I remember the expression “Building a Base”, and Dan Pfaff would say “Building a Base of what?”. There is some truth to that. More on that later. So this is the final instalment of a 5 part series:
- The Journey & Realistic Goal setting
- The 10 changes I needed to do to avoid injury as in the past
- Race Report, part 1 (including the superspikes)
- EMAC in Pescara (part 2)
- Some changes for 2024 to prep for WMA in Gothenburg
2023 in Review.. Success?
Let’s review my goals for 2023 (on a limited 7 month training block):
- (sub) 28 & 60 for 200m and 400m respectively.
My last 4 200m races were 28.26, 28.20, 28.18, 28.16… consistent, but I know my 2nd half of the race sucked. My 400m times sucked even more.
- medal at UK (BMAF) Nationals
16 were registered for the 200m, and a lot of top guys scratched due to injuries. I always said “80% of success is showing up”. (OK, it was Woody Allen, not me) I’m happy with my bronze in the 200m, but I know I can slice a second off my time. I learned the UK (and Europe) is much more competitive than in Canada. I also learned to get used to the 20-40 min delay from the Call Room to Starting Gun.
- qualify for the Semi-Finals at EMACs
Technically, I did run twice in the 200m :) but not exactly a semi-final. It did prove I could run twice in one day, with spikes, something I was worried about. As for the 400m, I was surprised to get the last ‘q’, especially when you consider my longest workout was 3x150m in 20+ seconds. With a 28 sec 200m PB, double+5 seconds = 61, double+6 seconds = 62, so I know there is a huge potential for improvement. Huge.
To me, I didn’t get seriously injured this season, only with the slight Achilles issue at the very last meet of the season. So I considered that a success, to build on for next year.
Keep Doing what I’m Doing, but “Add to the Pyramid”
I managed a ‘full season’ without a major injury, but there are still 5 (or more) changes I want to add to my training.
1) Go back to the weight room. Stronger legs, longer strides. I stopped going to the gym in March 2020 due to the pandemic. You can never be too strong, but not at the expense of flexibility.
2) Review my plyometrics routine and add some plyos carefully, always considering (increasing) the load on the Achilles, slowly:
At age 60, there is not much ‘pop’ in my legs. Gone are the days of a standing long jump of 10 feet! I think I’ll be lucky to do 7 feet today. Same goes with your Vertical Jump. I once had 29″ of height at age 29, only to jump 14″ in Barcelona 2012! I have no idea now, and I don’t want to know!
3) work on MaxV speed, with spikes, 1x per week if possible, ideally some 60s (time 30m-30m or 20m-20m with Freelap timing) or segment runs of increasing speeds (20-20-20) or the classic hard-float-hard or float-hard-float modified ‘segment’ runs. 30-30-30 is quite taxing, so be sure to get enough recovery to ensure a high quality workout.
4) lactate sessions – get used to running for 60+ sec! Maybe try 6-5-4-3-2-1 or even 3×500 and drop to 3×300 – all on flats with grass. Spikes will kill me for these, so these will continue to be wearing flats. More details on the “Breakdown” 600-500-400-300-200-100 workout can be found here.
5) Take advantage of the Woodway Curve treadmill, especially on cold, dark, rainy days in England. I stopped using this on March 2020 due to the pandemic. I think it has its place for sprinters, but do be aware of the lack of ground contact as in real life!
There are a few changes I may try, but it’s very hard to get a definitive answer if the supplements worked or not. My primary supplements are Whey Protein & Vitamin D only. Else, I eat real whole foods… What I want. When I want. As much as I want.
I will go back to adding Collagen Protein (I’ve done more research), and believe it or not, I don’t take Creatine. I do get surprised looks from people when I admit this. Partly because I did try it as a sub-Master (M35-40) and I didn’t notice any difference.
The other supplement worth trying is ZMA. Your body needs Zinc & Magnesium anyways! The problem is there are so many knockoff brands in the UK. You want the real meal deal from SNAC. (I know a lot of readers dismiss SNAC due to the affiliation to BLACO 20 years ago)
Keep Focusing on Recovery & Regeneration, especially Sleep
The main reason why I wear an Apple iwatch is to monitor my sleep. I’ve been doing this since the FitBit experiment of 2018. A lot has changed in 5 years, so choose the technology & budget that suits you. You need sleep, but you also need deep sleep too.
Here are 2 good videos on R&R from our “Pandemic” Microstretching series from 2020, which is a good review:
And this one…
Onwards to 2024!