A couple of nights ago, Ellie and I got home from our travels just in time to catch Usain Bolt dominate the 100-meter sprint final. I have been thinking about that race a lot since I saw it; I guess I was just blown away by how strong they ran it. I’ve really focused on distance as my primary goal, and speed has been completely secondary. As I’ve lost weight, my speed has increased by a couple of minutes per mile, but nothing too drastic. To see what is possible in terms of raw power and speed has kind of been an eye-opening experience and got me to thinking . . .
I’ve been wanting to supplement my running with some weight training to get stronger in general. In thinking about it, a quote from Born to Run by Christopher McDougall has stuck with me, “Before the Tarahumara run long, they get strong.” The Tarahumara, for those of you who haven’t read or heard, are a small group of natives in the Copper Canyons of Mexico, who are capable of running extremely long distances. Getting stronger and more powerful will not only help me with running distance but it will also increase my speed.
A lot of people say that they aren’t distance runners, that they are sprinters. More power to you guys! After looking at Usain Bolt’s training program, I am happy to say that I am a distance runner first and foremost. The amount of weight training, resistance training, and sprint intervals required to be a sprinter is insane. I found this video of Bolt explaining how he runs the 100 meters . . . pretty awesome and inspiring. I think it is time to add some speed work into my diet.