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Thursday, June 2, 2011

NAIA Nationals: they sucked.

For interested parties, Abe had a terrible race at the NAIA nationals. Poor kid, none of it was really his fault! His trip was a disaster: due to bad weather, his flight was rerouted to Chicago and didn't land until midnight; after attempting to sleep from 2 to 4 am on the floor of his teammate's family's living room (one other teammate qualified, and luckily her parents live in Chicago!), they got up to figure out travel plans. Coach found a megabus to Indianapolis, so they piled on. They arrived in the afternoon and still had to get a ride to pick up their rental car. By the time they reached Marion, Abe hadn't really slept in 45 hours or eaten in 24 (well, almost, he actually are his Gu stash on the drive back to Marion). The group attempted to eat before turning in, but apparently the food at Wesleyan is inedible... Abe couldn't stomach it. Unfortunately he didn't really recover from the trip ordeal in the day before the race - he had an upset stomach and just couldn't handle the food, plus he was trying to rehydrate and get rest. It didn't work...he awoke race day with a headache and feeling sluggish. In an attempt to rescue the race he chose his lightest - and newest - running shoes, a choice he later regretted. At the start he gave his teammate his watch, since she felt like she needed one, and Abe figured he could use time on the course. Except there wasn't any! The whole race was bad for him. He had had only water the morning of the race, and tried to catch up on calories with Gatorade, but it was a losing battle. By mile 8, he had blisters; by the half his feet were bleeding. His coach saw him and tried to pull him out because he was cramping all over his body, but Abe told him he'd take a Gu and be fine. Except he threw it up. This happened again at mile 20; by that time he was seeing stars and barely finished. He waited for his teammate; poor girl had such a rough race she nearly didn't make it but another runner helped her cross the finish line, where she promptly lost consciousness (she's ok now, but the dehydration and lack of food hurt her, too). This was easily Abe's worst time, running right at 3 hours, and he was ill the rest of the day - seeing stars, dizzy, cramped muscles. It took him awhile to recover enough to actually eat, which was really what he needed all along. I feel so bad that all this training culminated in such a mess!
He told me he's thinking he needs a break, anyway. He had to train for track and the marathon at once this semester, and it's burning him out on running. He's doing 130 miles a week and the two training plans conflict - a recipe for burn out, injury, and sub-par races. I agreed that he needs to focus on school and let running be fun again.
I'm not an expert, but I think his mileage is awfully high for a college freshman. Am I misinformed? I personally rarely break 40 miles a week, even during marathon season - maybe hitting 65 four or five times a year. What's standard mileage for you?


  1. yikes! 130 miles/week. We never got that high training in college...of course, the longest race we ran was 8k for guys and 6k for girls! Sorry to hear he had such a bad experience and hope he is able to rest and recover and get back into running for the pure joy of the sport!

  2. HOLY MILEAGE! So sorry Abe had a bad experience. With travel conditions like that, it's no doubt he didn't have the experience he was hoping for.

    I too stay around 40 ish miles in training...I'm nervous my knees would hurt me with more!

    College athletes have rigorous training but Abe's sounds like torture. wow.

  3. Standard mileage for me? I need to measure the distance between the couch and the beer fridge...

  4. Poor Abe! Glad him and his teammate are doing ok. I hope they both get enough rest so their bodies can fully recover from that beating!

    130 doesn't sound that extreme to me for an elite guy. Considering he's a freshman, I could see it being a little lower - maybe 90-120(max). But I feel like the elites avg 120-ish

  5. I would REALLY like to be a high-mileage person because I love running so much but I just know I can't. My peak week during marathon training ended up being 39 miles because the week AFTER I hit 39 miles I got injured!! Because of my injury prone body I think the next time I train for a marathon I will keep it between 25 - 35 miles a week, which should be fine if I cross-train. Right now I'm running between 20 - 25 miles a week + doing quite a bit of cross-training and my body seems to LOVE it. Not even the slightest sign of an injury in any of my trouble zones!

    Poor Abe though. That really sucks. Just sounds like a series of unfortunate incidents!! I agree with the cutting back on running thing, better to enjoy being a freshman and make running FUN again!!

  6. Sorry to hear that his race did not go well. 130 miles a week? That is crazy! I haven't been getting 30 miles in a week. Better luck next time Abe! I hope he feels better, rehydrated, refueled, and refreshed!

  7. Dang, that sounds like a really rough trip for your brother. Those kind of miles are super high. Some bodies can handle it, but not all! Most of the elite runners in Eugene are running 80-100 mile weeks, but it's rare that I hear them running over the 100s. But most of them are running the 1,500 or 5k.

    Yeah, I'm running 35-40 miles per week right now, but it is rare for me to break 40. I've been trying to focus more on quality of runs vs mileage just to get mileage. A HIGH week for me would be close to 50, but nothing more.

  8. Wow, that whole trip seriously sounds like a nightmare to me. Seems like everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.

    Hopefully he feels better soon. As for his mileage, I'm with Lindsay, his mileage might be a little high, but the elite marathoners run a ton of miles. He just wants to make sure that he is not running too many, because I've heard that your body needs to get used to running that many miles and your body gradually gets used to running higher miles like that when you are mid to late 20s or something. (The book Run Faster I thought was good for explaining this).

    Though if he has both marathon training and track training plans at the same time - this seems like a bad idea. Seems like he should only have 1 training plan going at a time, or else it might lead to him getting injured from doing training that is not fully integrated with each other.

  9. Poor guy - that sounds like a terrible series of events. :-(

    I'm no mileage expert, but that sounds crazy high to me. Hope he's feeling better & his body is recovering.

  10. Brutal, just brutal conditions pre-race. Seriously, how could anyone do well. Completely the opposite of what would be optimal.

    For someone running a marathon competitively like Abe, 130 miles may not be too much. Those Elites run ALOT. His age isn't an issue either.

    Thanks for your relationship advice on my Blog.

  11. I don't know cause I never ran in college or HS or anywhere until a couple of years ago, but holy freaking crap. 130 sounds excessive to me.