June 14, 2009

Fastest 1200s in 9 Years

Planned for week: 70k. Ran: 68.8k

Mon: Rest
Tues: AM: Xtrng (wts and abs)
PM: 10k easy in 59:00.

Wed 7:30pm: 9.8k. 600/1200/600/1200/600/1200/600. 200 jog after 600s, 400 after 1200s.
Times (jog): 2:12 (1:56) 4:16 (3:44) 2:08 (2:18) 4:04 (4:13) 2:05 (2:48) 4:05 (4:15) 1:58.
The 4:04 and 4:05 were the fastest 1200s I have run in 9 years (3:24/k pace). Most over the years, including recently, have been in the 4:20s. The 600s were pretty good, too.
So, as fellow club member Juergen said to me after the workout: What happened to you?
Well, there were four reasons. 1) I am finally getting into pretty good shape. 2) I am down to almost minimum racing weight. 3) I am getting comfortable with my new running style (midfoot striking, light on the feet, feet landing under the body, feet flicking back and up, quick cadence, straight back or slight forward lean). Or as Caballo Blanco says in Born to Run: Easy, Light, Smooth, Fast (the first 3 take care of the 4th). And 4) The mental attitude/lessons of Born to Run, one being: You're tougher than you think you are, which I modified to You're faster than you think you are. The first 1200 was pretty good, but Paddy, our good Irish runner, was quite a ways ahead of me. The second one, I just decided, You're faster than you think you are, stay with Paddy. Which I kept repeating. And stayed with him. Light and smooth all the way. Then did it again on the third one and on the last 600.
So...it's a combination of the physical and the mental. When both are in an optimal state, you can run well...better than you think you can.
Temp: abt 22°. Wt: 60.0kg. Shoes: 250g (lightish)

Thurs: 10k easy in 52:59 (26:38, 26:21).
Fri: AM: Xtrng (wts and abs).
4:00pm: 15k in 1:14:35 (27:11, 24:56, 22:26).
Planned to run 27:30, 25:00, 22:30, and did that, even though there's no real reason to push the last one. Was kind of tired the last 3k.
Temp: 28°. Wt: 60.6kg. shoes: 280g

Sat: Easy 10k (approx.) in 54:00, pausing twice to watch two groups of 14 Namban crazies race a Beer Mile (drink a beer, run 400m x 4).
AND...tried 200 x 4 barefoot on the grass (Born to Run again). Yes, I have to admit, it feels really good to run barefoot. It feels really...natural. I think I will incorporate barefoot striders into some workouts. Not ready to run far or on asphalt.
(Michael B.: I was skeptical, but now I get it: once you read that section of the book, you want to go out and try it.)

Sun: 14k in Ome hills in 1:55:36. Easy pace with visitor Denise from Michigan, Taeko and Kiki. Of course, even "easy" at Ome is a good workout. Very pleasant run in the cool of the woods.

Next week is an easy week because I have a 10.7k race around Saiko (one of the five Mt. Fuji lakes) on Sunday.
Almost finished Born to Run. This book is so good, I think I am going to take it with me everywhere, so I can re-read sections whenever I feel like it.


  1. Fantastic Bob

    9 years is a long time. That is your average dog's life! You're no average dog! We are going to have to get you a Tarahumara name if things continue to improve. I wonder how "Tokyo Dingo" translates?

    Born to run is a terrific book I said on my blog the everyone should read it, just a pity that nobody reads my blog ;)

  2. dang, bob!!! nice work. congratulations on the "fastest" thing. amazing. i can't even run that fast in my dreams. i know i just said "can't" which is a word i don't usually use...but right now i'm in a hurry to get out the door and go try barefooting for the FIRST time. heading for sf marina green, to do a little grass then a little pavement...then put my shoes on a knock out 18-20 in prep for seattle on the 27th. will let you know how it goes. cheers.

  3. Bob, I must get "Born to Run" to read, as an alternative to reading Scott's blog.

    I like "You're faster than you think you are" - must remember that for future faster training runs. Were you out of breath or overly anaerobic on the 1200s?

    Give the Frees a go if you're liking barefoot running. I did a lot of barefoot running on grass tracks in the old days and the Frees feel pretty much the same, except, you can also run on gravel and bitumen. Try the 3.0s and the 5.0s. I like the 5.0s because they're slightly thicker in the sole. The heel appears built-up, but it doesn't feel like it. They're great for mid-foot and 'light-feeling' running.

  4. I'm right there with you on the comment about Born to Run, Bob. I only have the audiobook version, which makes it harder to just pick out certain sections, but it is great to have on the ipod while running, which is pretty much what I listen to exclusively now if anything while I run.