I'm a bit surprised at how quickly I missed regular exercise, just over a week removed from Leadman and my brain is constantly thinking about exercise. I am sure that it has more to do with the type of exercise I want to take on this time. Were I planning on falling back in to a plain, volume based running schedule I suspect that I could and would easily wait another month at least. But my next self-project is something that may end up being a bigger challenge than even Leadman!
The next goal is to run a sub 53" 400 meter on the track at 41 years old. The disparity between the two is so severe that I will need to change 100% of what I am good at, how my body works, and my mentality. Sort of like taking a semi-tractor and rebuilding it in to a top fuel drag car.
Reading as much as I can find about training for the 400 has my mind spinning. I need to "build up to" 5 mile long runs. I need to run "tempo sessions" of up to 6 X 300 METERS... my last tempo run was 25 miles. I need to do repeats of 30 meters and I need to completely rebuild my metabolism from being able to run 30 miles on just fat to being able to run less than a minute using lactate and almost zero oxygen. I need to gain at least 10 pounds of muscle, mostly in my skinny ass and quads. So today I slipped in a small 'introduction' to this focus. The goal was/ is not to shock my body which would be very easy to do right now. Although I consider myself stronger than most ultrarunners (I have averaged less than 50 miles of running per week this year yet finished behind only 9 other men at Leadville just 5 days after racing a bike for nearly 9 hours and running a 10k at 6:03 pace... this is due to strength) I am still quite delicate, it would be very simple to go too low on squats or too low on deadlifts and tweak a muscle or tendon.
Another aspect of fast running that is very much underrated is muscle coordination. In order for your legs to move efficiently and also fast enough with a long stride length, every muscle must coordinate together. If your quads are firing hard and your hamstrings are not in sync then there is a great risk in either straining a hamstring muscle or simply losing speed due to the unmatched activation. Plyometrics and run drills are a very important aspect.
So today was just a weak handshake between my muscles and the free weights. Then I followed it up with TRX core and a dynamic stretching routine. The whole session took 30:00. I'll continue to do this for another 1-2 weeks with easy runs every other day of just 2-5 miles before starting in to actual sessions.
Here is an example of a pre-season session:
1. Warm‑up: 1 mile
2. Flexibility exercises
3. 2 x 600 Tempo
4. 3 x 300 Interval with short recovery
5. 3 x 300 Interval with long recovery
6. Cool down: 1 mile
The speed of the intervals will be by feel until I get a sense of set times and I also want to very slowly ease my body back in to sprinting (another lifetime ago I ran 49" for the 400) The key will be to stay relaxed and controlled. My goal, because I have a lot of time, will be to not chase the speed (force it) but rather let it come to me with patient and gradual development which will help to avoid injury.
I have a ton to learn so this journey will be an education. This is going to be fun!