Via GZ, excerpt of an interview with Carpenter:
How many miles a week do you run, and are they all on trail?
I go by time not distance. In the mountains and especially in altitude, distance becomes meaningless and can get you in trouble. . . So, I shoot for two hours a day on a consistent basis (just went on a four-month streak with no days under two hours) with 3-4 hours for a Sunday long run, which I may take a little longer if I am training for an ultra.
As for the amount I run on trail, it varies. Before my daughter started school I spent a lot of time on the roads pushing her in a baby jogger. However, once she started going to school I have tried to get as much trail time as possible.
You head up the Incline Club training group with the motto: "Go out hard, when it hurts speed up." Should everyone—even beginner runners, or road runners transitioning to trail—go out hard and hang on as well as they can?
The motto/tagline is more of a life philosophy than a racing strategy. It just means that, when times are tough, that is when you have to try harder. But, if someone literally could pull it off in a race, they would never lose.
In real life, the key in any race, no matter the venue, is learning to run even effort. What is hard for those making the transition from the road to the trails, or even beginning trail runners, is there is so much more terrain variation. For many just starting to run trails if you graph their heart rate you pretty much get a topo map of what they ran as they end up pushing too hard on the ups and not enough on the downs. It takes time and practice to learn to get an even effort on varied terrain.
Of course, great stuff. Time orientation vs. distance. You see these two approaches at work constantly with many athletes. To each his own? One is better than the other? Right now, I'm time-oriented because I'm just "plugging" along. Still, nice to see THE elite using such an approach. May be a better way to monitor consistency.
His point about "even effort" really helped me re-frame my training. I signed-up for a 50k in late August. I'm really excited. So, I go for a run yesterday, mid-day, hot and humid but with a slight breeze. I hit Florida Canyon which is very rolling, not big climbing, but not flat at all. I decided to wear the HRM but not STARE at it. And run by PE. With Carpenter's perspective in mind, I just tried to stay steady (but aerobic), really comfortable at all times. I went up very easy and made sure I cruised going down, keeping the effort as even as I could. For the first 45 minutes, avg. 148 and the last 30 min. avg. 154. I'm also feeling comfortable keeping these runs aerobic almost throughout, but letting things float a little toward the end ala GZ with Tim's blessing! Running is like Catholicism.
My runs will get longer and dial-in this approach -- aerobic with some effort at the end. And yes I will start to climb more. Easy climbing . . .perhaps before the sun throws down! And cycling with big climbs! And beer only on the weekends! And peace love and harmony . . .and
Today, I was in the pool by 6am with homeboy Tom. We swam for about 25 min. and then did some weights, a little circuit work with Tom leading the way. It was awesome. I'll do another 1hr+ run today and then hit the beach with the boy.