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!


Anonymous said...

I don't think Hall would've gotten bronze that day no matter what he did. He didn't look comfortable at all...his gait was all over the place and he didn't seem to ever really settle into a rhythm. Also, it's got to be absolutely unnerving to have try to stay in touch w/ the lead pack when those opening miles were *ripped"--he didn't need to be in that pack, but he had to keep them in relative proximity.

I think that race might have been the best marathon ever. Seriously, those conditions and that pace was simply staggering. I still can't wrap my mind around it.

yumke said...

I'm scared of the FIRST program. Maybe if I get more marathons under me i'll be more confident. Have fun at Marathon Du Medoc.. I once saw a show on food net work (yes, food network) and the host ran it. Looked so cool

EVIE5000 said...

Have a great trip!! That sounds wonderful! Maybe this will give your running limbo a little boost :)

Quinto Sol said...

Yumke- When I first attempted the FIRST program I added a few easy runs here and there. I never ran more than 40 miles per week. The goal was to run a 3:15; alas, felt short with barely a sub-3:18. BUT, I was able to PR in the 5K (from 20:05, to 19:34).

The next cycle I added volume, where my weekly mileage was in the 50s. I was also aiming for 3:15, but my fitness improved along the way, allowing me to run a 3:11.

As I mentioned, I could not hit the repeat/interval times but I just ran them a few seconds slower. I suggest you give it a try for your next marathon... Boston??? :-)

Mindi said...

I love Pfitz-Douglas - stick with it - you may be amazed. The only suggestion is that you may want to cut back the taper a little bit more than prescribed if you have followed it religiously.