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Newsletter May 28th, 2024

Folks, I've been busy! Last week, I helped lead the training webinar for the Pikes Peak Marathon. I answered a lot of trail, elevation, and altitude questions. It was really cool to talk to folks excited about the big race in a few months. Doing a race up at super high altitude can be intimidating, especially if you're a flatlander coming from another state. You can watch the webinar here.

Have you Tried Under-Training?

So many folks have experienced overtraining, but have you ever tried the opposite? Now, this is MUCH different than not training; lots of people do that every day. I'm talking about undertraining specific intensity while still maintaining decent volume. For the last two months, I've been training, but at paces much easier than I ever have before. I have dealt with quite a few injuries in the last two years, and life has been a little bit hectic lately. So, instead of just jumping right back into high-volume and hard workouts, I've been doing workouts that haven't been that hard! One thing I've noticed in years of training is that most runners do every hard workout at about as fast as they can do them. Consistently going up to the edge on intensity but not extending volume. Example being; say I give an athlete 8x1km repeats. It's our natural inclination to do those at the given pace or faster. If we can run every rep faster we feel like we WON the workout. We might occasionally mess up a workout, go out too fast, and not be able to finish the whole thing.

But what are the benefits to completing a workout and it being a little bit easy? Well, if that happens and we communicate that it wasn't too hard, the next week, we could come back and do 10 times 1-kilometer repeats at the same pace. Not running any faster but spending even more time in that zone. More time = bigger stimulus. More adaptations. We feel fresher. Less likely to get injured!

I ran the Bolder Boulder 10k, and every mile I ran in the race was faster than anything I had done in training. Training had been super manageable. Mentally, I was prepared. I was able to average 5:40 pace per mile on a hilly altitude course even though most of my workouts had been closer to 6-minute pace. Sometimes we forget that training isn't a direct input-output endeavor!

Will Baldwin Strava from Bolder Boulder 2024

Bolder Boulder 2024

Man, what an iconic race! The course was awesome, and the energy was electric. It's got to be one of the best racing environments I've ever experienced. The community really comes together for this, and you can feel it! The course has a lot of gradual uphill with some punchy hills close to mile 4. I wish I was in better shape because after the big uphill near the 4th mile, there's a long, gradual downhill section, but I just wasn't fit enough to take advantage of it!

The race ends with a brutal, short uphill into the Colorado Buffaloes football stadium. You enter the stadium, and they broadcast you onto the jumbotron. You do a 200m U-turn on a makeshift track into the finishing chute. From there, you get ushered to the finishing expo with all the gifts and activities to be had and experienced post-race. It's an epic event; put this one on your bucket list. Almost 50 THOUSAND people ran it this year.

After the race I went to the Track Club cheer section at mile 4 and watched Connor Mants lead the pack before he eventually outkicked them all to the win. The professional race happens after all the other races so everyone can fill the stadium and cheer them on. It's one of the coolest traditions I've seen in running.

Now it's time to rest up and get ready for the Garden of the Gods 10 miler in 2 weeks!

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