I want to be the next Kevin Miller! ...but have miles to go.
A place for those of us over 40 to share their thoughts about running, racing or just life in general, as well as training plans and ideas. These discussions are open to runners of ALL levels.

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Carrotchaser
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I want to be the next Kevin Miller! ...but have miles to go.

by Carrotchaser » Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:17 pm

This June I turn 48. My goal is to be a highly competitive miler in the 50-54 age group. Like Kevin I've been away for sometime after running in HS (1:57/4:23 for 800/1600)and some in college (26:20 8k CC) and have struggled to get to a place where I can train 25-27 days per month...a two and a half year process full of minor set backs and finding a stride that is sustainable long term. My weight is about 145 and I'm just under 5 foot 9. Last year was a bit of a breakthrough because I averaged about 3 weeks of training per month and had only one minor set back...I have calf issues from time to time but no more Achilles Tendonitis which plagued many a triumphant return.

I recently purchased the Build Your Running Body book and I love it. It's full of valuable info and I'm attempting one of the 12 week training programs. I want to run a decent mile time in early to mid June. I have decent speed somewhere still inside of me...I hope. My 1500 PR is 3:58 from my one and only full track season in college. Hamstring problems began to occur and I was done. My road 5k PR is 15:45/10k PR is 33:50 and are both from the mid 1980s. My last fast as race as a young man was 56:20 for 10 miles in 1991. After that I ran here and there with a race or two and even a marathon for good measure but nothing sustained for more than 6 months.

Last June I ran 5:29 (sea level) for the mile with most of my speed work consisting of 6x3 min at 5k effort with 2 min recovery along with some build ups after some runs. I had some decent long runs which ranged from 9-12 miles. I live and train at 4500 feet so not sure what role that plays either in my prep. I probably averaged about 35 miles a week in the few months leading up to that race. Recently I ran 20 flat for 5k at sea level...1 above zero temp...brrr! I followed a six week 5k plan fairly close..some at altitude and the last half at sea level. I was traveling a bit so my base training in the fall suffered prior to my implementation of the six week race plan. I'm currently running about 45 miles a week (and building) and my plan is to run 1-2 mile races prior to the one in June.


So enough about my background and my current training status. The book has an assortment of six week race plans. The 5k plan is as close as I can find for a milers plan. Do I just transition from the 12 week training plan into a six week plan? Should I adapt the 12 week plan at all for my goal race? I'm looking to adapt a six week 5k race plan into a milers plan as well. Because I'm a master should I make any adjustments? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :)

Tinman
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Re: I want to be the next Kevin Miller! ...but have miles to

by Tinman » Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:26 pm

Carrotchaser,

I am glad you have big goals!

I will send an email to Kevin and ask him to offer suggestions to you.

Take care,

Tinman
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Carrotchaser
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Re: I want to be the next Kevin Miller! ...but have miles to

by Carrotchaser » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:11 pm

Thanks!

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Re: I want to be the next Kevin Miller! ...but have miles to

by kevinm » Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:25 pm

Carrotchaser,

I'm glad to see your primary focus is long term. I think one of the advantages we have as masters runners, is the ability to look back on our mistakes as young athletes, and make more realistic goals. Patience is a key element, which I didn't possess as a young runner. I've always had a good work ethic, and that is what always got me into trouble. I was way to aggressive. I didn't have a good grasp of the various intensities of training that would make up a solid training program.

When I started running again (walk/jog), after a 13 year layoff, I was pretty pessimistic, about my chances of being able to run more than 20 mpw. For the first year, I was super cautious on the distance and intensity, and wasn't really to worried about running fast races. I was shocked to experience injury free running. It wasn't until I starting training to race fast, that I had some issues. That is where having a good coach comes in. Someone who knows your background, strengths and weaknesses, and can come up with a plan that brings you along at the right intensity, with a more objective perspective. When I hired Tinman, my workouts actually became easier as far as intense running. For the first couple of months, I wasn't sure this more moderate way of training would work, particularly for shorter distances like the mile and 800 meters. But I knew this type of training was sustainable for a long period of time, so I wanted to give it a shot. Between three and five months after hiring Tom, my time dropped significantly. It was surreal. I am still amazed with the concept of how running more easy miles, along with very controlled CV pace, tempos, and sprinkling in some fast striders, can create such an improvement compared to running more intense race pace (mile & 5k intervals) in practice.
So, as I see it, you have a couple of options:
1) Read through previous posts on this forum. This is one of the best, if not the best forum on training/racing. Most of the participants here are very knowledgeable and have been implementing the "Tinman" training for quite a few years, and have great insight to the details to this way of training. I usually check this forum out a couple of times per week, just to stay fresh with the concepts. Many of the posters, are coaches and/or personal trainers. Do this option, if you want to race fast!
2) Hire Tom as a coach, and let him figure out a customized plan, and guide you through the process. Reading about some of the concepts, and implementing them are two different things. At the very least, do this until you understand how to train with the correct intensities, and understand some of the details behind Tinman training. For me, I never could have transitioned to this kind of training without someone to lay it out for me. I just wouldn't have had the discipline to believe it would work in the long term. I probably would have tried it for a couple of weeks, and gradually transitioned back to the more intense way. This is always my choice, as worrying about a training plan seems like to much work, especially when trying to balance family/work/running. Do this option, if you want to race REALLY fast!

BTW, my first mile back after the 13 year layoff was 5:44. 800 was 2:35. 5k was 21:50. I was 46 at the time, so your ahead of where I was at the time!

Good luck,

Kevin

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Re: I want to be the next Kevin Miller! ...but have miles to

by kevinm » Sun Jan 18, 2015 1:54 pm

Carrotchaser,

I missed the obvious third choice, which is what your already doing. Use the book as the bases for your workouts. I haven't studied the workouts, but I did glance at them. They are just templates and are pretty generic, and don't take into account your specific circumstances. This isn't a bad option either, but you won't get as good results by following this approach. I do have a question for Tom. Are these generic workouts 100% your plans, or is it a combination of you and Magill? I'm looking at the Intermediate--Competitive runners plan, and it seems to have a lot of 5k pace training, which is a much more intense pace than I usually train at. My training seems quite a bit different than these workouts, and I'm not sure if they are 100% Tinman workouts. And that is definitely a consideration. My impression is that Magill trains in a more intense way than I do (More 5k pace/mile pace). Anyway, Carrotchaser, regarding your specific question about the 6 week plan and 12 week plan... I'll let coach respond to that aspect, as he is the expert in that regard.

Kevin

Carrotchaser
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Re: I want to be the next Kevin Miller! ...but have miles to

by Carrotchaser » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:28 pm

Well thank you for taking the time to give such a thoughtful response Kevin. I think the forum here is so informative. The good news for me I guess is I've never had an issue with slowing down in my filler runs. I probably get a little eager in some of my speed work but my body let's me know quickly that I'm going too hard. I'm glad you brought up the training plans in the book because I have the same questions. Specifically with the 1500/5k effort workouts. If going slower for those works is best heck I'm all for it! I know Tom and Pete have differences in approach in particular areas which clearly is common in the running community and great for the sport. I personally function better with the 10k effort stuff so I would be interested in hearing Toms thoughts on the subject concerning the training plans as well.

I'm certainly considering all three options and really would like to be coached. I'll have to look at ye ol budget and see what I can do and the best time to do it in terms of my goals for this year. Thanks again for the response and I look forward to getting better as I edge closer to 50.

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Re: I want to be the next Kevin Miller! ...but have miles to

by Tinman » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:21 am

When we wrote the book, Pete asked me to write training schedules. I did that. And then, because he had final say, he went through and revised the schedules. He had the final say and I had to live with it. I don't hold bitter feelings about the revisions or anything like that because I understand that's how projects work.

As Kevin described, I do not prescribe a lot of high intensity training because I strongly believe it's unnecessary in the vast majority of cases. People whom I have coached using this method have succeeded at high levels.

As a current example of how my method is used successfully, Joan Hunter is presently using it with her son Drew, and Ciara and several of her athletes. Drew just ran a 4:13.53 for the mile indoors. Joan will tell you that Drew has done no hard training at all. Nothing but CV, a modest amount of hillwork, and striders, along with easy distance. And he had 10 days off after the cross country season in mid to late December. He was a top 5 footlocker finalists. Ciara was one of the top 30 at Footlocker. She was unheard of a year ago.

The Taye brothers from Massachusetts used my method. Lauren Saylor of CA used my method and was top 20 at Footlocker. There are many others who have use my method successfully because their coaches have consulted me many times to get the details or write training schedules for them. They have won state championships, some were second or third or even top 10, even though they never even made it to state before. This doesn't even clount all the numerous Masters champions. I coached Tore Axelsson from Sweden who broke several national records, was the European champion in two events, and then world champion two events.

I coachef Andrew Duncan to several national titles. I coached Kevin Miller to several national titles. I even coached Sous O'Sullivan for a while because her career with basically over, following a series of injuries, and she wanted to revive her career. (She was silver medalist in the Olympic Games in her prime and two times the world cross country champion.)
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Carrotchaser
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Re: I want to be the next Kevin Miller! ...but have miles to

by Carrotchaser » Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:11 pm

Thanks for the clarification. I know the obvious choice so I'll look at what I can do to make that happend sooner than later. I've followed your athletes for the last few years and in particular Kevein because of the similarities we have in circumstance. I enjoy the type of training you offer although I never have practiced it long enough to gain the full benefits.

I appreciate the responses fellas and look forward to the process. Maybe I'll see you at an event down the road. I'll be in touch Tom.

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