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.

1 comment:

Old Man and mid pack runner said...

hurts even thinking about trying to go that fast. 5k's hurt to though. maybe we'll get to compete in 5k come spring time.