Checking In 7/20/2021

I took weekend trips to Flagstaff and Big Bear for long runs. While these are locations known for high altitude, I’m not taking these trips with the intent to altitude-train. In fact, only being there for a day or two at a time, I don’t think I get much of the altitude benefit from these trips (you typically need to live in these places for several weeks or more), though I certainly feel the effects on long runs and dial back my intensity accordingly.

I’m mostly taking these trips because it’s hot in Las Vegas, training long in the heat or on a treadmill is rather difficult, and these places have cool weather that make my long runs more do-able.

If there is some altitude benefit for my body from these training runs and visits, then great. I’d find it more likely that the key effects aside from the long runs themselves (and the hills, because these places have some challenging hills) are a chance to relax, perhaps sleep a little better, and improve how I bounce back after a long week or two in-city.


My Monday morning break runs felt rather strong, after taking Sunday off from training (and to drive back from Big Bear). I did also get a decent amount of sleep Saturday night into Sunday morning.

I have to wonder if the Vegas heat is a factor in my sleep. With monsoon weather coming in the last couple days, it’s been cooler in Vegas, and my sleep last night was somewhat better. Obviously, it was cooler in Barstow and Big Bear.

Last night’s workout didn’t go to plan. I did strength train just fine, but before that I had to cut my planned treadmill run short.My morning break runs felt terrific, and I had felt good throughout most of the day.

I realize in hindsight I hadn’t fueled as much during the day as I had forgotten several of the items I usually bring or eat. I usually have eggs in the morning and I didn’t. I had yellowfin tuna to bring with me and I forgot. Protein matters, it turns out. I did eat a big dinner and ultimately was fine, but what I didn’t eat made a huge difference with my workout. Let that be a lesson, folks.


During my Big Bear trip I found a tiny used bookstore with a modest selection. But in it they happened to have a copy of Daniels Running Formula’s 2nd edition. I have the 3rd edition and have worn it out with how often I have read and cited it (and yes, I’m a Certified VDOTO2 run coach). The 3rd edition is clearly superior in the overall information offered, but it’s missing one valuable item from the 2nd edition: The fabled Plan A marathon training plan.

Plan A is a softer landing compared to the Daniels 2Q plan in the 3rd edition, the latter of which is rather challenging (and by some accounts possibly mis-transcribed, explaining why some of the workouts are rather brutal). Plan A is more of an intermediate bridge plan, and the workouts are more within reach for most serious runners.

I’ll have more to say about this later but I was fairly thrilled to find this edition and get a hold of the plan.

Meanwhile, I’m feeling good this morning, I definitely will remember all my food today, and am looking forward to a better workout this evening.

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