by Dathan Ritzenhein | Feb 20, 2012 |
Now that I have my next race on the horizon, the NYC Half Marathon, let me explain how it fits into the grand scheme. Having been focused completely on the marathon the last couple of years, it has been two and a half years since I last raced on the track. I can’t believe the last time I was in spikes and racing was when I ran 12:56 in Zurich 2009! That being said, I feel I need to race a bit more. Back in ’06, ’07 and ’09 I raced a lot, 10-12 times a year. I also ran marathons in all three of those years. The bottom line is, I have to get back out there and compete more.
Therefore, after deciding US XC was too close to the marathon, I wanted to get into something that I could run with basic fitness and training. I think the half marathon is a great distance because it is essentially your tempo run pace as long as you can hold it. When I trained with Brad Hudson we always used 4.0 mmol as our threshold training. That just happens to be about what you can run for one hour. That is still the same pace for me now. After coming off the marathon and running the following weeks relatively easy, I am now just dipping into harder workouts. I feel the distance is good for me so that I don’t have to jump right into intense speed work but I can still run very well with my marathon strength.
Looking back at my most successful seasons, it is all about consistent training and staying healthy. My great season in ’09 started with a marathon cycle very similar to this past Olympic Trials block, fortunately for me I have much more time to get prepared for track this time around. That year I had nine weeks from the London Marathon until the USA Track and Field championships; the same amount of time from the Trials this year until the NYC Half which is now four weeks away.
Essentially I have three more months to prepare and I feel confident I don’t need to take some of the risks I took back then. Besides, this year will be long and I hope to go much later into the fall. There is another reason why we choose the NYC Half Marathon; it is familiar territory. Last year Galen and Mo both ran there and went on to have magical years. I will be coming at it from a strength background instead of having run indoor track like they did, but Alberto and I know exactly what path to take from March 18th to be as ready as possible for London 2012 and beyond.
So bring on NYC Half and the rest of 2012!