“You have to take a long view and train on all aspects of development through a systematic program. It's a lot of hard work for five, six or seven years. There's no secret formula. There's no shortcut…” ~Arthur Lydiard
Arthur Lydiard is a coach I learned about early on when studying Exercise Physiology and he is still often referred to in the world of coaching. The quote above is one that has stuck with me over the years for several reasons.
As has often been said in the triathlon world and coaching world at large, coaching is both an art and a science. At first, athletes don’t understand what I mean when I say this, but truly it is this challenge of this dichotomy that keeps me coming back for more training adventures myself and really keeps me engaged in coaching.
The decision to run the Black Canyon 100K Ultra in Arizona was a bit last-minute because I didn’t get into any of the other three events I had entered lotteries for. I knew about 12 weeks out that this would be the event I would have to aim for, my second time at the 100K (about 62 miles) distance. I needed Black Canyon, because I really wanted to run a Western States qualifier this year. I had missed out last year due to injury.
For those new to the ultra world, Western States is the Kona of ultra running or the Boston of marathons – you have to qualify, but that can be tricky. The catch is that you have to enter a lottery to run a qualifying event to qualify for the lottery to run the race. Got all that?