Tim Twietmeyer ran the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run a mind-boggling 25 times under 24 hours. In their February 2007 issue, Runner’s World magazine published Twietmeyer’s training log from 1996, one of the five years he won the race. I recall being surprised at the time by how many single-digit numbers appeared on those lines and how reasonable his weekly totals appeared. Granted, Twietmeyer lives near the finish line in Auburn, California and probably ran most of those miles on the Western States course so even a short run was likely a quality run.
Looking at it again, I’m also struck by how few zeroes there are. He may not have been racking up Krupicka-esque mileage, and some of his runs don’t appear to be any longer than my occasional grocery store runs, but Twietmeyer was getting out there nearly every day.
There’s a lesson there that I wanted to share before this magazine heads to the recycling bin en route to becoming a pizza box.
Click here for the page on Twietmeyer from the Runner’s World Heroes of 2006.
I like this graph a lot. Last year I really started thinking about what type of running program most benefits ultras and really, 50 and 100 milers and fit my lifestyle. After some long thoughts, talks with friends (specifically Ryan Dexter and Jason Eads) I came away with the thought of just running a lot. To me “a lot” does not mean 20’s every day but running multiple times a day and just getting out there when I can.
What I came away with was that I felt like I could run all day because I sometimes would run a morning, noon, and night run. This in turn helped me digest food on the run better by never really running on an empty stomach. Lastly, I think my body figured out how to recover on the move better. All important things in the long distance/timed events.
Now I’m no Tim nor did I achieve the mileage that he did but I was able to put together a pretty respectable Leadville training like this. I THINK the people that do the huge weekend miles then the little to no mileage during the week are basically putting themselves in a recovery mode all the time. My thought process is after every training run I want to still be able to go out and run again the next day. Does that mean I don’t run hard? No it means that I dont do bury myself in mega miles that require me to take a day off. If I have the choice or running a 40 miler with the next day off or back to back 20’s, I’m taking the 20’s because chances are that if I wanted to add a 3rd 20 on after the back-to-back I could.
Good points Travis! It reminds me of when I first started to “think like a Kenyan.” We all hear the stories about how Kenyan kids have to run 10 miles to school every day, so a few years back when I was trying to break three hours in the marathon, I started running places I might otherwise ride a bike or drive. I stopped thinking about running as training but rather as a mode of transportation. Little by little my mileage went up 20-30k a week but I didn’t feel any more tired than before, and I easily cracked three hours for the first time later that year. I didn’t think of my runs as two-a-days or three-a-days; I just ran when I needed to get somewhere. Thinking like a Kenyan was a big turning point for me as a runner.