Monday, January 21, 2008

Ready to fly again, coming out of a 30 yr retirement as a competitive sprinter

Times have changed, but hopefully, my sprint times won't have changed much from high school. Maybe I'm dreamin', but if I can run just a step or 3 slower than I did in high school in the 55m or 60m dash, I could be nationally ranked in my age group. These short indoor sprints, are and always have been, my race. Even more so than the 100m. I've always had an explosive start and quick reaction time.

Yea, I run 5Ks but, I'll never be in an elite class of competitors at that distance. Most good athletes with discipline can train for a distance race, but sprint speed is in the genes, either you have it or you don't. We're talkin' about % of fast-twitch muscle fiber.

Grant it, there are not a helluva lot of competitors for this event in my age group (45-49). The All-American standard for my age group in the 55m dash is 7.2. As a NYS Sectional Champion, I ran 6.5 (hand timed) in high school - (that converts to a 6.74 electronic time). Last year in my age group (M45), the national rankings of 1st to 5th in the 55m dash ranged from 7.27 to 7.47. Not terribly fast. I really have no idea how fast I am now. I feel fast, am in great shape from training for 5Ks, and I'm light - around 144 lbs, exactly my high school weight. But ... I've NOT trained to run sprint races and just found about about the Alabama USATF Masters Championship indoor track meet in Decatur, AL on 1/26. ("Masters" - btw means us old guys). So . . . I am entered in the 55 meter dash in this meet.

Well, I've gone whole hog. I bought a pair of Adidas Demolisher 2 sprint shoes, borrowed a set of starting blocks from MTSU track (thanks Coach Hayes!), and have increased my stretching a lot.





I've just become aware of new tech advances in sprint spikes - the ceramic 'christmas tree' spikes (see below). These are what the elite world record holders are using now. (Michael Johnson used them in his world record setting 200m). I'd never heard of them.


After one day of working with the blocks, my upper quads were too sore to run for a day. Sprinting I know is high risk of injury but I feel I can do it. Coming out of the blocks felt great, like I was spring loaded. If only I had been practicing gun starts for a month, I would be so ready ... but this first race will just be a benchmark for further improvement.



I'll eventually go back to running those painful 5Ks. They are really good for my overall health. But, when I can, I'm going to blast out of those blocks a few times a year and run my race.




I feel fast, but we'll see what the clock says next weekend. A lot of trouble for a 7 second race, but I am as excited as a kid in a toy store. I'm gonna fly.

5 comments:

Glenda said...

Best of luck, Bill.

My boys will be starting track practice soon. They run the 100, but I think they do better with field events.

Lisa said...

You go, Bill, Good Luck!!!!

Anonymous said...

William:

I've never been much for running (unless I'm being chased, then I can motor!) but I used to walk a lot when I was younger. I live on a fairly steep hill at the moment (I could not get in my driveway until the third try tonight--it was snowing and I slid right past it) and come spring I'm going to try to get back up to a 5mph walking pace. In the meantime I'm going up and down the stairs about 50 or 60 times a day while I work on the house.

Go for it. Did you ever run Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca? A friend's daughter ran Xcountry at Cornell and she told me that the entire team used to do that. It wore me out just walking up.

democommie

Anonymous said...

Don't get hurt....your brother

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