I saved an article from the May Running Times magazine by Joe Rubio called "Always Ready To Race". A lot of what Rubio had to say struck a cord with me. He claims that Americans don't race nearly enough. When he gets questions from runners that are training for a marathon, he'll review their training and see 4 to 6 months of workouts planned, but no racing.
He says "racing is a skill and to become proficient at any skill, you need to practice it repeatedly to show improvement.
And when we do race, we start the season by hammering everything, which makes us plateau very early in the season and fade from there.
I've often joked about how some of my best races of the year have been in March and April. Well, that's all going to change in 2012.
Rubio thinks weekend warriors that like to race would be better off if they DON'T build a huge base and then try to reach a peak (something else he thinks few runner know how to do). Instead, he suggests running your workouts more controlled and really monitoring your intensities. Even when racing, you shouldn't be hammering every single time you lace up your flats.
Recently, I posted something about not remembering the last time I did a speed workout. Combine that with my lack of racing and is it any wonder I'm slowing down? Normally, I believed I had to have some big base in place before toeing the line. However, Rubio suggest that "running fitness that leads to faster times is generally based on a continuum. All running speeds from fast to slow speeds and every major speed in between should be addressed consistently to see any significant progress in race times for the vast majority of athletes." His key components of this "Endless Season" are;
Midweek intervalsAnd to tie this back to the Jack Daniels DVD I watched recently, he said most runners wait until they're in shape before running a race - like they're afraid to be embarassed by a slow time. He suggests that that's exactly when you should race because you'll be able to see the most progress in your running.
Weekend race or anerobic threshold run
Midweek longer aerobic thereshold run
Weekend easy long run when not racing
True recovery day
Strides and accelerations
I'm not sure where this will get me, but it can't be any worse than where I've been recently.
Quote of the Day;
"Once an athlete has a solid background of training and racing in the endless season phase, they're only a few short weeks away from a peak level of performance if they choose to go that route. If the runner doesn't have a key race they're shooting for, they can train and race in an endless season manner and develop nicely over a long period of time without much of a break." - Joe Rubio