Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Speed, come back!

An unforeseen consequence of doing six months of Hadd-training is that my speed has departed on the last train to Clarkesville. By speed, I mean my ability to sprint. Okay Geoff, you can stop laughing. I've never claimed to be the bearded answer to Cathy Freeman. As a clean-shaven 28-year-old, I could only sprint 400 metres in 62 seconds. "Anyway", I hear my vast readership asking, "why does a distance runner need to be able to sprint?" Because I need some difference between my top speed and 3k race-pace.

In my first post-Hadd interval session, I ran 200 metre repeats averaging 41 seconds for each. If I'm to run 11:07 for 3000 metres, I need to run every 200 metre split of the race in 44.5 seconds. Clearly there's not enough space (yet) between my top speed and goal race-pace. In my ancient sub-10 minute 3k days, I could jump on the track any time of the year, and run 10 x 200 metres in 32 seconds. Race-pace for 3k back then was 40 seconds per 200 metres, so about 25% slower than top speed. If I can eventually run a similar interval session in 35.5 seconds per 200 metres, my top speed should be sufficiently fast enough to run 11:07. At least top speed won't be a limiting factor to my goal.

When this season of track racing finishes in March, I'm thinking of using the 'conditioning' phase outlined by Arthur Lydiard, rather than simple Hadd-training. What I like about Lydiard's 2-week schedule, is that it includes one day of 'relaxed striding' – 4 to 8 repeats of 200 metres, and one 'time trial' of 3000 or 5000 metres. The 200s should help maintain some sort of fast-twitch muscle condition over winter.

Recent races:
17 Jan - 1500m in 5:51.01. 2 Feb - 5000m in 21:29.58. 7 Feb - 3000m in 12:16.07.


Blogger Rob said...

At lest you have some fast-twitch muscles Ewen. That 11:07 is definitey just a few twitches away. Soon you won't be talking about the fast times of history but of recent times.

8:46 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Wow, that's the second fastest 3k time for the past 4 years! You're almost there with a bit of this speed stuff :)

9:11 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

sounds a little complicated to me ... i think to get the 11:07 you need to push hard in your speed sessions and that will give you the improvement needed .... give the watch a rest and chase someone until you can pass them then pick the next one ahead of you

11:11 pm  
Blogger Gronk said...

You should post a pic of that clean shaven 28yo.

7:34 am  
Blogger Thomas said...

As far as I know it only takes 6-8 weeks to fully train your anaerobic system. You should see improvements very quickly if you train consistently.

8:15 am  
Blogger Superflake said...

So you have Hadd it with Hadd and going back to Lydiard then? I think you should use all the ideas you gave me for the summer. I run around in a 3k at 90 second laps and I still managed a 73 sec last lap once. So you should be able to get the kick back.

11:39 am  
OpenID IHateToast said...

dooood. lydiard skinyard was the fastest clean-shaven band ever!

4:32 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Toasty, sadly I have to run this type of speedwork alone - there's nobody to chase - not even lydiard skinyard.

Thomas, you are right - Arthur said 4 weeks for the anaerobic system + 4 weeks of 'co-ordination' training. I can do anaerobic training now, but my problem (as I see it) is that I've lost what Arthur would call 'fine speed'. The speed that's almost maximum sprinting speed. Well, I can 'sprint' now, but my sprinting is too slow.

Flake, Hadd is not dissimilar to the base training part of Lydiard, so I haven't had it with Hadd. I'll explain in a future post :)

10:15 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Snap! I did 12:16 for my Feb 3k TT.

Pity you have no-one to chase, or run away from, in your speedwork. Sure makes a difference for me (especially the running away bit!).

So how fast are we doing next month?

12:34 am  
Blogger Grellan said...

What HADD took away let Lydiard restore.

Good luck finding your "fine speed" Ewen. I've never experienced it - suppose I would need to do 100m/200m "all out" reps. At the moment I certainly feel I could only run 3k at 5k speed.

7:48 am  
Blogger Scott said...

Thanks for that Ewen

just what I needed an image of you dressed in full-body, figure hugging green suit sprinting/strutting around the track.

I perfer the image I had of a hard but fair bearded trail running wildman ;)

2:31 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

So right Ewen, 41s will not cut it and yes the books say 4 or 8 weeks, but I suspect both you and I know that speed does not just return and hamstrings like slow changes when we are over 40!

Good luck, amd have fun stretching!

10:05 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Arh, the joy of ageing, it certainly creeps up. I'm sure you'll get your 11:07 (still has a good ring to it).

4:41 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Good luck with finding your speed.

Looks like the Brumbies could do with some too (or maybe some tackling practice?)

8:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coota said...

I reckon you would outsprint Cathy Freeman if she was chasing you whilst waving a spear in your direction.

1:17 am  
Blogger Jason said...

As you have already picked up, I too have been lamenting over the loss of speed from long, slower distance work. I think you are right in that you do need to push up your top end speed, in order to improved the 3000m. At least you have a very sound aerobic and work load base from the Hadd training. It should stand you in good stead for the harder work you are thinking of.

2:06 pm  
Blogger Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

That's funny because top-end speed is all I have right now running. Like anything else, your body will adapt to what you are training it to do. If you don't do any sprint-work, you won't be able to sprint very well. For distance runners, it is doubtful that you need to do anything shorter than 400m repeats. If you are really trying to beef up your anaerobic capacity, then hill sprints, sprint repeats and suicides will make a big difference in a short amount of time. Just keep the number of repeats low at first because it is very easy to get hurt early on doing high intensity training when your body isn't ready for it. Hope this helped.

8:14 am  
Blogger jojo said...

thanks for the nice words on my blog :) and no two ways about it- im happy with 2:38 800m and yes i know my coach stu is pleased with it 2 as it was a goal to sub 2:40 this season) i just B and Moan(im lucky he puts up with it!) as a runner a 2:38 75/83 seems the same as a 78/80 to me but i know pacing wise it is sh!te

11:30 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

Perhaps you need the shaven head again to re-gain your speed.

Hope the Lydiard pays off over the Hadd. All these different training methods.. who would have thought running was so complex!

4:45 pm  

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