Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I am Old, Fat and Slow

I don't particularly like the Pitz-Douglas program as it has not improved my fitness as rapidly as the FIRST program did. Maybe it's my old body's fault. We'll see as I will switch to the more demanding FIRST workouts. Ironically, I was never able to hit the prescribed times for the FIRST repeats in the two cycles I followed in the past, and always ended up lowering the target times. P-D do not introduce repeats until well into their training cycle.

The benefits of repeats (VO2Max - done at 3-5K pace) are well documented. I wanted to remind myself why I was to subject my body to such punishment. I decided to read Noakes. In his book, Noakes claims that one can only gain 10-15% improvement from repeats (done right). He goes on to say that if your average Joe wants to improve much more than that (other than the usual gains from increasing one's mileage) is to have better running economy; IOW, drills, drills and more drills.

One positive aspect of this training cycle is that my tempo runs have steadily improved. Last week I managed six miles at 7:01 pace. If I can get them to 6:50 mpm, I will be in good shape to meet my goal come November.

Alas, I have been plagued with injuries here and there. Nothing significant.... yet. Knock on wood. The most nagging injury right now is liopsoas tendinitis; I am hoping the flexors will hold up until after the NYCM.

Speaking of which, NYCM 2008 will be the last marathon I race. Training for a 'thon is just too hard on my aching body. I will still run 'thons, but at a more relaxed pace. I may concentrate on shorter distances. Who knows? I feel I am in running limbo.

On another somewhat related note, I too thought that Wanjiru and the lead pack would fall apart before the 30K mark. Boy was I proven wrong. Even though the guy had a 90+ second positive split, he still kicked some major arse. And he's listed as being only 5'4".

Had Ryan kept up to his apparent plan of running his-own-race, I believe he'd probably have won bronze. He was quoted as saying: "Mentally, it's tough to convince yourself that it's possible for those guys to come back."

And how about Kenisa Bekele? Again he impressed the heck out me with his last lap in 54 seconds in the 5K... I am sure he could have ran it faster as it was pretty obvious he slowed down after he built up a significant lead. He ran a 52-second last lap in the 10K in Athens.

Last, but not least, I fly to France next week. I intend on tasting each and every wine offered at the 23 "aid" stations throughout the Marathon Du Medoc. Vive la France!