Heatwave13's coming back to the track.....

Well, here we go. I’m about to begin training for some future open and masters events, particularly in the sprints and possibly the long jump. Now, you may be saying, "heatwave, what’s the big deal about that? Well, I’m starting over at age 32 (almost 33) and I haven’t run a single sprint since high school. I realize that I’m not 18 anymore, but I’m not exactly over the hill either. I want to be active, compete in something I always enjoyed, and see what can become of my ability and work. I want to see what I can do with some focused training, which is something I never, ever had before. Here is a very brief background:

I’ve always been naturally fast, but never harnessed my potential. In high school, I foolishly “trained” for track season by running cross country–that’s all, no sprinting drills or anything unless you count several reps of 400 meters a couple of times per week in “track practice” which amounted to running around a gravel oval surrounding a soccer field. The high school basketball coach was assigned to be our coach and he new little to nothing about track. I never properly trained to maximize my sprinting/jumping ability because neither I nor my “coach” new any better, nor did I know which sprint I would be best suited for. In spite of all this I ran the following times as an 18 year old:

55 meter–6.69
100 meter–11.3
200 meter–22.8
400 meter–51.xx
mile–4:23 (cross country split)
long jump–22’5"

Now, fast forward to 2002 when I got off the couch and began training in training the olympic lifts with a certified NCAA strenth/conditioning coach and competing in some local/regional meets. I quickly gained back strength and was pleasantly surprised. Our OL coach tested my vertical and it was 33 inches and he told me that I probably have a natural tendency toward sprints/jumps rather than endurance. I am interested in joining a local track club and training and even competing again to see what can become of my times with some proper training methods. I’m thinking maybe 200/400 or 400/800? FWIW, I’m 5’11",around 177 lbs., and injury free. The only training I do now is moderate strength training and running intervals sprinting/walking in my neighborhood. How would I begin a comeback? Am I crazy or what? My goal would be a sub 50 400 meter someday. Now, time to hit the track…

I suppose that before I begin this craziness that I should see where I stand to start with in order to measure progress. What sort of time can a slightly overweight, untrained thrity-somthing post in a 400 meter? I wanted to know this and I knew it would be painful but yesterday I went out to a local HS track and ran two 400 meter sprints at (I’m guessing) 80-90%. First 400m was done in 61.10----8 minute rest/walk----followed by a 2nd 400m done in 61.01 seconds. These were the first real sprints I have done since 1991 and I guess I’m fairly pleased with the times. I felt great for the first 150 meters or so then around 250-300m the proverbial “bear jumped on my back” and I was eaten up by lactic acid!! Keep in mind that I’m not really totally out of shape; I do some moderate run/walk intervals and moderate strength workouts–just no sprint exercises.

Now I suppose I have a baseline time in the 400m to work on. Within the next two weeks I may go out and try to get a baseline 200m time. Now, it’s time to do some ground work to get my future times down and ultimately, a sub–50 400 meter time. Who knows, I may even discover that I really enjoy 100/200/800m as well and I may want to set some short-term goals in these as well. Thoughts, opinions, and advice is welcome.

Last night I did some light hill work–mostly striding and form work with plenty of brisk walking in between. I am so sore from those 400’s I did on Sunday! Today (tuesday, I’m still sore as a mutha) but I plan on going out later this evening and doing my 8x100m workout. I can do this at a local HS track or in my neighborhood, where I have measured and marked out a 100 in a straight, flat part of the street. I’m so sore, it ain’t even funny, but I guess that’s what happens after 15 years of no sprinting. Essentially, it’s a different range of motion that my body will have to adjust to. Ya know what i’m saying?

Thursday, 9-29-05

Legs are beginning to feel a little better after a couple of days off. Normally, today is 8x100m but I decide to go out and just get in some conditioning. I ran intervals in my hilly neighborhood for 25 minutes. One hill is a steep, 350 meters that ran pretty hard and clocked 1:11 and 1:16 on two tries. Throughout the 25 min. run, I also threw in a few 50-60 yards bursts. Legs felt a little better; my body is starting to adapt to this.

Friday 9-30-05

Conditioning with kettlebell training–4 sets of 25 swings, 2 sets of 4 one arm snatches.

Sat. 10-1-05

My legs felt alright today, not 100%, but still ok. I ran 8x100m this afternoon with the fastest being 13.6 and the slowest 14.6. The discouraging thing is that these runs felt pretty hard for me. By this I mean that it felt as if I couldn’t go much faster. I guess the last 10 years of running intervals and 5k races have had their effect on basic speed. The good news is that my body feels as if I could adapt to 800m or mile training really easily right now.

This past week I did track workouts on Wed/Sat and did 800 jog warmup, stretch, then ran 8x100m again the fastest being 13.1 and the slowest being 14.5. These were done at around 80%. Power cleans were done on these track days 4x3 with a very light 70kg.

Sunday–power cleans 4 sets of 3; clean pulls–2 sets of 3 reps

Monday 10-10-05
25 minute run, which included 3 reps of my 350m, steep hill.

Kettlebell-swings and one-arm snatch

Tuesday 10-11 will be a rest day.

What is your purpose behind your 8x100m session … tempo recovery or aerobic conditioning? As well, what type of surface are you running on (track or grass).

Reason I ask is because 13-14 sec range may seem a bit fast. You may actually be crossing over into the intensive tempo range.

Doing them in flats on grass, is a lot different than on a track with spikes. You need do adjust your time accordingly, otherwise you may defeat the purpose of your session.

Food for thought…


I have been doing these track workouts on a nice rubberized track with my big, thick New Balance running shoes–the kind you wear during the local 5k fun run. As for my 100’s being too fast, I just don’t know. I basically started running these as a way to get used to moving fast again.

I’ve never been 100m event person, but maybe I should have tried to develop my skill there. Again, I didn’t even try to run track until I was 17 years old and we didn’t have any sprinting practice–no accelerations, no block starts, no technique. One reason I think I may have been able to develop my 100m was because, in my only 55m dash ever–cold turkey with no practice–I ran a 6.69, which isn’t great, but it’s something to work with at least. One mistake was running a full XC schedule, which may have defeated my purpose–but neither me nor my “coaches” new any better! It was old school style, “LSD to get in shape.” Who knows what I could have done with some proper training methods? Now, I have an opportunity to find out if my body will let me.

At this time, I can devote around 30-40 minutes per workout, that may not be much, but I have a full time job, two kids to look after, etc. Here are some GPP ideas that I hope to apply that address speed and conditioning concurrently:

  1. With me, less is more. I have a hard time with high volume. My body always responded better to lower volume/higher intensity.

  2. I have access to some decent hills in my neighborhood. The main one is a steady, straight, about 40 degree climb that is around 350 meters. I could do a 30 minute run two or three days per week, part of which will be running this hill 3x each time I do this run.

  3. Track workout two days per week. Start off by continuing the 8x100m that I’ve been doing, maybe slowly add in some 200m runs at 70-80%. Mix in some 60m accelerations also.

  4. Lifting–overhead squats (my favorite!!) and power cleans with at least my bodyweight and slowly add weight.

  5. Still deciding which events to focus on. How can I really know if I’m cut out to be 100/200m runner? As I have mentioned, I was sort of a hybrid runner. I ran as fast as high 22’s in the 200m and as fast as 4:20’s for mile when I was in peak XC shape. It just depended on the season and what I was doing at the time. Just based on my background (which did not include any sprint-specific training) I consider myself a 400/800 type but through the process I may discover that I enjoy and could be successful at 100/200 as well.

By all means, please feel welcome to critique and offer suggestions.


I could not make it out to the track today, so I had to just fit in a late night workout out in the streets of my neighborhood. The next street over from me has a flat stretch of pavement that I have marked off 100 yards.

-800m jog warm up
-10x80yards, with accelertions between 30-60 yards, cruising the remaining 20 yards.
-1x350m on that dreaded hill

I didn’t warm up properly and ended up slightly pulling my left quad muscle, so I had to run those last few 80yard reps at around 60-70% speed. One thing that is different now from when I was younger is that it takes a little longer to get thoroughly warmed up now.


Today is a strength training day so here’s what I did:

Power Cleans–4 sets of 3 with a light 73kg.

One arm snatch–4 sets of 3 with my 24kg (53 lb) kettlebell

Overhead Squats–2 sets of 3.

I’m easing back into the weights after a few months of very little weight training due to a rotator cuff injury. I left off with maxes of 170 kg in the deadlift and 165kg in the squat. The overhead squats caused some pain in the rotator cuff, so I abandoned these after two sets.

Just a thought you might want to do some rotator cuff work(provided your not doing physical therphy for it), If you don’t mind I’d suggest dumbbell external rotations and maybe dumbbell internal rotations at 3x10 with a light weight 2 times a week.

d nasty, yes, I do need to continue the rotator cuff work. I have been doing the exercises you mentioned for a few weeks now and am just now starting to see some improvement. Is it just me or does the rotator cuff seem so stubborn in improving and gaining strength? This is taking a looongg time to work through.


Today was a 30 minute run, which includes long intervals of harder running combined with easier jogging. Part of this run was 3 trips up that dreaded 350m steep hill that is part of this routine. I pushed pretty hard and, on the third trip up, my head was spinning and I swear I was hallucinating when I began talking to telephone poles and imaginary people. Stretching afterwards.


Speed/tempo day

NOTE TO SELF: don’t attempt speed work when you haven’t recovered from the previous day’s intense hillwork.

My legs felt like lead this morning. I staggered my way through 4x100m and 2x200m. These runs were about 75% but due to my leg fatigue, it felt like 110%. Sunday will be rest and monday will be weights.

My legs felt like lead this morning. I staggered my way through 4x100m and 2x200m. These runs were about 75% but due to my leg fatigue, it felt like 110%. Sunday will be rest and monday will be weights.

Personally I dont do any running/drills etc in training if It cant be done in reasonable quality. There is a fine line between training hard and training yourself into the ground.

Yeah, hence the “note to self” comment. Overall, I feel about the same as I did when I was a teenager, but one of the main differences now, is that 1) it takes longer to get warmed up, etc. and 2) I need one more extra rest day between intense workouts.

Out of necessity (2 young boyz to look after, job, etc.) I don’t have the tyme for high volume, therefore, this makes me believe that I must do shorter but intense workouts, in order to make the most of the limited amount of time I have to train.

Looking back though, I never really responded well to heavy volume, be it running or when I was competing in weightlifting. My body did best and gained the most when I did short, intense workouts. This would always baffle my weightlifting coach, who would become slightly aggravated with me when I would not show up for a workout, but I told him that my body isn’t made for long, torturous workouts. Once, I took two weeks and did nothing but chill out on the beach and party with my wife/friends, then I went back to the gym and nailed a pb in clean/jerk and snatch. From then on, the coach let me set my own workout timetable. Relating this to track/field you could say that my style resembles the Kim Collins method,lol.


After taking Sunday off, I felt pretty good (not great) and ready enough to go out a local high school track. Here is what happened today:

–800m warm up, easy run
–thorough stretching; I’m as flexible as a rubber band and can almost do the splits.

–8x100m; 2x200m

–The 100’s were run between 13.5—14.5 seconds with just a standing start (who really has blocks to practice with anyway?). I just kinda start off and try to build speed as I run down the straight. These were run in a fairly solid effort but it’s hard to say what sort of intensity these were in. For example, I have a hard time measuring what a 70% or 80% effort is, since i don’t really have a pr in this event. All I know is that I cruised through these and had something in reserve.

–The 200’s were done in 27-28 seconds each and I tried to focus on running the curve and holding my form to the end. I could tell that I was starting to tie up around 170 meters, even at a cruising pace.

I started off running in the only shoes I have for running, which are a big, thick pair of New Balance shoes, like you would wear for training for 10k road racing. They have the very thick soles. I have some “track appropriate” shoes on order from Eastbay. Those shoes were getting on my nerves so I decided to go barefoot for one of my 200’s and 3 of my 100m reps. Don’t worry, it was a rubber track and my feet felt fine. Later in the day, I did some kettlebell conditioning.

I’m getting a little better each week but I still have a looonnnggg way to go to be in the condition that I want to be in. I do have goals in mind that include being able to run a solid 100m/200m, sub 50 for 400m again and to be able to run an 800m like the Athens gold medalist in my avatar, lol! This is a slow process, but I love it.


800m warm up, in my neighborhood, including one trip up that wretched 350m steep hill.

Power Cleans–4 sets of 3 reps topping out at a medium 77kg. Still don’t want to push it yet on these.

Kettlebell–one arm snatches–4 sets of 4 reps.

Plyo’s with my 24kg kettlebell in hand made for some tough jumps.

Plenty of stretching.

Today was just a general fitness day. My lower back is hurting today due to something I did yesterday. I think my form got sloppy on my kettlebell exercises.

I did kettlebell swings with my 24kg k’bell–4 sets of 15.

Then, I did my 800m loop around my neighborhood. I actually ran the loop twice, including, you guessed it, two trips up that dreaded 350m steep hill. I ran hard up the hills and walked/jogged the in between. Overall, a good, short workout that didn’t waste me. I should be ready for tomorrow’s track workout.

Back to da track today. Today was fairly warm, 86 degrees and quite windy. Several of my reps were done directly into the strong wind, so my tymes were not good, needless to say.

–800m warm up

These were done between 13-14.5 seconds. Included within the 100m was a 30m “burst” or acceleration at near top speed (which sucks for me).

All I can say about these is–pathetic–

I feel so fricking slow, it’s embarrasing. The real pisser is that I feel like I’m trying really hard, yet I look at the fricking stopwatch and see how fricking slow I am, it’s very frustrating.