Miles of Trials / Trials of Miles

I've been running for four years straight after pretty much not running a step since my sophomore year of college. It's been a pretty interesting ride to say the least. I woke up feeling embarrassed and really out of shape after turning 40 in November 2004. After several weeks of slacking off I decided to train for a winter 5K race in February and managed to somehow run 19:14 (6:12 pace). That inspired me to kick it up a notch and now I'm down to 16:54 (5:26 pace). I've done a decent amount of reading about running over the past few years and have tried lots of different workouts, but have recently come to the conclusion that basic old school workouts are still the best. There's nothing fancy and high tech about getting good. One of my high school coaches, Peter Hallop, who was in his late 30's at the time he coached me, was still running sub 31 10Ks. Once he hit 40, he ended up becoming one of the best masters runners in the country. I've gone back to doing the kind of workouts he would have me do. A weekly long run of 14 or 15 miles and tough strength workouts like mile repeats, hills, and progressions/tempos. Which brings me to the title of this thread. Miles of Trials comes from John L. Parker's classic novel Once A Runner (about to get reissued), i.e. getting good at running is all about miles of trials/trials of miles.

While I want to keep improving as a masters runner I have to keep everything in check. I don't have the time or desire to obsess about the sport 24/7. I get my workout in, go to work and like to hang out with my wife and friends in my spare time. Even though Elephant Stone Records is on hiatus, I still spend a lot of time listening to music. and write reviews for several magazines.

Anyway, I think I've found a decent balance in life. Right now I want to run unlike a lot of times in high school and college where I felt a lot of pressure to run because I was good. Enough philosophy. Time to crack open a beer.

KDF  – (3:43 PM)  

Ben, this is a great post. You have a really clear, relaxed-yet-punchy style of writing that keeps me coming back for more. Well done.

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