Trail Running Challenge Blog (Ethan Banks)

Training Log 4-Feb-2023

Today features unusual polar cold, with ambient temps around -10°F. I'm supposed to do a one hour hilly run in HR zone 2 (132-147 bpm for me). But since tomorrow it's going to be back in the low to mid 30s, and it was supposed to be a rest day, I'm going to swap those two days.

So today, I'll rest. Mostly. I've already foam-rolled and done several exercises to help with IT band injury prevention.

Now, I could definitely hit the treadmill today. But...I did that yesterday, and I'd way rather be outside for a hilly run. I have hills. Oh, yes. So many hills, and I like them. Doing hills on a treadmill indoor is just awful by comparison. I've run this swap request by Coach K--I don't think she'll have an issue with this, but if she insists, I guess I'll hit the treadmill before the end of the day.

The rest of the week is a mix of 30 & 60 minute runs, strength training, and a 4K. Coach K suggested Isolation for the 4K because one of her other athletes just ran it with good success. I'm interested, but a little hesitant going solo, only because I've not done the Engine Hill bushwhack before. The route via Engine Hill is the traditional winter route to Iso, as it saves some mileage. It's not that I mind the navigation--no worries there if the herd path gets obscured and I have to follow a track or compass. Can do. But that's not what I want to focus on.

What I want to focus on is performance. The last few 4Ks I've done have been at hiking speed. It's winter, and I've been in full winter gear. Heavy pack, boots, all of that. So I've gone slowly. But what I really should be doing is, despite all the winter gear, getting a move on down the trail. While the winter pack will bounce while running, it's not that big of a deal.

So, I need to go solo so I don't have to worry about whatever speed my trail partner might want to go. And I don't want to have to worry about navigation, so no bushwhacks I've never done before.

That is leading me towards the Hancocks. I know that route pretty well. It's fresh in my mind because I did the route in May & June of 2022. In June, the route took me ~3:15. The trailhead is easy to get to with no annoying road walking. I have a possible day on Tuesday to get out there early and get them done. In theory, I can knock it out in 3-4 hours depending how difficult it is to negotiate the headwall sections.