In any experiment, you have to understand the baseline, the objective and the hypothesis.
Here is a brief look into an “experiment” with an athlete. We will call it “5 weeks to 50”
Josh Davis by the numbers
Starting CTL – 39
Previous CTL Peak in last 365 days – 88
Lifetime CTL Peak – 125
2018 Cycling Mileage and Hours – 1958 miles – 112 hours
2017 Cycling Mileage and Hours – 2412 miles – 164 hours
2018 Running Mileage and Hours – 676 miles – 102 hours
2017 Running Mileage and Hours – 1352 miles – 198 hours
Running mileage in last 90 days – 161 miles
Current running threshold – 6:51 min/mile
Peak 5k – 6:06 pace (9-27-17)
Peak 10k – 6:49 pace (8-22-18)
Peak HM – 8:02 pace (1-15-17)
Peak Marathon – 8:42 pace (1-15-17)
PR’s and other notable accomplishments
2017 IMTX – 11:28:xx overall with 4:28:xx run split
Has completed a couple of Ragnar/relay style runs/races
That is the baseline of this athlete at this point in time. You can see that this is an “experienced” athlete with a history of some string runs but has not had the consistency this year like in years past.
We enter this experiment with the appreciation that the athlete has a moderate running base and a history of no significant injuries.
The objective is to complete the Brazos Bend 50 mile race in early December.
My hypothesis is that while the athlete can withstand lots of running at a lower intensity, we are going to take 2 weeks to build him into running (volume) shape while leveraging a strong focus on strength work that targets the primary muscle groups that are used when running. Our goal is to build up the endurance of those muscles to support the overall system during the 9-12 hours of running he will have to be prepared to endure.
Since this athlete has a history of long (8+ hours) endurance events, his cardiovascular demand will be manageable. Our primary focus in this process is targeted strengthening of key muscle groups (and their supportive tendons, ligaments and tissues) while building up a few more “acute” base miles.
The athlete knows the risks, has a high level view of the goals and objective outcome. He is willing to put in the time with a focus on strengthening and recovery first, running second.
Away we go,