Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Really, How Bad Is a Doughnut for You?
What about Two?

As I feel the surge of sugar flow through my veins after a second maple frosted doughnut of the day -- lunch deserves a dessert, right? -- I'm starting to worry about the effects of two doughnuts today will have on my running. (The first one this morning was cream filled.)

Probably not much.

Chances are I'll burn off these zillion-and-a-half calories in the next month or so, but still I'm thinking about my eventual plan of attack for the Akron Marathon.

Last year, I was bound and determined to break the four-hour mark and dedicated myself to weekly track work. The result was a 17:48 PR, but about five minutes shy of my goal.

[Drunkard's note: Yes, this is the part where you groan and think, "Criminy, are we going to have to go through another seven months of him going on and on about beating four hours in the marathon again?" The answer is yes, it is.]

Sunday, while I was plodding down Quick Road at the beginning of my nine-miler, I had a flash of inspiration.

There were few cars on the road, but everyone of them seemed to be either coming from or going to one of the three or four park areas on Quick Road. These areas are mostly just large fields with giant hills, which are perfect for sledding.

In the summer, these areas are far less populated. And then I thought, "It would be a bitch to run repeats on those hills." Thus, my marathon training plan started to come into focus. Frank Shorter is often credited with saying, "Hill repeats are speed work in disguise."

As many of you know from my past whining, the Akron Marathon is a hilly course. From the Demonic Howard Street Hill at Mile 11 to the Bastard Garman Hill at Mile 22, your thighs will be in pain.

I hoped last year's focus on speed work would give my legs the strength they needed to conquer these hills, while giving me the speed to achieve my goal time. I now believe that I must fight fire with fire. If I want to be beat the hills, I need to run more hills.

When I compose my training schedule for my fourth crack at Akron, I will be including barefoot repeats on those gnarly hills. No ifs, ands or buts -- I will beat four hours in the marathon this year. And these doughnuts will be just a faded memory.


Midwest said...

I'm right there with you, Viper. I recently developed a speed workout I call Badass 800s, which feature a very steep hill at the end of each repeat.

Anonymous said...

Hills - they do a body good!

Psyche said...

I learned the hard way how important it is to match your training to the type of course you're running. You seem to be a fast learner. Maybe donuts are brain food. I mean, you ate the donut, you got a good idea. See how that works? Don't mess with science, man.

Caroline Novak said...

Yes leave those donuts in the dust and conquer those hills ... while the rest of us will be too drunk to complain about your ramblings regarding that pr thing! Hmm, now I'm craving a maple donut, thanks a lot!!!

C said...

I live in a wide flat valley. This ain't happening for me.

And now I have doughnuts on the brain. Again.

BrianFlash said...

Now you can bitch about hill work just like I've been doing. I've got only four more hill workouts between now and the end of May then I'm going back to the glorious flat track...

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Hills = good. I moved from Ohio to Florida 10 years ago and there are no hills. Now I wait for windy days. 30 MPH winds are like hills. ;)