With about 35 people in plastic, folding chairs and paper plates full of cookies and fruit sitting on their knees, Adam and I sat down to share out some of our experiences in running distances of 50k or more with a particular focus on Knee Knacker and training for such events. With all of Adam's successes, I certainly felt a little out of place sitting up there with him, and kept assuring myself that regardless of success every experience can be a teacher for others. Besides, the presentation was more of a "Tom ask Adam the questions and Adam respond as he likes" format. It worked out brilliantly, as many of those who attended also asked some great questions and were able to share their experiences too.
For those of you who really want to know though, Adam is an open book. He doesn't lie about his training and is happy to share his "secrets". He truly is open to questions and to bettering the trail running experiences of others with his expertise. He tends to practice the obvious in that he runs to become a good runner, he climbs to become a good climber, and so on. Adam does not believe in the gym for himself as a runner, but, in the name of health, encourages others to do what works for them. A point he reiterated many times was just that - what I do works for me...and my unbreakable, 127 pound, 5'6" frame (that last part was my own addition although true). It doesn't mean it is for everyone. Like most ultra runners, Adam runs an incredible number of miles per week, but only estimates the distances. For him, it is more important to log time on his feet on race specific terrain. For example, he spends a lot of time climbing BCMC and the like with his next race having over 8500 meters of vertical, the Ultra Trail de Mount Fuji in Japan on May 18th. How does a lawyer have time to log the 10.5 hours that he ran last Saturday or occasionally run two or three times per day, you're wondering, right? So was I. Adam recognizes his family situation as unique in that it allows him a great deal of independence. As many of us have families on top of our jobs it's tough to get out sometimes. Adam jokingly credits his supportive wife, Lauren Groves/Campbell, and then mentions her living over seas to do her own training.
In his opinion and for his type of racing, Adam says speed work is overrated. Climbing quickly will reap the same benefits and being sure to maintain tempo runs. But the greatest key he says, is consistency. Be out there regularly and often. After many years of pushing his body hard, Adam doesn't believe in over training, just under recovering.
And there are your Coles Notes. It was a terrific night and I cannot thank Salomon West Vancouver enough for the great idea and for hosting. Adam, as I said before, not many people could publicly say they want to be one of the best ultra runners in the world without sounding arrogant. Your modesty and drive are inspiring.
Thank you and have a great trip to Japan. You can bet I'll be watching results. Please let us know where to look.