18 May 2018

New targets at 50: Taking on the mile

Posted by divamar

Well, hello there!

Where have I been? Clearly not blogging! Let me bring you up to speed.

Seasonal highs & lows

Over the past few seasons, I’ve had some pretty incredible opportunities to race. In the spring of 2015, I ran a 35:12 at the TC 10K. From there, I switched things up and moved to shorter track events, hitting the Canadian 45-49 record in the 3,000m (9:44) and the 5,000m (16:51).

2016 closed with my third-ever marathon, and it was a biggie. I was invited to the New York City Marathon, and although my preparation was marred by a bad fall (tripped up on the trails by an over-eager canine), the race itself was a career highlight.

Unfortunately, 2017 proved a bit of a wash; gut issues left me drained of energy. Coach Trent and I decided to pull the plug on training until I got it sorted. I used my time away to immerse in nature hiking and camping. To be honest, I didn’t really miss training. It was nice to get the break and spend quality time with friends and family.

New milestone, new goals

With my 50th birthday on the horizon last fall, I revisited the national and world age group records I might have a shot at. A few seemed within reach, including the outdoor track mile (5:00.59) and the 3,000m (9:47.2). Trent agreed there was a chance I could take the records, so we buckled down to work on ‘Project WR.’

To better the record in the mile, I’d need to hit 74.6 seconds per lap (400m). In fall 2017, I was out of shape; my old marathon pace was now my 5km race effort. To prepare meant pulling out all the stops.

A strength & conditioning edge

Throughout my career, I’d tackled weekly strength and conditioning and plyometrics on my own—with an at-home program of body weight conditioning—but I’d never committed to a formal, periodized program in tandem with the phases of my run training.

Lucky for me, I enlisted the expertise of Lindsay Lynk, a Strength and Conditioning Coach with the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE). Lindsay has since been working closely with Trent to optimize my run training phases. This S&C work mirrors the demands of these phases and enhances my overall training.

Lindsay is a gifted teacher and technician. I’ve learned a lot from her and have avoided injury in adding this new component to my routine. Our programs are straightforward but effective and efficient. I’m fortunate to have the support of PISE who has offered Lindsay’s services and the use of their beautiful gym in my latest world record attempts.

In the build zone

By early 2018, I was ready to start racing. I followed up a mediocre 8km in January (29:39) with a decent 5km in March (17:50), and hit a 36:23 at the Vancouver Sun Run — a nice progression. In the meantime, workouts on the track improved week to week.

Two weeks ago in Victoria, I ran a 3,000m. It was one of those races that felt rough from start to finish. I chalked it up to an off-day — my workouts were indicating a much better result than my 10:21 finishing time. However, I turned things around last weekend by running a 1500m in Portland. Coach Trent had me aim for 76-second laps and I hit the mark, clocking 4:44.60. Running with speedy young gazelles tends to put a kick in your step.

Down to the wire

So, here we are just a couple of weeks away from my first mile attempt — targeted for the Minoru Mile in Richmond, BC on May 25. I’m excited to take my first crack at it.

I hope you’ll stay tuned for the recap…I promise it won’t be so long in coming.

Mar xx

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