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Friday, March 8, 2013

Dan the Man

Occasionally I get requests from people to train them.  Recently i agreed to try to help a friend named Dan (DS) get ready for a 50K winter ultra marathon he was training for (which happened to be a race i was co-directing) - he had never run an ultra and decided to do it only four weeks out and figured he didn't have time for a traditional training program.  He knew a bit about my philosophy so decided to give it a try.

I'm always a little bit hesitant going in to situations like this - i tend to imagine that i haven't adequately been able to convey the depth of the challenge high intensity work presents.  But Dan seemed like a no-nonsense guy who would make a genuine effort i sent him off to do a V-dot test as a first step.  He complied - i got my pacing data - and I started feeding him some workouts.  Dan was used to running longer and slower (he is one of those guys who exercises for more than just fitness) so i eased him into things with a couple of mid-length, but moderate intensity runs.  This last week, however, i backed off on the volume and dialed up the pressure.

His response to the first workout - a 30 minute No-Slo-random Pro effort - gave me all the feedback i needed:
".... times are approximate.  When i reached the end i just hit the emergency stop and turned my back on the machine.   I could barely walk my legs were quivering so bad."
Dan is definitely 3 Hrs a week material.  Nice work Dan!


  1. Dan finished the 50K winter ultra in over 15 hours. He was the last finisher - 19th. 13 racers DNF's from the 32 that started. Interestingly, he reached the third checkpoint an hour after many of the racers that DNF'd and never considered quitting - walking on all by his lonesome past 1 am. Fascinating to wonder what makes guys like Dan tick. Good work out there!

  2. First of all, I can't thank you enough for bringing these events and opportunities to our area. Also, for your help leading into this with training advice and for your kind words afterwards. I knew I wasn't going to be in the top of the pack with this but I did win my old guy age group, albiet by attrition mind you. :) Even after 18 years my wife doesn't know what makes me tick in this respect either. I admit during those last 6 miles I was wanting to be done but the only way I wanted off that trail was by my own feet or medivac. And not that I was trying to be so slow, I also admit I got an arguably perverse satisfaction from being last, longer in the elements, darker of the night, solo, etc. Like I said when I signed up, "I may blow up, but if I don't ..." And I didn't. Lots of cool stuff comes with that! Thanks again, Andy for everything.

    Dan S.