Sunday, June 10, 2007

Titus Van Rijn and Speed

Andy Roth initiates a postal competition each year for a one hour run to be completed on a 440 yard or 400 meter track, more or less between Mother's Day and Father's Day each year. This competition is named after Rembrandt Van Rijn's son (who was often a subject of his father's paintings). I'm not sure why Andy names it this. Today (6/10/2007) was the last eligible day to complete the one hour run this year. So after the poor attempt at 100k, this was a good motivation to get me out to the track. It seems that I can't run intervals without straining my right hamstring so one hour to two hour runs have been my most effective speed workout. I got in 4 one hour workouts on the track this past week. On the first one, I struggled to break 8 miles (7:30 pace). I hauled on the second workout, running the last mile in 6:44, getting 8 1/4 miles plus about 50 yards. I backed off on the third workout, just getting 8 miles in 59:08. I wasn't quite sure what I'd get on my final attempt today. The first mile went in 6:43 but the effort turned out to be the reverse of the Tuesday workout, passing 8 1/4 in the same time of 59:49 and finishing with 52 meters in the last 11 seconds. So way off last year's total (9 1/8 miles) but it was nice to get back into the habit of running fast (at least fast for me).

I found an interesting interview on Cool Running. Don Allison interviewed Jim Garcia and Kevin McGovern prior to the 1997 World Challenge 100 km Championships in Winschoten, Holland. One interesting comment from Jim Garcia was that the critical miles for him in races are 30 to 35 miles. I find that interesting because all of my problem runs became a problem between about the marathon point and 50k. My thought (I wouldn't call it a conclusion) is that maybe if I can consistently get through this section and maybe a few more miles, that the rest of the race will follow suit.

Speaking of Jim Garcia, let me just apologize for not following his excellent advice to

  • Work on your speed.
  • Do back-to-back long runs on weekends.
  • Never wear the same shoes more than two days in a row.
  • Do sit-ups.
I'll try to make amends. But read the interview. His remarks are pretty funny.

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