A sobering workout

February 20, 2007

My training and racing plans have changed somewhat since I last summarized them. It turns out that I have a job interview in New Jersey on March 2nd, putting me in the general vicinity of the USATF 50K road championship to be held on Long Island on March 4th. The limited prize money offered at this race (e.g., $150 for 1st place) isn’t likely to draw a super-duper elite field; last year, Jason Saitta claimed victory with a respectable 3:05:59, but 2nd place was 3:22. Since there is a $350 bonus for breaking Saitta’s course record, my plan (pending the cooperation of my competitors) is to win with a time of, oh, 3:05:45 or so. If I can indeed cruise to an uncontested triumph, I should recover quickly enough to be in top form at the USATF 100K championship on April 7th.

Speaking of the 100K, I had originally hoped to run it at an average pace of 6:25 per mile. Then came Saturday’s workout, at which I tried to run 6:20s for 41.5 miles over moderately rolling terrain similar to that of the race. I felt fine while accompanied by Scott (miles 3 to 25) and Uli (miles 7 to 36), but the last five miles were disastrous, and I wound up averaging 6:22 rather than 6:20. Before (or while) you mock me for my melodramatic perfectionism, note that my average pace would have suffered a lot more had I run any further. And that’s a concern, since I had wanted to average 6:25 for the full 100K race. Guess I’d better shoot for 6:30s instead.

All in all, this world domination thing is shaping up to be less straightforward than I’d thought. Damn.

* * * * *

Revised schedule:

Jan. 28: 36.6 miles in Seward Park at 6:23/mile pace

Feb. 11: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em 5K (1st place, 15:15; won a box of chocolates)

Feb. 17: 41.5 miles in Seward Park at 6:22/mile pace

Mar. 4: Caumsett Park 50K

Mar. 22: final long run (25-30 miles at 6:25/mile pace)

Mar. 31: 5,000-meter run at Spring Break Open track meet

Apr. 7: Mad City 100K


  1. Not that I'm in any position to give advice here, but I would guess that the combination of a taper (I'm assuming you did the Saturday workout after a full week) and a few more weeks of progress would get you much closer to your goal pace. That being said, starting at 6:30 pace and working it down if you feel good might be a good way of splitting the difference.

  2. Congratulations on the job interview Greg. Where's it at? Rutgers? Drew? Someplace else?

  3. Jem: Keep guessing….Mike: I don't really disagree with anything you said, but I'm not sure that a few more weeks and a taper will buy me 20 extra miles at the same pace. Before my last 100K, I promised myself that I'd stick to my (possibly too conservative) pace plan for the first 50K, and then I'd allow myself to pick it up if I still felt fresh at that point. (Which didn't happen, by the way.) I'll probably do the same thing this time.

  4. Princeton? College of NJ? Rowan? Rider? Farleigh Dickinson? Kean? Seton Hall? New Brunswick Theological Seminary? (just kidding about that last one)

  5. Good luck Gregg! You can do it…maybe I'll see you sometime between now and then and will be able to run with you for a few miles.

  6. I'd say stay conservative. Looking at most competitive 100k's 90% of the field goes to pieces after 46-50 miles. Even great runs like Bernd Heinrichs 6:38 USA champ run in 1981 had him running 5 x 10 mile loops in 1:01-1:03 and then doing the last 12 miles in 1:28.My questions is…Is Jurek or Uli running the 100K in April too? It'd be nice to have some help sharing the pacing duties.

  7. Ok yes I must mock you! :)Mock, mock, taunt, taunt. I am happy if I can do 8 minute miles on a flat surface, let alone when I am on the trail. But I enjoy it so I do it, and I have no pretense of world domination. Good luck.

  8. Greg, some very impressive running! looks like you are in excellent form for both races. The addrenaline will override those extra 2 seconds per mile. I'm a Wisconsin boy so I'll be rootin for ya!train smart-Wynn

  9. Greg (not Crowther, the other Greg),Scott IS planing on running the 100k on April 7th as well, but doing a 100k 8 days before Boston just wouldn't leave enough time for recovery for me.Besides, those 30 miles with Greg at 6:15 – 6:20 pace pretty much whiped me out. Don't know why… today I ran 15 miles at 5:12 pace and felt a lot better. So, I wouldn't be ready for a 100k anyway.Uli

  10. Jem: Princeton? I wish! Your knowledge of New Jersey schools is impressive and yet, in this case, inadequate….Greg: Although Jurek will be at Mad City, he and I have different time goals, so we won't be of much help to each other pacing-wise.

  11. Wow, You , Scott, and Patrick Russell all running (and Uli is still doing that fast marathon stuff). Its going to be very exciting. I would love to be able to run /watch it. Any thought to running a slower paced but longer timed run (say 7:30 pace for 7 hours) enstead of another fast 30+ miler? I have always found races get really TOUGH at almost the exact minute of my longest long run in terms of time on the feet. Anyway, keep it up and know that you and Patrick have not only inspired me to step up the training, but also start my own blog.

  12. Okay Doogie, I give up; where the heck is your interview?And good luck in the race, too–could be a rare double if you get the job and win the race!Cheers,Jem

  13. Greg C: You say,> Before my last 100K, I promised myself that I'd stick to my (possibly too conservative) pace plan for the first 50K, and then I'd allow myself to pick it up if I still felt fresh at that point.Looking at the splits from said 100K, you did a remarkable job of maintaining a consistent pace. I wager that if you compiled an all-time list of ratios, (second 50K time)/(first 50K time) for 100K races under seven hours, that you would have one of the lowest ratios ever. I think you're wise to consider the implications of your training run performances and wish you another good, even performance at your upcoming 100K.Balto

  14. To Greg Loomis, regarding the slower-but-longer run idea: Before my first two 100K races, I focused on running lots of miles (with back-to-back runs, etc.) without worrying about pace. Both of those races ended badly. Since then I've done the long runs at race pace, with better results. Your approach makes some sense, but for me, it doesn't seem to work that well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: