Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tadese Is Crazy Fast. I'm Just Crazy

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!


  1. I don't think you are alone here. Focusing on biomechanics is a great way to get sharp and good practice in every day running. You are probably more efficient than you think, simply because you are mindful of this aspect of running.

    That guy is quick. It does not make sense:)

  2. About your comment on my blog about maximum heart rate: Mine was measured at 178 two years ago. Then 179, 180, 182 and now 184 (twice). By the standard 220 minus age, I'm getting younger! What's really happening is that I'm getting used to running near maximum, whatever that is.

  3. That is ridiculously fast, I agree! You are well-tuned into your body/mind, it sounds like and that should go a long way.

  4. Is that gut even human? I cannot fathom running at such speeds.

    I like the countdown widget. Your almost there!

  5. That's wickedly fast...I'm not sure humans are meant to run that fast :/. I like your countdown...you're getting close :).

  6. Oh great, now I feel really slow:)

    Wow, that marathon of yours is right around the corner! I am getting excited for you! You have been working so hard and I know that you are going to do great:)

  7. 29 days!!! You are going to be so ready...now, a little less thinking and analyzing ;) Time to give it over to the body and let it do its thing :) I'm getting excited for you!

  8. Sub-hour half = pure insanity.

    I can't say that I've found myself necessarily looking ahead to the next marathon, but yeah, I definitely think about upcoming races before I'm done training for the current one. Especially when I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be disappointed with the outcome (like this time around).

    And I'm so getting a little countdown widget now. Just because I'm a bit down about my upcoming marathon doesn't mean I won't still obsess about it!

  9. Geez, a 58 minute half is just plain CRAZY!!! Reading things like that make me wish I had a better coach in high school that didn't turn me away from running. (As if I could have done that. HA!)

    The countdown is terrible, but we all do it. And we all do about the same steps you laid out. Thanks for reminding me of what I have to do. :) I pretty much pay attention to biomechanics all the time. I am constantly tweaking to find my "groove".