The best long course athletes come from short course backgrounds. Speed & technique before endurance. Why? It is much easier to make the neuromuscular changes required for good biomechanics/form when you are working on shorter distances. The more you can hold form over longer distances, the more efficient you will be, the faster you can go. Want to stay at the same slow speed? Shuffle a marathon year after year.
Hmm. Uh, yeah, that would be me, shuffling a marathon year after year. And I wonder why I'm not really getting faster. I don't mind putting in long runs. In fact, I kind of enjoy it. But I hate, HATE doing speed work. I also have convinced myself that it is a waste of money to do any races shorter than a half marathon. Sigh. For a reasonably intelligent person I can be pretty dense sometimes.
So. What am I gonna do about it? Well for one thing, I really do need to be doing some shorter races. 10Ks would be good. Also, and I know I have been saying it for-ev-er, but I need to get back to some strength training. In looking at pictures of myself at races several years ago back when I WAS doing strength training, I had much better form. Here I am at my first ever tri back in 2004.
Look, I'm actually striding out! Suffice it to say, I do not look like that in any pictures from more recent races, and I know it's because I'm weaker. Weak body = poor form = slow times.
And I know I've been saying this one for a while now too, but I really need to drop 10 lbs or so. It's not even an question any more, if I am going to get a faster marathon time, I NEED to do it. It was all so much easier when I was single and spent 2 hours a day at the gym and basically ate nothing but chicken and rice and green beans! Because here's the thing, cooking for just yourself is boring. So it was just easier to have a pretty basic, clean diet. But I do love to cook, and in the last 3 years that I've been married, I've been doing a lot of it. I try to make pretty healthy foods, but it ain't chicken and rice and green beans. I think my biggest problem is portion control, I don't exactly need to eat as much as Dan eats.
So! Here is my plan.
- I am not going to do a spring or summer marathon next year. I wont have the time to work on speed if I have to start ramping up my mileage right away after the first of the year.
- I will do a fall marathon, and really, I'd love to do Chicago again.
- I will do a spring half marathon, maybe Olathe again, and PR there.
- I will also do at least 2 5ks and 2 10ks by the end of the spring session of RE. Right now I couldnt even tell you what my PRs for those distances are, as I cant remember the last time I've run one.
- I will sign up for the spring RE speed sessions.
- And by God, I will lose 10 lbs!
It's fun to just have to worry about going far. But, I think it will be even more fun to go far, faster!