Monday, January 6, 2014

Dec 30 - Jan 5

Mon-AM: 2:04, 3000' ~ Green
Up Bear Canyon and down Gregory-Ranger. Feeling pretty sluggish this morning, so I skipped Bear Peak and just jogged up the canyon instead.

Tue-AM: 2:11, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Did the usual loop, and it was super-warm out, probably upper-50s. Legs weren't as responsive as I would've liked, though, and the weather was hot enough to make me feel dehydrated and worked by the end.
PM: Climbing, at Movement.

Wed-AM: 2:19, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Finally felt good on this run. My new apartment is a minute or two further from Chautauqua, making for the slower time, but I had a blast on this run, zipping up and down the vert instead of the usual slog.
PM: 0:54, 700' ~ Sunshine Canyon
Easy out and back at dusk with Dan Kraft. Good to catch up.

Thu-AM: 2:19, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Up Fern and back over Green. Pretty tired today, probably need an easy day.
PM: Climbing, at Movement.

Fri-AM: 2:25, 4500' ~ Bear & Green
Usual loop up and over the two bumps. Trails a bit icy in spots, but mostly manageable. Gorgeous shirt-sleeves weather, but blustery on top of Bear. That should all change by tomorrow, though, with some fresh snow.

Sat-AM: :34, 500' ~ Streets
Sometimes you just need a rest. Suited up and ran up to Chautauqua in the on-going snowstorm, but after just a few minutes of slogging up the hill I could tell my legs had nothing. I've been tired all week; it wasn't a hard choice to take a break.

Sun-AM: 1:57, 3200' ~ Green
Rest can do you good. After a bunch of sleep, I felt a lot better this morning; lots of fresh snow with more falling down meant it was a low-intensity day, though.

Hours: 14h40
Vert:  25,400'

This week was a good reminder that you can't skip any steps in the return to fitness. The previous week I had put in a serious bump in volume and this week I could feel myself needing to recover from that even though my mind wanted to be doing more. No worries, there's plenty of time; I just need to stay healthy and focus on doing sustainable training. This winter's schizophrenic weather continued this week. Highs close to +60F during the week gave way to single digit temps and close to a foot of fresh snow this weekend. It's all good, though; I love the variety.

Seeing that 2013 is over, I suppose a little industrial tallying is expected: I spent 799h45min in the mountains, during which I ascended 1,257,850'. Last year (2012) I had 5hr less volume but 160k' more vertical. I suspect this was because less of that vert was amassed on as technical routes as those I tackled in 2013 (both in terms of technical footing (talus, etc.) and technical climbing/scrambling (both roped and unroped on both snow and rock). I'm not going to count up exactly how many days I missed but there was at the very least a month's worth for injury (a nagging hip niggle last winter and then my UTMB-induced troubles this fall) and then more than another month's worth for general fatigue/end-of-season-rest, also this fall. Of course, in 2014, I'd love to implement more discipline and smarts to keep that time off due to only fatigue-related issues, not injury.

Snowy flatties.


David said...

Happy New Year! Enjoy the frosted flatirons while you can (before things get sloppy later this week).

R. Logan Brooks said...

You definitely had a huge week two weeks back. Big even for your standards I would say. Question for ya Tony. I know you generally do not stretch prior to your days in the mountains but other than a quick warm up/jog what would you say works best for you in regards to just a quick warm up limbering up session of the legs/muscles prior? Appreciate the feedback if you can get to it.
Happy New Year bro! Stay healthy.


Anton said...

Logan - Honestly, other than struggling through the first 10min or so of any run at little more than doddering sloth pace, a cup of coffee really seems to help.

Anonymous said...

Great Week! Even if it meant taking it a bit easy when your body said stop.

Your a professional mountain/trail runner and your going about it smartly like a professional should be doing... Listening to your body and adapting to its needs is as hard as getting 20k+ Vert a Week and sounds like you mastered that skill.

Other Note - It was good to see you up and at it this morning as well.

(You passed me at the top of the 1st Flat Iron Trail before we separated at the top...your fast man even with sticks!)

Anonymous said...


Have you considered doing any road races? Even just for the hell of it?

R. Logan Brooks said...

10-4 Tony. Honest as always. And lazy like me.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anton. Always super impressed and motivated by your blog. Anyways, I was wondering if you wouldn't mind maybe explaining a little bit about your post-UTMB difficulties? I completely understand as I particularly don't like talking or writing about injuries, but I am just curious as to what kept you off of training for so long. Did you re-injure something from your past or was it a new one altogether? I understand how fatigued you can be after a race like that. I am just wondering what happened to you in particularly. All the best, you're a beast and can't wait to follow and cheer for you in 2014!

Anton said...

Hi Benjamin - Yeah, post-UTMB was super-frustrating. I took the first two full weeks after the race completely off, because my hamstring and achilles were both really upset. I was still in Europe during this time, but was really fortunate to get in four different PT sessions on these injuries while being overseas.

The second half of September, both my hamstring and achilles were still troublesome, but they were workable enough to try running again. Within a week or so, though, I could tell that for whatever reason my energy levels were severely diminished, so I took another week off, which wasn't too difficult because my injuries were still causing problems, too.

The first half of October I was on the road the whole time for film screenings, so during this time I just jogged an hour or so every day with Joel, but my achilles was still worrisome and I could tell at this point that something was still wrong with my injury levels. Even at sea level and on flat terrain it always felt to me like Joel was pushing the pace, haha. I just didn't have my usual snap. As with any time that your endocrine system is out of whack, it's hard to differentiate between feeling crappy and just plain being out of shape, but I've been doing this long enough that I can tell when something is a lack of fitness and when my body just needs a rest. The second half of October, this became really apparent as even otherwise very casual outings (like, say, a 45min outing scrambling the First Flatiron) became monumental efforts that would pretty much wipe me out for the rest of the day.

When November came around I FINALLY decided it was silly to keep trying to force things and ended up just taking the whole month off, no running and barely any climbing. I got a slew of (very expensive) blood tests done, looking for deficiencies/explanations, but the only thing that came back was that my Vitamin D was a little low, which I began supplementing at the recommendation of my doc.

Thankfully, even though I was coming off a week-long bout with the flu, when I started back to daily running on December 1st, within a day or two I could tell that something had finally shifted in my body and even though I felt really out of shape I could tell that the energy had returned to start rebuilding some fitness.

I typically have a period of low-energy in the fall, but this year was way worse than usual, I think probably compounded by doing a lot of traveling. And/or maybe I'm just getting older, too. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

^^^^ Good on you for taking your time with your Post UTMB situation.

Must have been scary as hell at times since having a injury causes all sorts of mental games being played in your head. I know for me I'm the first one to jump on Google for answers and it just creates more stress as Doctor Google always comes back with horrible answers ha!

To be honest reading it reminded me a lot of Geoff Roes's situation where energy levels blew up and there was no real connection as to why...

Glad you were patent and connected with what your body was telling you.

Unknown said...

Off the subject of this post a bit, but I've got a shoe question. I also rely on the MT110 for nearly all my trail running. How does this shoe do on 2+ hour runs? I'm working towards a 50m mountain Ultra this summer, and am a bit skeptical about the support of this shoe. I know these questions are very hard to answer, but I'm just trying to get a little input as to whether I should consider something with more support for those really long training runs. Thank you for all the inspiration & happy new year!

The Tooth said...

Hello Matthew, I can answer your question and New Balance don't even pay me to use their products. I too wear MT110s and I have found they are excellent for runs up to three hours. This is the longest I have run in them so far; I have just started training for a 34-mile solo trail challenge in the spring and an 'organised' 50-miler early summer so I am conscious of my need for a decent shoe. My feet feel fresh as can be expected after a long run and have had no issues at all with them. They gave enough ground feel and also a decent amount of protection from sticks, stones and other things that may break my bones. When I noticed last year's model were discounted, I bought an extra pair in case the new models were different.

PS. Hi Anton, nice blog.

Unknown said...

Hi Matthew, maybe I can help you a bit with your question on the MT110.
I wore them on a 50-miles ultra in december, and they were great during the whole run. i just felt my feet were protected enough. And although I got blisters (which I never get with this shoe, even on 3-4 hour runs), it felt good to wear a light and responsive stuff when footing needs to be precise.. Especially after a few hours you know !
If you feel good training in those, I think you can consider going for it for your ultra. Hope that helps, Bye !
PS: Hey Tony, thanks for sharing, coming back to France for UTMB this year hehe ?

Barry Bliss said...

I can't imagine your Vit. D level is ever low in the summer.

Unknown said...


It's awesome you're back out there. And to see you are human hahaha, sometimes I feel guilty if I shorten a run, or take a day or two. I always wonder if the elites like your self do.

I've recently gotten into ultra running, have a 35 miler under my belt and doing a 50 in two months. I'm sure you get this kind of stuff all the time. Is regret not asking though.

I was wondering if you had any tips, training plans and any type of diet in particular you like, or recommend. And how does someone become a professional ultra runner like your self? Sorry, I had to ask, I don't want to be " that guy" but I figure you wana be the best, ask the best.

Caroline said...

So, I'm not sure that I'm worthy of posting on your blog, Tony, because my greatest running accomplishments have been five half-marathons in my early forties ten years ago, and a ten-mile run last weekend, but my husband and I love the "idea" of ultra-running, and we discovered you through listening to running podcasts, ect. I've been spending the last week reading many of your articles, and they're awesome. My husband thinks you're a modern-day John Muir.

andrea said...

I am medical student and I would like to ask you a couple of questions about your running biomechanics. Obviously you log an incredible number of miles, yet you seem to avoid being plagued by injuries. I promise I wouldn't take too much of your time.

Anonymous said...


"yet you seem to avoid being plagued by injuries."

Spend a bit more time reading his blog and you will realize he is injured frequently. Not a dig at Anton, just an observation.

andrea said...

Thank you for the comment Mark. Noted. Next time I will do my research.

I am really just curious from a musculoskeletal/biomechanical perspective how some people can log a phenomenal number of miles and be RELATIVELY injury free (both in frequency and severity) compared to others.

I have an interest in ultra marathons and sports medicine. That's all. I am not expert, just keen to learn.

Unknown said...

I'm a believer (by experience) that the higher quality the diet, the less a person is injured. We all ride a fine line in training at times but those who recover the best with quality nutrition have an advantage. No matter how talented a person is, eventually a poor diet will catch up with them

v8grrl said...

" more discipline". Hahahahahaha.
You are funny....

VeganTrailRunr said...

Hi Anton,

When's the next blog update? Seriously miss reading about your exploits. Hope all is well.

Kalle said...

Hi Anton,

You've been adding and removing Transgrancanaria on your schedule. Whats the deal? I hope to see you there! :-)

JCC said...

It's too bad that this blog has dried up. It used to be fun and insightful following your adventures.

Anonymous said...

Check out his Ultimate Direction Blog you will all find your answers there (he is doing a lot of indoor climbing due to a injury)... That said he takes time to share his life to us when no one is paying him and on his own time. I doubt this blog has seen the end of its days, but if it does, it does...Let the man be, he was kind enough to give a us close look into his life for many thankful for that :)

John said...

Dallas — thanks for the tip, I've been reading this blog for years and had no idea about the Ultimate Direction stuff.

Jack c. said...

Hi Tony , i'm jack. I'm 11 years old and i live in italy. I do trail runs, i'm part of an athletics team. Last summer I was in courmayeur to see you run the UTMB. I see that you are running it again this year. I was wondering if I can run with you from courmayeur sports centre to rifugio Bertone ? I've been practicing it, my timing was 40 min. ( I got a pair of new balance minimus, your headband buff, and your white sunglasses !) I read that you're injured now.... I hope you get running soon!
Bye bye

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Barry Bliss said...

@Dallas Green

Thanks for mentioning the Ultimate Direction blog.
I see there's a Feb. entry.

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