How Far I Have Come
My name is Steve, and I suck at running.
Less than 3 years ago, I finished a 5k run. I spent the next 6 weeks in rehab. I had decided a week prior that I wanted to compete in a triathlon later that year. Not sure what really got me on the triathlon kick (pun intended) but I needed to figure out a couple of things.
Can I swim? Check.
Can I bike? Did it as a kid, check.
Can I run? Nope.
Like always, I went head first. I ended up with a muscle imbalance in my quad. It was pulling on my knee cap, causing crazy pain every time I bent my leg. Frustrating to no end. My physio, who is a life saver by the way, recommended that I take a look at my foot strike, and implement a run-walk training plan for up to 8 weeks. More on my progression from a heel striker to a mid-foot striker in a future post.
I took his advice, mixing in swimming, biking, and yoga. It took a while to get to a point where I could run a full 5k without stopping for a walk interval; at some points I felt like progression was moving backwards. I trusted him, and was able to start a high intensity training plan 8 weeks ahead of my first sprint distance. Finished 2nd in my age group.
Fast forward to last year, 2012. I am now hooked on this triathlon thing and laying down some pretty decent performances. I finished top 10 in my age group at my last race last year and completed my first Ironman 70.3. Not bad for breaking my collar bone in a bike crash May 26.
I spent the winter season working on my base fitness with the specific goal of increasing my run speed. Check out this post, or this one, for a detailed description of what I was doing. It was hard work at times, especially in mid winter running on Saturday evenings outside. The dark combined with the cold made for some miserable runs. I continued on in spite of the conditions and now I am running faster than I had planned.
Here is how some of the results stack up.
Sprint Distance (5k Run)
Lake Chaparral – 8/2011 – 27:36 (5:32/km)
Airdrie – 5/2013 – 21:52 (4:23/km)
Olympic Distance (10k Run)
Lake Chaparral – 8/2012 – 48:59 (4:54/km)
Chinook Triathlon Festival – 6/2013 – 45:10 (4:31/km)
Now that is what I am talking about.
I am really happy with my progress. I am dangerously close to achieving my goal for this year of breaking 2:15:00 at the Lake Chaparral Olympic Distance; based on last years results, this puts me on the podium for my age group. If I can sneak a couple of extra minutes, I would be on the podium for the overall results. Before you say “that was last year dude”, I know that everyone ahead of me was training over the winter with the same goal I had, getting faster. I just have to believe that my training is far superior.
We will find out in a couple of months.
Question: How have you progressed from season to season? What have you done to get there?