Hi everyone, After loads of heart searching, pain and disapointment I have decided I can no longer do the distance. 1 year ago I fractured the tip of my left fibular doing a 10k through some woodland. Its took me a whole year to realise that to carry on running I must do short. Less impact but more power, less milage but more hills and less training but more pain (in a good way ) Just wondered if anyone else has gone through this change of direction and any advice would be welcomed. Currently training with teenagers and a sprinter friend at weekends to run the 60m. Cheers guys!
Hi Jacky, I went through a similar transition although for different reasons.
The background was taking up running in 2008 after playing football/rugby/badminton for most of my life up to that point (bear in mind at this point I was 18 and had just gone to university!). Ran a few half marathons, 5/10ks etc and was reasonable (19'17 5k, 40'27 10k, 93'45 HM) but nothing special. Had quite a frustrating 2011, basically training very well but essentially going backwards and my quickest 10k that year was 41'06. Decided at that point to have a shot at middle distance (800/1500 initially) to see if that was where my strengths lay.
Cut a long story short, the next May I ran in the British University Championships over 800m, in the official test event for the Olympic Stadium so it's safe to say the transition was something of a success Last year I discovered I was fairly decent at 400 & 800 - I ran 56.32 for 400 last year (without any real emphasis on the distance) and have already improved to 55.75 over winter, and 2'09.65 for 800 (only run one so far this year, with horrible conditions so haven't improved yet). As an aside to this I've found my longer distance times have improved as well, to the point where I broke 18 minutes for 5k on Saturday just gone despite having no focus on the distance whatsoever!
I've basically discovered over the past year that I'm very much a speed-based runner with only a little endurance on the side - my 400s & 800s are vastly superior to anything else I have run - so for the forseeable future I am focusing on the unusual 400/800 combination before looking to move up later in life.
The big thing to understand is that sprint training and distance running are basically the inverse of each other. Take what you know about distance training and essentially flip it on its head. So low volume, high quality workouts (aka 4*40 flat out) and long recoveries between efforts (6 mins +) would be the basics!
I'm in a bit of a rush right now so can't really expand on anything, but I'll answer any questions I can (both about my own training or sprint training in general).
Thankyou Mr D, Although I realise many people must have gone through this change I havn't heard many mention it! Well done on your sub 18 btw! Yes, I actually feel as if I have found where I want to be. I was never a speedy distance runner neither ( have been running since 2010, plus 6 months off due to my injury) and have now found that after around 5 miles my leg aches and as I loked ddown I noticed that my foof was tuning inwards whereas it hadn't before the fracture. I was also left to walk and run a couple of miles on it before the cast went on as it was at first diagnosed as a sprain. After a re-call to the hospital it was put in a cast for 5 weeks so I can onlu think the damage had already been done.
I tried my first sprint session at my club on Thursday night, I am definitely the oldest of the group at 51 but that keeps the pressure off for now as I know I am not going to catch the teenagers! Session was as follows..
1 very slow lap (400m)
25 mins of drills
2 x 100m 5min rest
2 x 150m 5 min rest
2 x 120m 5 min rest
2x 80m then 2 very slow laps.
Whole session lasts around 90mins felt great, loved the little bursts of speed and thought..wow, this is easy! How very silly I was!! The next day could barely walk, lift my arms above my shoulders or sit down..and when I did, got up like a woman of around a hundred
Enjoyed it though! Got another tomorrow night (Tue) and 10 hill sprints on Sunday with warm up and cool down jogs. That's it so far...
There's one or two people I know that have done it, which is why I think it's good to run a range of distances to see where your strengths lie.
Have you done any sprint races yet? How do they compare to your 10k times if you have?
Another big thing with sprinting is how much 'running' actually constitutes the warmup. 25 minutes of drills is very good (I generally do about 10-15 mins after 3-4 easy laps to begin with + dynamic stretches), it will help a lot with sprinting form and injury prevention which for you is quite important.
Yeah it can be very obvious when you've found 'your calling' so to speak. I can run sessions like 8*200, 4*400 etc day in, day out yet get me to do 4*1M or a tempo run and I'll feel washed out for a few days afterwards.
It's good you decided to give it a go though - I think a lot of people would surprise themselves how good they can be at shorter distances if they gave them a go.
Thanks Mr D, once again nice and positive. I have entered the Joe Moran T&F Meeting in june to run the 100m and training seems to have moved up a notch somewhat! I now have a hill sprint session (2x5 10secs) and also a step session that is very hard. My coach assures me this torture will be good for me. Just read an article about Ussain Bolt challenging a distance runner in a 10k...Bolt was knackered! All due to fast and slow twitch fibres, I know very little about this but understood that you inherit these fibres but can grow one or the other more?? As I was never the speediest of distance runners but did well over shorter distances at school I presume I have the fast?? Hope so! I know its earlydays but as you said, feels quite obvious and also the old regrets..why oh why did I not just do this from the start! Getting timed on my 100 on Tuesday..scared isn't the word! Hope you are fit and well Mr D.
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