Weekly Summary – 107 miles in 6 days. A great start to the new year and my first big block here at 9,300 ft in Quito, Ecuador. A solid speed session and a fantastic first 40km long run. Looking forward to putting in a lot of work over the next 3.5 weeks!

One more thing – for all my local Greater-Boston readers – if you’re an athlete looking for an exceptional sports-massage therapist who specializes in runners and injury prevention and recovery, go visit Sam Peck at SoarBody Theraputics in Davis Square (Somerville). He’s been crucial to helping me recover from my injury and I wouldn’t have been on the start line this week without him!

Don’t forget, you can follow me day to day on Instagram and Twitter (@TylerCAndrews) and my daily training log on Strava. Oh and hey if you’re reading this and don’t know about STRIVE, you should probably check ’em out. I lead groups through the mountains of Peru on a  journey of running, service learning, and adventure. If you’re interested, join us next year for the summer of 2019, when we’ll once again have programs for High School and College students, and even 10-day trips for adults and families.


Lunes, 31 de Diciembre, 2018 – OFF – again semi-planned as we were out in the middle of nowhere w/o great running options but planned in that it was during block-break and it was a great recharging and fairly active nonetheless.

Another beautiful day in San Juan de Chimborazo. Woke up late and slept really well and for a long time (HR was 47 despite being at 3800m). Had a very relaxing morning which was fantastic and I realized super unusual for me in camping experiences (usually I’m getting up at 01:00 to summit a mountain or 05:30 to supervise a bunch of high school kids). It was really nice to just wake up, have some coffee, and relax and enjoy the beauty of our campsite and my friends.

Walked over to the bigger climbing wall and waterfall area after a couple hours of lounging. Really spectacular scenery and beautiful weather if a bit windy and chilly. The rest of the gang hung around a while while Alex and I set up shop and climbed a nice longer route on the bigger wall. He led and I climbed top rope twice. Walked back and then headed out to get water for the group from the nearby pipe before going back to the smaller wall next to camp.

Alex let me practice leading to build the anchor and then top roping up but cleaning the wall and taking the anchor down and rapelling back down the wall. This was pretty scary but really good experience and I’m super grateful to him for showing me the ropes (literally).

We tried to climb one of the harder routes but Alex was pretty worked and didn’t feel up to leading beyond the first clip, so we headed back to camp to begin NYE celebrations.

We all had (I hope) a truly special and memorable night of revelry, story-telling, eating and drinking, burning-Trump-effigy-and-jumping-over-said-burning-effigy, and passing around the bottle of champagne as we watched a billion stars twinkle overhead. What a way to welcome in 2019!

Martes, 1 de Enero, 2019 – AM: OFF – slept late and a bit of chuchaqui but made it out of the campsite and hit the road by 11am (despite Greg’s car battery being dead and their having to make a trip into town to get jumper cables). Drove to Sara’s parents’ hacienda for a fantastic lunch and then I drove back to Quito from there. Got in around 17:30.

18:00: Started off the year running w/ Mar, Alex, and Scott. Great to start the year off w/ good friends in a beautiful place. Alex only made it about 1km before heading back but ran a lap w/ Mar and Scott very slowly before finishing solo. Did solo lap in 15’57 and then 3/ 4 lap to the track before stopping for drills and 4x strides (1’22) and 200m (31.7). Jogged home via Ambato to grab some bread. Night time by the end but still lovely outside. Total run 13km++ in 60’.

Miercoles, 2 de Enero, 2019 – 09:00: Slept a long time, 10.5 hours or so, which I really needed. Ran solo down to park and 1 big lap (15’18) and then to the track, stopped at about 30’ and did drills and 2x strides. Planned to do 4x500m but legs/body in general were feeling really tired. Did 300m in 53.x and just shut it down. Did 2x more strides and then just finished off w/ easy running around the park. Body was definitely tired today and will need a lot of sleep to adjust to higher mileage up here! 3 more laps in 15’41, 15’57, 15’58. Easy jog back from there. Total run 20km in 1h25.

XT: Heel drops (1×10), toes, glutes (10x, no weights)

16:00: Started off very easy w/ Greg for a lap which was really nice as we hadn’t had a lot of time to chat between ourselves yet. About 5’50/km at 4K and then solo 1 big lap in 15’06 and to then to the track, drills, 4x strides in 1’24. Left achilles a bit sore in the same spot from last week so doing more heel drops and stretching on that side. Finished easy jog to ambato. Total run 11km in 52’.

XT: Heel drops (3×10)

Jueves, 3 de Enero, 2019 – Sparknotes: 20x300m @ 50.6 avg (49-52) w/ 1’53 (avg) jog rec, last rep 46.

07:00: First workout w/ the team today! Jogged over to the stadium early and felt pretty tired from the start after a lot of late nights and not being up this early. Hung around for a while and then did VERY slow 2 laps and then literally over an hour of drills, plyos, and short strides. This was extremely hard and tiring, especially b/c it was super hot and sunny and I was already over-tired. Really had a bad attitude going into this and figured that the actual workout was going to be brutal.

Did 15’ of jogging after this and felt really hard and then a couple of strides which felt awful and went into the workout.

The goal was to do 10km of 100m/100m fartlek w/ Miki, JL, and Isra. I felt pretty bad from the start and so tucked into the back. I tried to compartmentalize and take it one lap at a time but after 1K (3’30ish), I already started to get dropped and so just dropped out at 1200m.

Pretty frustrating but I think my body is just over tired and needs the rest. Can’t force things.

Jogged back around the park very slow.

Total run (w/ drills etc) 20km.

15:30: Slept for a LONG time this afternoon and felt much better. Decided to give the day another go in terms of getting in some quality running. Had coffee and took a caffeine pill before leaving.

Jogged 5km easy to the Carolina track and did drills and strides. Ran in Carbon Rockets.

Felt infinitely better than the morning even on drills and strides – energy level was better and legs felt way better.

Goal was to do a continuation of the 200s at 5K pace I did at BU before I left. I figured I’d do about as many as I could until they started getting really slow or until I got to 5-6km worth of volume (15-20 reps).

Split them into sets of 5x in my mind and got through the first 5 no problem but definitely already started feeling harder. Rec was jog back to the start (these were slightly downhill since the track is oversized and mildly lopsided).

Starting the second set I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get through more than 10x, but I focused on each rep in the set and still ran well through number 10. Took longer rest there (3’43) and then figured I’d try to get 1 more set in and see how that went. These were slow and a good bit harder, but still didn’t get slower than 52.x.

Finally at 15, I figured 5 more wasn’t so bad, and despite the rest getting longer and slower (I’d walk the first 15-30 seconds and then jog), I was still on pace.

For the very last rep, I decided to go hard and was very surprised to see how much I had left as I ran like 30.x/46.3. This is very good speed for me and to run this at the end of a pretty hard session was pleasantly surprising.

So, overall the avg was 50.6 which is 2’48.5/km pace and the avg rec was 1’53.

This was a very good session, especially after a frustrating and tiring morning. Just another reminder to listen to the body and take rest and recovery when needed. You can’t force everything.

Cooled down short around the park and home. Total run 20km.

Avg 50.6 (2’48.5/km)
Avg rec 1’53.0

0’49.2 (0’49.2)
2’10.2 (1’21.0)
3’00.2 (0’50.0)
4’26.7 (1’26.5)
5’16.8 (0’50.1)
6’48.0 (1’31.2)
7’39.3 (0’51.3)
9’17.1 (1’37.8)
10’07.0 (0’49.9)
11’52.9 (1’45.9)
12’44.0 (0’51.1)
14’23.1 (1’39.1)
15’14.5 (0’51.4)
16’59.4 (1’44.9)
17’51.8 (0’52.4)
19’38.6 (1’46.8)
20’29.4 (0’50.8)
22’15.6 (1’46.2)
23’05.5 (0’49.9)
26’48.8 (3’43.3)
27’40.1 (0’51.3)
29’35.0 (1’54.9)
30’26.1 (0’51.1)
32’18.7 (1’52.6)
33’09.1 (0’50.4)
35’14.7 (2’05.6)
36’04.5 (0’49.8)
37’55.4 (1’50.9)
38’46.0 (0’50.6)
40’38.7 (1’52.7)
41’30.5 (0’51.8)
43’19.3 (1’48.8)
44’11.6 (0’52.3)
46’30.5 (2’18.9)
47’22.2 (0’51.7)
49’40.2 (2’18.0)
50’29.9 (0’49.7)
52’45.2 (2’15.3)
53’31.5 (0’46.3)

XT: Pedestal (8’, no weight)

Sabado, 5 de Enero, 2018 – 1p: Morning designated for family time. Beautiful and sunny walk around the park and then ran up to Bicentenario and around the outside of the park. Really lovely w/ great views of Cotopaxi glaciar and the city. Didn’t look at my watch until I got back to the track and was surprised to see the pace was quicker than I expected ~4’07 after an hour or so. Ran to the track and did 6x strides in 2’02 which felt very good and then 200m in 30.6. Finished easy up Portugal to grab some things. Total run 18km in 73’.

XT: Glutes (no weights)

Domingo, 6 de Enero, 2018 – Sparknotes: 40km in 2’32’40 (3’49) w/ 2 pickups of 1’ on/1’ off at 15k (17’58) 35km (18’21).

08:30am: Big session today w/ the first real long run on the road here in Quito. Plan was to do the first hour or so solo (on the northbound out/back of the ciclopaseo) and then meet up w/ Mar on bike and do the south-bound section together. I wanted to do 35-40km (I did 36km in December at sea level) and I figured if I felt good I’d throw in two quicker sections of surging in the first and second half.

I actively tried not to look at my watch in the first half but saw it at a stop light that I was at 3’58 avg after about 3km so figured that was perfect and just settled into a good rhythm listening to This American life. Made it up the big hill next and over the rolling bit to the northbound end in just under 10km (9.6k I think) and the avg was 4’03 w/ the big hill. This was still good as I knew i would roll well down on the way back.

Cruised back down towards the centro and saw I was under 3’40 for a few km on the way down the hill and avg was already under 4’00 which was a good standard. I took a quick pause around 14km where there was a water stop on the side of the road to take my first gel w/ some liquids. After that, I kept going until I got to 15km where I started the first fartlek section.

This was good and I felt good running quicker but the effort was defeinitely hard and I was worried I might be going too hard too soon into the run. I picked up Mariana on the bike at about 18km passing by La Carolina heading south and finished up the fartlek portion w/ 5km in 17’58 on Amazonas.

From there, I again tried not to look at my watch much but could see I was making good time – my avg was in the low 3’50s at that point. I knew that the section through old town was challenging and hilly and crowded so I mostly just focused on keeping the effort consistent. I figured the avg might slow down but somehow every time I glanced at it it was still right around 3’50. I knew this meant I was running very well at that effort level.

We hit the turn around in the far south around 28km and then headed back. There are 2 really big hills remaining then – one going up onto the panecillo and the other heading back from old town up to La Alameda. These were both very hard after 30km but I focused on keeping the effort even and felt good. I really tried to “hunker down” in each km and also thought of the last 5km as almost a separate workout, so that worked well.

We hit 35km still at 3’50 avg and I began the last 5km of fartlek to the finish. This was much harder than the first section and I ran a bit slower (18’21 for the last 5k). Kind of annoying as there are a good number of stop-lights in this section but made it through past the park and iñaquito and then back the last km continuous in 3’30.

Finished at 3’49 avg (2’32’40) which is fantastic running for this early at this altitude on this hilly route. I’ve done many long runs here in Quito and in Pisac/Ollanta (similar altitudes) and running under 4’00/km is usually the sign of a very solid run. My best long run last spring here in Quito was 47km at like 3’52. But my first 40km run here in January was only 4’03 pace. So, this is a very promising start!

More work tomorrow.

Total run 40km in 2’32’40.

Gels at ~14km, ~31km
100mg Caff pill at 21km
Maurten (160) every 5km or so starting at 18k

17:00: Easy run solo around La Carolina. Three quarter lap to the track and then light drills and 4x very relaxed strides. Felt decent but strides were slow (1’26). Finished easy home. Total run 5.5km in 24’.