Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Next Chapter

If anyone reads this blog (does anyone read this blog?) I would like s/he to take away one point with respect to training/racing; have a plan. I grew up in a running family and many of the folks in my parent's running club ran race after race after race. It was part of their training rather than a result of their training...if that makes sense? It's a terrible way to train. I guess I'm stating the obvious but I love to have a clear racing strategy well in advance.

I've already started thinking about the spring. To the right I've listed off many of the races I have a desire of racing...though I will likely drop many of them as the season approaches. I still like to have them on my radar and know when they're set to take place on the calendar. I've decided to forgo any marathons for the not-too-distant future. I am getting long in tooth and need to focus on what speed I might have left before it leaves me forever. I was pleasantly surprised this past summer when I ran a 4:25 mile after just one workout. Then, last month, I bested my previous 5k time by 7 seconds. This convinces me more than ever to "strike while the iron is hot". Well, the iron will be luke warm by the time I attempt the 5k again (late winter/early spring) but the confidence will be there.

So the big picture plan is as follows:

1. Army Ten Miler and finish the season on a high note
2. Rest and get healthy. Build back up and base train into the winter OR...
3. Regroup and take aim at a late autumn racing season...go for an 8k PR at Richmond
4. Base train and speed work
5. Jump in an indoor mile/3k for a workout. Race USATF XC Natls - how can I not!?
6. Late winter/early spring - take aim at breaking 15:00 for 5k at a few different venues
7. Use 5k speed and hit Cherry Blossom 10 Miler, Pikes Peak 10k and then peak for the Broadstreet 10 Miler.

My best distances on paper appear to be 10k-10miles so I do want to concentrate on those distances while I am in top form (April/May). Again, this plan appears to be "race heavy" as many of my racing/training schedules are. It still helps me to have a skeleton of a schedule.

In late summer I sat down with one of DC's running heroes in a dimly lit alley (or a Starbucks) and he helped me draft a training plan which was both simple and brilliant. I've yet to execute it as I've been struggling with injuries but plan to start with a clean slate once I've had a chance to rest and recover. To the future (raising pint glass)!


Billy Askey said...


Since you took care of my birds, I guess I have to read this blog...

But anyway, I'd say that I agree with the idea that you should train for races rather than racing to train. So why not clear your calendar of some of the monthly races and break down your year into segments? If you want to have a great spring, why not rest after Army, then begin building up again (rather than racing the Richmond race)? There'll always be another race...

KLIM said...

Again, I don't plan on running ALL those races. What I plan to do is cross some off once I get closer and form a more substantial plan. Right now, I keep it loose. The fundamental plan is the same; Cherry, Pikes, Broadstreet. Each race better than the last.

However, the simple answer to your question is "I am greedy". I believe that when you're in the best shape of your life you should exploit it as best you can. If you can PR in one race you can usually PR in another. Race, race, race...REST.

Example - spring 2002. I was in the best middle distance shape of my life. I had a bad 1500m at my conference meet and wanted to PR bad. My friend/teammate and I planned to head out to the track and btwn us run 2:07/2:08 = 4:15 mile. We never did it...and I will likely never have a shot at running that fast again. I should have raced when I was ready...when it was easy.

MAX said...

I agree with the strategy. You are still young and running has not broken your muscles down too bad yet. I suggest taking periods of time off, even when you are healthy to cross train, develop your flexibility and grow other muscle groups.

JARRIN said...

I hate birds...particularly those pigeons you refer to as Cockatiels.


Steve J. said...

Jake, do you know how much it costs to run in the USA XC Championships?

KLIM said...

I do not know. I think you have to be a member of USATF. My guess is it's in the $30 range.

More info will be here soon:


Anonymous said...

jake i would run in the usatf xc. its in your backyard,

RM said...

USA XC was about $30 if I remember correctly last year. I got a huge t-shirt. I don't even know why they would have made sizes this big.

I fall into the "race as much as you can" group. The way I look at it, if I train for one race, and things don't go as planned, I'm annoyed. However, if I race frequently, I race about the same as I would if I were training for that race. And if I happen to have a bad day, I recover and try again. I am on target for about 27 races this year.

Maybe it's different with triathlons, I feel like you're able to sustain efforts for longer - it's more of a pace yourself thing than a race til you are dead thing.

Either way, do whatever makes you happiest as Max might say. You can't PR every race, so sometimes you have to find other reasons to keep the motivation up.