Tuesday, February 28, 2017

split 400s

Just a couple blasts and done today.   Warmish, breezy, and foggy this evening at the Sewanee track, upper 50ºs with rain moving out.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 41, 14.5 
300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 41.5, 14.5 
150m strider - 21
The first split 400m, fast for in trainers, was as easy as any I've done... but by no means 'easy'.   (The first 300 may have been a tad under 41, like 40.8 or so).

Since Nationals, I've been on a renewed strength regime.   Also, have increased my protein intake (with the help of organic pea and organic whey protein shakes), and increased supplements of BCAA, and creatine.   I think it is helping my recovery and strength, and without weight gain.   142.6 lbs after workout.  Probably should have been doing this 2 months ago and I would've run a stronger 200m at Nationals.   Weights tonight and track tomorrow.   Thurs off.  Light track, Fri.

My strength regime has been including glute machine, ham raises, hill sprints, box jumps, adductor, core, and hip flexor work.

Saturday's Berry Meet
Damn, they gave me lane one for the 400m and I'm hoping I can change to the slower heat (3) and take lane 7.   Doesn't matter, it's just a workout.   Maybe I'll just run the 200m.   I'm in the same heat as 3 Sewanee guys ... I think I can beat all three.

Monday, February 27, 2017

400 tempo / hills

Dank, dark, and 50º with a light breeze at the Sewanee track.   A tad sore from yesterday's speed work but ok.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 400m w/ 2 min rest - 68.5, 69.5, 70.5 
5 x 100m hill sprints w/ 2-3 min rest - 17.5-18.5
Felt ok, except for the normal foot issues.  Working out consecutive days on the track, and with weights tonight, I don't want to go crazy with the volume.    Tues and Wed look wet but am determined to get a workout in either or both days.  Maybe one light, one hard.  Thursday off, light speed on Fri., meet Sat.  Probably be back on the track Sunday evening.  18 days til I leave for Korea.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

quality 300s

Speed work, everything fast today - 90-95%.  58º and warm sun at the Marist track.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 300m - 41, 42, 42.5 
2 x 100m - 13, 13
Was tough, even with ample rest.  The 300s were at about race effort.  The 100s were quick-start to race speed, then float and form.  With the sun at my back, it was good to watch my form in the long shadow.

Weights and maybe more track tomorrow.  Tue - Wed look to be wet.

As it appears on paper, the World Championship M55 400m will be probably more competitive than the 200m, since Don will not be there ... that is assuming the 400m champ from France and the fast German show up.  So, I'm shifting more my training toward strength and 200m speed.    

Outdoor Track begins

Two more weekends before I leave for Korea.  I thought I'd work in some meets as workouts and lay down some outdoor times.  I think this may be the first time my outdoor and indoor seasons have over lapped.   I've got permission to race at Berry College this weekend 3/4 and there is another meet at Birmingham on 3/11.   The Berry meet is a good one for me, since it is early and is mostly DII schools.  Last year, there were several 400s over 56.  Last time I raced at Berry,  it was extremely windy and I ran a real slow 57.5 400m, but an OK 25.10 200m.    Surprisingly, after obtaining permission from the meet director, I read the unusual statement on the meet website:
"Any un-attached athlete who registers but does not show for meet may be banned from further meets at Berry."
Well.... I guess I better be there!  Probably will run the 400m and maybe the 200m.

Friday, February 24, 2017

300m tempo / hills

Amazing winter weather, 70º but windy at the Sewanee track.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 47.5, 48.5, 50.5, 49.5 (49 avg) 
200m (negative split) 27 (14.5, 12.5) 
2 x 200m hill sprints - 38, 42

The 300s went ok, not a bad avg.   The hill sprints were the killer.   Sprinting 200m up a steep hill, after an interval workout, was a bitch.  The first one not too bad, the second one totally whipped me.

May go to the gym and do a brief weight workout tonight.  May take tomorrow off.  The left foot had been hurting but with the tape and pad, it was fine today.

Photo: 200m Final

Photo by Lucho Huarcaya
With Don and James... with about 75m to go in the M55 200m Final.
USATF Indoor Masters Championships.
Albuquerque, NM

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

back at it

Got home from NM Sunday night and was back in the gym Monday night.  Hips feeling better so I did some strength work, the same stuff that helped me last year.  2 x glute machine each side with 280 lbs and 2 x 15 squat jumps with 90 lbs.   Then... back on the track and hill today, Tuesday.

Drizzle and 56º at the Sewanee track today.  Thankfully, just light rain.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warm up, stretches, drills 
800m - 2:35 
5 x 100m hill sprints w/ 90 sec rest ~ 18
This felt hard and the feet are still hurting.  The metatarsalgia in the left foot is requiring taping and maybe a pad next time.  I have a slight cold from the plane ride.  If I go out tomorrow, I'm going to keep it down to a 4x300.  Thursday off.  Thinking it wouldn't hurt to take 2 days of right now, we'll see.

Looks like there is an outdoor meet one week before WMACi Korea that I can race in - Birmingham Southern.

Weight is good.  142.2 and I'm eating carbs now.  Very satisfied with small amounts of food.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Photo: 200m Final

Chasing Don, fastest M55 man in the world today.  Dave Albo photo.

In a few years, I'll be 60... this is what I'll be doing in my retirement.   You?

Track family

In college, I never cared a flip about fraternities or other such groups.  Never felt like there was a group I cared to belong to until I started running Masters track.   Now, in my seventh season and with 5 National titles, World medals, a relay World Record, and near the top in the 400m world rankings ... I feel like I've passed 'the initiation' and am part of a track family ... an elite group of individuals, many like me who train alone and come together at the appointed time and place each year, like a reunion.

Although there are many others, here are some of my track family.  

Speed Sistas - fast women over 50

Many time world and national champions: Sue and Renee.  Renee is American Record Holder in the sprints.  She ran a 27.01 200m at the meet ... 27 flat - indoor - age 50.

Lorraine - many time National champion, world medalist - she set the W55 American record in the 400m at this meet.

Speed brothas

James, always right there with me in every final it seems. World and National Champion, member of our WR relay team.  I'm sure he'd be beating me if we were the same age, although I'm 2 yrs younger. Hearing his footsteps in the 400m final kept me pushing.  Behind him, David ... who beat me out for a medal in the '14 Boston Indoor.

John and Oscar.  Oscar is a Masters Hall of Fame inductee and has usually ruled his age group unchallenged as many time National Champion.   John, my GPTC teammate is our sold anchor when we run at the big meets like Millrose.  He medals (400/200) in an extremely competitive M50 group - far more competitive than when I was in it.  John is a Philly cop, I asked him if he ever has criminals that try to run from him.  He said, "I'm undefeated for 29 yrs."

Karl is one of four Olympians I've raced against (2 masters, 2 elite).  He unfortunately was injured in the 200m final.  He ran on the Jamaican 4x400m '84 Olympic Relay team.  I'm right behind him and Don, they have the first and second ranked 200m times in the world right now in M55.  I'm third.

David and Clinton.  David won the M50 60m and is the leader of the famous Southwest Sprinters relay teams that have claimed many relay WRs.   Clinton, world medalist in the 100m, ran that brilliant anchor after my handoff to win the Gold in Perth in the 4x100m, Team USA's only male gold in that event.

From Perth.  3 World Champions: the fastest Masters in the world - Antwon, Karnell, and Don.

Our Perth Gold 4x100 team. With Robert, Don, and Clinton

Corey and James, both World Champions. Medalists in Grand Rapids.

Jim and Ben. Ben is one of the sages of masters track, been doing it for 30 years. A quiet and classy guy. Again, a national champion. Hope to see him in Korea.

One of my favorite photos.   With three Hall of Famers, all legends of Masters track.   Oscar, Charles, and Bill.   The incomparable Charles holds the 400m WR in my age group and in others.  At age 69 he still runs 25+ in the 200m, and 60 in the 400m, dominates his age group.

Jim, Alan, and Tony ... our 4x100m Gold team in Lyon.

Robert, Antwon, and Marcus in Lyon.  Dr. Marcus will be moving up to the M55 group at next indoor Nationals.

Tecumseh, Sean, Paul and Marcus at the Crossplex.  Sean's 4x200m team tied the M35 WR this yr.

Team USA in France

Bill, the guy whose book, the "Ageless Athletic Spirit" and whose example has inspired me along this journey.

Again, there are many more but here are a sample and some of my most inspiring friends.

 May you all remain 'Forever Faster.'

And the sport would not be the same without 'the voice of masters track' - Peter Taylor

Sunday, February 19, 2017

USATF Masters National Indoor Championships '17 - day three meet report

200M - Silver Medal 
With Don McGee and James Chinn
Well, I didn't mind so much, losing to the World Champion, Don ... whose time will likely stand as the season's fastest time in the world for the M55 200m, but it annoyed me to run slightly slower in the Finals (25.22) than in the Prelims (25.07) and way slower than I ran last year (24.65).   I think the difference is that this meet is earlier and I still have more work to do.   

Also, I gambled a bit in this race and maybe went out too hard, running blind in lane 5.  I false started and had to be cautious for the start on the second go around.  I was expecting Karl Smith, the Olympian to pass me on the back straight but he pulled up lame.  I never saw Don til mid way through the last turn, and wow did he take off.  He totally smoked me.

I was stunned at Don's performance.  We had always been close indoors, and after his slower prelim and complaints about his hamstring, I had no idea he had a 24.56 in him.   The way he accelerated toward the end of the second turn was pretty startling.  He had me by just a few meters at the end of the turn, then in the space of 20m, exploded to increase his lead by several meters.  He seemed to shut it down and just coast over the line.  Perhaps it was just me slowing down.  I didn't have the power I had yesterday off the turn.  Oh well, I know what I have to do in the next 3 weeks.

The weather looks awesome in TN the next few days but I'll take Monday off or just do some light resistance and stretching.  My feet are sore from the spikes so I'll look forward to the cushy trainers the next few weeks. 

I took a bunch of selfies with my 'track brothers and sisters.'  Look for that in my next post.  

Happy to have won a Gold and Silver.   World Championships 4 weeks away.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

USATF Masters National Indoor Championships '17 - day two meet report

200m prelims - 25.07

200m prelims went pretty well - 2nd fastest M55 time in the world, just over a tenth second behind '84 Jamaican Olympian Karl Smith.  I flinched a little prior to the start, so my start could have been better.  Overall, the race felt fine, strong to the end. 

Second fastest qualifying time puts me in lane 5 with my stiffest competition - Karl in 4, and Don in 3.  Not happy to be running blind to my competition, so I have to take it out hard and trust my training to bring it home.  

Race video

Not a real clear video, but what I could capture from USATF TV.
M55 Championship race, USATF Masters Indoor Nationals

Friday, February 17, 2017

USATF Masters National Indoor Championships '17 - day one meet report

M55 USATF National Indoor Champion - 55.92

Mission accomplished.  4th consecutive National 400m Title ('15 outdoor, '16 indoor and outdoor)
I wanted to win with a time under 56 and I did.   About the same time I won with in '16 outdoor Nationals (55.93) and close to the time I ran 5 yrs ago when I won my first National Indoor Title in '12 (55.90).   However, 0.70 slower than I ran last year (55.22) - which was a season best.

Unfortunately, our World Record attempt in the 4x200m relay won't happen because Don is not 100% and Oscar is sick.   And, to avoid risk of injury, I'm not racing in the 60m this year since I'm going to Daegu for the World Championships.  So, instead of running 7 races like last year, I'm only running 3:  the 200m semis and finals are tomorrow and Sunday.

The Race
Home stretch - last 50m
 As top seed, I got lane 4 which is a good lane, although I prefer lane 5 on this banked Mondo.  Warming up, I felt a bit stiff and sore in the feet (after having been in spikes 4 days in a row and taken 2 days off), but I started warming up way early, nearly 2 hrs before the race.  I did a good warmup running several fast ~70m sprints after stretching.  20 min before the race, I just relaxed.

I got out of the blocks well but James in front of me, got a slow start and I took the lead immediately.  I never saw anyone after I entered the back stretch.   I hit my 200m split really close to where I wanted, about 26.25, (shooting for 26.0).   James made a move on the back stretch and I could hear his foot steps ... he seemed close.  As I was about to enter the final stretch I glanced over my shoulder to see if he was there, but I was alone.   15m out, Peter Taylor said, "And Yelverton will win it."  It was a relief.  Very happy to be under 56 again.

Nice to join up again with my Masters track family.  Chatted with Ben, Jim, Sonya, George, John C., Marcus, Sue, Robert, Bill C., Jack, Dave, Rob, Francois, Emma, Lorraine, and many others.

M55 400m medalists - with Jim and David
I saw Bill Collins and said... "did I see you walking with a limp?"  He said , "Yes".... George quickly interjected, "until the gun goes off!"

I saw Orville Rogers - age 99, the meet's oldest competitor, and I got him to stand for a photo with me.

99 yr old athlete - Orville Rogers
It was great to be here.  200m semis tomorrow.   I'm wondering if Don will be able to bring it, having a slight ham injury.  Karl Smith, the Jamaican Olympian will be here but running exhibition.  He beat me by 0.4 at outdoor nationals and will probably win here, although his results are unofficial as this is a USA Championship meet.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

final pre-championship workout

I've been on the track 9 of the last 11 days.  That may be close to an unprecedented amount for me in a short time.  Happy to say the final workout went great.

Cool, upper 40ºs, cloudy and calm winds in Sewanee.  I did a lengthy warmup and one race pace 350m blast.   I hit very close to all of my splits and brought it in at 56 pace.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 100m striders 
Puma Spikes on
350m event run - 47.8  (13, 13.2, 14.1, 7.5) 
200m - 26.8
The 350 felt good and it was as fast as any 350 training run I've done.   I wasn't totally spent afterward either.  I did a 200m in about 10m afterward.

It looks like I'm good to go.   Would really like to drop a 55 like last year.   Leave Thurs, race Friday.
Stay tuned.

Monday, February 13, 2017

more speed

Sunny mid 50s and light winds in Sewanee.   Back on the track for more high intensity race prep.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 57 (27.5, 29.5) 
200m - 26.7 
split 400m - 300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 42.5, 14.5
Pushed the front end of the 400m a bit more than yesterday, but running all out or nearly all out 400s 3 days in a row was a bit much.   I wasn't hitting my target splits on the last 2 sprints and I was exhausted after the split 400 and felt bad.

Tomorrow, I'll go out and try for one good 300m and maybe a 200m and call it a day.   Not much more I can do with Nationals 4 days away.

Already thinking about what I can do next week when I start my next training cycle for the World Championships.   I'll have 3 weeks and I plan to do more strengthening (hills), a little more foundation and more speed.

141.6 lbs after workout.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


At the Marist School track for some race prep.  All workouts now are fast.   These 400s were run relaxed first half and hard second half.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma spikes on 
3 x 400m - 57.7 (27.7/30), 57.4 (28.2/29.2), 59 (28.5, 30.5) 
150m and 100m strides
The goal was to work on the second half of the race but not totally waste myself so I could do some quality repeats.  The last one I didn't run as hard as I could have and concentrated on form.   The second one felt the best as I was really warmed up and took a little off the front end.  I finished with some striders on the turn.

New WL
'15 World Champion Benoit Z. of France just dropped a stunning world lead in the M55 400m:  55.10.   This is the fastest indoor M55 400m in the World in almost a decade, since Bill Collins in '08.   It erases my effort of 55.22 that held that distinction last yr.   Wow, he must be in killer shape.  Between him and the German who ran 53 flat last yr, the 400 in Korea will be the most competitive M55 indoor worlds in years.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Samford Open - meet report

Back on the Crossplex track today in a competitive college meet, 72 competitors in the 400m.


An improvement from last week, but .75 slower than I ran here last year, and .98 slower than 2 yrs ago.  Still an M55 World Lead and a time that would've won M55 Nationals every year since '13.  This was my fifth race in 3 yrs at this fine facility.  The other races were: 55.68, 55.91, 56.62, 56.69.   So, room for improvement, but I didn't taper at all for this meet... I worked out on Friday.  So, this... just another event run workout.

I've always been fortunate to have good lanes here, but not today: lane 2.  That definitely cost a few tenths.  When I ran 55.68, I had lane 5, which is my favorite.

I could see race clocks at 200m and 300m, and I think my splits were a tad shy of the 26/40 goal ... more like 26.2, 40.6... and my last 100m was fairly weak, probably 16ish.   

Perhaps by the time I get to Korea in March, I'll be back to the 55s.   This year, I really didn't have an off season except for Nov.   So, started late and the Nationals are early... so that may be the difference.   But, I think I could run sub 56 in NM.  

I'm planing to do some significant work Sun and Monday, light workout Tues, off Wed and Thursday.  400m Nationals on Friday.   Should be ready.

Friday, February 10, 2017

speed and over distance

Nice weather in Sewanee, 54º and mostly sunny, felt warmer with a south wind.  Race tomorrow so not a full scale workout.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma spikes on  
200m from blocks - 25.8  
500m - 75 (59.5/15.5)
I probably wouldn't do this much before a race that I cared about, but just a little 'taste of pain' the day before a race, as Coach Page once recommended during my 5k days.   The 200m was probably a bit ambitious for a 400m race, but just slightly.   I was shooting for a 74 in the 500m, but didn't quite make it.  

Samford Open at the Crossplex
Huge mostly DI meet... 17 heats of the 400m and I'm in heat 17.  I'm not expecting much, since I have lane 2 which is a killer on this track,  except to at least improve on last week and run in the 56s.  There are no really slow people in my heat, slowest is 54.1,  and for whatever reason, a guy who ran 48 outdoors is in lane 1, probably a late entry.  the other 4 in my full heat of 6 are 50-53 guys.   So maybe they'll be far enough ahead so I won't have to run in traffic.    

I feel as if I'm rushing my training to completion today a week before Nationals.   I intend to train Sun - Tues, and maybe Wed.   Weight is excellent.  141.1 lbs after workout.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Event runs

Brief workout this morning at the Sewanee track, perfect weather, upper 50ºs with the sun just breaking through and calm winds.

Feeling a little flat in this, my 5th day in a row on the track including the meet on Sat., just 16 hrs after my previous workout yesterday late afternoon.   I wanted to do more but settled for a bit less.  I did pull out the spikes and blocks.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma spikes on 
300m from blocks / 1 min rest / 100m - 40.5, 14.5 
15 min rest 
200m from blocks / 1 min rest / 100m - 26.5 / 14
I was a bit shy in my goal for the 300m event run.   Aiming for 13,13,14; actual splits were like 13, 13.3, 14.2.  So my first 200 was about 26.3 ish.  I was going to do another split 300m, but I bailed and did a split 300m.

I am light, 142.3 lbs after workout, but will be getting a whole lot lighter since I'm fasting for annual blood work.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

tempo 300s

Dark and rainy in Sewanee, but not cold on Tues late afternoon, 54º.  The rain stopped about 4pm, enough time to get a workout in.  

Didn't sleep well so not as well recovered as I could be.  But recovered enough to put a bit more 'hay in the barn.'  
Hoka Clifton 3 trainers on 
300m warmup, stretches, drills 
4 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 47, 49.5, 49.5, 50,5 
300m - 43
Decent workout considering I've not  eaten since yesterday.  Worked today a few hrs at the college this afternoon and by the time I got home, too close to workout to eat.  

The last 300m felt pretty strong, it may have been just under 43.   Going to the weight room tonight.

Hopefully do some event runs/ split 400s tomorrow if weather permits in the morning then Thursday off.   Getting my race body back, and it hasn't been easy.   142.7 lbs after workout.

Monday, February 6, 2017

BIG tempo volume

Very foggy, wet, light wind, and 49º at the Sewanee track, visibility about 80m.

Looking back at my workouts before Nationals last year, I'm going to try to replicate what I did then, since it worked, even though it's 2 weeks sooner.  Today, I did the same and more than I did in an epic volume workout 11 days before Nationals on 2/22/16.   Not trying to run real fast, but just working on the endurance and strength.   Feeling slightly sore in the haunches from yesterday's hills, I pulled it off, in similar times to last year.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
600, 600, 400, 400 w/ 3 min rest - 1:50.5, 1:57, 76, 77 
4 x 200m w/ 1 min rest - 31, 31, 31.5, 31 
split 400 - 300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 44, 14.5

It was hard but I left feeling strong and not beaten.  To finish my last 200 as fast as my first, and a 44 sec 300m after 2800m of sprints, that was encouraging.  3200m - 2 miles of training, the most volume I've put in since I can remember.

Feel like I'm getting there.  143.7 lbs after workout.

Registered for the college meet at the Crossplex on Sat.  Expensive meet, $44 to enter one race.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

hill sprints and a 600

Was a tad sore this morning, but after a nap and a good warmup, I hit the real steep hill on Roark's Cove Rd. for some hill sprints.  Perfect weather for pain, 45º and light winds, but... the road was a bit wet.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
5 x 100m hill sprints w/ 90 sec rest - avg 18 
200m hill sprint - 38.5 
600m (track) - 1:41.5 (65/36)

The first set of 100s were a real good butt buster, and after a 200m hill, I went quivering to the track to finish the job.   I rested about 20 min and launched into a 600m.  It was tough.

143.1 lbs after workout.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

MTSU Invitational - meet report

First 400m of the year, wasn't so great.  Small meet so I ran the 200m about an hour later.
400m - 57.56 / 200m - 25.62

Somewhat typical of a first 400m of the year, but pretty far behind where I was this time last yr, having dropped 2 sub 56's in Jan., '16.  

Normally, I'd be pretty discouraged by the times, but I did kind of play it safe in the 400 and sort of jogged across the finish, and was just too tired to run a great 200.  The track is tough.  Very hard and like a continuous circle.  Spikes on this hard tartan surface kind of sound like tap shoes.

I took 2 days off completely before this meet.  I'm glad I did since my hip pain has gone away.  Like I said, I'm not too discouraged because I feel pretty good physically and ready to bust out some hard training.   Thinking I may be able to train Sun - Wed, and race Sat.  

Life is good when I can race in a college meet just 5 min drive from my house, not get hurt, come home, eat delicious left over paella, and pack up to drive to my house on the mountain.

My weight is ok, about 144.0.

I do have a decision to make... do I drive 2.5 hrs to Birmingham to race on a nice banked Mondo like in Albuquerque, or do I save driving time and race on a 160m track in my home town?   Probably will go to Birmingham.   I like that track and it would be a better dress rehearsal for Nationals.

Think I'll start tomorrow with some strength: hill repeats.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

tempo 300s, split 400

Nice day, mid 50's at the Dean Hayes track, but windy.  Was up at 3:30 am to take a guest to the airport but did sleep a few hours afterward.  Today is my last chance for a workout before Sat's meet, having a very busy Thurs.  
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drill 
3 x 300m w/ 2 min rest - 48, 49.5, 48 
split 400m - 300m / 1 min rest / 100m - 44.5, 14
Felt ok, few aches in the hips and feet, but have trained a lot lately... on the track 8 of the last 12 days.   Not too much weight gain during the revelry of the TN Guitar Festival, weighed 144.5 lbs after workout.