Monday, March 05, 2007


Well, as the city dug out from it's second humongous snowstorm in 5 days, I headed out for 14 miles on Saturday - my longest run so far. It was definitely a tough run - not for fitness reasons, but because most of the residential streets had been marginally plowed, so much of it was like running in sand. Tough for pacing a bit, but a great workout for the legs. Finished with a 10:13 pace, which is just fine. It was the kind of tough road conditions where just getting out there for the run was a triumph.

I've really approached my running this season - and I think my season in general - very relaxed. I'm not out there trying to go harder or faster, just consistent. The more miles I spend around 10:00/pace, the more efficient I think I can get - I mean, that's a 4:20 marathon, which would be drastically improved. But it's also helping me to just run for the enjoyment of it - I'm finding it easy to naturally tune into the right pace, without checking all my gadgets and gizmos, and just go. Same with my winter biking - I'm not obsessing about speed or distance at all, but am just happy to be getting out there on my bike with snow on the ground. It's improving my bike fitness, strengthening those muscles to avoid that early-season sore, and giving me just a touch of a leg up so I'm more prepared when I'm finally on my tri bike. All of this is good news, and are lessons I'm taking from the last half of my summer last season, when things started to click. The less I try and do "too much", and the more I just stay within myself, I think I'll see far better results than ever before. I don't think this is the season for me to work on a lot of speed training, or to try and get comfortable doing a marathon under 4 hours, or whatever. I mean, look at my history here:

2005 Twin Cities Marathon
4:56:46 overall

2006 Liberty Triathlon Half Ironman
6:29:09 overall
2:31:31 run

2006 High Cliff Triathlon Half Ironman
6:31:15 overall

2006 Ironman Wisconson
14:53:27 overall
5:42:53 marathon

See? I've never had a "good" long-course race - by which I mean I'm executing racing - particularly the run - in accordance with my training. I've either been unprepared, stupid (like kicking all ass on the bike only to lose half an hour on the run), or not appropriately trained. So this year - easy breezy. The bike, I finally learned last year to stay within myself, to take it as it comes, and to keep fresh fresh fresh legs for the run. So now, if I can just get my long distance running to a place where I'm at all sensible, I really think I'll see some drastic improvements. It's not rocket science - I know it's there, I just haven't been able to put it all together yet, now in my 4th year of racing. May 19th - my first marathon - will be my first true test. Then, my first Half Iron, on June 9th. Then next year, if all goes well, I might be in a better position to spend my offseason improving power on the bike, or going faster on the run, and really getting strategic about that stuff. But this season, I really believe I can toss out some remarkable P.R.s if I can just keep to my strategy.

I had a teacher in college, at the Berklee College of Music, Livingston Taylor - James Taylor's brother. Best teacher ever, totally cool guy, and a legend musician in New Englad that's thought of as highly as brother James. Anyway, in his class, people would get up to perform and, in the heat of that moment, would suddenly start flittering and screaming and just trying to blow the doors off the joint. And he'd say - stop that. Stay within yourself. If you haven't done it in rehearsal, don't try it now when these people have paid good money to hear you. We'll all enjoy the song more if you play to your strengths, instead of trying to sound like whatever you heard on the radio. Anyway, good advice that I long ago incorporated into other parts of my life, and am only now starting to learn how to apply to triathlon.

Oh, and my nutrition has finally locked right on. I'm slightly ahead of schedule, I think, to be at Ironman weight (or within a few pounds, anyway), by my Half Iron in June - last year I wasn't there until the end of August. The long runs and long rides this early in the season are definitely doing their part for that. Good.

Anyway. Allegedly some temps in the 40's and mid 40's in the coming 10 days, which might do well to diminish some of these impressive snow drifts and clean things up a bit for easier training. Perhaps - just perhaps - the days of taking 20 minutes to get dressed just to go running will soon be behind us. Sigh. A guy can dream, can't he?

1 comment:

Triteacher said...

I feel relaxed just reading this. You sound so cool, calm and collected. Nice spot to be in.