Focusing on “speed”

So I think I’ve mentioned that I’m going to focus more on my speed this winter. I felt like my 5k speed left much to be desired during the TCM build up.

I want to clarify that statement. I’m focusing on speed, while also trying to put in as much base mileage as I can. When some people focus on speed, it’s ok to cut back on the mileage… you can run a pretty speedy 5k on about 40-45 miles a week.

I know that’s not going to cut it for my spring/fall racing goals, so know that even though I need to develop my speed and VO2 max a little more, I need to focus on my base mileage as well. That’ll be tough, given MN winters, but I’ll do the best I can.

Jerry suggested I have 60 mpw be my minimum, and I agree. I’m hoping that a solid winter of 65-75+ will make me really strong (esp. considering I had just 5 weeks of 70-82 mpw in the build up for TCM).

The hardest part about focusing on mileage and speed during the winter months will be my ability to judge whether it’s working. Right now I feel like my legs are no faster than they were before I started following the Daniels’ 5k-15k plan… despite 1-2 track workouts a week for the last 5-6 weeks. But, maybe it’ll just take some time. I’m not even 1/3 of the way through a 16 week training cycle.

But how do you judge if it’s working? Will the workouts become easier to hit? Racing during the winter months is so difficult… I’m going to try to hop into a few indoor track races (if GAC will allow an old alumni to tag along to 1 or 2 of their meets…), but other than that, what do you do?

So, guess I just have to trust that it’s the right thing for me to do (which I completely do) & focus on getting myself out the door as much as possible this winter, despite what mother nature throws at me!

P.S. Very applicable quote (and the reason I ran 70 miles last week instead of 67.5 :))

“If the most common question I get asked is, ‘How do I run a fast marathon?,’ the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th … most common questions have something to do with diet, running form, sleep, footwear, stretching, weights; anything but actual running. American runners seem to have an unending fascination with all these extra-curricular activities, yet we continue to get slower at running marathons … If you want to improve your performance in the marathon, stop worrying about minimalist shoes, caveman diets, and new-age running form, and start worrying about getting out the door and running a little more than you did last week. High mileage works!” -Pete Gilmore

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