My old blog once had this crazy-ass training philosophy posted on it. I’m reposting now, because people write me occasionally asking what happened to this poor thing, and since I’m back, I figured it was time to dig up the calcified bones.
At this point Summer of the Caveman is like Gaudi’s Sagrada Família—unfinished and really strange. <Begin advertisement> But some of this ended up in my awesome book, RUN SIMPLE (like the “die rolling for a workout” part). Check out RUN SIMPLE, please </end advertisement>.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy it and it gives you some sort of reason to run today. Maybe you will possibly win some large medal that will end up in a landfill thanks to it. Maybe you will qualify for the Olympics thanks to it. Or you’ll just beat that annoying asshole—the douche who wears his Boston Marathon jacket everywhere in town—that guy who always beats you in the Barney Fife 5K; you’ll kick his ass.
Use it for something.
Maybe I will update it soon. Maybe I won’t. Check back often to make me feel good about my site stats.
Either way, enjoy it, my fellow Caveman.
"Once I saw a prizefighter boxing a yokel. The fighter was swift and amazingly scientific. His body was one violent flow of rapid rhythmic action. He hit the yokel a hundred times…but suddenly the yokel, rolling about in the gale of boxing gloves, struck one blow and knocked science, speed, and footwork as cold as a well-digger’s posterior. The smart money hit the canvas."
~Ralph Ellison, INVISIBLE MAN
There are two types of people in this world: those who are spoiled-brat prima donnas and those who are invisible men who work their asses off.
Be the latter.
The former types ride around in MGs, the latter folks, in VWs with Lincoln Logs for gas pedals. The former types get hometown send-offs, free XBOX 360 breakrooms at climate-controlled, artificial altitudes with unlimited Gatorade; they get Second-Coming of Pre, Sports Illustrated articles X 2, Olympic-ring tattoos for their 20th-place showing behind Bekele and a million Canova-coached Qatarian transplants; they get engaged to beautiful women from the beautiful bloodlines of the beautiful white Senators. The latter types, us folk, we are the cavemen; the former, well they are the beautiful people who have evolved from the cavemen into perfect beings.
Never forget this.
That’s how things have been and that’s how things always will be.
These latter types are Elia Kazan’ed during races and poo-poo’ed by the running gentry atop Mount Boulder. They truly are invisible men. They aren’t supposed to do what they do. They belong behind a cubicle wall, aging into obscurity and oblivion—pushing up small poppies in their mid-size plot overlooking the superterrifichappyfunmall. They are the ones who are supposed to read the magazines and sit in the stands—watching life pass by for the beautiful people.
Grazing cattle—nothing more.
Those on the track vs those that aren’t supposed to be on the track.
Fuck what’s suppose to be.
Time for the Summer of the Caveman.
You can take part in the Summer of the Caveman at any time. Join me. Your times don’t matter, your abilities don’t matter. You can be anywhere on the evolutionary map. It’s your mindset that matters.
We hired the reporter for the Subelite Wannabe Times to do this thing as an interview. Imitation is the best form of flattery so we are
copying The Summer of Malmo in this Q&A regard.
SWT: Tell me what you mean by the Summer of the Caveman?
DL: You know, there’s something to cavemen. Cavemen are the most overlooked and under-appreciated historical figures. We are
supposed to laugh at cavemen and treat them as yet-to-evolve semi-simians. We even got that zany Ringo Starr to appear in the movie
called, well, Caveman. But there’s a lot more to cavemen. We have a lot to learn from them; we should respect them and not mock them. Why? Because they lived in caves; every day for them was survival. They’d figure out that fire was bad by sticking their hand into the fire. They didn’t have someone telling them that fire was supposed to hurt. They were history’s first naysayers. Everything for them was empirical.
SWT: Ok, and what does this have to do with running?
DL: The running world is full of people telling you that fire is hot, that you can’t do this and you can’t do that. If you run a 5k only so fast, you can only run a marathon so fast. It’s McMillan’s calculator incarnate. The same people tell you that you have to stretch and you have to do striders, that you have to follow their plans and their formulas and fire up Excel to run fast. Yep, you have to hand them money for all this too. These cretins have their hands out first and foremost. Helping you? Well, that comes next after they pay their bills and build their summer houses and buy their Ranger bass boats. So we listen to these fuckheads and we get conditioned into grazing on their bullshit calculators. We give away the fact that we are all descendants of cavemen who tested fire. We leave glory and greatness up to the beautiful guys who sit in the MGs and subtly mock those who are brave enough to test the fire—guys like Brian Sell. The more Sells we get, the more we turn over this fucked-up apple cart. I think Sell beating Culpepper at Boston sent shockwaves into the gentry’s world where things are neatly ordered into the haves and the have-nots, between supposed-to-happen and never-will-happen according to the big silver-spoon calculator atop Mount Boulder. Whenever someone does something they aren’t supposed to do, yes, putting their hand into the fire, it makes the establishment look around. It tests them and it makes them uncomfortable.
In short, we’ve lost our empirical nature. We accept what is supposed to be. We don’t test anything; we wallow in mediocrity.
Look, SWT, it’s running for Chrissakes. It’s caveman shit. Put one foot in front of another. Anyone can do this and we are all humans. We can all run and we can all teach ourselves to run fucking fast. You don’t need an MG, a town sendoff with a guy in a Punxsutawney top hat patting your silver-spooned ass on the back for you to learn how to run fast. You need the Summer of the Caveman ‘straight off the fucking boards.’
SWT: Lydiard or Daniels?
DL: John Frusciante
SWT: Back to the Summer of the Caveman, what do you have to do to live the Summer of the Caveman.
DL: About time you asked. There’s several key elements to the Summer of the Caveman:
1. Caveman Shit
2. Mileage that will make you cry “straight off the boards.”
3. Marathon pace, marathon pace, fucking marathon pace! Use the 40-second bracket plan.
5. Smart Racing
6. Magna Carta adherence
7. Weight control and discipline in all things. Discipline. Structured discipline first and foremost.
8. Beards and hair. Beards are a must and hair must be Lance Armstrong-short—maybe shorter.
9. Chicks. Whatever man. I’m not spending a damn dime more on the timeless and incalculable ritual of trying to move seminal fluid a matter of inches (ha!) across a membrane. It’s either in the works or its not. Note to self: monks may be on to something
10. Diet. Meat (or seitan) will be required.
SWT: What about your supersecret writing project? How can you do the Summer of the Caveman and write the supersecret
DL: You aren’t going to ask me about 1-9?
SWT: I ask the questions around here, big boy.
DL: That’s caveman to you. Next question.
SWT: You already have a 2:29 Magna Carta. What’s the difference between that and this Summer of the Caveman?
DL: The mindset. The Magna Carta stays. It’s the real deal. I have to do all those elements to hit 2:29, but it’s just the bones. A being needs bones and a framework to exist, but what has been missing all along is the spirit. The Summer of the Caveman is the spirit. I’m going to talk here about the spirit and the brain that sits atop the bones and propels this body into a 2:29 come October.
SWT: We keep hearing about all these hard plans and all these hard things you are doing and that you profess. What gives us confidence that what you preach will come to fruition? I mean for a while, you had us drinking from the 2:29 VCM Kool Aid and then you pop a horrid 2:36. What’s up with that?
DL: (pausing for a long time). That’s a good question. Just trust me. The Summer of the Caveman will yield a 2:29. If it doesn’t, then there’s six more years of trying and then after that, it’s Thor Heyerdahl, the Kon Tiki, and the whole fucking Pacific.
SWT: You got me there, caveman. Now, walk me through how one enters into the Summer of the Caveman?
DL: To start, the summer solstice for this year will be at 12:23 UT which is 8:23 am EST on 21 June. This is when the sun is farthest north and since this whole thing is called the Summer of the Caveman, we can’t start it until we really are into the summer. Until then, I’ll do something like The Spring of the Homo Heidelbergensis which will still be some hard shit but not yet fully evolved into putting hands into flame. I’m pretty much recovered from my marathon so I’m ready to roll. Lets break the elements into pieces and start with #1. Caveman shit.
1. Caveman shit:
Start here to understand where it came from first. Caveman shit will happen according to the lunar calendar. When there’s a full
moon, I’m doing some caveman shit.
SWT: Wait a second, stop. The lunar calendar? Why?
DL: We are all creatures of the moon. I also like the band Luna as well as the quote from the Chilli Peppers’ song that the lunar landing was ‘filmed in a Hollywood basement.’ The moon’s too powerful for man to conquer it. Remember the flag that waved? There’s no wind on the moon. No way. Besides, since Luna sings “Star Spangled Man," why not combine the two? You know, be a crazy man during a crazy period of the month and pay homage to something that can’t be conquered. The moon can take on a symbolic meaning of sorts—it’s the human spirit. Don’t fuck with it; you never know what it can do to you. I just made all that up, but I like it.
This will be my source for timing caveman shit workouts.
SWT: Go on, #2?
DL: #2 is Mileage. For me this will mean the following:
Three-week cycles. One week of 125 then 1 week of 140, then 1 week of 50%=70. If I can hang with 140, I may go to 160 in subsequent cycles.
SWT: Why this mileage? Why?
DL: I’m going straight off the boards; it’s what I have to do. I don’t have the talent, so I’m throwing mileage at the problem. Durden did this shit and so did Rodgers and so did Meyer. If you throw mileage at it and you fail, at least you tried. Plus, Brian Sell taught us all a lesson at Boston. Brian’s high school two-mile times are close to what I ran in high school. Hey, there’s always hope, right? He never said ‘no’ and ‘can’t’; he got his ass
out on the roads and busted out 160 mile weeks for years under the auspices of the Hanson brothers. Plus, I’m not going for a 2:10 or an Oly. Trials 3rd-place showing, I’m going for 2:29:59.
He believed, so I’m believing and I’m using mileage as my weapon. We learn to read so we can learn to learn. I’ve read all the ”Brief chats with…” on all the Web sites from all the running reporters over the years.. I’m using knowledge and I’m trying to apply it. And how about them Africans? Guys who live with nothing and walk around everywhere, guys who are expected to run fast so they run fast. How about that? Ta-da! Simplcity—another caveman trait. Keep it fucking simple and keep it real.
Can I say something else real quick?
DL: I’m aware that someone (it wasn’t me, I ASSURE you, just check my homepage to see if you find a letsrun.com link there) posted this bullshit textbox website—pretty much intended for 10 regulars on my sad site—on letsrun.com’s b-board where anonymity = brazenness. Fellas, go easy on me. My times suck. Let’s clear the air on that as well as the fact that Ritz. could lap me in the 800. This is about my own mindset here, not boasting or bragging or comparing penis sizes (ha!). Thanks SWT.
SWT: No problem, go on.
DL: Ok, here’s what you have to do. This is #3. This is tailored for marathon-specific training. First, write down your marathon goal pace in min/mile.
Now, let me explain this. You are going to use 3-week cycles.
Week 1 = Workout week
Week 2 = Caveman week
Week 3 = Rest week.
Workout week has 3 main events: mile repeats, threshold run, MP run.
Caveman has the caveman shit event plus insane mileage
Rest week = 50% caveman mileage.
Your workout week goes down like this…
Start with mile repeats. Do them at 20 seconds faster than goal MP, rest = no longer than the interval time itself. Try to do interval time minus 1 minute. If you are new to mile repeats and this is your first ‘summer of the…’ experience, then start with 4 or 5 reps as your first workout and increase 1 to 2 repeats per workout week.
- Recover the next day-2 days (I’ll talk recovery later..)
Do a threshold workout. Do 2 x the reps you did during your mile repeats at + 20 seconds MP. For example: You do 5 mile repeats at 5:23, you do a 10-mile threshold workout at 6:03.
- Recover the next 2-3 days
Do a MP run at MP = 1.5X your mile repeat intervals. So if you do 5 repeats you do an 8 miler at MP (cavemen round up).
- Recovery days
During your caveman week, the goal is twofold: go crazy and run until you drop.
Your mileage you do is up to you. I’m going to go for 160 miles by the end of the summer.
Now, the fun part. Your caveman shit workout will be derived as follows.
1. Write a list of the 10 most craziest workouts you can fathom. Number them 1-10.
2. When your caveman week arrives, get out a 10-sided Dungeon Master die and roll it. The result of chance will be the workout you do. The marathon’s pretty much up to training and fate so why not get used to getting screwed?
SWT: Stop, Dungeon Master dice? What the hell?
DL: Everyone should have leftover Dungeon Master dice from back when Gary Gygax’s name rolled off the tips of tongues across the fruited plain. If you don’t have a 10-sided die, then here you go.
SWT: That’s it for caveman week?
DL: Oh hell no. During caveman week you must also do the following:
1. Eat lots of meat. If you are a vegetarian or a vegan, then soyburger it up, yo!
2. Watch the movie CAVEMAN
3. Listen to this song before a run. (Queens of the Stone Age, You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire)
Sing the lyrics..rock out..turn this shit up….LOUD You need a SAGA. A SAGA…..that’s the only way to make it to your goal…
Dead bull with the life from the low
I’ll be massive conquistador
Give me soul and show me the door
Metal heavy, soft at the core
Gimme toro, gimme some more
Deep fried, gimme some more
Space flunky, four on the floor
Fortified with the liqour store
This one’s down, gimme some more
Gimme toro, gimme some more
Shrunken head I love to adore
B-movie, gimme some gore
Gimme toro, gimme some more
B-movie, gimme some gore
Gimme toro, gimme some more
4. All other songs during caveman week must be sung by men with beards and long hair. Options:
a. Anything by Rob Zombie.
b. Soundgarden’s, “Rusted Cage” or any other song from the Bad Motorfinger album.
c. Any of John Frusciante’s six solo albums.
Runs during the caveman week should be relaxed pace—no faster than 1 min/mile + MP. The caveman event should
happen timed with the full moon and most likely at the end of the week.
Depending on your fitness, you are free to do other things in the week such as faster paced running/races/hills etc as
LONG AS YOU COMPLETE THE CAVEMAN WORKOUT FIRST.
Also plan to do long runs during this week. Go for a couple 20 milers…this is where you start working in the long runs.