Stretching to go for a run myself, visiting my wife's parents in Indianapolis. Think I will throw in a surge about the 12 minute mark on the run!
What is difficult, for me, was to peak early in the season, and then try and hold that peak. In 1983, I ran 13:19 to finish 3rd in the Oslo 5k, won Stockholm 1500m, and then 2nd behind Steve Scott in the mile, PR 3:50.59 at age 23, first season out of college. Problem was the 1st World Champs in Helsinki were in August. I was able to win again in another race in Stockholm in late July, but did not make the 5k World champ final. John Walker had thought that after seeing me run 3:50, I could medal.
1985- won the US champs on a kick, but was flat by late July. 1986- ran 3:49.80 PR in Oslo around the 4th of July, yet 7th in Rome for the Grand Prix final. I stayed in Europe 78 days that summer, thinking that was the answer to run fast in September. To run 3:52 in September is not bad - but it was "hanging on" to run 3:52, to looking around and trying to win.
Changed coaches in 1987 to Mike and Ken. Won the US champs with a 53 last 400 in Sacremento. But knew based upon the training, that I had not peaked. Did not peak until late August. I remember running a 1000m in London against Cram and Pat Scammel, finishing 3rd, and having no leg speed towards the middle of August. Yet, winning the bronze medal at the Worlds in September, 4:52.44 for the 2000m (John Walker in the race :) ), and 2nd to Peter Elliott in the Westminister Mile.
Has AW been running 200's in 24 in practice over the last 3 weeks? Or, running 26.5-27.5? I used to think (1981-1986) that you had to run 24's in practice, or 51's for the 400, to be ready to race. Problem, the system you are working is lactic acid tolerance/speed, and your body then moves to peak. In 1992, I did not run a 200 under 26 until after the Olympic Trials on June 20th, and I think the date was in early July. And was I sore after this workout in London, which carried into the Nice 1500 where I was 5th in 3:33.
When I trained fast, I started my peak, and raced fast early in the season. When I trained for pace in a mile race (57 400 pace), I was able to race well early on, and most important to me, peak at the right time of the season. The concern is that you will not be as sharp to qualify, and like 1988, I did not make the team. 4th in the US champs in 1991, 3rd in 1993 US champs, etc.
How about it? 3rd in the US champs behind Bill Burke who won, and 5th at the World Championships in Stuttgart. I had to ask myself before the season started, what was my goal? Even when 1988, 4th in the trials and 3:31.01 on August 28th is in your mind, and the dissapointment of that season.