Strength vs speed

Yesterday I was feeling pretty good. My elbow is back in order, so I was able to do heavy arms for the first time in nine months, topping out with 8 reps at 47 kg on the straight bar curls. My shoulder has recovered too, and while I’m not anywhere near my peak strength, that’s mostly the consequence of having to bench light for the last four months.

Today is another story. I didn’t like running into a few midfielders two weeks ago who could outrun me, and watching the national Under-15 team play recently was a reminder of how much of an advantage speed can be on the field.  So, I decided that running a few speed workouts might help me regain a bit of the speed I’ve lost over the two decades since I last ran track.

Back in college, our weekly speed workouts usually consisted of running 200 meters, walking 100 meters, jogging 100 meters, then doing it again. We ran them between 28 and 30 seconds; anything over 30 didn’t count and meant a do-over. An “easy” day was six, the worst was a punitive day in which we ended up running a hellish 15. That was ugly.

After jogging two warmup laps on the 400m track, I ran the first one.  It seemed okay, although I felt a bit heavy and was huffing and puffing a bit towards the end. Even so, I was a little shocked when I was informed that the time was 34 seconds.  So, after walking and jogging around to the far side, I decided to pick up the pace on the curve a little. 35 seconds. That one burned, both physically and psychologically. I tried to cruise the curve and kick on the flat for the third… and found I couldn’t finish without slowing down. I didn’t even bother asking for the time.

Now, it’s not like I’m utterly out of shape. I played 60 minutes in the midfield in last week’s game and was just starting to feel like I’m in game condition in our last practice. But I’m not sure that even if I had blocks, spikes, and the wind at my back that I could crack 30 now… and I used to do it in 22 seconds. Now it appears I can’t run three under 36 and it took about ten minutes for my glutes to stop burning.  About the only good sign was that my wind was fine; soccer appears to have helped in that regard.

We went home and told Spacebunny that I wouldn’t blame her if she wanted to trade me in on a newer model. Heck, I want to trade me in on a newer model.

Quote of the day: “It’s okay, Daddy. We can come back tomorrow and you can try again.”

I will try again. And again. I’m determined to get down to 30 seconds in the 200m (theoretically doable) and I’d like to get down to 12 in the 100m, (which may not be possible). But not tomorrow.  Most definitely not tomorrow.