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Archive for November 14th, 2008

Very motivating

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A long-time runner and well-known blogger, Bald Runner is known to have great ideas about what direction track and field should take in the Philippines. After the poor showing and under-representation in Beijing, he basically felt he has had enough. Rather than wait for the officials to do something (which in the Philippine bureaucratic maze is almost never), he has initiated a grass-roots campaign to establish a stable-system for runners with great potential.

His recent post about the Team Bald Runner’s performance at a meet is an eye-opener. Many, many athletes over there are just hungry for any opportunity to compete. As such, Bald Runner has been able to attract at least a dozen athletes to his campaign. These are possibly the best athletes in the Philippines.

The issue is really sponsorship and allowing the pooling of opportunities to make these athletes reach their potential. For lack of resources, many promising runners end up going to work in order to survive. For lack of challenges, how can anyone reach world-class levels?

The task now is to keep this grass-roots campaign going. If it is to reach its goal, the leadership provided by Bald Runner will no doubt be a tremendous help. But it’s going to take much more than that. First, sponsors are badly needed. A system is being set in place to allow resources to get there. Second, some support from the government that will allow initiatives like this to thrive will encourage athletes. Third, the nation has to throw its support behind it as well.

I am now situated elsewhere, but I have to say this project speaks to me in so many levels. I love running. And I also want to see the potential of the Philippine athlete presented in the world stage. I want to see the 75-million strong nation produce world-class athletes as well as it produce world-class professionals. It doesn’t seem right to say that we only produce brainiacs over there.

Good luck on this grand quest, Bald Runner!

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I’m currently reading the book.  Many have used this book, with varying degrees of success.  If one isn’t careful, it can also lead to setbacks.

I guess I’m shopping for a plan to get me to my present goal.  I already am in possession of several plans that the RRCA manuals recommend, but I’m reading this book to see if any of its applications apply to me.

It amused me to see the classification he had for four types of runners: 1) talented, and motivated; 2) talented, but lazy; 3) not much talent, but highly motivated; and 4) not much talent or motivation.  Thanks goodness I belong squarely under type 2!  I just don’t know at this point how to efficiently get to reach my potential while ensuring that no setbacks occur in the process.

One thing that he did say struck me as true.  Many coaches and runners go through exercises without knowing what these are for exactly.  I often go to track practice, and find the many combinations similar in nature.  It’s like all interval training–week after week.  I want to be able to explain why I’m doing what I’m doing, or making anyone do.  For example, the LSD runs I do with my informal marathon group–that is a sound training regimen for a first trip into 26.2, but it won’t be appropriate for more highly skilled runners.  At least at this point, I can explain why it is important and can answer the questions that naturally come after as a result.

More impressions as I go along.

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I just formulated my next lofty goal. I think it’s time. I’m ready for it.

I want to go after a sub-3 hour marathon in 6 months!
I want to go after a sub-3 hour marathon in 6 months!
I want to go after a sub-3 hour marathon in 6 months!

I can do a sustained 6:30 at 5K race pace. I can approach 6:00 at sprint pace. So arriving at a 7:00 marathon pace is not a tall order, given what I know now. I can just take my time to build up to it slowly.  Come to think of it, I’ve hit 6:40s to 7:00 in some half marathons and marathons too.  Long Beach, Virginia Beach, San Jose, and San Francisco come to mind.

I will formulate a 6-month plan with the coach, making sure that I get a lot of base miles in between now and February. After that, there will be a lot of tempo running. So by April or May, the goose will be cooked and we will be ready to do battle.

I will outline what needs to happen between now and then. In the meantime, I’ll start bumping up my training miles again!

So exciting!!!!

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