Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ed and Breakthroughs...

As mentioned by Rick - Ed made a special guest appearance for speed work last night before he jets off for a summer of slacking in Spain. It was great to see him and have a chance to run together for that short period where he was still within sight (my sight - not his).

We were discussing the fact that when he made his major breakthrough as a marathoner (from 3:40 to 3 hours and then 2:40) there were as many folks in our group rooting against him as there were rooting for him. It's unfortunate - but also very likely true.

Though I always hope to finish ahead of Ed and haven't given up on the idea that I might at some point again -- I was extremely pleased with his amazing breakthrough. I was equally excited when Chris, Rick, Matt, Phil and David had similar breakthroughs.

Ed's breakthrough seemed to be the most dramatic for many in our group - as the others listed had shown incremental improvement in race performance along the way. Likewise, Cahn, Brian and I were running fairly consistently around or just under the 3 hour mark.

When Ed dropped under 2:50 - everyone wanted to know what he was doing differently. What's his secret?

The secret? Hard work and dedication to improvement. We've all done numerous marathons and know a great deal about different training approaches. How many days of speed training should you do? What's the best periodization to allow me to peak on race day? What is the right amount of weekly mileage?

I can talk all day about training strategy. Ed doesn't. He goes out and runs. When he wanted to run better -- he dedicated himself to running more. More of everything. More distance, more speed, more racing. The lesson we can learn from Ed's breakthrough is that there is nothing magical or revolutionary about it.

I don't know if I would break down from doing a 100 mile week because I've never developed a base that would allow me to get anywhere near it. If someone can manage to get 100 miles in per week - I'm the last one to criticize that approach. Seems crazy to me - but only because it's 20 miles more than I've ever managed in my heaviest weeks of training. Training is subjective - from Pfitzinger to Daniels to Higdon -- they are all just suggestions... ideas. I have no preconceived notion that my training approach is the right one (not even for me).

Assuming we can avoid freak dog-trip fractures - the same opportunity for breakthroughs exists for all of us - no matter what training approach we follow. We just need to work harder and be more dedicated.

Ed's faster than we are right now because he deserves to be.

He's worked for it.

Tues LT Report: 4.5 Miles @ 6:25

Workout started out blazingly fast with Ed & Matt pushing the first mile @ 6 minute pace. Then it seemed to settle back down as we took an extended mile under North Ave, and ran North into the wind up to Navy Pier. Unfortunately, I didn't take much advantage of the tailwind for long when my run crashed and burned at 4.5. My failure to get my pre-run bidness out of the way resulted in an emergency pitstop at the North Ave Boat House. TMI, I am sure.

This Saturday will be a good test of progress. Goal is to go under 6:30 for the Soldier Field 10 Miler. Phil and Matt will be running as well.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

True Endurance!

This article discusses a couragous young man gearing up for the upcoming 48 hour "Sanford & Son Marathon". Like to see you try that Dean Karnazes!