Thursday, January 12, 2012

Learning from previous races

Looking at my 400m race videos of the Masters Nationals and TN Senior Games, it's interesting to plot the 100m splits. Interesting to see what worked and what didn't.

I don't have a vid of my PR but I do know that the hand timed 200m split of 24.3 was well below my 200m PR, - probably around 25 flat since there was a tail wind - so that would make my second 200m 30.5

SE Masters - 55.54 (PR)
200 splits: 25, 30.5

Here's where it gets interesting. There just happened to be cones every 100m at the TN State Meet, so these splits are fairly accurate.

TN State Meet - 56.09
100 splits: 12.5, 13, 14.5, 16
200 splits: 25.5, 30.5
300 split: 40

USATF National Semi: 56.55
100 splits: 12, 13, 13.5, 18
200 splits: 25, 31.5
300 split: 38.5

USATF National Final: 57.61
100 splits: 12, 13, 14, 18.6
200 splits: 25, 32.6
300 split: 39

Of course these splits are not 100% accurate but close. What these splits show:
1) I generally run the first 200m 100% - under 26 sec at or very near my PR
2) The tremendous collapse* in the final 100m of both national races show that I just went 100% until I ran out of gas. Could that 1 second slower 300m in the TN meet made a 2 second difference in the last 100m? It apparently did since these were run less than a week apart.

Why did I rig up in my last 100m so dramatically at the Nationals?
  1. Training. 3 weeks before the meet, I was injured and could not run for over a week. It took me a while to get back. I did a very fast full recovery sprint workout on 6/27 and was really hurting afterward. My next meaningful workout was 10 days later. I did have at least 3 decent tempo endurance workouts in July. That should have been enough. Maybe I lost my foundation.
  2. My race strategy was unsound. The tension of the moment got to me. I was really tense before the Nationals. I remarked to my parents, "This isn't fun, it's as serious as cancer." I had made up the split on the winner, Ben James before the 200m mark in the National Finals, and I was more than 10m ahead of the Bronze medalist at 250m.
  3. I may have been running too lean, not enough fuel (nourishment) in my system. Maybe overly concerned about body weight?
  4. Form. I obviously was tight at the end, my arm movement looked very restricted and my torso was rotating side to side. They call that 'doggy paddling.'
Possible Solutions
  1. Better aerobic foundation since I'm a short legged 100m sprinter trying to move up to 400m.
  2. A race plan that conserves energy - particularly between 150-300m.
  3. Technique and form, mental reminders to relax, use the arms, open the fingers, etc...
  4. Need to do 'event runs' at near full speed so I know exactly where I should be. Clyde Hart recommends running with a beeper/timer to acheive exact desired splits. Most say full speed for 60m then float for 150m, then hard at 220m. I'm thinking more like 100m full out, float for 150m and reinvest full effort at 250m.
George Haywood, world masters silver medalist in the 400m hurdles suggested I should aim for 26/28 200m splits. Maybe a good idea?

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