Thursday, April 06, 2006


Yeah, I know we live a quick-fix society. I guess some of the entries in this blog are my attempt to get people to demand more from themselves and push their limits a little. It’s no different than a teacher (like Sara) getting frustrated when a student asks what’s the minimum I have to do or do I get extra credit.

I want to qualify for Boston, what’s the least amount of work I need to do? So you run a 3:10, qualify and run Boston the following year. That’s great and all, but what if you really “should be” a 2:40 marathoner? Should I be more impressed that a 2:40 guy ran 3:10 or that a 3:11 guy ran 3:11?

I guess I assume if someone is into reading running message boards and/or reading/writing a running blog, then running is a fairly high priority in their life. If that’s the case, I would hope they would want to maximize their performance.

At least that’s one of the reasons I decided to ramp up my mileage. I’m passionate about this sport and want to see how far I can take my running. One of the “nice things” about not reaching my potential when I was younger is that if I work harder now, I believe I still have a chance to break my all-time PRs.

One other thing regarding the example in my last post; the ‘someone’ mentioned “knowing his body and that he needed a couple of days off a week.” Again, if you’re (relatively) young and fit and you “need” a couple of days off a week, something is wrong. Just think; 2 x 52 = over 100 days off a year. That’s 3 months of missed training.
Keep in mind I’m talking runners here. You triathletes are on your own.

Here’s a suggestion, go to Boston this year and interview everyone that runs sub-3:10 and ask them how many days off they take per week. If the majority says 2 days a week, then you’re onto something.

Of course that’s not likely, but you get the idea. After a race I always thought it’d be cool to talk training with everyone that beat me. How long have they been running? What’s their recent base, hill, speed, racing, etc. training been like? What are they training for? Blah, blah, blah. I mean don’t you want to learn from someone that’s kicking your ass?

With all that said, I took a day off yesterday. It was a combination of feeling a little beat up, not taking a day off in nearly 6 weeks and wanting to feel somewhat fresh for Saturday's race. I sat on the couch, ate ice cream and watched the Twins pound the Blue Jays, 13-4. And it was all good.

I felt great this morning, so that's a good sign. I’m still amazed at how my legs can bounce back after just one day off. Wow, imagine if I took two days off – every week! I’d feel fresh all the time – except when I raced, I guess.

Anyway, I wanted to get in a little work, but not sabotage my upcoming race. I basically did an 8 mile progression run with 2 mile splits of 16:00, 14:40 and 14:28, followed by a 7:05 mile and an 8:30 mile cool-down. I’m also amazed at how my form feels. I’d attribute it to hills, strides and ab work. Throw in fresh legs and a little tail wind and presto – a biomechanical dream. Not really, but I felt really smooth.

Quote of the day:
“You don't have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things - to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated.” Edmund Hillary


Trisaratops said...

Interesting thoughts. I find with tri's cross training I still like a day off but I don't feel as I NEED it. I always have to really tell myself that it's better for me to take one day rest.

You mean I can't qualify for Boston and only run 3 times a week? Well forget it then....

ha ha :)

Unknown said...

Well put Zeke. I think part of the reason that some people think they need a day off every week is that they don't understand progression. They think that so-and-so who never takes a a day off has been doing that since he started running, when in reality he's built up to that point.

Kim said...

TriSara and I have the same thoughts...I guess I won't be winning Boston this year since I've been slacking on my runs and picking up on my drinking...shoot. :) Are you running Boston this year?

Chad said...

Well shit, I'd like a day off all the time. It's not going to help me move up the pack though.

Like I keep telling my friend Eric, it's okay to be tired sometimes. That's kind of the idea.

Brian, or they think, so-and-so takes a day off every week, so I should too.

Hey Kim, I just found your blog yesterday. I won't be in Boston this year. I'm doing Grandma's in June and Chicago in October. Given that it was 85 the last time I was in Boston, I'm not sure when I'll be back.

Mike said...

Nice post Zeke- I know for me personally, I was stuck in the 3:30's until I made an effort in 03 to run on a daily basis & increase my mileage. Voila - my times finally dropped that year. Amazing how much time off 2days a week amounts to when you do the math- yikes!
Btw,nice progression run!

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I find your blog quite inspiring and it's nice to know that I'm not the only guy out there who is not world class yet willing to put in some serious mileage anyway -- still not as much as you but I'm working on it, and more importantly, not making excuses.

I agree with everything in your post, and I won't say more than that for fear of going into a rant (-;

UMaine Cooperative Extension said...

Uncanny - as I read (and re-read) your previous post there were times when I felt as though you were talking directly to me. I found myself sinking in my chair. You made many very good points.

Chad said...

Mike, yeah I ran 3:20, 3:26 and 3:17 while half-assing my training. Then I got some-what serious and ran 4 marathons between 2:58 and 3:03. Now I'm trying to get even more serious.

Thanks Miler.

Marc, I'm talking to nobody in particular, yet everyone in general.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading the marathon quest reports and plans, but I have to tell you, people just don't seem to want to master the weekly long run. How many times have you heard me say you should be able to run 20 at the drop of a hat and still maintain your weekly training regiment? I don't care if your only doing 50 a week, can you do 20 easily and still grind the rest?

I've gotten into the hard Tuesday, medium long Wednesday and hard Saturday, long Sunday routine. The rest is filler days. Most weeks I'm around 60. A person has to find their wheelhouse. This never seemed complicated to me. When a person spends this much time running, what the heck are they thinkig about. They should be answering their own questions through trial and error.

Here's what I knew. I was going to run a race 26.22 miles long. How fast could I maintain my best pace for the distace?

1. Achieve ability to cover distace easily in practice.

2. Run the pace I thought I could do it at over 10+ miles a few times.

3. Run workouts below marathon pace to make me faster.

4. Race a few times to get the body ready.

5. Rest

6. Race marathon at pace needed for goal time.

Did I leave any important stuff out?

Dawn - Pink Chick Tris said...

Well said and it likely explains why I'm at the back and you're at the front. But heh, I enjoy my running and it really doesn't bother me where I am in the pack as long as I'm out there.

As for Boston, I'm think maybe I can make it by the time I'm 70...20 years more of

Chad said...

Double, nope you didn't leave anything out.

Dawn, as long as you're happy just being out there - that's great. I'm talking about people that are looking to compete and see what's "out there."