Weekly Summary – 162 miles (259km) in 14 runs. Another big week here in the Andes at Altitude Camp! Good recovery from last weekend’s big run, a solid workout on Wednesday, a fun race on very tired legs on Friday, and another monster session on Sunday. More work tomorrow!

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 was crucial to helping me recover from my injury during the fall and I wouldn’t be running 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 this summer, when we’ll once again have programs for High School and College students, and even 10-day trips for adults and families.

Lunes, 18 de Febrero, 2019 – 09:00: Slept very well and long after such a big day yesterday. Planned today as an easy recovery day and didn’t care about pace but wanted to keep the overall volume high. Ran up to metropolitano and ran quite slow on the loop up there (over 5’00 when I was leaving) and then down to the park and did 1 big lap in 16’35 and then to the track. Stopped and did drills and then 8x strides in 2’56 and then 200m in 32.6. Finished easy home for 22km in 1h45’30.

XT: Heel drops, glutes (9x weights), toes

15:30: Felt very tired on the way out the door on this one. Had a nap but felt like I could have slept longer, just real low energy going out. Jogged down to the park and 2 big laps. Didn’t even look at my watch (16’27, 16’13) and definitely thought I was running slower. Cloudly and started to drizzle a tiny bit just as I was getting to the track. Felt much better on drills and strides and did 4x in 1’27. Jogged back via ambato and up the hill. Total run 13km in 58’30.

XT: Heel drops

Martes, 19 de Febrero, 2019 – 08:45am: Slept very well last night but still a bit tired this morning. Ran down to the estadio first to drop off a watch for someone and then ran back the normal way up to the metropolitano loop. Felt pretty decent in there, definitely better than yesterday. A bit foggy at times which was cool. Avg pace was 4’51 when I was leaving the park. Ran down to la Carolina and did a 3/ 4 lap and then to the track at 20km. Stopped and did drills and then 8x strides. Felt much better on these and they were a good bit quicker (2’48) and then 200m in 33.0. Finished easy back home. Total run 23.5km in 1h47

XT: Heel drops (10x each side), glutes (9x weights), toes

15:30: Easy run down to la carolina and 2 big laps 16’11, 15’50. Felt better than expected. Finished easy to the track, drills, and 4x strides in 1’25. Just about recovered. Finished at Maxi to grab groceries. Total run 12km in 53’.

XT: Heel drops (10x each), toes

Miercoles, 20 de Febrero, 2019 – Sparknotes: 16km Fartlek in 58’10 (3’38 avg) w/ 5km steady, 15x[1′ on, 1′ off] + 10x [30″ on, 30″ off].

09:30: Took an uber down to Cumbaya to run around the reservoir. Forgot that they close the tunnel going one way in the morning so took a lot longer than I expected as we had to go way around the back side of the park.

Warmed up on the dirt path side of the reservoir. It’s a nice trail and good surface but very narrow and no good turnaround and only about 900m long, so not good for long workouts, but would be a good alternative to track since it’s marked every 100m. You can loop down and come back on the grass but that’s really rough and has a giant hill.

Decided I’d do the workout on the paved side which has a marked 1km (every 100m) out/back. Really annoying because you could make a great rolling loop of like 2.5km but there’s a stupid gated community that won’t let you through at the back. Oh well.

Changed into rockets and did drills and strides and 200m in about 39.

Goal of the workout was supposed to be 5km steady ~ 3’30/km, then fartlek of 1’ on, 1’ off until 45 or 50’ and then 30” on, 30” off until the end (around 60’).

Started off okay at 3’33 out, 3’33 back but the route is much hillier than I’m used to for running quicker (mostly up here I’ve run on the track), so I think I was aggressive w/ what I could expect to run. Ran 3’44/3’43 for the next two laps and then 3’38 for 18’11. Way off the pace I wanted but glad I stuck with it to get in some work.

Rest of the workout was actually pretty good. I split the watch on each out/back which varied a bit depending on where the on/off sections fell but were generally 3’32-3’45 and avg’ing around 3’40. The uphills were very tough but manageable by effort. Finished w/ I think 2km of 30” on 30” off and ran the last 400m or so continuous for the fastest km of the day (3’27).

Total was 16km (garmin read 15.9 as I probably lost some at each turn around) in 58’10.

Cooled down back to the Chaq. guard house where I’d left my stuff and changed into Cliftons and cooled down out/back down to the bridge and back. That big hill coming back is a tough way to end the morning!

Total run 28km.

XT: Heel drops (10x each), (Once home) Pedestal, 8’, 9x weights, toes

15:50: Afternoon skewed a bit later as the morning session took a while. Ran the usual route, 2 big laps in 16’04, 15’27 and then to the track. A bit drizzly when I started but sun came out by the time I got to the track. Lovely. 4x strides in 1’25 and then jogged over to Lucius’s place to use his gym. Total run 12km in 52’.

XT: Strength at the gym.

Pullups 4 sets of 7
Split squat 10x 0, 20lb, 30lb
Deadlift 10x 0, 10lb, 15lb
Step up 10x 0, 20lb, 20lb
Ham curls 10x, 3x

Jueves, 21 de Febrero, 2019 – 09:15am: Slept poorly last night and had a slow morning. Felt pretty decent once I finally got up. Ran big metro loop and was quicker than I expected (4’50 out of the park). Ran down to Carolina and three quarter lap to the track for 17.5km. Stopped and did drills and 8x strides in 2’48, which felt good, and then 200m in 30.9. Finished easy home. Total run 20km+ in 1h32.

XT: Heel drops (10x each), glutes (9x weights), toes

15:40: Ran the usual loop down to the park and 2 big laps (16’07, 15’54). A bit tired out the door but better as the run went on. Stopped and did drills, 4x strides in 1’25. Finished easy home. Total run 12.5km in 55’.

XT: Heel drops (10x), toes.

Viernes, 22 de Febrero, 2019 – (PM) Sparknotes: Ambato 10K: 8th, 33’58, (16’55, 17’03)

08:00: Easy morning w/ the Ambato race tonight. Ran the usual PM loop, 2 big laps of the park 16’19, 15’54 and then to the track. Lovely and sunny morning. Did drills and 4x strides which felt VERY good in 1’20 (!). Finished easy home. Total run 12km in 53’.

XT: Heel drops (10x each), toes, glutes (9x weights)

18:05: Left home around 13:40, got to Isra’s a bit before 14:00 and left right then. Took about 2.5 hours to get to Ambato but we arrived in the wrong spot of the city so had to drive around for a while (where I almost died of having to pee) before finally arriving near the finish line (where there was thankfully a gas station w/ bathroom) and we picked up Franklin who’d gotten our packets. We then drove to the start line and I could tell the course was going to be crazy. The city is EXTREMELY hilly and the course runs through a deep valley between the outskirts (across a river) and the main city (on a hilltop on the other side).

We arrived in plenty of time – maybe 5:45p at the start – and parked and I was able to use the bathroom (no port-a-potties here, welcome to Ecuador!) and get ready to warm up. Started warming up at 18:05 out/back on a side street. Ran into Byron Piedra who recognized me and called me out by name (which was cool but surprising) and so jogged w/ him for about 20’. Nice to catch up and run w/ the big dogs.

Did drills and then was rushed toward the line at like 18:50 so only did maybe 2-3 very short slow strides on crowded stretch of road. A bit of a clusterfuck getting into the elite corral but finally got in and settled w/ lots of time to kill/stay loose. Had a good spot on the line next to Miki.

I knew the race was loaded (there’s $4K for first place and the money goes deep), and as we got off the line, I saw the familiar faces of all the best runners in the country (Piedra, Jami, Gomez, Miki, and many others). The pack formed quickly with maybe 6-10 guys all behind Piedra as we began the first long descent.

Profe had said it was about 2km steep downhill. We’d driven up and it definitely was steep, so I actively didn’t look at my watch but just tried to relax as well as I could and was perfectly tucked in behind Piedra. Felt very good and (in retrospect) hit 1K in 3’03 which felt very slow; I was clipping heels.

The hill bottomed out earlier than I expected – maybe 1.5-1.6km (NB actually only 1.3km) and at that point Byron surged and I saw myself get dropped very quickly. I couldn’t believe it but it seriously felt like all of a sudden I was in 30th-40th place. Just got swarmed but the lead pack and chase pack who started crushing the uphill.

Profe had said it was fairly flat from 2km until a steep uphill around 5km, but what we really had was a continuous uphill climb from 1.3km to all the way to 5.5km. I still wasn’t looking at my watch and fairly quickly found that I was no longer getting passed but was catching up to the guys who had followed the big surge. I could see John (who used to train w/ us) and quickly caught him and then could see Isra’s maroon singlet and worked towards him. I was moving from group to group and felt like I was running well and finally passed Isra sometime shortly after 5km.

Finally, there was another steep downhill at about 5.5km as we ran down towards the river and crossed a bridge. This felt good and I was able to really get my legs moving again. I was still moving up well and stuck w/ a group there of guys I recognized having finished near at the Heroes 10K last year. I figured this meant I was running well since I was way fresher for that race than today!

An extremely steep but short climb up from the river and back into the city led us to a gentle downhill and then a fairly flat km or so as we ran through the city center. Very cool w/ all the lights on a tons of people out.

Finally, we made the turn towards the last km. I’d heard a lot about this last km as an extremely brutal, steep, long uphill finish. I was running the whole race like I knew I was going to lose a ton of time and probably get swarmed by a bunch of guys going up the hill, so I really pressed from like 8-9km. The hill itself was indeed long and steep, but I tried to just power through. Somehow I didn’t get passed by anyone and arrived at the stadium w/ no one to kick down.

Finished in 33’58 and I believe I was 8th place overall. Really pleased w/ how I ran this, effort, strategy, etc. I had 261km in my legs these 7 days and still managed to finish better than I did at Los Heroes!

Chaotic after the race, lots of jogging around, jogging in place to stay warm (it’d gotten cold and we couldn’t find Isra’s dad to get our stuff). Chatted w/ Piedra (who won) and Miki (who ran poorly for 3rd).

But – our team won! Woot!

Finally got out of there around 9pm and was home by 11pm. Long day but a good one!

Sabado, 22 de Febrero, 2019 – 10:15: Ran later after getting back from the race quite late last night and having a slow morning. Greg wanted to run so jogged very slowly for the first 30’ or so down to La Carolina and 1 big lap at over 6’00/km pace. Nice to run together, though, and beautiful day. Second lap quicker but still slow and easy (16’20) and then to the track. Did drills and then 8x strides in 2’47 which felt good and 200m in 31.1. Finished over to inaquito to get a few groceries. Total run 13km+.

XT: Toes, Heel drops (10x each)

15:30: Easy clockwork double down to the park. Kept effort relaxed, 2 big laps 16’00, 15’59, then to the track. Drills, 4x strides in 1’25, not pushing. Big day tomorrow. Total run 12km+ in 53’.

XT: Heel drops (10x each), glutes (9x weights)

Domingo, 23 de Febrero, 2019 – Sparknotes: SPECIAL BLOCK AM: 17x1K @ 3’18/1K @ 3’58 (33K @ 3’37, 1h59), 3h rest, PM 10x1K @ 3’21/1K @ 3’58 (19K @3’38, 1h09) – on Treadmill

08:00: Slept later than planned as the upstairs neighbors were having a party late.

Goal today was to do the first Special Block of the season. Given the length of the races this season, the main goal was volume/muscular fatigue as opposed to higher quality speed (which also makes sense since we’re at altitude).

I did this run on the treadmill for a few reasons. 1. Control – I really wanted to be able to control some things, most importantly nutrition and hydration. I’ve tried to do this out on the roads/on loops in the park but often my bottles have disappeared or else I have to carry them w/ me. Same for gels. 2. Softer surface. The TM. belt is a lot softer than running on pavement. I’ve been running 260+ km/week since I’ve gotten here and after doing 53km on pavement last sunday, especially, and then a 16km workout on pavement on Wed and a 10K race on pavement on Friday PM, I wanted to give my legs a break.

I jogged over to Lucius’s place (where he was kind enough to let me into his gym. It was quite warm and humid inside as it’s connected to the pool/sauna/jacuzzi area w/ no door. Unfortunately I had no fan, just the mostly useless tiny fan built into the machine.

I warmed up about 2km more on the machine (ran in Cavu on the mill) and did a couple accelerations to see how it felt running quicker.

I originally wanted to do 20x 1K/1K in the morning – this would be about 40km of work. I figured I would keep the off Ks around 4’00 and start off very easy at 3’30ish for the “on” km and work up to whatever felt manageable. I hoped that would be around 3’15 for the majority.

The first few did feel very good and slow. I made it through the first 5x and had run 3’29, 25, 21, 17, 14. The last 2 had definitely felt harder but not awful.

The next 5x were all around the same pace (3’20-15) and I passed 20km marking what I hoped would be halfway. I took gel #1 at 10K and gel #2 at 20K.

From there, the effort really increased over the next few reps. It got much harder to maintain pace and I found myself having to start the rec reps a bit slower and accelerate vs running consistently at 4’00/km. I had to take a quick bathroom break around 25km and then changed into rockets for the rest of the run. I was feeling pretty bad but figured if I could make it to 30km, that would be a good stopping point.

Ended up running to 33K but effort was getting too high at that point given that I wanted to run another 20km in the afternoon. Stopped there, no cooldown, just cooled off and refueled.

Total work 33km (17x on reps) in 1’59’10 (3’37 avg), avg on: 3’18, avg off 3’58.

Total run 36km.

2pm: Jogged back over to the gym, 3km total for warmup/strides.

Same things as the AM. Started off at basically the same pattern, felt okay for the first 4-5 reps easing into pace and then shit started to get real. Struggled a lot in the last 10km but stayed tough and in it mentally. Again changed into rockets for the last 2-3 reps, don’t remember exactly, which was a nice little pick me up. Pace was slower than the AM but body was good and wrecked. Avg on 3’21, avg off 3’58. Finished 19km (10x reps) in 1’09’05 (3’38/km).

Total run 22km.

Total day: 58km.