Gringo Running Advice

by: Jack McClintic

I am probably going to get in trouble for sending this one out, so if you are in a bad mood, don’t read any further and delete it right now! I am also a little hesitant to give advice in a club with so many good runners and others on the mailing list with names like Gabe, Gannon and Jose! But what the hell, here goes…

I have been personally having a better running year, well in fact it is better than all the other years. And I am very cognizant that I am doing better despite many running handicaps of a having a long choppy stride, a heavy frame (well compared to a Kenyon!) and being further compromised by an aversion to most types of pain! The difference for me has been a few adjustments to my training. I will enumerate them below to keep it simple:

1) Kevin Regis Factor: Kevin is one of my running heroes, because he is an excellent runner and has a bigger body than me! I always root for the tall big guys for they give me hope. About 4 years ago his running
dramatically improved and he was nice enough to tell me his secret. He went from 40 miles to 70 miles a week. So ever since then I have been enamored about running 7s. My main problem was getting overuse injuries increasing my mileage. So I finally figured out that what works for me is to run on a soft surface like Memorial Park (avoid concrete) and change out my shoes more. But the most important thing has been slowing down my pace. It has allowed me to go longer with less stress on the body. So most weeks I run 60-70 miles, come down to 50 miles a week every 4th week for a rest.

2) 20 Milers, since the beginning of the year I have run lots of 20 milers on Saturdays, about 2 per month. The other weeks I run 12-16 miles for long runs. Of course this helps me achieve my Regis Factor above! And I use the same strategy of running them slower than I used to, for me with a 2:58 marathon (6:50 pace) marathon PR, I run them at 8:30 pace. However on about half of them I run the last 10 miles at marathon pace to get mentally and physically used to it.

3) Less Speed Work, not sure if this is a good idea for everyone, but it has helped me to move from two speed sessions a week to just one. We did this in Katy Fit to prevent injuries and I have not been hurt for
the last two years. I know I am sacrificing a little bit of Vo2max training, but I am an amateur after all! But in place of the one we dropped we have been doing a medium long run with marathon paced pickups of 10-12 miles. We run this only 36 hours before the 20 milers on purpose to work on leg strength.

So my general weekly schedule is (all one-a-days):

  • Sunday: 10-12 miles with the Tornados (last half at tempo pace) or 10 easy out in Katy
  • Monday: 8-10 easy
  • Tuesday: 8 miles, speed session, the stuff that hurts: mile repeats, 1200s, 800s, etc. at 5K pace
  • Wednesday: 8-10 easy
  • Thursday: 10-12 easy with some 2×15 mins at marathon pace
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 10-20 miles, some weeks with the last half at marathon pace.

We have had great success in Katy Fit with this higher mileage at slower speeds. In the last 2 years we have gotten 2 guys sub 3 and have three more very close and should go sub three this year. I see some 2:40 marathons for a couple in the group. I would really encourage you all to try running your slow runs slower so you can run your speed work faster. And also if you can run more mileage safely that is golden too. Finally Gerardo Mora really helped me about a year ago when I asked him what I could do to get faster. And he said, lose some weight! I heard it as “Jack you are fat” but I did lose ten pounds and it was like free speed.

Jack

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