When I started racing in the 1970's, it was track in the spring, roads in the summer, cross-country in the fall and sometimes indoor track in the winter. You picked a distance, trained for it for 12 weeks and then picked another distance. Now there are times when I want to run a 10K trail race, a 1500m track race and a road 1/2 marathon in consecutive weeks. That's the one thing I haven't covered on this blog.
More than a decade ago, I wrote a textbook on training and racing here. I spent a lot of time over the years talking about the mile and the marathon, as they are special cases and there are so many different ways to do them that have been published. I spent a long time on ultramarathons because I didn't know anything about them (some would say I still don't) and there was little written about them, but now there are at least a dozen books about them in print. I got more and more esoteric and discussed a lot of fads. It's time to get back to basics. For one thing, training to race a variety of distances by doing a variety of training is what beginners do - not knowing what works, you try everything and all of it, being new, helps. Now that I'm at the end of my racing career, I'm seeing this as a good retirement plan as well, because whatever you don't use, you really do lose.
There are a number of controversial things I endorse, the most controversial being the first I'll address. Even if you are completely against what I say at first, please keep reading through the series (I think there may be a dozen posts), because you'll probably find something useful. I'll give a ton of guidelines I use, but remember that they aren't written in stone; the easiest way to get injured is to rigidly adhere to arbitrary rules.
4 days ago