Awakening the inner miler

Welcome! Forums Running Forum Awakening the inner miler

This topic contains 7 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Double 6 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #12529


    In 2013, I plan to focus on the mile/1500m distance in preparation for the USATF Master's Track and Field Championships which will be held on July 11-14 about 7-8 miles from my house.

    Back in the day, I was a fairly successful 1600m runner. (Bring back the mile.) The big difference between then and now is that then I could run a decent quarter mile. In more recent years, I have not focused much on that kind of speed and I feel like I need to recover some of that to be as successful as I would like. To that end, I've begun incorporating some faster, shorter speed sessions into my routine. I already feel a little faster, though I have not measured my speed since I ran a 400m time trial last month shortly after I started this regimen. That was interesting. I felt good through about 250m — going through 200m in around 31-32 — and then I tied up suddenly in the middle of the curve. I struggled through the last 150m to finish in 68. Last night, I did a workout of 3x8x30s with 30s recovery and 120s between sets. I am much more comfortable running fast than I was when I started. I've also been doing some Speed Development workouts that I found in an article by Jay Johnson once per week and some form drills. Though this week, I skipped Jay's workout and did short hill sprints instead. I will probably do that the remainder of the month since I am taking Monday's off and that was my day for going to the track.

    I plan to get into a couple of indoor meets this winter. I am somewhat nervous about the first one. It is a local college meet. But, I figure I have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. Another guy in my age group regularly runs track and has been in the middle of the pack in his heats at the college meets. I think that I should be in there somewhere, but I need to get back to the track between now and then for some timed workouts that should give me some confidence. Right now, my last timed workout was the 68s quarter that ended in a crash. That did not do much for my confidence. Although at the time, I felt that it was not bad for a starting point.

    My high level plan for the year is to focus on speed through February or March. That should get me past the indoor meets. Then, I might take it easy for a week or two before turning the focus to longer reps with maybe one faster session each week. In June, I will come back to the faster stuff and start sharpening for the July meet.

    I think that 2013 will be a fun running year for me. I am also curious to see how mile training might affect my 5K times.

    Anyway, please share any thoughts or ideas you might have. I know that generally I would be working on my base at this time, but I feel like my speed is such a weak link for this event that I needed to get an early start to recover as much speed as I can.


  • #32709

    Andrew A.

    I like it, very cool.  I have entertained the thought of giving middle distance (800m-3000m) another go and see how fast I could go at this stage in life – prompted partially by the same Jay Johnson routines you reference.  Steeplechase is another option, though would require quite a bit of work on hip mobility in addition to the explosive/fast stuff.  I did notice the location of this year's masters t&f meet, which is a reasonable drive from where I live.  I am also excited to be joining a local club as its first masters member and possibly as the masters team organizer/coordinator/coach, with plans to send a team to the meet in Olathe.

  • #32710


    That would be very cool. It would be fun to meet someone from these forums.

    I've also had some additional cross training lately — splitting wood for our wood burning stove, loading it into our garden cart, and then pulling the heavily loaded cart up hill to our porch for unloading. The uphill pull was especially challenging on a day when I did hill sprints in the morning.

  • #32711

    Andrew A.

    Nice, I have noticed that I am far stronger since starting a job that has a physically demanding component to it.  Getting back into rock climbing regularly has helped, too.

    While doing some organizing recently, I came across an old book of mine, one of the very first running books I picked up.  It is a compilation of event-specific workouts from top high school and college coaches of the '70s and '80s, edited by the legendary Bill Bergan.  Let me know if you are wanting some mile workouts, I could look them up and post here.

  • #32712



    I am open to any mile workouts/recommendations and will adopt anything that seems like it will work for me.

  • #32713


    You know, I thought about what I would do based on speedwork and this is what I came up with.
    I'd concentrate on 600m repeats, probably 6 reps.  For me the 400m would tear me up a bit and
    800m repeats are too hard to get motivated for.  I'd also do 200m repeats at slightly less or at
    goal pace for the 1600m.  I'd try and cut recovery as I went.  Maybe 8-12 reps.  Occasionally I'd
    do 3000m time trials like every two weeks.  I would time them so I was incorporating the 600m
    and 200m workouts each week w/ the 3000m time trial in there every two weeks.  I'd run around
    an hour easy the other days and once a week do 1.5 – 2 hours easy on trails.  Incorporate rest when
    needed and realize some days you'll be tired more than others.

  • #32714


    Thanks Double,

    I appreciate the recommendation. I will see if I can make it work with my schedule. I will probably only get to the track about once per week, so I will likely be approximating some of your recommendations on the road.

  • #32715


    I think all of us have thought about going about a “track” season again just as we have kicked around a “cross-country”
    season.  At least Ryan and I have.  In the Spring I train for the Ice Age 50 mile.  I really could try something different this
    Summer.  Maybe I'll go back to the Strider race circuit.  I've been kicking around the idea of doing the Lakefront Marathon
    this year, but would have to decide soon.  I'm not good at going in at anything 80-90% vested.

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