Late Sixties psychedelic madness!
Opening credits to the 80's cult movie Hamburger. The theme song here is like a cross between Bob Seger, John Mellencamp and the South Park team of Trey Parker and Matt Stone!
Had a good solid week of 40 miles on 6 runs, aiming more for quality than quantity. I had three key workouts that went very well. On Monday I did a session of 8 x Rockcliff Drive hills (probably slightly more than 400 meters). A nice steep climb -- those sure hurt! On Thursday, I ran an 8 mile fartlek workout in the Metro Park with surges of 6-5-4-3-2-1 minutes with half-time rest breaks, and Saturday I did an 8 mile progression run on the same Metro Park course, finishing the last four in 24:38 (6:20, 6:13, 6:06, 5:59). I'm looking forward to a winter of solid conditioning and building strength by running hill reps every week and intervals, fartleks and tempos on hilly courses.
Featuring The Cult's Ian Astbury on vocals. Great stuff!
When American distance running was going through some lean times in the late Eighties and early-mid Nineties, two of the big shining lights were Bob Kennedy and Todd Williams. Williams grew up in Michigan and ran for the Univ. of Tennessee before becoming a two-time Olympian in the 10,000 meters, as well as collecting scalps all over the place on the road racing scene. How did he do it? See below. I found this great tidbit on Let's Run.
What it takes to run 42:22 at the Gate River Run?By Todd Williams*
Wow! It’s been 12 years since I ran one of the best races of my career and set the American record of 42:22 right here in Jacksonville at the 1995 Gate River Run. I was also fortunate enough -- through lots of hard work -- to win four other Gate River Runs in the 90’s. I retired from competitive racing in 2003 and today the question I am asked most is: how did I run that fast and how did I train to average 4:30 per mile for 9.3 miles? My reply is always the same. I had plenty of talent but I also WORKED EXTREMELY HARD over a long period of time. In this article I’ll give an inside look at the training I did leading up to the 1995 Gate River Run. However, I DO NOT ADVISE THIS TRAINING SCHEDULE for anyone other than a world-class runner. What worked for me won’t necessarily work for you. Now that I’m coaching I know it’s extremely important to train each runner differently. Each runner has a certain mileage and intensity they can handle and must adjust accordingly. Following is an example of my training leading to my record setting performance.
Weekly mileage for the 10 weeks leading up to 1995 Gate River
Run: 110-102-91-86-93-105-105-95-103-106* race week
Long runs for the 10 weeks leading up to 1995 Gate River Run: 12-8-10-10-8-11-12-10-11-10
Each week I would do a track workout, hill workout and a faster road run, with some samples of those below. For each workout I ran a 3-4 mile warm-up at a sub 6:00 pace, followed by 6-150m strides and a 2 mile warm-down.
1. 4xmile@4:15 with 3 minutes recovery jogs between each mile
2. Hills – 10x380 meter hill with jog back down for recovery between each
3. 8 x 1000m @2:45 with 200m jog recovery between each 1000m
4. 1600m – 1200m--800m-400m@:60-:61 pace with 400m jog recovery between each
5. 5 miles HARD road run (4:45 pace) then back to the track for 4 x 800m @2:02 – 2:04 with 400m jog recovery
6. 20 x 200m @ :30 with 200m jog recovery
7. 6 mile HARD road run then back to the track for a 4:08 mile
I ran twice a day every day, with my pace on each run never slower than 6 minutes per mile. At the completion of each afternoon run I would do 8 x 150m strides at mile race pace. The strides helped develop my speed and I left the track each day feeling fast. I was also in the weight room three times a week for circuit training consisting of body weight exercises (push-ups, dips, lunges, pull-ups etc). I took very little rest between each exercise. I wanted to break down my muscles and make them work when they were very fatigued. I liked to duplicate the feel I would have in the later stages of my races.
Even though I only stretched about 10 minutes before and after each run, I always recommend doing whatever you’ve been doing that keeps you healthy . Don’t change what works. As you can see, I didn’t do anything magical. I just ran a consistent program year-in and year-out that got me to the point of handling a higher work load. I was also very fortunate to stay healthy for a majority of my running career.
My advice to all runners at any level is to stick with what works, stay consistent and if you are a beginner or a runner that wants advice, contact me at PUSHTHEPACE.com and I’ll help design a program that best fits your needs.
Best of luck to all of you.
*Todd Williams is a 2-time Olympian and is the only 5-time Gate River Run champion. He set the American 15K record of 42:22 at Gate River Run in 1995, a record which still stands today.
Ever since the company I work for went through a big consolidation and closed down a bunch of regional offices and made the Cleveland office their main East Coast hub, I've felt more and more like I'm part of the Rev. Jim Jones' juice-drinking gang and we all know how that turned out. Hell, our boss man is even built like the Kool Aid mascot above and he's always so pumped up at work that I wouldn't be surprised if he let out a healthy, "Oh, yeaahh!" every once in a while. We keep getting more and more bizarre rules sent down to us from our HR Dept. -- the same folks who banned Rolling Stone Magazine from our office (see my past Blog entry about that). Now we can't even bring our coats into the office -- they have to be kept in hallway closets. Everyone ignores that one though. Luckily I was out of work last week when we had a big staff meeting where the higher-ups went on and on about how much they love the company etc. (maybe they needed to convince themselves). My friends at work who were at that meeting said I was really lucky to miss it. But, it's a good paycheck with good benefits and it supports my running 'career' pretty nicely! I think I'm just a bit frustrated because I'm the last of the generation of kids that were raised to believe that you could make a living doing something you loved... You know all that What Color is My Parachute? hippie crap. I had a good run with the rock 'n' roll stuff (for about 3 or 4 years my entire income came from working for a label/running my label, writing and DJing) and maybe as I get more and more immersed in the running scene I can find a job related to sports and become a more enthusiastic worker bee again.
For whatever reason I had never seen this hugely influential 1966 surf documentary before, but I just rented it on Netflix and was pretty blown away. It really takes you back to a simple and optimistic time in America that just doesn't exist any more, like when I was a kid and we all thought we'd be living in space by now and driving really cool cars! Anyway, The Endless Summer documents two surfers who travel around the world, following the summer seasons in Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii, all in search of the perfect wave. Very Zen but not in a crunchy granola hippie kind of way. What blew me away was that these guys had no ulterior motives (i.e. fame and fortune) they just loved to surf and were willing to do what they could to be full-time' surf bums'. Pretty inspiring. Makes me want to quit my soulless job immediately, but that's gotta wait until I pay off my rock 'n' roll debts. Up until a year or two ago I still had hopes that I could somehow become an American Tony Wilson or Alan McGee. That said, Wilson just died in his early 50's and based on McGee's MySpace rants that have been forwarded to me (why does he even post on there at his age!) , you gotta wonder about his sanity so maybe it's just as well! So right now my personal Endless Summer is to try to be the best runner I can possibly be. Back in my first life as a runner it was all about the results and I never really thought much about the training and what it took to get there. These days, the journey is the most amazing part. I feel really blessed that I could quit for twenty years and after three years manage to get good enough again that I could run for an Elite Running Club. But much as I love the thrill of competition, I really dig the journey and how all the little pieces of the puzzle lead (like tomorrow's hill repeats in the snow) will maybe lead to the 'perfect' race. Hang Ten!
I'm feeling pretty good week one week removed from club nationals. Took a few days off this week and had some solid runs despite the winterly conditions, including a solid 10 miler today in Rocky River Metro Park with the last 4 @ AT effort (:40 - :60 slower than 5K race pace) going 6:37, 6:30, 6:25, 6:13 (my current PR race pace is 5:36). The effort felt really easy despite the slick bike paths and multiple layers of clothing as I braved the wind, cold and snow. Monday I'm going to start a proper base training phase where each week I'll try to do hill reps, aerobic fartleks @ 10K race effort (stuff like 4 x 5:00 w/ 2:00 rest) and a weekend long run with the last 3-4 miles @ moderate tempo effort like today's run. As winters can get pretty brutal here, it's all about the effort. In any case, with a really solid conditioning phase I think I'll be able to go straight into my next racing season in PR shape for 5K - 10 miles.
This Aussie band is definitely a Seventies throwback, but they've got the three "S's" that are largely missing from today's crop of overly sensitive musicians, namely: sleaze, sexism, and skinny guys (ever notice how doughy some of the current indie stars are like the dudes from Decemberists and Death Cab from Cutie?).
Currently I'm enjoying an easy/recovery week, where I'm running every other day and catching up on my sleep since I have the week off of work. Next week though I'll be starting up base training in earnest! I just created an account on Running2win.com, where you will be able to follow my daily training if you're bored enough to do so! The link is below and I have also added it to my Links section on the right sidebar.
Hard to believe That (I'm) Stranded by legendary Aussie rockers The Saints is 30-years old! This is probably my favorite album from the original late 70's punk rock explosion. Marketed as a 'punk' band by the trendy London music press, in reality this is just a kick ass high-octane rock 'n' roll record -- as loud and fast as the Sex Pistols and their ilk, but without the prerequisite spiky hair and safety pins. The title track, "No Time" and their cover of the 60's garage rock classic "Wild About You" by The Missing Links are as wild and dangerous as rock 'n' roll gets, but that's only part of the Saints equation. My two favorite songs on (I'm) Stranded these days are the bluesy ballads "Messin' With The Kid" and "The Story of Love." Chris Bailey was/is an awesome vocal talent and his prowess really shines here as it would on later similarly inclined classics like 1984's "Ghost Ships."
Just got back from Cincinnati where I ran in the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships. My club, Team Good River, ran great with outstanding performances in all four races: Men and Women's Open and Men and Women's Masters. Over 50 of us from TGR braved snowy and muddy conditions and gutted out great races and had a lot of fun afterwards! There were over 1000 participants in the four races from all over the country. Really proud to be part of such a great team. Thanks so much to the team's organizer and great runner in his own right, Tim Budic, for making it all happen. I was really happy with the way I ran in the Masters race. I was the top scorer for the TGR "B" team with a 39:40 over the unbelievably muddy course. For what it's worth, the course was actually long and more like 6.5 miles -- not that it matters since XC is all about place. This was a really good end to my season and quite an improvement over my XC race in San Francisco last year as I placed much higher in the overall and Age Group standings. Also, I was about 1:30 closer to the winner than I was last year, which is probably the best way to gauge XC success. The whole weekend was a lot of fun. A bunch of us met up for dinner the night before. I caught up with my friends Stephen and Jennifer from Ann Arbor on race day and even had a post-race beer on the course thanks to Stephen's ever present Dogfish Head cooler! Later in the evening I enjoyed quite a few post-race beers with the TGR crew. A great end to my 2007 season where I set masters PRs in 5K, 5 miles and 10K. Looking forward to crushing them all next season!
Calm before the storm!
An endless line of the country's best Masters runners get ready to rumble!
This song really speaks to the jaded scenester in me...
Elephant Stone has been on hiatus for most of this year, but we've updated our profile on the very cool Last FM website and you can now download quite a few songs for free off of the site and if you feel so inclined you can buy the full CDs -- the buy now links will take you straight to the purchase page on the Elephant Stone site.
Here's the link: http://www.last.fm/label/Elephant+Stone/albums