A chat about 100 mile week with my elite runner

I am working with Kelly Gillian, 2Nds place at the VT Marathon, and sub 3 hour runner who contacted me about taking that next step. This was our exchange after finishing up one of her bigger weeks that I designed

Hi John,

Somewhere around wednesday morning, i was convinced that you hated me. i was 3 miles into my 12 mile morning run and thought, “he must hate me. why else would be do this to me?” my quads were tired and i still had another 9 miles to go just to finish my first workout of the day.

i was tired. i felt like i was running underwater, i thought i must have been doing 9 minute miles. i kept looking down at my watch and it was reading 7:39, 7:40, 7:43, 7:34 and swore it was broken. i thought, “this cannot be true. i can’t be running this fast while feeling this shitty.” it was amazing. in a good way.

i’m not through with the week just yet, but i’ve learned these past few days that getting in all these miles is so much more mental than i realized — to me, it’s analogous to your first 20 mile run. it’s not that much more than an 18 or 19 mile run, but psychologically, it’s s huge hurdle to overcome. that’s how i feel about hitting 100 in a week.

also, in my consult with christine on thursday, we spoke about taking better care of myself and recovering harder — i feel like i’ve been putting in some decent runs, but all that won’t mean much if i don’t take better care of myself. so i’m working on that, too.

thanks again for your guidance and for kicking my butt!
kelly

———

kelly,

First; yes I hate you too. Hahahahah feel free to hate me All you want! Hahahah

Second: congrats! 100 miles is insane and a real mile stone for getting better.

Third: when training from now on, it’s the only thing you can really do. The rest of your life you just keep afloat until after the marathon . Make sure Sam in cool with and maybe even on board but you can’t do this and much else. It’s all stressors. You have a stress breaking point and running 100 miles a week will push you 99 percent of the way to it. When people say they want to give it their all, they have no idea what that really means. How deep you can really go. What total focus and purpose looks like. What sacrifice is. You can take a life break after the race and catch up on what you neglect for the next 5 weeks.

Fourth: time not training is not free time. It’s recovery. It’s about not adding stressors to you life. It’s about healing and making sure you are ready for the next workout. Never skip sleep. Don’t eat crap. Don’t plan social events. Your an athlete 24 hours a day.

You asked me what being an elite is like; this is it. You get to live it for 5 weeks. Do it. Do it with everything you have in you; you will have no regrets.

John

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