September 11, 2012

The Numbers Don't Lie

(Everyone in this picture ran significantly more mileage than me in the previous two years)
This isn't my UTMB race report as much as a general overview of the numbers I've come across in the last few days while playing with my Garmin files.

The numbers don't lie because the numbers are training mileage. The numbers are how hard you've worked to get to where you are. The numbers are often predictive of race day results, successes or failures.

I didn't like the numbers of my last few years, and additionally last few months of training while heading into UTMB, so I did the only rational thing I could think of and I completely ignored them.

In fact I inadvertently stumbled across the numbers below while searching for six week stats around my departure for France. I had never looked at or appreciated just how consistent my training was in 2009 which lead to my highly successful 2010 season of running. Since then it's just been a mess due to injury. In the one and a half year span from Sept 2010 through Jan of this year, I ran a total of just over 1000km.

I had ONE really good month of training this year. In June I ran 650km, which for me was the highest mileage I'd ever attained, but the climbing was only average at 25,000 meters. In July I caught a shitty head cold that lingered for four full weeks. In August I directed my first ever 50 mile trail race, The Squamish 50

I had envisioned the final six weeks before departing for France on August 15th to be littered with laps of my local 3,000ft climb up and down Grouse Mountain. In the end I couldn't bare to even look at how little I'd been able to run. It has only been since returning to Canada that I've actually brought myself to do this. I honestly feared that a reality check into how little I'd accomplished in the pivotal final six week training stretch might have completely flattened any false sense of confidence I'd possessed while heading to France. Even I was startled to see that in those six full weeks I'd run less than 375km with less than 20,000m of climbing, in what should have been the toughest 42 day stretch I'd faced in years.

So what am I even getting at here? Post UTMB I said this via FB: 

Of all the ways I could chose to dissect my race I care for only one, it was a resounding success.

UTMB, even in its shortened version, was still nearly 110km long with over 18,000ft of climbing and descent. Mix that with a run almost entirely by headlamp (7pm start) where we had rain, slush, snow, and leg thrashing descents, and all in all it was really a beast of a course. I battled as hard as I could and truly left it all out there. That was all I had to give, every ounce, and I'm incredibly proud to know that I could not have demanded more from my body on race day.

Just one year ago I longed for this race while hobbling around on what felt like an eternal broken foot, and today, less than a year removed from those sticks, I simply could not be happier to call myself an official finisher the Ultra Trail Du Mont-Blanc!!

I believed almost everything I was saying. I still somehow expected more out of my body, even though I gave every drop I could towards my race. It's only in referencing the below training numbers that I have finally come to terms with my UTMB. I couldn't have asked for more, in fact I think I managed to out stretch my training numbers and come up with a race day performance that rivals some of my best runs. Most importantly though, I DID NOT GET INJURED, I had a blast, and I'm fully ready to hopefully set into a solid twelve months of running and training...UTMB 2013 of course, is less than 11.5 months away...

3,915km (would be over 4,000km with Jan stats)

Jan - Didn't Own Garmin Yet
Feb - 380km - 35,000m
Mar - 310k - 25,000m
Apr - 430k - 36,000m
May - 455k - 46,000m
June - 200k - 16,000 / (Western States blow up, walk to 49th place finish)
July - 270k - 30,000
Aug - 365k - 30,000
Sept - 375k - 27,000m
Oct - 300k - 21,000m
Nov - 260k - 20,000m
Dec - 570k - 35,000m


Jan - 310k - 15,000m / (1st CR HURT Hawaii)
Feb - 320k - 8,500m
Mar - 320k - 8,500m
Apr - 450k - 13,000m
May - 135k - 9,400m / (time off after over training symptoms)
June - 355k - 13,000m / (6th Western States)
July - 200k - 8,500m / (more rest from over training symptoms)
Aug - 375k - 10,000m / (FKT on 215km ECT and 80km WCT)

Sept - 20k - 300m / (decided on a month off)
Oct - 105k - 4,500m / (had been back at it less than a week when I broke my foot)
Nov - 0
Dec - 0


Jan - 0
Feb -0
Mar - 165k - 3,200m
Apr - 430k - 12,600m
May - 220k - 8,500m / (15 days, another broken foot)
June - 0
July - 0
Aug - 0
Sept - 0
Oct - 0
Nov - 10k - 35m
Dec - 33k -783m


Jan - 163k - 3,000m

Feb - 265k - 6,000m
Mar - 361k - 9,000m
Apr - 363k - 10,000m
May - 376k - 15,000m
June - 650k - 22,000m
July - 261k - 10,000m
Aug - 461k - 21,000m / (53rd at altered version of UTMB)



Phil said...

Interesting stats...Although we don't always like (or want) to look at them, it's good to gain that perspective to move forward in the future. Whether not enough, or as it often is - too much - I think it's a worthwhile habit to keep an eye on your stats to keep things in check. What you do with them however, is a whole different story - Well done GR, a good stepping stone for next year!

garobbins said...

Yeah very true Phil. Overtraining is probably more common than undertraining in our sport.


Hoppy said...

Well finished Gary !. Injury free has to feel good also !. And by the way you rocked that aid station! you nearly caused a riot!.

garobbins said...

Haha. Thanks bud! We gonna see you on course in Jan?
Congrats on TRT!

Hoppy said...

My TRT was pretty dismal,but certainly got it right at the Leanhorse 100. Heading to OZ. No Hurt in Jan :( .

garobbins said...

Heading to OZ. Sorry to hear it never worked out after all bud.
What part of Australia? I have a few good friends down that way who could attempt to keep up with ya!

garobbins said...

Holy shit!! The win AND the CR at Lean Horse, awesome work dude!! Sorry I missed that and didn't congratulate you properly earlier.

Hoppy said... , Thanks for the cheers . Gonna start off in Perth.Western Oz ,Base from there (but it's kind of flat______________ :( .Would love to give UTMB a go next year ? ,any chance you heading back for another bash ?. alohas

garobbins said...

Hoppy, I am looking to return to UTMB and one of my best buddies (a speedy adventure racer) just moved to Perth!
Shoot me an email as I can easily miss messages in here,