Wow. A new World Record for the Half Marathon: Zersenay Tadese ran a 58:23 Half Marathon in Lisbon over the weekend.
That is so ridiculously fast! You can go over to the Science of Sport blog for the details of the race. As usual, Jonathan and Ross do a great job of putting the race time into perspective:
Tadese's times -solo effort of 27:40s for 10km
To put Tadese's performance into perspective, he reached 10km in 27:53, shedding the pacemakers at the ninth kilometer. He then sped up to run the next 5km in 13:40 (15 km time of 41:33). The next 5km split in 13:48 gave him a world record of 55:21 at 20km (30 seconds faster than Gebrselassie's old mark). He brought the final 1.1km home in just under 3 minutes to eclipse Wanjiru's 3-year old record.
On to other news mere mortals can relate to...
There's nothing better than a race countdown widget to "focus" you. I put the countdown widget on my blog and today I notice there's suddenly only...29 days to go! That is nothing! I should be coming into some race defining workouts over the next couple of weeks.
With each training cycle, I've noticed a certain pattern about the way things unfold. Perhaps these are unique to me, but maybe everyone experiences some version of this.
About 8 or 10 weeks out, I have more attention on the next marathon instead of the one I'm actually training for. I think what happens is that the current race is not yet solidified for me yet, but I've done enough training towards it to gain some insights into how I'm responding to training, what's working and what's not, and what should be tweaked, etc. For example, this time around, I've learned that next time, I need training to be more effort and time based instead of pace and miles based. I know it will work better for me. It also makes more sense.
About 5-6 weeks out I get really preoccupied with biomechanics. This one feels like my own personal quirkiness/ craziness. Clearly, there's some mind-body issues going on to make this obsession turn on. I'm probably dealing with race anxiety and doubts about my training by focusing on to something else. This preoccupation feels anxiety driven, whereas the thing that's always in the back of my mind about mechanics is logical- I often wonder how far I can improve by just following a running training regimen. At some point, I think further (substantial) progress will mean correcting biomechanical weak links, gaining strength and flexibility, and bringing my running mechanics closer to ideal. (I'm always wondering how to do this simultaneously with training, but it seems that at some point you have to step back to really address biomechanics and ingrained movement patterns).
Around 3-4 weeks out, there's usually one or more defining workouts that tell me the pace I'm capable of sustaining in a race. In the past, I've been disappointed with what these workouts tell me, and as a result I've gone into each marathon with an over inflated sense of pace - I've gone with the "wishful thinking" pace, not the current ability pace. This time, when that workout occurs (which should be soon), I am going to pay heed to it, and make sure I start out at my current ability pace, and let the race unfold from there. That way, I'll be in the best position to actually reach my current race potential- i.e, not fade with a 10K to go, but be ready to race with a 10K to go.
Well, that's all I've got for today...Have a good one, everyone!