Monday, September 26, 2005

What's with All this Motivation???

Typical of the hot & cold personality, I find myself suddenly driven with planning for wonderful feats of miraculous speed and endurance by instituting yet another plan! If others do not trust my new found resolve to continue through the Fall & Winter injury free and and emerge faster and stronger than a comic book hero I don't blame them - because neither do I. Yet, I am not one to temper motivation. No, I am one to embrace it! So, alas, if only this one works!

Well, all my plans would work if I could get through them. I am usually a victim of over-training. Too much, too soon. I can read. And yes, I have read all the warnings of too much too soon. I can warn others away but I, I am drawn to the flame each time and maybe, just maybe, I won't get burned. No bets please.

In order to deflect accountability or perhaps responsibility for my training miscues - I must find someone to blame. And today I blame the inspirational writing skills of Arthur Lydiard. Yes, poor soul, not dead these many weeks, and he is to blame for my new burst of motivation. You see, as posted the other day, I found a new running blog called Running with Lydiard. And of course, I got to clicking & linking and found myself re-reading for the 10th time Lydiard's plan. It just calls to you and says "Come on, you're in your thirties, you can do this, Champions are Everywhere". Since I've always wanted to be a champion, I thought "Why not?" and decided to apply Lydiard's principles to my plan for Holyoke '06. We all know the drill: aerobic capacity (many weeks), hill training (4 weeks), speed training (4 weeks), coordination training (4 weeks) and taper. But can it be done?

I have run now a 3:05 and a 3:03 and as I look back at the data I see some good effort but no consistency in terms of steady weekly high volume running. Injuries, motivational issues, fear of weather, you name it has broken the cycles of good strong running. Then, nearing the end of the training season, I pull it together, do some good long runs, some hill work, speed, tempo, and taper and race away. From 3:42 to 3:03 over 5 marathons. I credit the better times to an increase in my aerobic capacity from 2003 to 2005 from all the running. I have proven Lydiard's point quite accidentally but not willingly - it takes time to build the aerobic capacity. What I have also noticed is that there was a time when one week at 80 miles would put me on the injured list. Now 80 is fine, its the 100 that gets to me. Funny how quickly I forget how it wasn't that long ago when I struggled to maintain what now seems like an incredibly low weekly mileage.

Last week I put in 72.1 miles. I haven't done that since the end of June. For shame! Week upon week of 30 mile efforts. My comments are full of "I'm tired", "It rained", "I need rest". Ugh! Each one of those weeks that logged 30 miles (plus or minus) are not 6 days of 5 miles each. They are made up of 2 days at 15 miles followed by 5 days off. Can it be any clearer? Even after Marc's call to arms and the immediate registration to the Cape Cod Marathon I floundered at 34 miles per week with 2-3 days on, 4-5 days off. My first long run attempt ended at 19.1 miles collapsed on the landing strip (#33) of the Eastport Municipal Airport when I slammed into the wall of depletion 1.5 miles from the house. Why don't I learn??

But today, all is right with the world. This morning I ran an easy 7.8 around town after yesterday's successful 21.7 mile long run. The total time with breaks (what's a long run if you don't take time to have a snack every 5K? Long runs are for relaxing!) was 3:00:16. Actual running time was about 8 minutes faster. I ran 7 x 5k loops around town. Here are the average paces for each loop: 8:12 / 7:45 / 7:30 / 8:32 (ran part of this loop with another runner) / 7:34 / 7:27 / 7:01. I chuckled to myself at mile 18.6 as I began the 7th lap and started to press the pace; these long runs... it takes 2 1/2 hours and 18 miles just to get to the workout! Because that's the truth of these runs. Its the last lap that you came out to do 3 hours ago.

Ok, the new plan is in place. It is based or follows Lydiard as best as possible. It treats Cape Cod like an over-distance long run since I am very impatient and I don't want to "start" my program in November - I want to start it now. Typical. In to autumn and on to winter!


Blogger Mike said...

Right on Andrew! Two 20+ milers logged, and 70+ miles last week is great work. You will kill the marathon in May. Lydiard is ridiculously inspiring, especially for the 30's crowd. I think you are proving Lydiard right with your progression towards breaking 3 hours, and it feels good (especially when starting a new program) to think that some of the work required to meet your goal has already been done (the last few years of aerobic development). The only words of advice I feel qualified to give are Arthur's-"If you cannot go the distance, slow down." Best of luck

9/27/2005 3:04 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Great job. Your dedication is inspiring.

9/27/2005 6:02 PM  

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