Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sprinting the 55m: College Indoor Track Meet

Moving up a notch in the National Masters Track rankings. I'm presently 6th ranked nationally in my age group in the indoor 55m dash - with a 7.60 at the Sewanee Invitational last Saturday, 2/26/11.

My start was good but not great, and I'm happy to have run about the same time as I did at TSU more than 2 yrs ago. My weight was good, probably around 141 at race time. I was proud to be the oldest competitor on the track, and it's amazing that I actually beat 2 college sprinters at this meet. (If I were them, I'd hang it up). I did not train for this, so it gives me motivation to take it more seriously next year. My present speed is not trained ... just 'au naturale.'

I think there is room for at least a 0.35 improvement, maybe more. I need to do some serious lifting and resistance work begining late summer and then work on my starts and leaps with some explosive plyometric training. It would be nice to be able to be strong enough to do more actual sprinting so as to work on form, rather than just saving myself for the meets to avoid injury. The only complete 55m full out sprints I've done this year have been just in the 2 races.

This will be my last sprint race of the season, unless I get crazy and drive to Louisville on Fri.

The guy in the blue in the photo is Dezman Cage who ran a smokin' 6.37 in the finals to win the event.

This has been pure fun, nothing like the feeling of sprinting 100%.

Power and joy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Return to the track - competitive sprinting at age 50

This blurry video frame is from my 55 meter sprint race at the Tiger Invitational at Sewanee, TN, a college indoor track meet on 2/5/11. Obviously, I'm in third place here, running against college sprinters 30 years younger than I. I finished in a dead heat for third with a college runner who was behind me at this point in the race (just out of the frame).

It was my first sprint race in 2 years and my time wasn't as good as I had hoped for: 7.74. However, it was good enough for a national ranking of 7th in the USA Track and Field Masters for my age group. It's over a second slower than I ran at my peak of speed 32 yrs ago, and 0.15 slower than in '09. Amazingly, I was not the slowest sprinter at that track meet, but naturally, close to it.

It felt great. I'm so happy to be able to participate at my age. Sprinting full out on a nice track when everything is working is a great feeling. Unfortunately, at my age, I simply can't practice full out sprinting as much as I would like. I have to be cautious and save my legs for races.

I feel I can run much faster, and I regret not training for this. Perception is funny, it 'felt' like I was running faster, but the clock doesn't lie. The video shows I had a good start. If I had started training in October, I'm sure I'd be a few tenths faster.

A lot of it is weight control. The higher my body weight, the more stress on the body. It wasn't until just the past few weeks I was able to get down to my high school weight of 143 lbs. I was up as high as 160 just after Christmas.

Indoor track events are not very common around the south without having to drive long distances to attend. I'm happy to have discovered the Fowler Center track at Sewanee and hope to compete there again in 3 weeks. Sprinting is so much more fun than training and running 5K races, although 5K are really good for the heart, lungs, weight control and general health. 5K training however, is hard on the knees. Maybe I'll grit my teeth and run one 5K this year too.