How I will run 1% faster over the next ten years | Part 2

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“It is impossible to evaluate, or even understand anything you can’t measure.”

Arthur Jones

This is Part 1 of “How/Why I’m attempting to run faster by 1% each year over the next 10 years” series. You can read the full series here.

Aug 2017- 8:16am — Rose Bay, Sydney

The mango flavoured morning sun was making its way over the Sydney harbour with a touch of narcism showing its reflection off the Sydney Harbour and had that meta mirror facing a mirror type feel. The wind was calm, crowds of people were cheering and the sound of a few hundred runner’s shoes on the ground had a hypnotic sneakers in a dryer kind of feel to it.

For a split second I’m in my Buddhist “now” focusing on how beautiful the day is and think to myself early on “Damn I feel good but why is my heart rate about to max out?!”

That “good feeling” was short lived. A few more steps and I just blurt out in a hurry ”Yo Jack… keep going… I … [gasp] … just can’t [deep breath] … keep up with you you!” As I was sucking in the cool morning air between words and suffering with my pacing partner Jack I realized something; I realized that running this supposedly awesome race wasn’t fun for me — it was hard. I also realized that somewhere in this experiment — I fucked up.

Heart Rate Analysis 2015 City 2 Surf race vs 2017 City 2 Surf race — Elevated Heart Rate = NOT GOOD

[Your questions in bold — My answers not]

What do you think were the top 3 reasons the race went wrong ?

City 2 Surf — Strava

  1. Not enough glycogen storage (sugar) from my experiment with the High Fat Low Carb — HFLC diet; i.e., At the 4km mark my heart rate shot way up and I felt like shit.
  2. Didn’t have enough rest time and improper taper 1–2 weeks before race day; i.e., My legs were feeling dead a few days leading up to the race.
  3. Didn’t have the all-around aerobic fitness that I had the prior year; i.e., I was in top form pre Ironman June 2016. After that I decided to do more speed work and didn’t maintain my aerobic “base” fitness level.
City 2 Surf Finish Line — Aug 2017 | Bondi Beach, NSW, Australia

Part 1 “Why I will {attempt to} run faster for the next 10 years” was cool. I wrote a lot of words and put them into sentences. Those sentences then formed paragraphs in a mostly interesting way. That was fun. I also had this idea to actually map out all of my key milestones and races for the next 6 months. Yeah, that was cute too. Oh and then I did City2Surf this past August while trying out a few new eating patterns (Intermittent Fasting — and HFLC). This proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back and prompted this revaluation of my strategy moving forward.

[Back to the suffering] During the race in August I questioned why I put myself through the “pain cave”. I also questioned if I was using my strength of short bursts of speed/power vs my weakness of long sustained efforts . And as things would come together immediately after the race I arrived at a simple conclusion; I will do shorter races less frequently. Problem solved? I wish it was that easy. It was fun to do an Ironman Triathlon and a Marathon last year but as I’ve said before, for me personally the long training efforts flirt too closely with the law of diminishing returns. The training is at times a bit much, injury risk level is too high, and because well not to sound 2013 cliche but — #AintNoBodyGotTimeForThat

Bruh — enough talking what is your actual plan?

  • Starting September 2017 — Complete 16 weeks of aerobic base fitness, general core and strength conditioning (almost 6 weeks done — and it’s going well)
  • The old 2–2–2–2 approach (coined by legendary triathlete Karl Beeton) Every week attempt to focus on 2 bike rides, 2 runs, 1–2 swims, and 2 strength/explosive sessions per week.
  • Attempt to drop my body fat percentage, increase lean muscle mass, and lose a small amount of weight while training 8–10 hours per week. From the little scientific evidence it can be difficult. But in the name of every Biohacker — I need to be my own experiment and #8020x that shit baby!
  • Experiment with new eating patterns (intermittent fasting + High Fat Low Carb) and only eat foods high in carbs once per week for these 16 weeks incorporating the Saturday cheat day Tim Ferris 4 hour body slow carb approach. (note — My main priority for nutrition is to improve brain function, get more focus, and control anxiety levels. Next priority is faster times which are below, and last priority is physical gains.)
  • In 2018 look to improve my 5k Run, 10k Run, Half Marathon, and 2–3 triathlons (I’m not set on the last one as it’s a 2018 Daren problem and right now I can only worry about October 2017 Daren)

Parting Thoughts

The main objective is to figure out what amount of sustainable “usual” training I do (input) and see if minor tweaks can give me better returns (output). While this is focused on fitness I believe it can be applied to other areas of anyone’s life (business, relationships, etc.)

This is all in hopes to set myself up to possibly complete an Ironman distance triathlon again. Not now. I’m talking about WAY down the road (Whatup 2028 Daren!) with 10 hours of training per week and possibly complete a full marathon without changing my training routine too much.

If anyone is interested in this approach or has any info about all of the random shit I’m trying to do I’d love to hear from you — please email me or comment here!

Until next time, HOLLER!