We all have our limitations though. It’s one thing to do 5 x 1 mile in 5:45 mixed into a hilly 15 miler and then read about Adam Goucher cranking out a 20 miler in 1:56 at 7,000-feet of altitude.
Goucher, of course, is the crème de la crème. Following his training through 1998 to get to the NCAA cross-country championships is awesome. Not awesome in the pop sense of the word, but in the dictionary definition sense.
Equally impressive are the workouts produced by his teammates. Clearly Goucher made the entire team better – not that the other runners on the team were chopped tofu. The last man on that Colorado team did 5x 1 mile repeats in 5:30 at altitude. Of course they weren’t putting in marathon miles and were mostly training for 8k cross-country races, but still…
At the same time, seeing the results of those runners proves that high-mileage training works. Put in those miles, get stronger, sharpen up and the results will come. If I were a coach of a college cross country team I would copy Mark Wetmore’s Lydiard-based methods… that is if the runners under my charge were interested in getting better.
Anyway, after reading about Goucher’s 20-miler on the Santa Fe Trail I went out and… well… didn’t go as far or fast. I’m still finding my legs after the three weeks of low, 60s weekly mileage so I slogged through 13 miles in 1:28:29 today. My hamstrings and glutes weren’t as tight today, but my quads were a little achy. It’s nothing serious, of course. Running is supposed to hurt.
Weather permitting, the plan is to do another 13-to-15 miler on Friday and possibly a 20-miler on Saturday. Why Saturday instead of my normal Monday? Why not? Plus, the National Marathon is held on a Saturday. It might be fun to mix it up a little bit.
Speaking of which, if I’m feeling particularly saucy I might race a 5k on Dec. 10 (my birthday) here in Lancaster. When I was tearing up the CYO league all through junior high, I recall having big scoring games on a couple of my birthdays. Hopefully that carries over to 5k races more than 20 years later.