Andy Weaver has been coming to the garage for about 7 months and has used our training to help prepare for a 60 mile trail race which is coming up soon. Andy was nice enough to answer a few questions in case any of you freaks wants to give something like this a try. We wish Andy luck and will catch up with him after the race is over to gather a little more info on how someone might prepare, finish and recover from a race like this.
TR: Hey Andy! Tell us about the race you are getting ready to do.
AW: It is the Rock Creek Chattanooga Mountains Stage Race, and it's part of the Salomon Trail Series. It's a three day event that covers three mountains and 60 miles. Friday is 18 miles on the mountain bike trails of Raccoon Mountain, Saturday is 22 miles on the Lula Lake Land trust and Covenant College trails of Lookout Mountain, and Sunday is the bear. 20 miles on Signal Mountain staying mainly on the Cumberland trail.
TR: Have you ever done it before?
AW: Yes. I ran it in 2012. It is still the hardest race I have ever run. It is so demanding, because you have to keep waking up for three days and running again. I remember waking up the second morning thinking there is no way I can run 22 miles today, but I did. It took about 3-5 miles to work the muscles out but once I got moving I felt great. Signal was just flat out tough. The stretch from mushroom rock up to signal point was hell. It was very rocky and extremely technical, very hard to settle into a rhythm. It was 96 degrees when I finished the race on Sunday and I started feeling very cold. I had a temp of 104 and stayed sick for a week. Wait, why am I doing this again?
TR: What have you done to prepare for this race?
AW: I have trained a lot of different ways this time. Since the last time I did this I have incorporated CrossFit into my training. It has taken my stamina and endurance above what I imagined I could do. I ran 3-4 times per week with 1-2 days of CrossFit. I did a lot of extra leg work as well.
TR: Have you changed your diet?
AW: Not too much. Just try to stay away from white bread and refined added sugar. I eat a lot of fat and protein.
TR: How many miles per week are you running?
AW: About 20-40 depending on that weeks intensity.
TR: How much road vs trail miles?
AW: Most of the weekly miles were on the road. My weekend long runs were all done on the trail, except for the 20 miler I did when I ran to your house for the Jon Atwater fundraiser.
TR: What shoes are you using for training and for the race?
AW: My road shoes are brooks pure cadence, trail shoes are brooks pure grit, and probably come Sunday I'll pull out my Hokas
TR: How are you planning your nutrition for the race?
AW: I’m just going to make sure I eat every 30 mins. That's my body's perfect time for refueling. I'll be eating fruit and nuts and m&ms or really whatever i can grab from the aid station.
TR: What advice would you give someone who wanted to do this race next year?
AW: Just allow yourself 3 months or more of training. The key to any long race is getting in plenty of long runs. You need a long run to where you feel like you can't take another step, then run 3 more miles. It's all mental. You just have to convince your body that it's capable of way more. Easier said than done.
TR: Do you have a goal time?
AW: In 2012, I did it in 11 hrs and 16 mins. My goal is to shave 45 mins off my total time.
TR: Thanks! Good luck on the race. We will talk to you and get a second interview after the race.