I Might Have Gone Too Fast

Today’s Run

Time – 1:09:10
Distance – 6.07 miles
Pace – 11:24 min/mi
Elevation – 191 ft.

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Yeah, so, I got back to running in heat. It was a little warm today, and speed was not happening. It was a struggle to get in miles, especially after the time off. I’m back to business again.

Building Base

All solid, well-built houses have a good foundation. A base, if you will. Thus the phrase “base building” in running. For those who don’t run much, the idea behind base building is to do lots of running that add aerobic capability, increase the blood vessels (and, subsequently, blood flow) to muscles in the legs, and to improve strength and stamina. In other words, running a lot makes you run a lot better.

I guess you could say that I’m in an unstructured base building phase right now. I’m running to run. The idea is to get out the door and get more work in. Run, run, run.

Minneapolis Running has a great article about some of the basic workouts of base building here. There are, according to the author Justin Kruse, three main kinds of base building workouts that a runner should add into their standard schedule of easy and long runs to improve base and fitness. They are:

  • Strides
  • Hills
  • Fartleks (no, that is not a typo)

The article talks about each in detail. Suffice it to say, these are going to get added to my schedule.

The other run I mentioned that needs to be worked out is the long run. One per week, usually on Saturday for me, is what will be best. My long runs are going to have to get significantly longer due to THE GOAL. Hollie over at FueledByLOLZ also has a good article about adding miles for base building, especially around the long run.

I’ll have to keep these in mind. Now it’s time to actually sit down and write a schedule…

Running Can Take Years

Today’s Run

Time – 50:00
Distance – 4.49 miles
Pace – 11:09 min/mi
Elevation – 195 ft.

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Must continue to study the problem.

It was, for lack of a better statement, a beautiful destruction. Bad fueling yesterday, combined with hot weather, along with going out for a “fast” run and having a big hill right at the front, all came together to cause decimation. The run blew up about 3 miles in, and I limped it home. They happen. This is why you train, in order to figure out all of these little things that have to go right to have good days.

Interesting Discovery Online

I was searching around online for information and came across a training guide by Joe Rubio that is a plan for post-collegiate runners to work at continuing in order to race the 1500/Mile. It’s premise is that, like the training for high school and college runners, one should plan/expect to work for 3–4 years before seeing significant fruits of labors. The first two years will be a continuation of growth in the aerobic arena, with small advances in speed, and that the gains found in years 1–2 can be built on in years 3–4 to truly advance/improve speed.

I’m not through dissecting the document yet, or considering how it would fit into my plan. I certainly don’t want to stop progress on THE GOAL to try and achieve the other items I’ve talked about previously.

But this may be some additional insight on the topic. More studying to do…

Is More Than One Goal a Good Thing?

Today’s Run

Time – 33:54
Distance – 2.76 miles
Pace – 12:17 min/mi
Elevation – 120 ft.

Quite literally, an “easy run.” It was the 2nd slowest pace that I’ve run for less than 4 miles, including the ultra slow runs at the beginning. I went out after yesterday’s long run and just didn’t really feel like the legs were going to do it. With only 3 days left to go this week, I figured easy miles were better than a burnout for the time remaining. Other than a little knee tenderness, it did feel alright.

What About More Goals, ’Cause One Just Isn’t Enough

I’ve been thinking about THE GOAL. There’s a few things that I want to do with my running, but they are not all in the same vein, which makes it hard to consider how to accomplish all of them, or whether I should even pursue them all. Rather than post something to the “world famous” LetsRun.com Message Boards and get flamed to ashes, I figured out throw this out into the ether here. Let’s do a run-down and figure this out.

Potential Goal List
Run Western States in under 24 hours. – No potential here…this one is THE GOAL. It’s what I’m doing the blog for and why I’m putting in the miles. Nothing is going to change this. This is bucket list, #dreamitem, and the “top of the mountain” all rolled into one. It’s gone and replaced Ironman for goodness sake!

Run a mile in under 5:20 – This is a crazy goal. I’ve got my own personal reasons to hit this number. I want to see what fast feels like, I’ve got an mental/social challenge to get this done, and I need to prove to myself that I can have speed. I have no idea if I am cursed by genetics and/or physiology on this one. I like the idea of trying to get there as well, as this is one of those “curiosity” goals: i.e. Can I run this fast before I get too old to run this fast?

Run a Boston qualifying time – For a man who is 38, this is 3:10:00. I don’t want to go to Boston. This may elicit shock from some, outright apathy from others. The truth is, it’s not, nor has it really ever been, a thing for me, I don’t like the idea of that insanity of crowds, and, again, this is about personal goals and speed. If I can run 3:10 in a marathon, I can get fast just about anywhere, and I don’t have to go to where the Patriots and Red Sox play to prove it (sorry, I’m a St. Louis fan…still a little bitter…). God bless those who choose to run Heartbreak Hill, though.

Run a FAST 5k – This is one of those things that seems like it would be fun to do. “Yeah, my PR is…” I don’t have a time set for this. Something in line with the mile and marathon times, which would put a 5k in the 18:00 to 20:00 range. That’s fast…

So, the question is, can this even be done? Is it possible to build a plan to get there, especially in a reasonable amount of time (because I know that the mile time will eventually be unlikely)? I see a few of these things working together (mile speed turns into 5k speed is necessary for Boston times can be helpful for Western States quickness, and endurance for marathons is obviously needed for 100-milers), and I know that they don’t require the same training. I’m going to have to give myself a time limit for some of these things as well. I’m thinking 5–6 years of time, maybe a little more.

What do you think? Have you ever tried anything like this? Can a nearly middle-aged guy build that much fitness? Are you a coach who would be willing to create this plan? Put your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!