Friday, March 03, 2006

Shifting Motivation

I've been keeping this under my hat, but I've been thinking about it more and more so I'm just going to spill it. I'm not sure I want to focus on a marathon this spring. In the afterglow of my first marathon with Lydiard training I went ahead and immediately started planning my next marathon with hopes of more big gains. When I started planning Nobby Hashizume mentioned that I should consider taking steps to improve my speed at shorter distances in the spring and summer, then perhaps do a fall or winter marathon. His reasoning? The classic Lydiard quote, "Everything is important". By working more on basic speed and turnover at shorter distances I would improve my times in the 1 mile to 10K disciplines. Then, when I went back to marathon training for the fall or winter, I would have not only a well-developed aerobic base, but also more developed speed and leg-turnover, which should make holding a faster marathon pace seem easier. After looking at the relatively small amount of shorter races in Tucson this spring, I decided to put off the move to speed training in favor of a June marathon, which would place the few spring races as faster time-trials en route to the June 4 Rock and Roll San Diego race.

But something strange is happening. I missed (maybe intentionally) the early registration date for San Diego, and while my conditioning training is going fairly well, I'm getting more excited by the shorter, faster days of training than I am about the longer (15+) mile efforts. My first go-around with Lydiard I pretty much just focused on completing the increased mileage (which was really all I could do), whereas this time I'm trying to spend more time closer to my "best aerobic pace". Also, this week I was going to do my first 28 miler, but after going to a concert and getting home after 11 (and then trying to get up at 4) I settled on doing 14.5 today and pushing my long run back until Sunday. This also allowed me to finish my run at Haiden's new school, where I was able to see her play for awhile before getting a ride home with Kiera.

So anyway, this going shorter and faster in order to eventually go faster longer is starting to appeal to me. I haven't decided 100 percent yet, but if I do switch gears to focus on shorter events this spring I will have to adjust my Lydiard timetable in order to be ready to race in mid-April and through May, rather than peaking on June 4. Either way it will still be hard work (maybe harder since I haven't done too much really fast running), and plenty of miles, with maybe some doubles. In the meantime I'll keep doing my conditioning work, which with Lydiard is pretty much the same for all distances during conditioning.

Training: 14.5 miles, 1:42:42, 7:04 pace


Evan said...

Interesting post. I spent most of 2005 focused on the marathon, went someway towards my ultimate goals, and am now looking forward to doing shorter races this spring, followed by Chicago.

Of course, that's the great thing about a Lydiard style build-up: you really can just decide when you've finished the base phase. My best track season came shortly after I'd put in two months of 100 mile weeks, thinking I would do a marathon that I never ended up doing.

Do you have track races available to you in AZ?

angie's pink fuzzy said...