So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

My photo
Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Friday, September 26, 2008


"You are the way you are because that's the way you want to be. If you really wanted to be any different, you'd be in the process of changing right now." - Fred Smith
The weather has not taken a complete turn toward autumn-like conditions, but the mornings have been absolutely glorious this last week. The afternoons, however, are more like summer. I figure another week or so will pass before we have autumn across the board.
Before running at the beach last Wednesday night, my friend George & I were trading training notes. We use the same training regimen as when we trained together under our coach, but with adjustments to fit our own idiosyncracies & ways of thinking. Funniest thing, though...when we compare notes we seem to be fairly well in synchronization. Who would have known? We both harbor the same degree of concern about folks who used to train with us & now have gone their own way, but wish them well & (almost always) leave the door open for their return. If not for the encouragement of my wife I probably would focus & fixate more on trying to draw them back; she reminds me there are still (6-to-8) persons making it to workouts at least once a week, & my energies are better served there than chasing after the ones who are off doing something else.
Of course, I always run into the ones doing something else at local races or other running venues. They say, 'oh, I'll be back out at the track soon, Coach, I'm not racing as well as I could be...' I used to get hyped up over the prospect, then disappointed when I figured the words were hollow. This month's Track Coach magazine had the Smith quote, which pretty much said it all. Change is a process, a continuous one, & one that requires a rational decision to be made.
That having been said, I didn't feel bad about not seeing anybody at the track last Saturday morning. '...that means more time for me to do what I need to in the gym.' So I hit the YMCA for a little treadmill/swim workout of two hours, during which I did some stoopid things for which my left hip is paying the price today. Nothing major. Just a good reason to take a day or two off from running or racing (I was going to run a local 5K this weekend as a speed workout...), maybe even do something around the house...
It did give me time to observe the track workout of one of my guys last night. I assigned 12 400s; first 8 at 75-80% effort with 100 walk (1:00) recovery, last 4 at 80-85% effort with 125-150 walk (1:30) recovery. He hit consistently two-to-three seconds faster than goal pace throughout the workout, but I shut it down after 11 because I could see his form deteriorate. He's been playing it smart; listening to his body, laying down a great base fitness, & it shows...especially on those days when I'm running cr*ppy & he's kicking butt.
Track Coach also had the obligatory 'here's why the Kenyans are kicking our butt' article, this one by an engineer-turned-evangelist. Not much different from Toby Tanser's thesis in his book, Train Hard, Win Easy: Running The Kenyan Way. Some of the reasons I took away include:
1. We don't build a sufficient aerobic base.
2. We don't structure our training toward a particular event.
3. We run on the wrong surfaces.
4. We fail to exercise patience.
5. We depend on (heavy, motion controlling) shoes to counter our biomechanical shortcomings, and...oh yeah,
6. Our diet s*cks.
Whether we really want to do anything about our weaknesses as athletes lies within us. Odds are good most of us would prefer not to, but if we're smart we can try. Even an eighty-percent solution would simplify our personal lives, allow us to live longer, run longer & (maybe even) run stronger.

No comments: