DIARY: Much to be excited about...

"I'm happy out," as they like to say in Wexford. Had the first of three days of easy jogging as part of my taper for Snowdon and it looks like I'll get a chance to meet Kenny Stuart while in England due to my Mud, Sweat and Tears connections. I'll be sure to write about it, readers we'll know he's a great inspiration of mine as I found the chapter on him in Feet in the Clouds particularly touching. Add to that he was probably the fastest out-and-out fell-runner in terms of athletic ability which his two 25-year old records at Ben Nevis and Snowdon attest.

I did a bit of thinking about speed myself today and looking at the fact that I've now lowered my own bar to 5:10 for the mile despite having very modest base speed on the sprint distances, I think it's time to toast to Lydiard again. Clearly, I'm simply using the modest speed that's there to the best effect because of the aerobic efficiency gained through the heavy base training.

There are plenty of sprinters out there who could put well over 20 seconds into me over 400m yet they would not be able to run as fast for the mile simply because they do not have muscle fibre composition or the aerobic training to effectively hold their speed for any significant amount of time. This should be comforting to any long-distance man out there who believes they have only modest speed: With proper conditioning and a balanced phased program whatever speed you have can be maximised. There's very little difference between the speeds I can run for the each classical distance (relatively speaking) and I think that's the sort of healthy aerobic profile that results from Lydiard's training programs.

My goal, of course, remains to run sub-33 for the 10k and hope to make the bar for the Danish team. Snowdon will answer a lot of questions of where I am at, but the autumn season will be full of opportunities as well. To run 33-minutes for 10k requires a mile time of around 4:37.

This sounds daunting, but I don't think it's as big a task as it looks: It's 2:55min/km pace or 17 second 100s. I'm quite capable of running 17 seconds for the 100s, I just can't do it endlessly. Some may start to do loads of strength training and endless repetitions of 100s with the aim of stringing together 16 of those and reach the time, but while some strength training will definitely make it easier on me to generate the speed, the more important part is just to keep increasing my aerobic base. At the moment my aerobic fibres probably contribute very little of the speed necessary to run 17 seconds for a 100m. But with a lot of years of training even the weakest of fibres can learn to run at this pace. And the bonus? Well, those fibres are up to 19 times more energy-efficient than other fibre-types, so will have no problem running 16 times the distance at that pace.

We've all got plenty of speed, it's the endurance to keep the pace that we lack...

Anyway, enough pre-race ramblings, just two more days...

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