Speed With Endurance Process a.k.a. the S.W.E.P. program.
Day 1. So a runner I know and sometimes run with had been telling me of the teachings and coaching method of Bill Squires for sometime now. I would always listen semi-interested, but I always knew that I had a training plan that has been effective over the years. If only I didn't get injured or temporaryily lose motivation.
Well I've forgotten ever talking about Bill Squires with this runner. But I have spent the better part of a year, maybe two, watching this runner get fitter and faster.
So after a recent half-marathon where I was disappointed with my result, I decided something needed to change, I need something that works! So a quick email to my runner friend, and a little bit of research on thee ol' interwebs brought me to S.W.E.P.
At first I thought this was going to be a solo effort. I bought the book, I was dreaming of the miles ahead, and how it would prepare me for the waterfront marathon in October. Luckily enough I casually mentioned it to Norton, and together we decided to embark on what looks to be demanding training.
Norton also bought the book, and we have begun to study it. The first thing we both noticed in the opening chapters is something I had always suspected. It calls us out. Bill Squires says I make a great recreational runner, and may have good times on talent alone, but running fewer then 42 miles a week, makes me a recreational runner, which has its benefits, but does not prepare me to be a competitive runner. Damn... I guess I have some work to do.
Besides mileage, it seems another tennant of the training system is to make all longer runs faster, at least at some point. I like that the book is filled with a variety of plans and at 21 different abilities. Norton and I stepped into it tentatively at level 11. The first workout was an easy 8miles at 2min/mile slower then 5k race pace. This is part of the alpha phase, similar to a base building phase, and we expect to be in this phase for 6-12 weeks.
Day 1 was not so bad, but results come from consistency, so tomorrow will always be a measure of your success. So to all of you working towards a goal, may you always have a better tomorrow.
The shirt describes my past ways... This is what I'm trying to change.
What a race today. There was 27,000 people running today's Sporting Life 10k, and you'd think that a race like that would get a somewhat favourable review from runners who were excited to be a part of such an event.
With a downhill course you could expect fast times. But that wasn't the only thing going downhill.
To begin with, arriving early to check a bag was a nightmare. There were only 2 trucks for 27,000 runners. People ended up swarming the truck and throwing their bags at the volunteers. I swear I could see the volunteers gasp for air beneath the pile up. To give you a comparison, during the New York City marathon of 48,000 runners, there are 48 UPS trucks that handle baggage! I'm not saying you need 27 trucks, but 2?
So that almost made many people miss the race start, present company included. But I did manage to find my spot in the corral 2 minutes before the gun so all was good.
The race itself was fast as expected. I was still recovering from the half marathon so I didn't expect to beat the Yonge Street 10k time I posted 3 weeks ago. The weather was much cooler, but ideal for a fast race, however, it brought its buddy a stiff headwind with it. So I finished in a ho-hum 37:19. The real star was Cameron Woo. Cam has been on a roll. First he dips below 20 in 5k a few weeks back, then he's challenging for overall place at the Game of Life 10k, and then today! He didn't just dip under 40 minutes for 10k, he dove down to 39:08! I wish I was that fast when I was 12.
So those were the highlights.
Next comes more sillyness in organization.
First the medals. Okay I'm the first one to say medals are stupid, but people really like them. However, from what my sources say, these medals had the wrong date printed on their ribbon, so 27,000 medals got a boring white ribbon replacement. Second, when I finish a race I expect to get my bag out of bag check in a hurry. It's one of my perks for running fast. Well at this race, I must have run too fast. The truck had not yet arrived with our stuff and I was left to shiver in my singlet. When the truck did arrive, I was put to work, many runners were, we banded together and helped the volunteers sort the bags to their spots. I think I made about 7 trips around the bag check area before I found my bag and got some warm clothes. Even though I'm complaining about it, it was kinda fun to help out, and a different type of cool down I suppose. Another complaint I heard, was that many runners ended up in a bottleneck at the finish and had to walk the last 20m across the finish. That is sure to piss off a few people.
I really hope they sort things out for next year, but I think I will come up with my own solutions for my bag if I run again.
So that is the report from race #454.
See you on a starting line soon!