Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Less than 2 weeks to the USA XC Championships: Last week's training.

We're approaching the week and a half mark from the USA XC Champs in Boulder, CO. I arrived to altitude in Albuquerque on Saturday, and have been taking it day by day as my body acclimates. Being here with the Brooks Beasts has been a tremendous help. Not only do I have training partners for a couple of weeks, but I also have access to the group's expertise as most of them have spent their fair share of time in elevation. My general lack of experience makes me timid, but my successful month in Flagstaff last year has given me confidence to make it a more regular part of my training.

I have felt much better my first week in Albuquerque than I did in Flagstaff. The house the Beasts and I are staying sits a little over 6,000 feet, but the majority of training happens closer to 5,000 feet, which is over 2,000 feet lower than Flagstaff. I hopped into a group long run the day after arriving, and felt ok pushing about 6.5 miles towards the end of the run. My only structured workout so far has been a Fartlek in order to listen to my body and not overdue it during my first week. I do plan one more fairly tough workout on Friday, about 8 days away from the race, and almost a week into my altitude trip. I've had almost 2 months of solid training before heading up, so the fitness is there, and the worst thing I could do at this point is push too hard too close to the race.

The field for the US XC Champs looks stacked, and it should be an exciting race. After the success of Team USA in the 2013 World XC Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland puts a great deal of pressure on the top-6 finishers heading to China this year. The team silver medal in 2013 was very rewarding and will undoubtedly be one of the fondest memories of my running career; I would love nothing more than to represent the US in 2015 and chase the team podium again.

Feel free to check out last week's training below. Thanks again for reading, and follow me here on Twitter for more updates.

Week 10 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 12+drills and strides 5.5 40 minutes 17
Tuesday 5.5 10 x 500 meters w/100 meter jog (40 seconds) rest, avg. 79.3 16
Wednesday 14 Off 40 minutes 14
Thursday 10 5 + drills and strides 15
Friday 5.5 6 x 1 mile w/4 min rest on muddy xc loop (4:42 to 4:26) 18
Saturday 9.5 Off - travel PDX to Albuquerque 30 minutes 9.5
Sunday 16.5, moderate from 8-15 (5:40) Off 16.5


  1. Hello from a fellow PDX runner. I've followed your training blog from the onset. I noticed you mentioning using a one-mile grass loop for repeats over the past few weeks. Just curious where that was. Care to share that info? I'm familiar with the 1k woodchip loop in Wilshire Park, but could always use another grass loop for intervals. Best of luck at Cross Nationals and the rest of 2015! --Tim

    1. Hi Tim,
      The loop I do is at Fernhill Park in NE Portland. It is the open grass field above the track, and the perimeter is just shy of 800 meters, so I do a little over two loops per mile repeat. Check it out!