “LSDs” or Long Slow Distance runs.  These should be done at a slow pace under the pace you plan for a marathon.  The purpose of an LSD is NOT speed, but rather just going the prescribed distance.

Tempo:

A tempo run is paced fast enough to where you can maintain the pace for the desired distance, but cannot carry on a long conversation without taking breaks for breathing. Short bursts of conversation would be the most you could do if your pace is fast enough, but you should be able to do this for the entire distance. Most 5Ks at tempo pace can be described as a “Fast 5K” or a PR effort 5K.

Interval Workouts:

Interval #1 (4.25 mile)
Warm-up half mile (800m)
4x400m (400m R.I.)
2x800m (400m R.I.)
Cool-down half mile (800m)
Interval #2 (5.5 mile)
Warm-up half mile (800m)
1600m (400m R.I.)
3 x 800m (400m R.I.)
1600m (400m R.I.)
Cool-down half mile (800m)
R.I. = Rest Interval.  You may slow your run pace significantly or even walk if you need to recover more.

Lifting Workouts:

Weights/Exercise Reps Sets
Lift #1 = Legs & Back
Lift #2 = Legs & Chest/Shoulders
Legs
Walking Lunges 10/leg 3
Leg Curl (lying preferred) 10 3
Calf Raise 10 3
Abduction Machine 10 3
Adduction Machine 10 3
Back
Assisted Pull-up Machine/Lat pull down 10 3
Seated Row Machine 10 3
Pull Over Machine 10 3
Chest/Shoulders
Chest Press Machine/bench 10 3
Shoulder Press Machine 10 3
Chest Fly Machine 10 3
Use a weight that you can comfortably lift for 10 reps.  Rep number 9 and 10 should be the most challenging.
Core
Standard Plank 60 sec 3
Low Plank with one leg off the ground: both legs 60sec 3/leg
High Plank position. Knee to elbow. Both legs 15/leg 3/side
Crunch 30 3

Rest, Skipping Workouts, and Fatigue

As I always say, if at ANY time you feel you need to rest more then REST MORE!  Taking an extra rest day in the form of an easier run, slightly shorter run during the week, or skipping an “easy 5K day” in lieu of more sleep is okay if you need more rest and recovery.  Try not to skip too many long runs (or any at all) as these will ensure you can cover the distance required on Saturday and Sunday of marathon weekend. Realize that you will start to feel the fatigue of marathon weekend about half way through the half marathon on Saturday. Keep to your fueling/nutrition plan and stay the course! You will do great!

Happy Training!

Brian

The Dopey Challenge

Are you Dopey enough?  Of course you are!
Are you Dopey enough? Of course you are!

It’s already started. People are asking that very important question.

How do I train for the Dopey Challenge?

For many, the Dopey Challenge may be the closest they ever get to running an ultra marathon…it seems I may have said something similar to this about a piddly little race called the Goofy Challenge a couple years ago…I’m joking obviously as both are very much a challenge! However, now we can officially be Dopey!

An ultra marathon is defined as any distance beyond the 26.2 mile marathon distance in a single day, BUT most ultra marathoners will tell you that the respect of ultra runners start at the 50 mile marker and not a step before. Anything less is just a “marathon plus”.  The Dopey Challenge will cover 48.6 miles across four days while the shortest official ultra will cover a minimum of a 50K (31.069 miles) in a single day. However, I digress as this post is about the Dopey Challenge.

I’ve decided to post “unofficial” training plans for the Dopey Challenge for my personal use. I’m basing the plans off my experience from training for relays (64 miles), two Goofy Challenges, multiple marathons, half-marathons and other shorter races. My educational background is in Movement and Sport Science double majoring in Exercise and Fitness.

Disclaimer: You should always consult your doctor before beginning ANY exercise program regardless of previous experience.  If you want to use a plan posted here then it is your choice. It’s freely posted on the web and you use the plan at your own risk.

Here are some general guidelines to get you started before I post my training plans:

  1. Start now or as soon as you consult your physician.
  2. Don’t wait or only wait until after you consult your physician.
  3. Start slow regardless of previous experience
  4. Start slowly building your mileage to 50 miles per week over the next several months. (Dopey = 48.6 miles)
  5. Get yourself used to running back to back to back to back days with increasing distance. Start this process slowly and take a few months to build your base miles and consecutive running days.
  6. Cross train. Bike, lift, spin, row, swim, whatever, but do something more than just run and do it weekly until December.  Preferably cross training should use something else besides your running muscles.

Happy Training!

Brian

Recovery

Recovery is perhaps the most difficult thing for someone after the big event. Whether it’s your first 5K or your second unofficial Goofy Challenge there is a mixed bag of emotions that come with crossing the finish line.  Joy, relief, determination, excitement, the feeling that you WON’T be doing THAT again anytime soon, and the realization 24 hours later that you can’t wait to do it again…and better this time.

Besides recovering emotionally there is of course the physical component. There are some things you can do immediately post race to help your body recover “faster”.  I put the word faster in quotes because time to recovery is relative to the individual and is a complicated equation.

Here are just a few things that effect time to recovery.

  • Age
  • Training Time for the Event (did you train for it or foolishly jump in over your head? …like me)
  • Previous training (high school track doesn’t count unless you never stopped)
  • Nutrition –> A lot goes under this one
  • Rest (immediately after the event AND the weeks following)
  • Rehab
  • Time
Age

We can’t do a lot about this one except keep training as that is the only way to minimize the effects of one more trip around the sun. Anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to sell you something. You can’t outrun time.  Just ask Captain Hook.

Training Time for the Event

Did you give yourself enough time to train for the event or did you wait until you had the bare minimum time to start a program? A lot of people will take 16-20 weeks to train for a marathon and 12-16 weeks for a half marathon. When I decided to run my first marathon I gave myself a year to train with a LOT of mile markers along the way.  I ran three 5Ks, one 4.5 mile race and four half marathons on my way to running my first marathon at Disney.  Preparation is key. Make the decision and go for it.  When you are well trained recovery takes less time.  Now days, I only need a day after a half marathon and I’m back full force 2-3 days after a full marathon.

Previous Training

Is this your first rodeo or is this your 6th or 60th marathon?  If you continue to train (with periods of rest and cross training) then recovery will be easier and faster. Only training for eight weeks a year for your annual event will be a trip to eventual injury.  Believe me, it’s harder to start over than it is to slow down a bit, but still keep going.

Nutrition

There is so much under this one that I could right about.  Here are some general recovery tips concerning nutrition.

  1. Hydrate
  2. Fuel before, during, and after a race.
  3. Hydrate
  4. Take in some protein within 30 minutes of ending the event.  Add some carbs to make it even better. I use EAS shakes.
  5. Hydrate
  6. Don’t forget some electrolytes
  7. Don’t over hydrate
Rest

This should be an obvious one, but there are times when after a race that you don’t want to go rest…ahemDisneyRacesahem.  Still, try to get as much rest as possible as soon as possible. After my first Disney marathon I went and took a three hour nap before hitting the parks. Taking it easy is good. Sitting and being off your feet is better.  Sleep is best.

Rehabilitation (Rehab – They tried to make me go…)

This refers to those other things you can do such as:

  1. Ice bath or ice pack
  2. Compression gear
  3. Elevation of the legs
  4. Stretch
  5. Foam Roller
  6. Massage
  7. The Stick
  8. Chiropractor

Many of these can and will speed recovery if used properly. I’ve used ALL of these.

Time

You can’t help but give yourself time to recover. It takes, well, time. After my first Goofy Challenge I was surprised that it took me a month before I felt 100% again and started running again and was able to actually train. I’ve made it a habit to give myself time off after a race and really rest.  I still am active, but in other things besides running.  After my impromptu Goofy Challenge a few weeks ago I focused on weight lifting, short runs of 1-3 miles, and a lot of biking and elliptical.  I just took the time to enjoy working out and not run allowing time for those running muscle to recover.

Happy Recovery!

Brian

You can also follow me on Twitter  @TheRunningMan23

The-Ultra-RunningMan23

The-Ultra-Runningman23??

No I’m not actually changing my twitter handle to add the word “ultra” and no this is not a post about Dean Karnazes’ book with a similar title…good book though! This is about my next adventure later this year. That’s right, I am registered for my first 50-mile ultra marathon! My ultra of choice is the OPSF 50/50 Ultra Marathon.

Wait…what’s an “Ultra-Marathon”?

Good Question!  Let’s define an ultra marathon for you. An ultra marathon is any distance foot race/event that is longer than the traditional 26.2 miles of a standard marathon.

What about the Goofy Challenge?  That was more than 26.2 miles!

So is the Goofy Challenge an Ultra?  A purist would likely say “no” since the 39.3 miles of the Goofy is ran across 2 days with a big break in the middle where as an ultra marathon is a continuous event until the mileage is finished (assuming a course time limit). Having just completed a Goofy Challenge…plus an extra 5K for 42.4 miles in three days, Dopey I know…I can assure you that the experience will be helpful! The shortest ultra I know of is the 50-K which equates to 31.07 miles. I had the option to do this shorter distance instead of the 50-miler, but to be honest there is no doubt in my mind that I can finish a 50K especially after having completed 42.4 across three days. At the end of the Goofy Challenge I was more than prepared to go another 5-miles. The 50-miler is a much greater challenge for me. Also, having read up on the topic of ultra marathons I’ve learned that the people who run these events don’t consider it a “real ultra” until you hit the 50-mile mark. Anything less is considered a long marathon or “just a training run”. As they say, “When in Rome!”

Why in the name of all that’s holy…?!?!?

Why an ultra? Well, that’s a good question! An ultra marathon is like a mountain to some runners. You run it because it’s there. For others it’s just the challenge of the distance. It’s a little bit of both for me plus training for an ultra marathon is much different than training for even a regular 26.2 for both the program and the philosophy. Also, this is a trail run so the environment of the course is much different than a standard road race. So I have a 2-in-1 challenge ahead of me!

Preparation

To prepare for this event I am increasing my training mileage quite a bit. Right now my weekly mileage not including cross-training is close to ~25 miles per week.  Once I start the ultra training I’ll boost that number to over 30 miles per week almost immediately…emphasis on “almost” and then increase it from there.  It’s advised that you only increase total mileage by 10% from week to week so luckily I have a couple weeks to build up so there isn’t such a huge jump at the start of the program.  Another nicety is that the weekly mileage increase primarily comes in the mid-week runs at the start along with the addition of a short Sunday run after a long Saturday run.  The first 8-weeks has a small 5-miler on Sunday after the long run on Saturday. I was amazed at how closely the training plan resembles the Goofy Challenge Training just higher mileage.

Besides the races I mentioned in my last post I also added a couple 15K trail runs and a full marathon trail run so I can get more trail experience. As soon as I finish the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon on May 5th I will be all about the trail running for the remainder of the year.  I’m looking forward to buying a headlamp! 🙂

Happy Training!

Brian

You can follow me on Twitter @TheRunningMan23

Recovering from being Goofy

I’ve blogged before about how I feel that rest & recovery are just as important as the actual training sessions we do to prepare ourselves for any event. I’ve read about and witnessed too many fellow athletes who have pushed and pushed only to overtrain themselves to an injury when a simple day off could have prevented the “medically mandated and mandatory downtime”.

So with this in mind I want to share the methods I used during the Goofy Challenge Weekend to feel well rested and ready for the next event even after three back-to-back race days equaling 42.4 miles.

Nutrition

I want to talk about nutrition in two ways, the WHAT and the WHEN.

What: Protein & Carbs

A combination of protein and carbs is best for helping muscles, tendons, ligaments and the body as a whole recover from an intense session of training. My personal opinion is that the protein is most important, but that the carbs help increase the recovery of damaged systems. It’s fairly common knowledge that an exercise session does some amount of damage to muscles and that when recovery is allowed the muscles repair to a “bigger, stronger, faster” state.

From previous blogs you know that I am an EAS guy or a Pacific Health Labs guy. I like EAS because I can tolerate and even enjoy their ready-to-eat shakes as well as their powdered products. I would dare to say that EAS has the best tasting products I’ve ever had in the nearly 20 years that I’ve been drinking protein shakes. Every exercise session (cardio, race, weights, spin, run, etc) is followed by protein intake and many times carbs too.

When: Before, During & After

Before:

First let’s discuss carb loading. If you read a lot like I do then you know by now that the pre-race night spaghetti dinner is completely NOT needed except for the camaraderie of it all which IS important on the mental side of things. By all means go have fun chatting with fellow participants and make those connections with fellow athletes! Just don’t stuff yourself with too much pasta.

However, if you want to carb load then just sip on some Gatorade or Powerade throughout the day 24-48 hours in advance of your race or endurance event. To clarify, on the Thursday and Friday before a race I sip on Gatorade throughout the day and have a couple meals with a serving or two of carbs. This amount of carbohydrate is all that is needed to “top off the tank” before an event. Next, choose a combination of carbs and protein for your pre-race meal (breakfast usually) and stick with this for every event.  For me, I eat a peanut butter crunch cliff bar and drink some gatorade or water along with a half cup of coffee 60-90 minutes before a race.  That’s it…no big secret. This was my exact breakfast before each event of Goofy Weekend.

Finally, I do use gels and my product of choice is Accel Gels by Pacific Health Labs due to the 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Taking in a small amount of protein along with carbohydrate has been shown to reduce exercise induced muscle damage which is an inhibitor of performance and endurance in long distance events. This also helps reduce recovery time as there is less damage to recover from after an event.  Make sense? I pop a gel 15 minutes before my race to get a good kick start. I did this before each race on Goofy Weekend except the 5K…no need due to the shorter distance, but could have if I wanted.

During:

Not much to type here that I didn’t just type in that last paragraph. I use gels, Gataorade, Powerade, Accelerade, etc during a race or other endurance event. I used them during the Goofy Challenge as well.

One other thing I used during the full marathon was chocolate covered espresso beans. Sounds odd I know, but a handful of chocolate covered espresso beans will give you quite the mental and physical kick when you need it the most. If you want to try this be sure to see how these wonderful little magic beans interact with your digestive system BEFORE race day. In fact, I would test them several times on a long run (15-20 miles) before employing them for an event. I had my wife carry them and hand them to me around mile 11 of the course from the sidelines. Talk about a rush of mental clarity!

Finally, I did ingest a single salt packet during the marathon on Sunday (like you get from any take-out restaurant) to make sure my sodium levels were replenished in the Florida heat and humidity.

After:

Post race nutrition is many times overlooked by recreational athletes. They accept the bag of chips, cookies and bananas that the volunteers are handing out on the way to get their picture taken and call it a day. What you should be doing is realizing that as soon as you cross the finish line a stop watch starts on a window of opportunity for maximizing recovery for damaged muscles.

30-60 minutes is the window. If I have a “cheer squad” with me that day then I’ll have them carry an EAS shake to hand me as soon as I finish with my picture (Hey, I still get the pic, but I’m just thinking about the nutrition!).  If I am solo that day then I will stash an EAS shake in my gear bag at the bag check and be sure to grab it as soon as I finish. Combine the EAS shake with the free banana (or other easy carb) at the finish line and you have a combination that gets you on your way to a speedy post race recovery. You could also stash or have someone carry any other type of protein shake/recovery drink besides EAS…I just like that brand personally and EAS uses whey protein which absorbs into the body faster than other types of protein.

R.I.C.E

R.I.C.E.? Isn’t that an acronym used in first aid?  Yep! It’s also the best means by which to recover from extended exercise in my humble opinion. Though I rearrange the letters to I.C.E.R. which is slightly more difficult to remember and is only technically a real word. What is an “Icer” anyway? Sometimes a football coach is an “Icer” when they call a timeout before the opposing team’s field goal attempt. According to Webster’s dictionary an Icer has to do with baking or covering food with ice…so yeah…captain tangent…..apologies…Webster’s pushing it I think.

Ice:

Or ice bath rather. WHAT?!!? Yes, you read right. I will swear on a stack of runner’s world magazines that “taking the plunge” will do more for post-race recovery than…well…I don’t know, but it really really helps! An ice bath reduces inflammation BIG TIME and almost immediately. I take a 20 minute ice bath as soon as I can after finishing a race. I did this right after the half and full marathon on Saturday and Sunday. It made a big difference for me.

Here’s what you do.

  1. Grab a stop watch or wear a watch.
  2. Draw a bath with cold water only. Fill the tub enough to cover your legs completely.
  3. Throw in a bag of ice from the corner grocery OR just dump the entire ice container from the freezer in there.
  4. Get in for 20 minutes.

That’s it. Take a deep breath and take the plunge. I did this every Saturday after every long run for almost a year when I first started running and I truly believe it helped me recover from those long runs.

Compression:

There are many products on the market for compression including a simple ACE bandage from the drug store. I go a little more high tech with mine and use Zoots compression gear. I’ll admit they are a bit expensive, but they are designed for triathletes and are at the top of the list for quality.

The story behind compression gear is that it forces lactic acid and other waste products out of the lower limbs for a faster recovery. As an example compression socks are used in hospitals post surgery for the same reason. A good product will have enough pressure to even raise your heart rate a bit as it will need to work harder in order to force blood flow into the lower leg. If you happen to have any cardiac or blood pressure issues it would be advisable to check with your doctor before using these products for recovery.

As soon as I dried off from the ice bath I put on my Zoots compression socks for the remainder of the evening. I even slept in them the night of the marathon.

Elevation:

For ninety minutes to two hours I elevated my legs with a pillow after each Goofy event. This is just a common knowledge practice. Use gravity to help return blood to the heart and help to remove waste from the legs. I also (as much as possible) tried to sleep with my legs elevated…at least I started off sleeping that way.

Rest:

This goes right along with the elevation piece. Notice I didn’t go walk around the parks Saturday night…I rested.  Yeah, it killed me to do so for the second straight year…I need more park time that doesn’t include stopping for Biofreeze! 🙂

So anyway, I rested after the half on Saturday and then had a nice early dinner, caught a sit down show (Cirque du Soleil) then went to bed shortly after 9:00pm. On Sunday I did all the previous and then took a short nap before heading to EPCOT in the afternoon.

On a rest side note I also took it easy on Friday before the half marathon and I went to bed early. Rest isn’t always about recovery.

Finally, after I completed the Goofy I have taken it easy for a week afterwards in regards to running and training in general. I was planning on getting back to the gym a week ago, but have been sidelined by a nasty rhino virus after my own mandatory week of recovery so I ended up with two weeks of inactivity (rest) before initiating training for my next race. I’m back in the gym this coming week though and ready to start training for the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon. I’m hoping for a PR this year!

So that’s it. I feel that I have a good recovery regimen for endurance events. That being said I am always looking for something to add so I can recover better or faster.

Happy Training!

Brian

19.2 Miles

Today I ran a whopping 19.2 miles toward my Goofy Challenge training. I did a 5 mile walk yesterday to mimic a “Goofy Weekend Experience”.  It felt good to do some distance, but I was dragging those last 6 miles.  One thing I still need to work on is pacing.  My Garmin is helping a lot, but I still find myself speeding up too soon in the overall distance.  And I could have used another Accel Gel today too.

I’m thinking of trying to add some Accel powder to my drinking water [camel bak] initially since that’s what I’m used to on my shorter runs.  The constant sport drink seems to do my system better than the Gel “dump” every 45 minutes.

I hope all your runs went well this weekend that you enjoyed the cooler temps!

Happy Training!

Brian

FIRST day back…pun intended

After two weeks off from running I hit the treadmill this morning at 5:00am for my 1st FIRST Key Workout in what seemed like a lot longer than 2 weeks! Key Workout #1 each week is Interval Training and today called for 1-kilometer repeats (x5) at an approximate 8:10/mile pace.  For those who can’t do kilometer to mile conversions in their head… 1 kilometer = .62 miles.

The first three intervals were good, but I could tell I had lost a little speed over the last couple weeks. The last two were a bit more brutal. I was toggling between 7.4 and 7.3 mph on the TM for the last two intervals. I also slowed down a bit more for the 400m RIs for the last to Rest Intervals to 5.0mph.

Tomorrow is a cross training and lifting day. I plan to take a step back on the cross training intensity so I can focus more on the Key Running Workouts.  The cross training days will be for recovery from here on out!

Happy Training!

-Brian

Monumentally Goofy Training Program

Happy July 4th to my US readers/runners and happy Monday to all the rest! Wow, has it really been mid-June since my last blog?!?!  Yikes! See, that’s what happens when you have a full-time job. It gets in the way of all the important things in life.  ;-D

Over the last few weeks I have made myself NOT RUN! I know, crazy right? I took this time to do the following:

  1. Rest & Recover from the last 20 months of training
  2. Cross Train & lift weights a bit
  3. Get a business trip out of the way
So now that I am all rested I am ready to start my new training program for the remainder of the summer. And speaking of new training programs, a few weeks ago I posted the basic Goofy Training Program (From Memory). Jeff Galloway and runDisney have the complete plan up again now so everyone can choose whether or not they want to use Jeff’s run-walk-run method since he includes all the details on the runDisney website.  Many people have a lot of great things to say about his run/walk plan and many more have cut there half and full marathon times by implementing his training methodology. Last January I even did a little of the run-walk-run during my 1st marathon at Walt Disney World.
2011 WDW Radio Running Team before the Marathon

I ran most of the race and even did a few miles with my fellow teammates from the WDW Radio Running Team. However, since it was my first full-marathon I decided to enjoy it and walk a few steps to get needed rest so I’d have something left in the fuel tank for walking around the park on Monday!

Like I said in January if you want to run with a great group of people then look up Lou Mongello and the WDW Radio Running Team on Facebook. We raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation.  Our numbers have really grown since last January!  I believe we are up to 47 members on the team running a variety of races at Disney throughout the year. Running with this group makes a great event even more special since you help fulfill the wish of a terminally ill child. The team raised enough to do just that going into January and it was a fantastic feeling!

But I digress, so I had planned to tackle the Goofy next January, but as always nothing is simple. I went to a race expo in May before the Indianapolis Mini-Marathon and saw a flyer for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.  Wanting to be prepared to “Go Goofy” I decided a pre-Goofy test was in order and signed up for the Indianapolis full-marathon which takes place November 5th, 2011. So now the dilemma. How to train for both the Monumental full-marathon AND the Goofy Challenge?  Thrown into the mix was the fact that I have implemented the FIRST Training Program (mentioned this in a previous post).  The answer is simple.  Use the blender method!  Throw it all together and hit puree! After a good blending what do you get? A Monumentally Goofy Training Program!

It’s not really all that bad, but I’m going to be working hard most days of the week. Glad I “rested” for 2 weeks!

Monday: Lift weights & Spin (Cross Training Workout #1 for FIRST)

Tuesday: FIRST Key Running Workout #1 (Intervals)

Wednesday: Lift Weights and Spin/Row (Cross Training Workout #2 for FIRST)

Thursday: FIRST Key Running Workout #2 (Tempo Run)

Friday: Lift Weights Only (Go Light)

Saturday: Long Run – The Goofy Training calls for some weekends of a long walk followed by a long run the next day

Sunday: Rest or Long Run on “Goofy” weekends

So that’s my training plan for the rest of the year. Seems pretty basic until you go back and look at what the FIRST Training plan entails (see previous posts). That regimen is rather intense! I’ll be on this plan for 8 weeks and then I’m taking a week off to go to Hawaii for vacation!  🙂 I’ll have a couple workouts there, but nothing serious since I’m on vacation! After Hawaii I’ll be back on my program for another 9 weeks until the Monumental Marathon on November 5th. After the Monumental it’ll be just 9 more weeks until The Goofy Challenge!

I’m so excited to get started!  Training begins tomorrow morning!

Happy Training!

-Brian

2012 Goofy Challenge Training Program

It has come to my attention from one of my readers (Thanks Jenn!!) that runDisney has yet to post Jeff Galloway’s updated training program for the 2012 Goofy Challenge. Being a training program connoisseur of sorts I downloaded it back when it was still posted in 2010. Thinking back I guess I already knew that runDisney had taken the old training program down since I had emailed them about the dates being “off”.  The dates were off since it hadn’t been updated since 2009 when it was originally published, but the basics were there. Now remember race fans, this program is designed to get you across both finish lines in the upright position not set land speed records at Disney World. It’s a fairly simple program that follows Jeff’s run/walk philosophy. Most weeks you only run 3 days and rest/recovery is a key component of the program.

Seeing how I don’t have express written consent by the Walt Disney Company or Jeff Galloway to republish the PDF I have (assuming I can find it…) I will talk in generalities and answer questions if you have any. Don’t worry though, there’s a table below with a week by week schedule.

You know you want it...or one very similar to it!

Keep in mind that my goal for the 2012 Goofy Challenge is to cross both finish lines on Saturday and Sunday in the upright position and live to tell the tale! I have a friend who’s running it with me and we are both determined to finish and earn a lot of bling…that’s it! OH! Before I forget…I’m also doing the 5K on Friday which will be a nice warm-up and an extra medal!  🙂

The program is around 30 weeks in length. I’m sure once runDisney updates it the numbers may not be exactly the same.  For my own use, I adapted the program a little to fit my own needs, but the basis of the plan is here. Also, I believe it is suggested that you have been running for 6 months prior to starting this Goofy Training Program. If not, take it easy and follow the plan as prescribed by runDisney.

As always, you should consult a licensed medical professional (aka: a doctor/physician) before beginning any exercise program. Especially, if like me you are a middle aged guy with a Peter Pan-esque view on life! Hopefully, I spelled out the fact that you are at risk in this 39.3 mile undertaking and that you’re making the decision on your own to do this training program or participate in it in any way either in full or in part…..heck people, GOOFY is the mascot!  There’s a little bit of crazy going on to try something like this and I’m doing the 5K too so that makes me just plain Dopey!

Okay, enough of the legal speak about it being YOUR decision and YOUR own liability should something bad happen to you. You have been warned!! On to the training program!

Like I said, this program is fairly simple. I’m not going to get into the whole run/walk method because that is Jeff Galloway’s thing. There is also a training tool Jeff suggests called a “Magic Mile” which he has you do every so often to see how you’re progressing. I’m a runner and plan to run 85-90% of both races not including the time it takes to stop for pictures. Oh yes, there will be lots of pictures! Again, see my blog post about the WDW full-marathon last January 2011.

So here it is…in general…the 30-ish week Goofy Challenge Training Program as best as I can remember it. By the way, if you actually followed this program then you would start in mid-June. The program takes you a couple weeks PAST the WDW full-marathon on Sunday January 8th, 2012 for recovery purposes.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are 30-45 minute run/walks according to the original program. Go to Jeff Galloway’s Website for details on the run/walk method. You’ll notice that you get six weeks of training before you have your first weekend of back-to-back workouts. I also took the liberty of switching the run days for Christmas and New Year’s Day to Saturday, but feel free to run when you want! Oh, and don’t forget to plan for holidays (in no particular order) like July 4th, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Labor Day, Father’s Day, President’s Day, Ramadan, Boxing Day, Administrative Assistant’s Day, Yom Kippur, My Birthday (Oct. 7th), etc.

Week

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thur

Fri

Sat

Sun

1

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 3 mile

2

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 4 mile

3

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 5 mile

4

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 3 mile

5

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 5 mile

6

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Walk 3 mile

Run 7 mile

7

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 6 mile

8

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 8 mile

9

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 6 mile

10

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

5 mile

Run 10 mile

11

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 11 mile

12

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 12 mile

13

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 8 mile

14

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Walk 5.5 mile

Run 14 mile

15

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 11 mile

16

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 15.5 mile

17

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 9 mile

18

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Walk 7 mile

Run 17 mile

19

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 12 mile

20

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 18 mile

21

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 10 mile

22

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Walk 9 mile

Run 20 mile

23

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 13 mile

24

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 21 mile

25

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 11 mile

26

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Walk 12 mile

Run 23 mile

27

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Rest

Run 7 mile

28

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Run 6 mile

Xmas

29

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

30-45 min

Rest

Run 7 mile

New Year’s Day

30

Rest

30 min

Rest

30 min

Rest

WDW Half

WDW Full

31

Rest

30 min

Rest

30 min

Rest

Rest

Run 7 mile

32

Rest

30 min

Rest

30 min

Rest

Rest

Run 6 mile

Of course, you may opt to throw in some cross training for some of those rest days. I would suggest taking a rest day before and after those weekends where you’re doing a long walk followed by a long run the next day. Your body (muscles, ligaments, joints, etc) need the rest even if you’re not tired.

You may also want to do specific types of runs for the “30-45 min” runs on Tuesday and Thursday. I do intervals and Tempo runs on those days…usually a little longer than 30-45 minutes. I also add in a little lifting on some days usually twice a week with my cross training.

HOWEVER, the above program should get you across the finish line both days with no adaptations or additions needed. I bet you’ll even be smiling at the end of day two! I know I will!  😀

All that stands between you and these three medals (besides common sense) is the proper training program!

Let me know if you have any questions and happy training!

-Brian