Friday, November 3, 2006

No marathons for me -- something better!

I ran four marathons in 1981 and 1982, and I've had a desire to get back into marathoning. However, the marathon distance puts an awfully lot of stress on ones body, and I've decided I don't need that stress. Instead, I'm going to focus on the half-marathon, a distance I've been running weekly for about six months. My goal is to set a new course record for the half-marathon at the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah.

The current course record for Men 70-74 is 2:04:17.8 set in 2005. My PB for the half-marathon is 2:21:16 set in August at the Great Salt Lake Half Marathon. I believe I can break 2 hours in the next year or two. To do that, I'll need an average pace of 9:10 My average pace for the GSL was 10:47, so I have a big challenge ahead of me.

My strategy for training is the following.

1. Reach the half-marathon distance. This is important, because in May 2004 I was in a serious auto accident and was in the ICU for four weeks. I was in an induced coma for most of that time. My first run after the accident was 1/8 mile. I accomplished this step when I ran the GSL in August.

2. Extend my running from 3 days/week to 5 days/week. I'm half way there. About a month before the GSL, I added a fourth day and brought it up to 2 miles. After the GSL I brought that rest run up to 5 miles. Within the next month I'll add my 5th day and should have it close to 5 miles by the end of the year.

3. Extend my long run from 13 miles to 15 miles to give me a slight buffer for the half-marathon distance.

4. Begin speed training, starting with fartleks once a week and then later doing intervals once a week or maybe once every two weeks. Prior to the fartleks, I'll continue to just run faster as I've been doing before and after the GSL.

5. In October 2007 make my first trek to St. George for the Senior Games. It's about a seven hour drive.

One good thing I have going for me is the difference in altitude between the Salt Lake valley and St. George. St. George is at an elevation of 2800 feet, while my home is 4700 feet and the Jordan River Parkway where I run is 4300 feet. That elevation change will make a big difference to an old geezer like me.

For those interested, the web site for the Senior Games is

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