Way back at the beginning of the modern running movement in the 1970s, a New Zealand coach/guru named Arthur Lydiard was credited with the concept of LSD – long, slow distance.
Lydiard’s basic principles were founded on the idea a strong base, complete with high mileage (up to 100 miles per week), was the key to races of just about every distance.
It has worked well for some, not so much for others.
One of the drawbacks is the risk of injury. To compile mega-mileage weeks often leads to aches and pains which can sideline runners for significant periods of time.
Which is why Furlong native Katie Kinkead, one of the fastest female runners in Bucks County, runs only about 30 miles a week.
And yet she’s looking to not only establish new personal records in the mile (currently at five minutes flat) and 5K (17:12) this fall, but also crack the 60-minute mark at the Broad Street 10-Mile Run on Oct. 10 in Philadelphia.
The 2011 Central Bucks East High School graduate says she can get by on 30 miles per week because most of that distance consists of “quality’’ work.
How about eight to 12 400-meter repeats at 72 seconds?
“I’m trying to keep my mileage low just so I don’t get injured,’’ said the 28-year-old Kinkead, co-champion of this year’s Bucks 5K Series, in a recent telephone conversation. “I’m just sort of focusing on speed this year.’’
She incorporates some cross-training such as yoga to make up the difference. And she will do mile repeats at 5K pace as well.
“I’ve been kind of having a good time keeping my mileage low,’’ she said. “There’s less pressure, it’s more enjoyable. But on the days that I have workouts, I go really hard on them.’’
Kinkead can speak from experience when it comes to feeling less than a hundred percent. After her days at CBE, she ran a couple years at Syracuse University but wasn’t at her best due to injury. After graduation, she took about a five-year break from the track and cross-country course.
“The passion wasn’t there,’’ she said. “I was just going through the motions. It’s fun now. . .the workouts are easier. I guess the passion is back for it.”
Anything else that got her back into running?
Well, Katie’s border collie, Jett, needed a workout partner and she wasn’t going to settle for just a daily walk in the park. Plus, for Katie, there’s no longer the pressure of running for a high school or college.
“Part of the reason I’m getting back into it is I’m not thinking of it as a job,’’ she said. “It’s more like a hobby that I’m enjoying now.
“And Jett needs to run, she can run really fast.’’
After her success in the Bucks 5K Series, Kinkead signed up for the Bryn Mawr Running Company’s Mid-Summer Night’s 5K Series and dominated once again, turning in some brilliant times, including a 17:38 best.
She believes she has more in the tank.
And well she should. Back in her CBE days she ran that 17:12 and eventually took home a second-place finish in PIAA Class AAA cross country her junior year. Only Pennsbury High School great Sara Sargent beat her in that championship race (by a mere nine seconds).
As for her 17:12 clocking, it’s is still her target time to beat for the rest of 2021.
Because she’s not currently incorporating super long runs into her training regimen, she’s playing Broad Street a bit by ear. She certainly has the speed to break an hour. It’s just a question of endurance.
“If I can get it to about 58 minutes, I should be in the top 10 (overall),’’ she said.
On the horizon might be a sub-3:00 marathon. She’s already clocked a 3:05 without specific training.
Her dad, Jim (a current Newtown resident), was an accomplished runner so the bloodlines are in place. Katie’s younger sister, Jackie, ran in high school for CBE and college for Shippensburg.
Katie currently resides in Conshohocken but will be moving to the Washington, D.C. area due to her position with a financial technology firm called Fintech.
Even though Kinkead is moving away, she’s still considered one of Bucks County’s own. You can be sure a lot of people around here will be wishing her well in the quest for new personal records.
Saturday, Sept. 11
9/11 Heroes Run 5K, 9 a.m., Feasterville. Contact www.9/11heroesrunfeastervillepa.itsyourrace.com
52nd annual Mill Street Run, 8 a.m., Bristol. Contact www.runsignup.com