The long road back

Hello all,

I’ve finally gotten enough motivation to start training again. These last few months have been work, work and more work. Haven’t been able to save up enough to buy myself an olympic bar, rack, bench and weight, so that has really shot down my maintenance plans. I was hoping to at least be able to maintain strength during these hard times till I was able to get sprinting again. Of course none of that happened, and now I’m thin as a stick again, at 60kg. I’m 12kg under my peak weight, and the lightest I’ve been in 3 years, when I started doing weights.

I’m going to start off doing some track work 2 or 3 times a week, I assume I’ll reach the September-November competition period in decent shape. In 2002 when I started sprinting, with a similar program I was down to 23.5 in just 3 months of training a couple of times a week. On the days between track work I’ll do body weight circuits for my upper body and core.

2x(12 pushups, 20 abs)

Really feeling the “adaptation risk”, despite the fact I kept volume down to barely 2 sets. Today my pecs are sore.

Rested today. Will do another circuit tomorrow and go to the track for the first time on Tuesday.

First track session in months. Saw the new track at the HPC for the first time, it’s unbelieve to finally see it done. And to think if that track had been in place 2 years ago I probably wouldn’t have gotten injured.

Took it easy today :

That was it.

Will add volume and jumps progressively.


That was it. Already in my warmup accels I was feeling little tears all over my quads. So I did some long speed into a strong wind, to make sure I didn’t go too fast. I guess it will take a few more sessions before my musculature adapts to sprinting again.

Well, I can almost officially say I’m back on track. I’m beginning to feel the fuel driving me to push my body to its best again. I’m really getting determined on training well again. For the time being “well” will be 2 or 3 times a week, but I’m sure better times will come … and already this after a several month layoff feels like a rejuvenation of sorts.

Did hills for the first time in this new training phase yesterday.
2mins rest between 60’s, 5 mins between sets

Trained with my old training group, I was very suprised to see my ex-coach who is a die hard long to shorter, have made some significant modifications to his training program. This winter instead of loading up to death with slow volume work as always, he’s going to maintain his athletes “quick” throughout winter, looking for an ultimate peak in the October-November competition period and then only going back to a full fledged long to short loading phase in summer (December-March). He’s also focusing most of his loading in the gym and not the track this winter. For example up to now, his hills program would always start with something like 10x220m. for 3 weeks, then 5x220, 5x160, 5x120m, etc. going down to “short” 60 or 80m. hill reps towards the end of the SPP.

Reps are still a little too long and made this work be an int. tempo, probably 85% or so intensity.

Other news is that the coach will lend me an old barbell, some weight, an old rack and an old bench they are not using. Once I have that in my house I’ll quickly rebound in strength. I’ll work weights like a madman with a set in my house. Can’t wait to start getting up every day at 6AM to do weights. I could really feel the effect of losing strenght on the hill yesterday. I felt powerless and trawling up the hill as opposed to smooth and easy when I was strong. What’s weird is that I was feeling pretty fast in the track, both in accel and top speed. But up the hill I felt like I was going slow-mo.


I’m not feeling that slow, but I wonder if it’s just a thing of perception (unused to sprinting after such a long layoff?).

Tomorrow I’m going to run 200m. in a meet. I plan to run once a month till September to track my progress or lack of and hopefully get back in the groove. Next meet will be in cinder track in my old club on August 22. Weather is shit right now (light rain, temperature around 5-10ºC). Given the weather and my current lack of shape I hope I can break 25 tomorrow. It will be interesting. I actually wanted to do hills today but I was just too tired. As soon as I got off work midday, I fell asleep till around 9 PM.

Good luck in the meet!! :slight_smile:


Didn’t run, weather was way too crummy. I’ll be running in August for a meet. Anyway, I can’t seem to string together more then one or two sessions a week. Too much work.

Trained last Tuesday for the first time in a month. Or maybe I should say ran last Tuesday, because there really isn’t anything I’m doing I can call “training” as of late.


I have no idea how slow or fast I am right now. Not bothering to time anything and not really worried about it. I just enjoy any of the few times I’m able to do a few reps on the track as of late.

Hopefully I’ll run a few comps in starting in late September to November. Maybe 4-6 comps. Also, as always I keep hoping I’ll be able to train at least twice a week. My sessions for now will all look something like :
reps of 40 and 120
reps of 60 and 150
reps of 80 and 200
and if I get to string more then two sessions a week my third session will probably be 4x150 or 3x200.

:slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Managed to spare enough time for a workout yesterday. I almost also went to the track Tuesday, but I couldn’t make it on time. It was so frustrating. I had to deliver something for work in that part of the city but the client bogged me down, first waiting for him to free himself up from a meeting, then when I was finally seeing him he got like 20 calls to his cell phone. I was getting red mad inside about losing my chance to go to the track despite the train on the way back passing 8 blocks from the track. I had to suck it up and go back home afterwards. The track closes at 8PM and I had lost over an hour in delays with that client. I didn’t have enough time left anymore. :mad: :mad: :mad:

Anyway. Yesterday I did finally get to go to the track. Work is lighter now, so unless I have more episodes like Tuesdays I’ll be making it 2 or 3 times to the track per week.

Yesterday :

6xblock starts 10m.

I’m as light as a feather right now and I can really feel it on the track. I’m down to 60kg. I feel like I used to feel when I started back in 2002 and ran 23.5 straight off in my first 200m.
I think with 2 or 3 sessions a week I might get in the mid 11/ low 23 range by December at least. I’ll be running a 100 this Saturday. I hope I can run under 12.5. 12.1-12.3 would be real good for my first race back. After this I’ll be aiming to better my time at least a tenth in each race. I feel pretty quick but my speed endurance and glycogen reserves are virtually inexistent/untrained. In particular by the last 40 rep I was burned out for accelerating and in the last 120 I hit a wall with about 80m. into it. I could barely make it the last 40m. But if some type of speed is still in place it doesn’t worry me. Speed endurance gets better very quickly while speed doesn’t.

4x20m. accels on grass
3x2 hurdles hops
3x2 up-down circuit with boxes

I’ve managed to pull two training sessions in a row together for the first time in half an year or an year I think. Been close to the track these days and managed to slip in some time. I hope to slip in another session on Thursday. Then this weekend is the “Metropolitan Champs” where I’ve always had good luck, so I’m certainly going to run. Then the Oct 15-16 weekend is the National Cup of Clubs so I guess I’ll run there too and hope to run some more meets later into the year in November.

Yesterday :


Felt damn good, but I guess that had a lot to do with the 5mps assisting wind :rolleyes: The 150 felt easy not like that other day I couldn’t even make it to 120. I guess the wind was pushing me down the straight.

Three training sessions this week. This is some type of record.

The bad news is I got an adductor pull. From the first block start today I was already feeling it, but I decided to continue. I hope I’ll be fine for Saturday.

4x10m. blocks
3x30m. blocks (5.2, 5.1, 5.0)
1x60m. blocks (7.5)

Looks like 12.1-12.3 is in the works.

Ran 100m. today.

12.28 or 12.38 couldn’t see well what it was. Didn’t get the wind reading either. Regardless I’m very happy with the result this is better then what I was expecting. And I was STIFF from Thursday. My hamstrings were like rocks through the warmup and into the race. I was definitely feeling the effects of the hard session on Thursday. Still was feeling a slight pull in my adductor. Right now I’m in sub 12 territory well rested. Things look good. I’m beginning to get motivated. I think I can get down again to 11.5/23 for sure by December.

I’ll be running 200 tomorrow. Don’t know what to expect. I hope I make it to the line in the first place :smiley: . Sub 25 would be good. More then 25 would be embarrasing. I’ve never run worse then 24.3 I think. Hell the first 200 I ran in MY LIFE was 23.5. Go figure. Why the hell am I so slow now. I do know I don’t have the competitive fire I had 3 years ago where I’d run my heart out every race and was obsessed with bettering my times. Now I’m too relaxed and approach each race as a fun experience. I really can’t figure out how to get my competitive fire back. I’m trying to set targets with individual people, like “I have to beat x”. Mostly new guys from my club who I don’t even know. It kind of embarrasses me that they’re in better shape then I am when if I had been able to keep on training I’d be running all over them.

The hardest thing for me this Cross Country season was going and training at my own level, even though a bunch of guys I used to beat were running very well. It takes a lot of willpower and courage to train at your own level. And then taking it to the next level and setting tough but achievable goals is really awesome.

Couldn’t get the time for today’s 200. I only have 25.3 manual from someone that timed me. It was horrible. I had never died like this in my life. I was already like 10 meters behind entering the straight and 3 guys in my heat ran close to 22, they all pulled 20m. more away from my in the straight, it was an absolutely horrible and hopeless feeling. I’m not very worried though. I see I did too much this week after doing nothing for months. I was already stiff and aching on Thursday and did a hard session. Yesterday I was stiffer, and today I was just wrecked. I couldn’t move. My hams were like rock and all my other muscles felt fatigued and out of gas. I was probably lucky I didn’t injure myself.

Now I won’t do anything till Wednesday at least. I’ll do one session this week only, probably Wednesday or Thursday and then run again next weekend, 100 on Saturday and 200 on Sunday. I need to supercompensate this beating my body has taken this week. I’m sure I’ll run under 12 and close to 24 adequately rested.

I shouldn’t have trained Thursday. But after not being able to train for so long just having the opportunity to train I was too happy to train tired and injured. I didn’t use my head. I’ll now have to start using my head if I want to better these times and not get injured.

I’ve trained about 2 times each week and ran in several races in the last month. I’m beginning to feel real good on the track. I did miss a whole week of training 3 weeks ago, I had surgery on a finger. :frowning: That kinda upset my progress, but I hope to keep training/competing 3 times a week.

My results so far this competition period : :frowning:

October 8
12.38 (+2.0) 4h1

October 9
25.63 (+1.7) 3h2

October 14
25.72 (+1.7) 7h4 :o

November 13
25.34 (-1.1) 7h2

But things aren’t as bad as these numbers indicate. The first two 25’s in 200 were due to overtraining for two weeks after not doing anything for months. I was stiff and aching in both those races. Then the 25.34 this weekend wasn’t that bad. The weather was horrible. The times were horrible not just mine. All my friends ran at least a second worse then their PB’s. I’m capable of low 24 right now without a doubt. This weekend I’ll run 100 and 200. I think I can run around 24 flat in a good race right now. In 100 I have no idea. I could run anywhere between 11.60-12.00. I’ll surely run at least many tenths of a second faster then 12.32 a month ago.

I’ll be competing till mid December when the season ends. I think I defintely have a shot at getting a new 100m. PB by then and getting back to 23 flat in 200m.

1x250m. (submax)


Looks like you’re making progress, brah. Keep plugging away for a new PR. I’m in kinda the same boat as you coming back from a long layoff–except my layoff was much longer and I’ve got 10 years on you :slight_smile: . Go get those PR’s!

Blocks 2x10m.
Blocks 2x30m.
Blocks 1x10m.
Blocks 1x30m.


Shortened the original session, which was supposed to be 3x50, 2x80 and 2x120. I did too much on Tuesday, I mixed up the workouts I was supposed to do and did like 2 days in 1. I’m back with my first coach from 2001-2002, but I don’t do exactly what he says, I “CF” the workouts a bit.

Felt great anyway. I’ll do great this weekend. I know it. I haven’t felt this good in years. I feel light and fast as I used to back in 2002, and I feel better each day at top speed. And the really important change is that I’m beginning to feel hungry … that’s what’s been missing for a few years.

Target this weekend :
100m. 11.50-11.80
200m. 23.90-24.30