Sunday, April 09, 2006


Miles, miles, miles. Strength, not speed. Blah, blah, blah. Why the heck should I listen to this Zeke character anyway? He’s always been ‘fast.’ He has ‘natural talent.’ He’s ‘elite.’ NOTE: these are all things I’ve read and nothing I’ve EVER said about myself.

He ran 8k in xx:xx which converts to a y:yy:yy 20k which converts back to a zz:zz 10k from 6 months ago. What the hell is he talking about and how does it apply to me? I know it is confusing to compare race times, especially for different distances. But what follows is really quite simple. This is what I sent to my coach this morning;

This pretty much sums it up;

October 15th, 2005 - 39:02 for 10K (6:16 pace)
April 8th, 2006 - 1:17:57 for 20K (6:16 pace)

In 6 months time I’ve been able to double my distance while holding my pace constant – WITHOUT doing any speed work.

Last summer I was running about 45 mpw and doing speed work. Here’s a summary of my workouts leading up to that October race;

8/30 6 x 800
9/3 5M race in 30:02
9/6 3 x 5:00 and 3 x 1600
9/9 9 x 400 @ 10k pace w/ 45 sec rest
9/11 and 9/13 progression runs
9/15 16 x 400 @ 10k pace w/ 45 sec rest
9/18 3M tempo
9/23 10k in 39:30
9/27 6 x 800, avg 2:49
9/29 and 10/6 4M tempo
10/8 5 x 800

Compare that to this winter where all I ran was miles, miles, and miles. Then throw in some progression/strong aerobic/marathon pace runs or whatever you want to call them. Top it off with hills, hills, race, hills, hills, race, etc.

Hell, now that I think about it, it almost makes me leery to run another speed workout ever again.

Today’s run include 7 very easy miles by myself on some fairly muddy trails. Then I took my daughters in the stroller for a mile each. I would have like to have included them for more of the run, but I wanted to make this an easy day and that can be hard when you're pushing a stroller. Besides, it was about 65 degrees out and they were playing with the neighbors.

Quote of the day:
"I have never been a killer. I’m not an aggressive personality and if I can remember any emotion I felt during a race it was fear. The greatest stimulator of my running was fear." Herb Elliott


Mike said...

I love reading this kind of stuff, I'm so glad to hear the program is paying off. When you do finally get to the time trials and faster stuff, it will be much more enjoyable with all the strength, endurance and stamina under your belt. I remember my first 10K after starting Lydiard training, close to the end of 12 weeks of conditioning. I raced it a full minute faster than the year before and it remains the only race I've ever won outright. ...Like you, with no speedwork.

brent said...

wow that is crazy. pretty interesting.

brent said...

my question is, do you personally think someone could also get there by doing speedwork? do you think it would just take longer? or?

Mike said...

Nice post- Your mileage numbers are solid and it's great to hear that it is paying off. Congrats on a great race!

D said...

Great race Chad! Great race report. Obviously what you're doing is working. It is evident that those mental exercises are paying off as well.

Chad said...

Mike, I do have to admit that I haven't been as diligent as you as following Lydiard's plan. Than again, I don't think Snell or any of the guys were as diligent as you. Still, I'm seeing results already and it only encourages me to take it to the next level.

Brent, there's a reason why Lydiard would tell people to "go run for 10 years and then come back and see me."

Think of training as building a pyramid. The higher the pyramid, the faster you run. Well, the bigger the base of the pyramid, the higher you can build it. Same with running.

Now if you've only got X hours per week to train, then adding speed will help you get the most out of your available time.

Thanks Mike.

Susan, thanks for reading my blog at 4:45 AM - I think. No, this post doesn't give you permission to skip speedwork. It means you should go for a nice training run instead.

DGC, thanks. Glad to hear you had a good race in St. Louis too. No, that's not an easy course.

Anonymous said...

I have to so much agree, because I have eschewed speed work in favor of heavy base (3200 miles last year), fast as I can run it and races at any and all distances twice per month. Like many of you'all, I can never convince myself to trade off the miles for the track and so far it has worked. Thanks for the good writing (and running).

Chad said...

Hey Vince. Thanks for the nice comments. 3200 miles - nice. I haven't been about 2800 (yet).