Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Have you raced an indoor 1/2 marathon lately, how about a 5k?? What about a marathon?

The 2012 Icebreaker Indoor 1/2 marathon and Marathon are fast approaching and are set to go off the weekend of Jan 20-22.  There is also a 5k and a very fun but yet totally competitive marathon relay.  All the races are at the Pettit National Ice Center in West Allis, WI on the 450m oval and race spots are filling up fast so check it out.

The atmosphere, time of the year, and overall race buzz this weekend creates is amazing in the city.  You can feel the electricity in the building as the races are going on and all the action is right in front of you. It is great to see fan clubs of runners being able to cheer on mom, dad, or family memeber the entire race.  Another great part about the weekend is that wherever you are in your winter training there is a race for you.

There are no excuses to not be doing something hard or of quality in January because the Midwest weather is tough. Get to the Pettit Center for the Icebreaker race weekend.  If you have a chance check out the Pettit Center before race weekend to get a feel of the race surface and know what racing shoes you will be wearing on race day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Found another Running Movie - Across the Tracks

I came across a running movie the other day about two brothers who run the 800 in high school -  Across the Tracks. Brad Pitt stars as a determined straight laced runner trying to get a track scholarship to Stanford and his brother played by Rick Schroder, who was kind of naughty in the beginning of the movie, is trying to get his life back on track .  The movie is full of cheese but overall has a good message and the director even goes so far as to get 400m race splits right during the races. You know in some movies the director tries to fake times but not in this film. The runners did not go out in 45 seconds and end up running a 1:40 800m so that was kind of interesting that there must have been a runner advising these scenes in some way. If you have some time check it out, there is some language in the movie but overall a pretty solid message and a good watch.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

One last workout before your key 5k/10k/ or 1/2 marathon. What would it be?

There are many factors both positive and not so great that have to be factored into what you do for your last key workout before your peak 5k, 10k, or 1/2 marathon. How many runners actually take the time to weigh the factors of workout volume, pace, rest, workout environment, workout surface (roads/track), and what you have done before & after the workout in terms of mileage and recovery?  What about the history of the workout a runner is doing before that key race?  For example has this workout worked in the past, have you recovered from the effort, and have you taken away the confidence you needed to run your peak race well 9-10 days later?   Sometimes the last key workout turns into a nightmare and then what?

The next time you are setting up your last key workout before a race write the workout down and let it sit for a day or two so you can think about it.  Come back to the workout and go down the list of positives that will make the last key workout the best you can roll with preparing you for the final race.  If there are any "X" factors or questions on the workout you should not even begin the workout - fix those concerns before you begin. An example of an X factor is an uncertain outcome.......can I even complete the workout at the goal times?  Or does the workout volume make sense for the race distance I am running?  Or what if the weather does not cooperate on the day you want to roll the workout, do you have a backup plan?  If you want to run fast you have to plan, these workouts don't just happen with luck.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Still Fast after 40!

A huge congrats goes to ThunderDome's own Kathy Fodor from Northport, NY who raced last weekend in Syosset. Kathy rolled to a 2nd place overall finish in her 5k racing to a 18:41 finish time. Kathy is a great example of sticking to a training plan and seeing the big training picture of stacked months of running. Kathy's 18:41 was 40+ seconds faster than a couple of 5k's she ran in just July and August.  Plus when you are as fast as Kathy is, at 44, there is not usually that much room for improvement or time drop in a 5k!  Think of that zone you get into when all of a sudden things begin to click after slogging around for 2-3 months. Many runners do not get to that point because they stress themselves out by not seeing instant results.

Overall consistency, not the glamor workouts, or seeing how many workouts you can cram into a week is going to pay off in the end. Those right away results do not come after a month or two of training but end up down the road in positive workouts and races. For Kathy this 2011 year of totally solid race results has been 8-9 months (the pic on the left is from a 5k in March of this year so from 1947 to 1841) in the making of just solid mileage (35-45 a week) , workouts, and consistency.  Congrats again to Kathy and hopefully very motivating for everyone to get out there these winter months for the spring/summer race payoffs.