Saturday, February 04, 2006

The Secret

Jonathan Beverly, editor-in-chief of Running Times, quoted John L. Parker's great book "Once a Runner" in his "Editor's Note" column at the front of the March issue.

"What was the secret, they wanted to know, in a thousand different ways they wanted to know The Secret. And not one of them was prepared, truly prepared to believe that it had not so much to do with chemicals and zippy mental tricks as with that least profound-and sometimes heart-rending-process of removing, molecule by molecule, the very tough rubber that comprised the bottoms of his training shoes."

The same issue has an article by Chris Lear (of "Running With the Buffaloes" and "Sub-4:00" fame) on U.S. 5,000 meter runner Tim Broe. In the article, Tim recounts the longest injury-free stretch of his five-year professional career. He has been coached by Michigan's coach Ron Warhurst since 2001.

"But it was only after he was able to train consistently over the past year that he completely bought into what Warhurst was selling: strength kills. Proof came in 2005, when he ran two 3,000 five months apart under 7:45-without having done so much as a single track workout."

"...His recipe is remarkably simple: 90-mile weeks ad nauseum, with the following four elements each week: a tempo run, hill work, a fartlek, and a 90-minute long run."

Lydiard writes that there are no shortcuts to the top. I see echoes of that in both of the articles quoted above. It's going to take lots of time and lots of effort, intelligently applied, for me to get as close as I can to my potential. As I leave the luxury of two 50 mile weeks for the seven 100+ mile weeks of Lydiard conditioning ahead, I need to keep this in mind. Listen to the body, don't overdo things, don't get injured, and do it all early enough in the morning to avoid a divorce and to be with the kids before work.

Training: 8 miles, 56:59, 7:08 pace


Eric said...

Right on. Right on. It doesn't get any easier than that, and it doesn't get any more difficult either.

tb1 said...

Eric hit the nail on the head. (Bear with me when you read the following miles and times.) I am finding it difficult to get to 40 mpw. But you're right Mike, there are no shortcuts. If I want to break 4 hours, I'm going to have to earn it. It isn't going to just happen. And a 3:59.59 won't cut it. GERONIMO-O-O-O