Wednesday, March 5, 2008

what? me fast?

While I'm happy in the fact that I've been able to train my body to go extremely long distances, I still have to face the reality that I do this rather slowly. So at Pete's suggestion, I gave the Orange County Track Club a try for some speed workouts.

The OCTC meets once a week at the Orange Coast College's track. I knew that there were going to be some fast runners out here so I was looking forward to coming out and running with them. These weekly workouts are conducted by Coach Charlie Appell. He put me in a group of five other runners for a ladder workout. I've never heard of the term before so I had to ask. Basically, the 6 of us start running single file. The runner in the back sprints up to get to the front of the pack. Once he or she gets there, the next runner in the back speeds up to get to the front, and so on, and all this while the group maintains a fairly fast steady pace. We do 5 sets of 1000m repeats with a 400m recovery jog in between.

At the end of the last set, we did a 2400m recovery jog. It was a hard workout, but I felt good about it. I was able to keep pace with the group without feeling winded.

Speed is not my thing, at least that's what I think. The problem with these self-imposed limitations is that if we believe them enough, they become true. On the upside, change your thinking and you'd be amazed at what you can accomplish. Once I thought, there's no way I could ever complete a marathon, but given the will and the proper mindset, I've surpassed that goal. So I figure, hey, if I set my mind to it, I should be able to set some PRs this year.

My marathon best is 4 hours and 28 minutes. I've always wanted to go under 4 hours but always thought it's an impossibility. I recently signed up for the Chicago Marathon in the fall and set a goal of 3:59:59.

I guess these OCTC track rats are going to be seeing more of my bum out there with them.


angie's pink fuzzy said...


i wanna get fast too. i decided i'll focus on speedwork after zane grey 50k in april...

Abbie said...

Let me know what you think about the team, i'm kind of interested in joining a team like that as well (but don't tell the trail runners lol). And you ARE fast - you kicked my butt in that sprint that day :)

e-rod said..., you're doing zane grey. isn't jess doing that too? hey, we can never be too fast right? good luck with your training.

abbie...haha. thanks, but i wish. that sprint was 100 yards. i need to get fast for the longer distances too. yeah, i'm going back on tuesday again. i'll let you know how that goes.

rick said...

Yeah man, the track workouts will totally help. It's also lot more fun working on speed with other people. Good coaches also keep it interesting. You should feel pain in these workouts but don't go all out, you should always feel like you could go another lap or two, at least that's what the coaches have told me.

The challenge is getting a track workout after those long runs:)

e-rod said...

rick...i used to do track workouts on my own when i trained for my first marathon. i like training with other people. like you said, it's more fun.