THE METHOD to the MADNESS


Since the beginning of the 9th grade (2009), I’ve conjured up my own training regimens for the upcoming seasons of racing. Some of my favorite moments each year occur when I sit down with a calculator, eraser, and a pencil to sketch out the specifics. I outline mileage, workouts, paces, and races, among other things. If I am to hold myself accountable, things need to be in written form, neatly, and with a purpose. I consider my training an extension of the work day. It is the work day. If I cannot complete my training sessions, the day is a waste. That is my mentality.

Over the years, I’ve been influenced by a number of coaches, scientists, writers, athletes, mentors, etc. Through research and inspiration, and plenty of trial and error, I’ve found what works best for me: VARITETY and CREATIVITY. Each season, however, the details continue to evolve, yet, the structure is mainly the same. I love the variety in my training. Along with an utterly dedicated soul, it’s what separates me from my competition. On my best day, I know I can beat anyone. I believe there are no limits to what I can do with my body and, come Hell or high water, I will never quit the pursuit.

All in all, I guess I’m just a big dreamer and meticulous preparer. I apply a surplus of training methods to my regimen, approaching training and racing as a profession. Below, I share my structure and creativity, a “rulebook” that I dedicate myself to.


Structure

*1mi – 2mi: Daniels’ Running Formula (3rd Edition – Table 10.3)

  • 6 days/wk running
  • Mileage: 60 – 80
  • P90X – Plan 1
  • XT – 2x30min+

*5K / 10K: Daniels’ Running Formula (4th Edition – Table 13.2)

  • 6 days/wk running
  • Mileage: 60 – 80
  • P90X – Plan 1
  • XT – 2x30min+

*Half-Marathon: Daniels’ Running Formula (3rd Edition)

  • 6 days/wk running
  • Mileage: 60 – 80
  • P90X – Plan 2
  • XT – 3x30min+

*Marathon / 50K (TT) / 50MI (TT) / 100K (TT): “2Q Program” – Daniels’ Running Formula (4th Edition) – 18wk OR 12wk

  • 6 days/wk running
  • Mileage: 71 – 85
  • P90X – Plan 2
  • XT – 3x30min+
  • 6×20/50 strides (x2)
  • ***50K / 50MI / 100K = adjusted Long Runs

*50K / 50MI / 100K:

  • 7 days/wk running
  • Mileage: time-based
  • P90X – Plan 2
  • XT – 2x30min+
  • 6×20/50 strides (x2)
  • ***50MI / 100K = adjusted Long Runs
  • Structure:
    • Start
      • M: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
      • Tu: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
      • W: L (STEADY), P90X, 30-45min
      • Th: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
      • F: H (REPS w/15min WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
      • Su: 1h, P90X
    • Rise
      • M: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
      • Tu: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
      • W: L (STEADY), P90X, 30-45min
      • Th: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
      • F: H (REPS w/15min WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
      • Su: 1h15m, P90X
    • Peak
      • M: T (CRUISE INTERVALS: 6 sets w/15min WU+CD), P90X
      • Tu: 1.5h, 6s, P90X, XT
      • W: L (RACE-SPECIFIC), P90X, 30-45min
      • Th: 1.5h, 6s, P90X, XT
      • F: H (CYCLE w/15min WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: 1h – 1h15m, P90X
      • Su: 1.5h, P90X
    • Peak
      • M: T (DOUBLE TEMPO RUN w/15min WU+CD), P90X
      • Tu: 1.5h, 6s, P90X, XT
      • W: L (ADVENTURE), P90X, 30-45min
      • Th: 1.5h, 6s, P90X, XT
      • F: H (CYCLE w/15min WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: 1h – 1h15m, P90X
      • Su: 1.5h, P90X
    • Fall
      • M: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
      • Tu: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
      • W: L (R-XT-R), P90X, 30-45min
      • Th: 45min – 1h, P90X, XT
      • F: H (CLIMB w/15min WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: 30-45min, 6s, P90X
      • Su: 1h, P90X
    • Peak
    • Peak
    • Fall
    • Pre-Race
      • M: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
      • Tu: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
      • W: L (STEADY), P90X, 30-45min
      • Th: 1h – 1h15m, P90X, XT
      • F: H (REPS w/15min WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: 45min – 1h, 6s, P90X
      • Su: 1h15m, P90X
    • Race
      • M: 1h, 6s, P90X
      • Tu: T (CRUISE INTERVALS: 4 sets w/15min WU+CD), P90X
      • W: 45min – 1h, P90X
      • Th: 45min, P90X
      • F: 30-45min, 6s
      • Sa: RACE
      • Su: OFF
    • Recovery

*100MI (TT):

  • 7 days/wk running
  • Mileage: 60 – 100
  • P90X – Plan 3
  • XT – 2x30min+
  • 6×20/50 strides (x2)

*100MI:

  • 7 days/wk running
  • Mileage: time-based
  • P90X – Plan 3
  • XT – 2x30min+
  • 6×20/50 strides (x2)

*MTN (short):

  • 6 days/wk running
  • Mileage: time-based
  • P90X – Plan 1
  • XT – 3x30min+
  • 6×20/50 strides (x2)

*MTN (long):

  • 7 days/wk running
  • Mileage: time-based
  • P90X – Plan 3
  • XT – 2x30min+
  • 6×20/50 strides (x2)

*DIRTBAG:

  • 6 days/wk running
  • Mileage: time-based
  • P90X – Plan 3
  • XT – 1x30min+
  • 6×20/50 strides (x2)
  • Structure:
    • Dirtbag
      • M: MEDIUM, 6s, P90X
      • Tu: LONG, P90X
      • W: LONG, P90X
      • Th: SHORT, P90X
      • F: MEDIUM, 6s, P90X
      • Sa: SHORT
      • Su: XT
    • Race
      • M: MEDIUM, 6s, P90X
      • Tu: MEDIUM, P90X
      • W: MEDIUM, P90X
      • Th: SHORT, P90X
      • F: SHORT, 6s
      • Sa: RACE
      • Su: OFF
    • Recovery

*JFK 50MI:

  • 6 days/wk running
  • Mileage: mileage/time-based
  • P90X – Plan 2
  • XT (x3)
  • 6×20/50 strides (x2)
  • Structure:
    • Start
      • M: LP TRAILS, P90X
      • Tu: 10mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • W: LR 20 (1), P90X
      • Th: 10mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • F: T (10mi – CRUISE INTERVALS: 6 sets w/WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: KV, P90X
      • Su: XT, P90X
    • Rise
      • M: LP TRAILS, P90X
      • Tu: 11mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • W: LR 25 (1), P90X
      • Th: 11mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • F: H (11mi – CYCLE w/WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: KV, P90X
      • Su: XT, P90X
    • Steady
      • M: LP TRAILS, P90X
      • Tu: 11mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • W: LR 25 (2), P90X
      • Th: 11mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • F: T (10mi – MAX STEADY #1 w/WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: KV, P90X
      • Su: XT, P90X
    • Steady
      • M: LP TRAILS, P90X
      • Tu: 11mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • W: LR 25 (2), P90X
      • Th: 11mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • F: T (10mi – MAX STEADY #2 w/WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: KV, P90X
      • Su: XT, P90X
    • Peak
      • M: LP TRAILS, P90X
      • Tu: 12mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • W: LR 30, P90X
      • Th: 12mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • F: T (12mi – DOUBLE TEMPO RUN w/WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: KV, P90X
      • Su: XT, P90X
    • Fall
      • M: LP TRAILS, P90X
      • Tu: 10mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • W: LR 20 (2), P90X
      • Th: 10mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • F: T (10mi – CRUISE INTERVALS: 6 sets w/WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: KV, P90X
      • Su: XT, P90X
    • Rise
    • Steady
      • LP TRAILS, P90X
      • 11mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • LR 25 (2), P90X
      • 11mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • T (10mi – MAX STEADY #3 w/WU+CD), P90X
      • KV, P90X
      • XT, P90X
    • Peak
    • Fall
    • Pre-Race
      • M: LP TRAILS, P90X
      • Tu: 10mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • W: LR 20 (1), P90X
      • Th: 10mi, 6s, P90X, XT
      • F: H (10mi – REPS w/WU+CD), P90X
      • Sa: KV, P90X
      • Su: XT, P90X
    • Race
      • M: 1h, 6s, P90X
      • Tu: T (CRUISE INTERVALS: 4 sets w/15min WU+CD), P90X
      • W: 45min – 1h, P90X
      • Th: 45min, P90X
      • F: 30-45min, 6s
      • Sa: RACE
      • Su: OFF
    • Recovery

Notes

*I outline my own weekly mileages. The specifics reflect previous blocks, my current fitness level, injury history, etc.

*Time-based training:

  • SHORT = 30min – 1h
  • MEDIUM = 1-2h
  • LONG = 2h+

*On days that I’m scheduled a specific duration (like “1h” or “1h15m”), I’ll give myself a 5min “zone” on the back end, in order to make a specific route make sense, or to logically get back to my truck.

*Increase VDOT after five weeks of successful training.

*When traveling and truck camping, I’ll usually ditch the structure, opting for an “Adventure Week”, which usually includes lots of long/exploratory trail runs.

*Strides, easy runs, and unspecified paces are always performed “by feel”.

*Strides = 6x20sec / 50sec

*In the three weeks leading up to Race Day, I run the week’s most “race-specific” session in the shoes I will race in.

*For post-race recovery, I follow this general rule:

  • >4h race = 5 days OFF running
  • 1h – 4h race = 3 days OFF running
  • 1mi – 1h race = none

Sessions

*L = Long

  • STEADY: 2h+ → “by feel”, runnable and rhythmic
  • RACE-SPECIFIC: 2h+ → a route that mimics the Race, periods of “uptempo”
  • ADVENTURE: 2h+ → a “new” route that’s intriguing
  • R-X-R: 1h-1h-1h → run “by feel”, cross-train, run “by feel”

  • LONG RUN SURGES: 1min “surge” every 10th minute

*H = Hills

  • REPS: 12x1min OR 6x2min→ between 3.5-5% grade, strong efforts w/crisp and clean form, recovery jog downhill, a “nonstop” workout
  • CYCLE: 6x ~1mi OR 4x ~1.5mi → runnable hill loop, a “nonstop” workout, negative splits necessary!
  • CLIMB: hard effort (at least 10min) → to/from a summit, up/down a hill, or a round-trip

  • TREADMILL “6×3”: 6x3min @8% (9-10.5mph, increasing each rep by 0.3mph) w/2:30 jog @0% (7mph)

*T = Tempo

  • CRUISE INTERVALS: 4 or 6x (5min ON : 1min OFF) → ONs @ current threshold pace or perceived effort, OFFs @ recovery jog pace
  • DOUBLE TEMPO RUN: 3mi, 5min, 3mi

  • STEADY TEMPO RUN: 5mi
  • MAX STEADY: 7mi session (1mi segments) → 1st segment @1:30 slower than 10K pace, last segment @~10sec per mile slower than 10K pace

*V = Velocity

  • THE “2×7”: 7min @goal 5K pace, 5min, 7min @goal 5K pace
  • HALF-TIME FARTLEK: 31min session → 6-5-4min @current HM pace, 3-2-1min @current 5K pace, ALL w/half the “ON” recovery
  • MONOGHETTI FARTLEK: 20min session → 2x 90/90, 4x 60/60, 4x 30/30, 4×15/15…”ONs” @current 5K pace, “OFFs” = 1min per mile slower

*R = Race


P90X

*Plan 1:

  • Week 1-3: TS, Agility, Yoga, TC, CVX, Warrior, Dynamix
  • Week 4/8: Iso, Dynamix, Accelerator, Pilates, CVX, Yoga, Dynamix
  • Week 5-7: EU, Trio, Yoga, EL, Incinerator, MMX, Dynamix
  • Week 9/11: Decelerator, Agility, CU, Yoga, Trio, CL, Dynamix
  • Week 10/12: Decelerator, MMX, EU, Trio, Pilates, EL, Dynamix
  • Week 13: Iso, Accelerator, Pilates, Yoga, Dynamix, Dynamix

*Plan 2:

  • Week 1: EL, Abs, Yoga, Abs, Trio, TS, Dynamix
  • Week 2: Iso, Abs, Pilates, Abs, CL, Warrior, Dynamix

*Plan 3:

  • Week 1: EL, Abs, Yoga, Abs, TS
  • Week 2: Iso, Abs, Pilates, Abs, Warrior

XT

*These sessions will usually be on a bike, indoors or outdoors. Sometimes, I’ll trade the bike for Nordic skiing, among other activities.

Published by Nick Arndt

Running on dirt, rocks, and pavement in the Adirondack Mountains...

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