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Showing posts from May, 2010

Training Summary: 5/10-5/30

The last three weeks, I've started to feel my fitness move as I've gotten into the flow of training. The emphasis has been on maintaining volume (91, 93, and 88 are my weekly mileage totals), staying within myself, and being consistent. I probably violated that principle a bit this week with a couple of spontaneous tempo runs that left my legs a little tired. But hey it feels good to feel good.

Aside from those two steady runs, most of my training has been easy running, between 7:15 and 7:45 pace. I've run 4 workouts and a 5k race (16:35) over the three weeks. Nothing too intense, mostly high-end aerobic surges and moderate efforts with plenty of rest. Everything up to this point has been mainly preparatory for more intense training later this summer.

One element that I've added has been more consistency with strides. I've been doing them 2-3 times a week, and I've noticed over these few weeks that they've gotten easier and I've gotten more fluid and a bi…

Passion and Discipline

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"Temperament is the iron wire on which the beads are strung." --R. W. Emerson

There exist two types of runner, broadly speaking.

The first type of runner is essentially passionate. This sort of runner's primary desire to run stems from the immediacy of running. For him or for her, running is a means to maximizing the intensity of lived experience. Impulsive and somewhat wild-eyed, the passionate runner tends to express the meaning of running aesthetically and to theorize his running as the cultivation of perception of bodily states. It is the experience of running, first and foremost that animates the passionate runner. When this runner competes, he thinks very little about the watch but instead measures his feelings, eyes his competitors, looks to strike at the precise moment. He cares more about winning than about times, more about running than training, more about joy than sacrifice.



The second sort of runner is essentially disciplined. Methodical and relentless, this s…

Training Summary 5/3-5/9

Another week in the books.

Key Workouts:
8 x 1:20 hills
14 mile steady run w/surges

88 miles in 10 runs

This week I'm starting to feel strong. I've had a month straight of regular progressive training. I've gotta be careful not to start pushing now that I'm feeling good. Steady as she goes.

Throw away the lights, the definitions
And say of what you see in the dark

That it is this or that it is that,
But do not use the rotted names

How should you walk in that space and know
Nothing of the madness of space,

Nothing of its jocular procreations?

--Wallace Stevens, "The Man with the Blue Guitar"

The Athlete and the Good Life

A passage from the runner-philosopher George Sheehan:

...[we] should be educated in the good life and how to attain it.

In that, the athlete provides a much better model than the scholar. The athlete restores our common sense about the common man. He revitalizes old truths and instructs us in new virtues. However modest his intellectual attainments, he is a whole person, integrated and fully functioning. And in his highly visible pursuit of a highly visible perfection, he illustrates the age-old advice to become the person you are. Simply by being totally himself, the athlete makes a statement that has profound philosophical, psychological, physiological, and spiritual implications.

Philosophically, the athlete gives us back our bodies. No matter what the Cartesians say in the classrooms, the playing fields tell us that we do not have bodies, we are our bodies. "I run, therefore I am," says the distance runner. Man is a totality, says the athlete, and forces us to deal with tha…

Sub 2:30 or Bust

The first few strides down a long road. I'm hoping to take my big swing on October 17 at the Baystate Marathon. I guess I will do weekly updates on my training here.

I'm following a plan from Bill Squires' book Speed with Endurance. Right now I'm in just a general base building phase. The watchwords are cautious and conservative.

Week One Summary
85 miles in 9 runs
Key workouts: 8 x 1:20 hills,
17 miles w. 1-3-1-5-1-3 minute surges,
Lots of easy running with the boys and a few strides.

Legs feel good.

From H. D. Thoreau:
"But the walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise, as it is called, as the sick take medicine at stated hours — as the swinging of dumb-bells or chairs; but is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day."