Monday, September 30, 2013

Time to get serious now I think

I have been in no mans land for the last few years it seems to me. I have not made any real progress in personal best times for 2 years. I have good reasons for this of course, my heel injury has been a massive hindrance.

I have pretty much proven to myself that I possess some decent speed and so long as the distance is short I can use it. I know male runners of my age that are regular sub 90 minute half marathon runners that cannot run at 3 min/km pace. I can run 2min40 pace, and I frequently do 3min/km in some short fast reps. 3min/km pace certainly is nowhere near my max effort  - I actually don't know my outright fastest pace the Garmin watch can measure, but I would not be surprised if I could reach 2:35min/km or maybe faster.  Yet my best HM race is still 1hr35, 6 to 7 MINUTES slower than a bloke I know that cannot go anywhere near as fast I over shorter distances. He does 18:45 or so for 5kms too, way faster than me..

This is not about comparing myself to others in absolute terms of performance, its a matter of my personal desire to reach my own potential, understanding what that potential might be, and devising a method to train effectively. Its not that I want to beat other people, I want to to explore how fast I am able to go over the marathon distance. I want the opportunity to have real hard go at it, at least once.

So, looking at things and applying some logic, the possible reasons for my lack of performance over the longer distances:

- I am perhaps built for sprints rather than distance
- I have not trained effectively to reach my optimum as far as aerobic capacity is concerned
- I am genetically predisposed to not improve much aerobically given a proper training work load and base buildup.

I think its true that I am built for speed, and its fairly natural ability. Its nothing truly remarkable though, in high school for example I was always second or third over 100 and 200's rather than winning all the time !! Give me something longer than 200m and I would be really fast though, and over 400's I was pretty quick. I never actually trained then, so of course put a real athlete on the track and I'd be beaten.

As far as being genetically limited in my ability to gain benefit from training, I have done a decent training cycle back in 2010 when I did my first marathon, and my fitness improved markedly. So I think I have a predisposition to train and improve, what I put is translated to real improvement. The limits of the training and the rate of improvements I have not found. Injuries have got in the way.

After all the experimentation and the outcome of my various training approaches - frequent shorter distances, faster running etc, I am now convinced of these facts - I have yet to reach my true potential, and have never trained to an optimal level of aerobic condition - I possess a lot of natural speed (although not in any way is it remarkable or earth shattering)  - I do tend to improve given volume training over several months.

I need to do this proper tireless running phase I have read about to get myself up to the performance level I want.

Its now time to get serious about this, no more buggerising about. My injuries are the best condition for YEARS. I managed to get to equal best 5km fitness and not be injured byt the training. And that was done with little to no traditional base fitness. So I have decided to begin a true, traditional high volume 'base aerobic fitness training' phase.

For me the training is going to be a radical change compared to what I am used to. Its going to be extremely tough, running 7 days a week, with several days doing a short recovery run in the AM followed by a volume steady state run in the PM. I will take days off when I feel I need it, but I will have a schedule to follow that has me running every day. I want to do this for 3 months, over the full summer season, so that at the beginning of January 2014 I am in hopefully the best aerobic condition I have ever been in.

The actual schedule I will devise soon enough.  One other factor needs to be addressed too.  I am going dry again, no alcohol at all for 3 months. And when I hit the ground again in Jan 2014, I hopefully will have another plan to follow, with the target race of Gold Coast Marathon 2014, July, and be dry for another 6 months. Like I said, no more buggerising about. 

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