Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Toronto 2020 schedule released ... highly irregular

I don't know what it is about Doug Shaggy Smith.   He claims the Toronto 2020 scheduling was done by WMA and and not him.  Last time I ran in a meet he organized, the NCCWMA Toronto in '17, the schedule was terrible.   That is terrible for a 400/200 double.  At the time, I was reigning world champion in the indoor M55 200m.   But, in that meet, they scheduled the 200m semis just 70 min after the 400m final.  So, I had to run against a 100/200 guy who was running his first race of the day, just after I won the 400m.  I could only muster a 25.5, and that, (with the help of some lying seed times resulting in stupid heat assignments), put me out of the final by a few tenths.

The first published schedule for the Toronto World Championships came out today and in my opinion, it's a disaster for anyone who wants to double in the 200/400.   It strongly favors 100/200 and 400/800 doublers, but the big snafu is that they are running all 3 round of 3 sprint events in 6 days.... and not one sprint event in any of the first four days.  It's crazy ... and completely different from all of the world meets I've attended in Lyon, Perth, Daegu, and Malaga.   All those meets have run all three rounds of the 200, then all three rounds of the 400.  In Toronto, the 200 and 400 overlap and all 3 rounds are run in 4 days.  WHY? WHY? WHY?

Here it is:
Monday July 27th - 400m prelim
Tuesday July 28th - 200m prelims AND semis
Wednesday July 29th - off
Thursday July 30th - 200m final AND 400m semi
Friday July 31 - 400m final

Here's the difference:
- If you're a 400/800 guy, (like a lot of the elite in my age group), you have TWO FULL DAYS REST between the 400m prelims and semis.
- If your a 200/400 guy, you have ALL THREE ROUNDS of the 200m between the 400m prelims and semis, including the 200m final before the 400m semi.  
People on the Facebook post are really expressing a lot of consternation already.  It's an 11 day meet, there is ZERO reason this schedule should stand as it is.  Let's hope this guy Shaggy is reasonable and doesn't dig his heels in on this.  All he has to do is simply use previous WMAC meets as a template for Toronto '20. 

This is the way it should be for the mens sprints/ 800m:
Mon 20 - 800m prelims
Tues 21 - 100m prelims and semis, 800m semis
Wed 22 - 100m final
Thurs 23 - 200m prelim, 800 finals
Fri 24 - off
Sat 25 - 200m final
Sun 26 - off
Mon 27 - 400m prelims
Tues 28 - 400m semis
Wed 29 - off
Thurs 30 - 400m final 
There would be far less people doubling in the 200/800 than 200/400 and 400/800. 

First foundation work

I call 'foundation' anything longer than a 400m.  Usually 600s, 800s.  Today, I did my first 600m.   Not trying to run it fast, just nominal.  Then finished with a hard 200m.

Looking back, I had done several workouts with 600m repeats.  Today, one was enough.  Low 70ºs, moist and humid, wet track in Sewanee.
Hoka Clifton 3s on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
600m - 1:54  
Hoka Clifton 1s on 
200m - 27.34

It was also the fastest 200m I've run since injury, although with a running start and not yet attempting full speed.

It looks like it may be a long while before my next track workout.  I might be able to squeeze one in a week from today but if not, it'll be 10 days from now, a week from Friday.   Work is starting up again.  I wouldn't say my knee is 100% yet.   Last night I went to the gym and did upper body and 2 sets of slow squats to 90º with light weight (30lbs) on the left leg.   It was a good enough workout that I was feeling sore in my glutes today.   I could not have done this workout 3 days ago.  I do need a full week in between track workouts still.

There's a chance I might run stadium stairs on Thurs.  We'll see how it feels then.

I bought yet another pair of Clifton 1s ... the only place in the universe that still has them in my size... and only $72.  I seriously doubt they'll reissue them again as they did this yr.   Unfortunately, they only had the ugly yellow-green soled ones available.  It's ok.   Now I have 2 new pair and one lightly used.  I plan to use them sparingly.  I even have a coveted new pair of Clifton 3s still in the box.

Light and fit... 143.5 lbs after workout.  I've been eating very lean lately.   I must admit, I have an additional reason.  A local prominent artist is using my body as a model for a sculpture in his gallery. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hiking and a few long sprints

Spent the weekend hiking in the GSMNP, doing a 9 mile hike with a 2500' climb was harder than it used to be.

When I returned to the track a few days later, I wasn't completely recovered from the 15 or so miles I hiked on Sat - Mon.  I was a little gun shy of running really hard yesterday because last year after this same hiking trip is when I injured my knee, although I don't know if there was a connection.

But it went ok.   Warm and still at the Sewanee track, about 79º at sunset.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
300m (from the 400m start) - 44.5  (14,14.5,16) 
200m -27.95
The 300m was a 400m bailout.  I was going to run a 400m but bailed after realizing I'm not in shape yet.  The reason I thought about trying a 400m is because I didn't really want to do a tempo workout.

But... this type of workout is getting me no where.  There are 2 things that are going to improve my 400 speed: 1) regaining my top end speed ... which is too soon to do; and 2) regaining speed endurance by a) more long sprint foundation volume (600-800s) and b) tempo workouts (80% 200s and 300s with limited rest).

I am fit though, weighing now less than 145 lbs on average.  I was 143.3 lbs after workout yesterday.  My resting pulse is in the 50s and my blood pressure a nominal 120/70, despite a high caffeine consumption. But still very disappointed that it is so much effort to run a 44 sec 300m, and a 27 high 200.  In order to run fast 200s and 400s, I need to have my top end speed and speed endurance back, where I can cruise a 26.5 200m without too much effort.  Right now, I'd be hard pressed to run that fast all out.

I need patience.  It'll come.  But after the way I felt after these 90% sprints and how slow they were, I wonder if I have the mental toughness and the mileage left in my body to get back to elite.  It's going to be really painful.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

cross training

Past 2 days I've done weights, swam, and Tues. - 20 min Stairmaster, and Wed. - biked up Roark's Cove Rd.   I'm hovering around a mean weight of 145.5 but fluctuating.  It used to be a rare and difficult thing to climb the mountain on Roark's Cove Rd. on the bike, but I do it a few times a week now.  My best is about 22:30 min, but not that fast today.

I've found what I think I need more of to rehab my knee:  negative squats to 90º.   Everything I've been doing like biking and stairmaster has lacked 'a negative squat'  ... the kind of work you'd get when walking slowly and controlled down stairs.  I've discovered this is what I need to do more of, or fast squats with slow and extra negatives.

I think some hiking will help but I do remember, hiking the from Eagle Creek to Shuckstack in the Smokies last year was the last real strenuous thing I did before injuring my knee.  Maybe we won't do that hike this weekend when we go.

Seems like it's harder to shed fat.  I need to replace the fat I eat with vegetables.  Last few days I've eaten basically cherries, grilled chicken, nuts, and chocolate.   Just haven't been to the store and I'm essentially eating one meal a day, with a few snacks and coffee.

Looking forward to visiting the Great Smoky Mtn Nat'l Park by boat.

Monday, August 12, 2019

split 400

Hot day in Atlanta, was at the Marist track with my friends Roya and Dean.  Sunny, light winds, felt like 90º or so at 6:30pm.

Still not ready to run a 400m.
Hoka trainers on 
350m warmup, stretches, drills 
'split 400m' - 44 /  rest 1 min / 100m - 15.5 
100m - 13.46
It was really hard.  I think the 300m was more like 43.8, although not timed precisely.  The way I was feeling at the end of the 300m, I'd be hard pressed to finish a 400m in any less than 18 for the last 100.  Even if it were 19, still would be a 63ish 400m.

The only way I know how to improve is to slow down a bit and add more volume.  Eventually, 4x200m w/1 min rest, and 4x300m with 2 min rest.  Long way away from being able to do that.  Next should be 3x200m w 1 min.

Didn't take 6 days rest, went on 5 days again and it felt ok, and this weekend planning some hiking so no track for 7 or 8 days at least.

Been really trying to strengthen the upper body and definitely getting stronger.  I swam a little today but it was pretty much a day off.  I'll say it again for the hundredth time, I may be in decent shape, but not in 400m running shape.

Tomorrow is expected to be one of the hottest days of the yr, so I'll definitely swim, do weights and maybe bike.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Not ready to run a 400 yet

I thought about running my first 400m today, but the warmup and the first few sprints didn't feel as good as last time, so I opted for a 300m and some 100s.   My foot and knee hurt slightly in warmups, as usual, but improved after a few 100s.  However, due my my shape and the heat, my 100s felt more difficult than they should have, which made me conclude that I'm not ready for a 400m.

Hot day, light breeze, 85º with a heat index near 90º. 

Hoka trainers on
 300m warmup, stretches, drills
50m strider 
2 x 100m on the turn from the 400m start - 14.40, 13.89 
300m - 44.20  / 2 min rest / 100m - 13.96
I set my goal of 43 for the 300m and fell short.  I wanted to run 14,14,15.  But I ran about 14.2/14.5/15.5.   Perhaps I need to go back to 6 days in between track workouts and take the day off before the workout.   Maybe run some hills.  I don't know.  But I still think 60 flat or better is attainable by the Oct. 20th district meet, still 11 weeks away.  I need to be patient.  In my present shape today,  I probably could have run at 62-63 400m.   Since I'm not going to compete this yr indoors, I have a LOT of time.  My form still feels clunky, my left quad tight, which I have to take extra time stretching and rolling, probably due to that hip flexor tear in '15.  I should probably do more form drills, back off to 70% and work on form.... do drills more than once a week during my track workout. 

As Alan T. said, volume is the enemy for the masters sprinter, but I'm going to have to get at least 1200m of work in if I'm ever going to run a fast 400, but not yet.  Maybe by late fall/winter.  600m total sprints today wasn't bad for this early.  The PT grid shows 30 weeks as a tentative time for 'full recovery' from the knee procedure I had.  I'm just past 28 weeks now and still doing PT, mostly just single leg squats.

My weight is good, 142.8 lbs after workout.  Would like to go lower.