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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Shooting A Cannon From A Canoe!

There is an old training adage that you can't shoot a cannon from a canoe. My 34 year running experience has held this to be true. All of the special peak periods and special races were preceded by long periods of a high mileage base. I have tried, on a number of occasions, those training programs of low mileage with high intensity, or those 3 day a week training programs with a long day, threshold day, and interval day with a couple days of cross training. They never worked for me. My best performances came after a fall/winter training regimen of 7 hours a week of running for at least 6 months, followed by a month of hill work and intervals, and then racing season. It seemed like every year, about the 3rd race, everything came together, and I had two month of progressively improving weekly racing for about 2 months, when at least a month of easy long running preceded a second fall racing season. In training for the Boston qualifying marathon and the JFK 50, I built a base for 15 months and a peak of 8 1/2 hours a week. This paid off in the best 6 weeks of my running career.
Now, at this stage of my life, I just can't build the kind of base I was able to in my youth. BUT, I might try and extend this base for at least 4 or 5 months and see if I can approach 6 hours of total running. This will probably only yield about 35 miles a week, but it may just allow me to get strong enough to run better at 10k next spring and summer. We shall see. Your always are an experiment of one.
This week I got in 28 miles with a long run of 7 on the treadmill. 7 miles on a treadmill seems to take a lifetime.....gotta try that outside next time. Ankle and knee were better. Sure would love it if they cleared up over the next few months.

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