Thursday, 31 May 2018

Post marathon thoughts and training.

Hey friends,

Sorry for the delay but life gets busy and I just didn't find the time to sit down and write a post. I figure now is as good a time as any. I'll chat briefly about my marathon, talk about how training went after and what racing plans and goals are on the horizon. Life right now is rather busy, but it's just how I like it as I tend to do well when I'm on a schedule and can keep things simple. My athletes who I've been coaching are doing amazing things with some of them setting huge 3 minute PB's over 10km so that's taking a lot of my time but is worth every moment. I've got 40 people in a group that I'm coaching with the goal being the Tely 10 then transitioning them into two groups leading to the fall, half doing the full marathon at STWM and the others targeting a fall half or a local 20km known as Cape to Cabot 20km. In addition to that I've got 8 online athletes I'm working with so it's definitely time consuming to juggle my actual job, training and coaching but the rewards certainly outweigh the small stresses that come with getting workouts to people and checking in daily. I've also been working on expanding the Fogo Island Race Weekend and am on the board now with that event, it's a special race to me as my father's family originally came from the island so I'd like to be involved in some capacity and continue to ensure it's a great race that gives back to the local community. Other than that, things are pretty much business as usual, the family is great, work has slowed a bit thankfully, and the weather, with the exception of the last couple days has been wonderful.


Toronto Marathon Thoughts and Recap


So as you guys know, I won the Toronto Marathon in 2:33, (almost an identical time to last fall in my Debut). I've got mixed feelings about it. On the one hand that's not an indication of my fitness by any means. I went through half 90 seconds faster then last fall and ran the whole race solo after 8km as well as being able to run 116 miles the week after the marathon with 1 workout. So the race didn't take much out of me and I've actually been able to build from there and get into some good speed sessions on the track these last few weeks. On the other hand I'm very happy to have won the race. I'll break down how it played out in a second but as you know, in a marathon anything can happen so even when I heard I was clear by 4 minutes at half way, if things go bad, they go really bad in a marathon so I was definitely always thinking in the back of my mind to not push too hard and have at least 1 move in case someone was running me down. I don't know that I was ready for the 2:24 I wanted, aerobically, yes I believe I was that fit and could have run anything from the half marathon down at an equivalent performance. I just think that there is still a lack of muscular durability late in the race for me, and will require another segment of really hard long runs and longer workouts at race pace. I do believe I could have came back with another 73 and ran 2:26 with people around me and maybe being in a race where I was 10th and just running for time. But, until you run it, talk is cheap so I'll go back to the drawing board and figure out this marathon thing in the fall at STWM. I had the confidence to go out in 73:20 in this one so I'm sure I'll have the confidence and fitness to go out in 72:00 next time. 

So, how the race played out, the guy who was assigned bib number 2 decided to do the half at the last minute (he won in 69:20) and I saw two guys with low bib numbers who took off with me. I lead through the first mile in 5:28 which is basically flat, it might gain a couple feet, and on the second mile which goes downhill one guy passed me and put a little gap on me. I was 5:30 on that one and didn't want to go any faster. I split 5km in 17:01 (this in a downhill 5km) and the guy leading was maybe 16:45, now there is a massive hill coming out of Markham which is around 110 feet at the 8km mark and here I ended up catching the guy who had gaped me and he was breathing really hard. I ran a 5:45 up that mile and passed him before reaching the top. I hit 10km in 34:22 which was about the same effort as the first 5km as it was an uphill 5km portion. I didn't really check splits until I hit 10 miles in 55:46 which seemed about right. Nick Best was on the bike beside me for the majority of the race as his sister was doing the marathon as well. It helped tremendously during the hard sections and he offered great advice. Nick knows the course well and ran 2:30 for second there one year as well as winning the half overall in 2016 (he got me by 1.3 seconds going 69:15). I went through halfway in 73:20 and felt pretty good, not having used too much energy and taking in my fluids. There was a couple downhill miles after that before you hit the lakeshore and I ran the next 5km under 17 with a 5:15 15th mile, I think that put a sting in my legs, running the downhill portion that hard really made them feel dead later. When I hit the lakeshore and got on the single lane trail it was rough trying to run 3:27/km/5:35/mile. I found 5:50 pace to be much more manageable so backed off to that until 32km/20miles which was 1:53 flat I think. Anyway, at that point I got some info saying I was leading by about 2km and that was a relief as I was starting to feel really beat up. I backed off to 6-6:10 a mile the rest of the way and actually got to enjoy the final 5km coming back the lakeshore. 

Looking back, I think had I been content to even just run say 5:45/mile and go 75:00 on the back half for 2:28 that would have been a smarter strategy but I learned a lot from this marathon and am proud to have finished it feeling strong. I took the next day off but was back to normal mileage and workouts by the end of the next week so while I certainly did feel banged up later in the race it was night and day compared to my first marathon last fall where I didn't run a step for 3 weeks after the race.


What's Next?


Knowing I was likely the fittest I've ever been aerobically I wanted to build on that and get back to some short workouts and do some races. I figured Ottawa was too soon, so I reached out to Ian C. at the Canada Running Series as I'd missed the deadlines for their elite applications for races and he took care of me. So I'll be racing the Waterfront 10km on Saturday June 16th with the hopes of running a personal best. I'm doing a local 10km this weekend in Garnish to get a feel for a 10km again and will use it as a workout but the waterfront will be my goal right now and after that I'll really sit down and see what time I should target for the Tely. As of right now I'm pretty darn confident with some good threshold work, on the base I've built I won't have any problem going 50:30 or quicker this year. I'd like to think maybe I can get after something a little faster but I shouldn't get greedy, that race has bitten me in the ass to many times and despite the net downhill it's a real "racers" race and you need to be in shape to run fast there. So as of right now, 50:30 will be the goal, if things change and I really string some great training together I may adjust things but I'd rather get as close to 50 this year as possible and then target the sub 50 next year when I've got more strength in the legs and ideally a sub 31 10km and sub 2:25 marathon. (I'm 83 seconds away from 49:59 after my PB last year which was a 90 second PB, so it's better to get close this year rather then risking blowing up and chunking a nice bit off that PB once again.).


Early Track Season Takeaways


Track season is underway and I don't know about you guys but there's nothing I like watching more then some proper diamond league action. While payton jordan and meets like oxy are all fine and dandy, I'm one of these sports fans who HATES over-saturation. I only get excited to see the very best compete, that's where the sport shines at it's brightest. So while I want to see athlete development and I'm all for smaller meets, heck I watch most of them, the ones I truly get excited to see, and the reason these athletes are the ones making the money are because they are the best at what they do. Watching that Pre woman's 1500m race was exactly what I'm talking about, amazing performances, great story-lines and it was exciting from the first lap to the finish! So while I won't get into each point and I'll save that for another individual post about track season I do want to leave you with some quick takes I'll be following.

1) The woman's 800m is going to be both controversial and super exciting once again this year.

2) The men's steeple might have a new prince, Benjamin Kigen, he ripped apart Kipruto and Jager at Pre over the final 400.

3) The woman's 1500/5000m are going to be bananas! Sifan Hassan and Genzebe need to get into a spicy 1500 ASAP

4) I think this is going to be a big year for Timothy Cheruiyot in the men's 1500m.

5) Who will emerge as the king of the men's 5 and 10km in the absence of Sir. Mo? I'm predicting Joshua Cheptigie in the 10km and Selemon Barega in the five.



Alright friends, that's all I've got time for right now, I'll try to get an update in after my race in Toronto! I hope you are all well and training hard or recovering from your spring seasons!

Stay frosty,
Dave












Monday, 30 April 2018

We made it! 6 days out from the Toronto Marathon.

Well, the hay is in the barn as they say, I've survived training for a spring marathon in Newfoundland which if I'm honest was a great winter for running. 90% of my running was done outdoors so the body is definitely callused. The taper is in full effect and at this point it's about coasting on in and trying to capitalize on the marathon fitness and aerobic strength I've gained these past 16 weeks. The longest workout I did was 4 weeks out which was a classic I've seen my bud Jeff Costen do before his two very strong marathon showings which was 80 minutes at Marathon pace. Now I didn't turn it into a 26 mile run or anything, but I did a 10 minute warm up and 15 minute cool down before and after. The average of the 80 minutes was 5:34/mile which was pretty close to what I wanted, I would have liked 5:30 but I also didn't want to force it. On that day I was rather fresh as I'd registered for a local 5km but the winds were so bad I decided against racing and did the workout the next day. Recovery from that one took until about Friday when I was finally able to do another session of in and out miles. So yeah, I mean the race is Sunday, so I have to get out there an execute, one thing I learned last year is that any weakness will be exposed tenfold in a marathon. I can get into 69 minute half marathon shape pretty easily with good mileage and threshold runs but I know to run 68's I need to be firing well and 67, I have to pretty much do everything right, hence why I haven't run a 67 yet I suspect. But in the marathon, even a relative performance to a 69 half which is around 2:24/2:25 I can't half ass it like I've sometimes done in half training. I feel confident in the work I've done and especially the mileage, as since January 1st, even with down weeks the average mileage per week has been 136.3 so I hope that serves me well to fight off skeletal muscular breakdown at the end of the race. Anyway, I'm going to chat a bit about Boston and London then get out of here. I'm super busy with my Tely 10 clinic that kicked off last Tuesday so it's taking up a lot of time, but has been such a rewarding experience and I can't wait to help these great runners chase their running goals.

Boston 2018


What can be said about this race, it scared me to the point that I made a backup plan for my own race and made sure I could switch to the half if the weather is bad and could get bottles in Ottawa for that marathon at the end of May. (Thankfully the weather looks great for my race this Sunday). Regardless, I've never seen conditions like that before. Now, I'm not someone who is particularly excited to do Boston to begin with, maybe when I'm old and want to hit up all the majors, for now while I'm in my physical prime and able to continue to run PB's I'll stick to the fastest courses I can find. This did make me feel even more that way, but the respect I have for each and everyone who finished that day is immense. More importantly, how much of a legend is Yuki Kawauchi, man.....that guy, from the gun he made it honest. While we are on this topic, who were those clowns on the live-stream doing color commentary? They basically laughed at Yuki's first mile split and after his 5km said he was just looking for TV time and would end up and I quote "carry a piano the last 10km", how about you get educated on the sport you are supposed to be a "pundit" on, The guy has run 2:08 3 times and more sub 2:10's then most Americans combined. (I believe he has like 14). If you want proper commentary Boston, please get the best in the business, Tim Hutchings or Tony Revis, thank you. (Sorry for the rant). Anyway, yeah, Yuki man, what a beast, he bit down on the mouth piece and kept his foot on the gas the whole time, even when he got dropped, more importantly even when he took the lead, he put like 3 minutes on Kirui over the final 2-3 miles. Respect Yuki.....you are a true guts runner! Also, we can't talk Boston without talking about Desi, good things happen to those who work hard, pay their dues and do things right without shortcuts. In better conditions girls with the quick PR's might have been able to run away from here out front but when it came down to who had the most heart and put thousands of miles in during bad conditions (winters in Michigan are notoriously hard), Desi rose to the top. Feel good story lines all around coming out of Boston! <3

London Marathon


Well that did not disappoint hey, as London never does. The only issue I had which was talked about at length on the letrun.com forums was the pacing. I mean you'd think with the money they spend on athletes aperance fees they could get the pacers to really dial things in. I think 61:00 at halfway would have been fine had it been run clicking off 14:20/5km and not going out in 13:48. At that point you know the WR isn't going down and your more watching for just how bad is the carnage going to be. Same goes for the woman's race, what's wrong with going out like Paula did and negative splitting? We knew Mary had the wheels to make up time late, she'd run 64:5X for a half early in the year, why not go out in 68:00 and come back in 67:20? Who knows, I'm just getting greedy now, as both races were amazing to watch. I don't know how Eliud keeps knocking race after race out of the park and turning away contender after contender. Be it perennial studs like Kipsang, Bekele et all or upcoming studs like Tola Kitata in London and Guy Adola last fall in Berlin, the man is a dream crusher. I pray we get to see a perfect weather day in Berlin, no doubt with good pacing he can take 45 or more seconds off that record which has stood too long given the talent pool we have in the men's marathon right now. Lastly, Mo Farah......that was a very good sign, he was able to absorb a suicidal first 10km and still escape with a 2:06, there was no way he could have touched Kipchoge but had he gone with the group that was supposed to form running 61:45 we have to think he had 2:04 high or 2:05 low in his legs. I'm excited to continue to watch his progression, he seems to be all in and accepting that it'll take time to get good at the event.




Well I guess that's it. All that I've got left is a mini workout/refresher workout of 2X2miles at marathon pace with 2' float between so I'll hit that one tomorrow and cruise into Toronto. I was desperate to get a road race in before the Marathon and with the wind being so crazy for the 5km I had originally planned to do my only option was a local 5km here yesterday. I was willing to run as fast as 15:30 to win but was hoping I could get away with maybe something as slow as 16:30. I wanted to get the nervousness out and my road racing instincts sharp before the marathon so I didn't get a big adrenaline rush on the start line and go out at 5:15 a mile rather than 5:30. I saw the Dan MacDonald had registered and ran 16:10 the previous week at the Montreal 5km and there were a couple of young track kids like Evan and Erik knight in the field who'd run sub 2 for 800 and 4:09 for 1500 at Canada games last summer but so long as nobody named Fewer was on the starting line I'd be able to dictate proceedings. I waved the boys on to take the lead early and just ran with them, it was windy so I didn't feel right drafting and got side by side and at least did my own work. We walked the first mile in like 5:18, sped up a bit on the next one to 5:10 and I decided to wind it up a little to see how everyone was feeling from there, we dropped Dan by 4km but Evan hung tough so I waited until 500 to go and just kicked it in from there to put about 8 seconds on him for 16 flat. Unfortunately I couldn't stay to chat with everyone as I had to lead my run clinic on their long run but I hear it was a great post race reception and overall the event was put off amazingly as always. I'd be interested to see how quickly I'll run a 5km on the roads this year when I get back to speed stuff, that was a bad day and it felt like jogging, the last time I ran there I was 15:30 and my fitness between now and then which was two years ago has improved tremendously so I'll definitely target a fast 5km on the roads at some point this year to go sub 15 on NL soil.

Anyway, I'll write a blog post on my plane ride home with a marathon post race recap. I'll attach a few pics below. If you guys want to follow me on sporstats I'm bib 1. Thanks for reading and I'll catch you next time,

Stay frosty,
Dave


Race start, waiving the boys to go on.


New Brooks Hansons Pro Kit I mentioned last time, couldn't break it out until Desi and Shadrack debuted it in Boston.


Teamed with only the best, Proactive Physio, if your in NL they are the best in town. (I should get a fresh pic up for them with a Brooks Singlet on :) )


I've been rocking these new Brooks Chariot Ultra Suede kicks lately, love em.


Demo days with Supplement King, if your around there tell em your boy sent you and they will give you at least 15% off!


Joggin lap one of the 5km with Ed Sheeran! (Evan Knight, super talented kid!!)


Kicking it in the last 500m.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Quick update 5 weeks out from my spring marathon.

Hey friends, I've been slacking on updates so I'm sorry for that but I assure you it wasn't because I've been neglecting my running. Work is always busy this time of year with vaccines and what not for spring break and people traveling in general as well as meetings with our R&D team at head office as we await pending drugs to pass FDA approval and results from various clinical trials. Generally things slow down by May so until then I'll have to just do my best with the blog, I want to be writing more and definitely have the material but as we all know life is about prioritizing and sometimes the blog ends up lower on the list than I'd like it to. If you follow me on social media however you'll keep up to date. I took over the Brooks Running Instagram account on St. Paddy's day and got some great feedback so thank you to all who followed and sent kind/funny notes my way. I'll be doing it again throughout the year in different formats like race day prep, destination race weekends, etc. The other thing that's been taking a lot of time is my winter run clinic that has gone insanely well. I've got an amazing group of athletes and everyone has either already PB'd or is about to so that's been extremely satisfying as a coach and runner. My next clinic which starts the week of April 23rd sold out so it'll be fun to prep another group of athletes as they target the Tely 10 this July.

As for my own running I'm beyond happy with where things are right now. I have really focused on doing a lot of volume at marathon pace. Today I had my longest marathon specific workout which was 5X15' at marathon pace (5:31/mile avg for the 15' segments) inside a 20.8 mile long run that averaged as a whole 5:56. I didn't do anything that long before and I have 3 more big ones like that planned with the "simulator" being 3 weeks out and doing 26.2km at goal race pace on my loop with bottles laid on top of my car that I'll take down every 5km segment. Before the marathon however I have a 5km and 10km on the books that I'll race all out to get the legs moving quickly with the first being a 5km on April 15th. I'm really excited for this spring marathon, I've also been jumping in with Kate Bazeley and Jason White to pace their workouts on my easy days which has led to me getting anywhere from 10-15 additional miles a week at between 5:30-5:45 a mile. Tuesday for example, Jason, who is a little over 2 weeks out from Boston had 10 miles at a little quicker than his marathon pace and I jumped in on tired legs and ran 57:30 in what felt like a solid long run type pace. So let's hope I get a good day weather wise in Toronto and capitalize on the last 13 weeks of good training.

A couple other quick points I want to touch on, firstly the greatness that is GK! If you guys didn't watch the world half champs it was a treat, watching the ease at which Geoffrey moved away from a 58:40 athlete and a bunch of sub 60 performers. The last 5km split of 13:01 is a thing of legendary proportions, tailwind or not that's ridiculous. Cam Levins showed great form there too running 62 low and hanging with some big names while beating all the Americans except Sam Chelanga who under any circumstances would be difficult for him to beat given his range and PB's. Either way this was such an amazing event in a beautiful city. Having it bi-annually really does make it more special and a treat to watch. I wish world cross would attract this many studs like it did in the late 90's and early 2000's because these events are super fun and fan friendly.

Another note is the upcoming London and Boston marathons. London being the cream of the crop (having the deepest pockets and one of the fastest spring courses). I really see this on the men's side as a rematch of last fall's Berlin Marathon between Guy Adola (fastest debut ever on a legit course) and Eliud Kipchoge, the best marathoner to ever live. If the pace is hot enough (but no suicide like a couple years ago) we could see a WR which is the only thing lacking from Kipchoge's resume. Speaking of world records we have an assault going on the woman's side as well with two of the ladies who went 2:17 here last year. Then, the other story-line being Mo Farah goes to the marathon! I don't think he will be a factor but I'd like to see him run 2:05ish which should be doable provided he sits off the pace and runs his race. I'm so pumped for this race guys, you know it's going to be lights out!

Then in Boston the biggest race within the race is among the American ladies. Hassay is the fastest on paper and ran two superb tune ups before pulling out of the world half champs with some planter issues. I think if the east Africans go out in sub 70 that Hassay will likely be top American but if it's Tactical and the top american time is 2:23-25 I'll take Huddle or Flanagan for the top spot. I don't think they have a chance at winning (despite Shalane being the NYC champ which was incredible, I feel that was a matter of her being ready to go and Mary Kaitany getting it wrong/not performing.). But anything can happen as Meb showed so who knows, it'll be fun to watch. Desi will be in the mix too, I just don't see her with the lead Americans after that 73 half in NYC. On the Men's side I think it'll be a rematch of last year except this time Rupp is at 100% and fresh off a 59:47 half (2+ minutes quicker than his tune up in Prague last year before Boston) Geoggrey Kirui is no joke as he proved last year and at the world champs but he's not beating the Galen who showed up in Chicago so I'll take Rupp for the win.

That's all I've got time for right now, tomorrow is Easter Sunday and before going to family dinner I have my clinic's long run in the morning and after the workout I had this morning I'm falling asleep as I type this but I do promise to make more of an effort to update more frequently, even if it's a shorter post like this. I want to get into breaking down the mid and distance events on the track this year and look at how people will approach things being an "off" year. Will we see record attempts by the likes of Jager and Centro and will we see people trying other events like Kiprop in the 5000......will Makloufi emerge from the shadows after another absence post Olympic cycle? Lot's to look forward to regardless and I'm extremely excited!


I'll be back as soon as possible to talk some track, training and recap the second and third marathon major of 2018! Before I go, a shout out to Nate Brannan who retired this week, what a classy guy and a tremendous career he had both as a sub 4 minute high school miler from Canada, in University in a class with Alan Webb and Nick Willis then as a professional at 3 Olympics. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to the sport Nate!

Until next time, stay frosty,
Dave


Shoutout to Brooks for another little care package that showed up. (Not shown is the 2018 Pro/Elite Marathon Kit that is being unveiled at Boston, they told your boy not to show it till after that race, know that it's strait FIRE!)


Also thanks SMITH Optics for another year of support, you guys are amazing, thanks for the spring shades to help me look rad and protect the eyes!


Cool pic from a 5km I ran in basically a snow storm, photocred to Greg Greening!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Thoughts on indoors, my training and The Coastal Running Company

Hey friends, I trust all is well and you are getting some quality training in! The weather here has been very good this winter and conducive to good training so your boy has been taking advantage. This time last year I was running almost everything on the treadmill but now, 90% of my running has been outside which is what I want/need during this important block of specific training. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm running a road 5km this Saturday as a rust buster with the hopes of being somewhere between 15:10-20. I haven't done a ton of quick stuff yet but my threshold is super strong as on off days I'm pacing anyone and everyone who is around doing workouts so I'm very aerobically fit. For instance, today I paced Kate Bazeley to a great workout which shows just how quickly she's coming back after the birth of her latest daughter. I took her through 15'-10'-5' with a 2' jog recovery and she averaged 5:40/mile on a very difficult rolling loop. (5:51/mile for the full 34' of running with the 4' of jogging the breaks). So yeah, training is going well, I'll rip the 5km as hard as I can then I'll try to run around 8:30 indoors at our NLAA indoor meet in March followed by the Sun Run and Goodlife Toronto Marathon the first week of May.

In other news, my running clinic and athletes I've been coaching are doing extremely well and I must say it's an enjoyable experience. I take a very simple approach and try to explain the basic science and purpose of each workout to them. The methodology I'm using with the clinic is very much a progressive one where we hit a tempo session every week. (The first week we did 4X5' off 1 minute float and by next week we will be doing 3X10'), The other quality day is alternated each week, one week it'll be short, fast repetition type sessions, like last week they had 15X200m at 3km down to mile race pace with full 200m recoveries, or sometimes we will do hills to work on our power, neuromuscular connection and creatine phosphate system. On weeks we don't do repetition paced running we do time based VO2 intervals like 10X2' at 5km pace or slightly quicker with half the time spent running as recovery. I expect most if not all of those in the group running on Saturday will PB so I'll give a recap of how it goes down next week.

Some takeaways from USATF Indoor Champs


1 - Donovan Brazier is a BEAST!!! The US certainly have a lot of depth on the men's side in the 800m right now, Clayton Murphy at 100% is super scary and has an Olympic Bronze in his pocket already, Boris is a stud when he's fit and healthy and you've got Drew Windle now who closes the last 200m from last place into the top 3 in a manner that would make a young Robby Andrews or Nick Symmonds proud. But it's Brazier who may have the highest ceiling in the 800 of them all, I think Murphy may indeed eventually be a true 1500m man, but Brazier is your classic 800m stud with great open 400 speed so he's one to keep an eye out for, don't be surprised if he wins or comes very close at world indoors.

2 - Shelby Houlihan and Colleen Quigley have some savage closing speed. Now to be accurate, we all know Houlihan can close like a freight train, but I'm very surprised and impressed by Quigley's ability to close as fast as she has been in under distance events. Jerry is obviously doing some great speed development work with his group lately and it's apparent when you look at his stable and see the speed they have shown of late, like Jager becoming a 3:32 1500m man a couple years back and closing in 60 over barriers. The woman's steeple will be great once again this year.

3 - Ajee Wilson is so darn consistent, at age 23 she's now a 6 time USA champ. Most of the time when you get a hot young prospect they either buckle under the pressure like a Mary Cain type of situation or it takes some growing pains to develop into a true star/master of your craft like Jordan Hassay but Ajee is all business and I love it, she's going up against the worlds best who certainly enjoy somewhat of an advantage but she's so good that she is still right there with them. Can she lower her own ridiculously fast 800m outdoor record this season being as it's an off year and there will be plenty of opportunities to run fast? I'm not sure but she's the favorite for gold at world indoors in my mind, that's for sure.

4 - Paul Chelimo and the Army crew are beasts, though I'm not a fan of his salute victory but I won't get into that here lol. When you see him dipping down and winning the 1500 at altitude against some game milers like Blankenship and Engles, it becomes apparent why he's got that Olympic medal in his back pocket, the guy is aerobically strong and can close with the very best in the world. In this day and age, if your running the 5km you need to be likely a 3:32 or better 1500m runner to have a shot at the medals, and I'd go so far as to say in the 10km you need 3:34 chops. I was impressed with Shadrack Kipchirchir as well, if he had been a better 1500m tactician he likely would have been top 2 in the 1500 at USA's, not that he would have gone in the event, but it shows how legit he is as well.


Just how good is King Ches?


Another story line of this indoor season is the magnificence that is Edward Cheserek. When I saw the mile he ran at altitude in January I thought it was impressive but I'm always hesitant to go by the conversions as altitude effects everyone differently and Ches was also born at altitude, but I was amazed by the gap he put on Blankenship. Then the double he pulled on the flat 200m track two weeks later in the 1500/3km again showed that he'd made some fitness jumps. But the 3:49.4 mile in Boston was unreal, I mean to be honest, I think of Ches as a 5km guy, he was so good over 10km cross and dominated over so many distances in the NCAA. I figured he was a strengh guy with great wheels, somewhat of a Lawi Lalang version 2.0 as Lawi ended up running 3:33 and 13:00. But now I think Ches can be a world class miler and 5000m runner like his countrymen Ronald Kwemoi, coached by the legendary Ronato Canova, who he pegs as the 2020 5000m champ. (He's a 3:28 1500m runner). So yeah, it'll be interesting to follow going forward and also to see if he gets expedited US citizenship!

The Coastal Running Company


I wanted to give a shout out to some east coasters who are doing some amazing work to not only promote the sport that we all love but to also give back and clean up/preserve the beautiful oceans we are so blessed to run by daily here on the east coast. Matt Smith, a runner at St. Mary's University started this company with the help of some running friends and they give 10% of all proceeds to ocean clean-up and conservation. Guys it's a great company doing important work, as well as making some pretty badass apparel so do me a favor, head on over to https://coastalrunco.com and read more about them, check out their gear and toss em' a follow on social media!


I guess that's it for me, I'm going to do a quick post again after my race to let you guys know how it went and give a report on how my athletes do! 

Until next time, keep those sticks on the ice,
Dave



Shout out to Brooks for restocking me on my marathon trainers of choice, the Brooks Launch and for the 2018 elite pro kit. Looks very sharp!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Quick check in and back to regular scheduled programming.

Sup friends, so sorry for the long absence, no excuses, the marathon just kicked the crap out of me last fall. I took a month off after STWM and got back into easy running before the holidays hit which were tremendous. Things were busy at my house and we had a terrific holiday season. I'm so thankfully for my family, friends and loved ones, sometimes we take it for granted but it's important we take the time to cherish our time with them. This will be a short post as I'm pretty busy with work, coaching, family stuff and my running clinic. I just want to give you guys an idea of where I'm at running wise and what some of my short term as well as long terms plans/goals are. I'm going to blog every second Sunday this year, I don't really have the time to put one out each week but I want to get back to writing at least twice a month, more if time permits and really dive into the pro scene, training principles, Canadian news, etc. So stay locked this year for lot's of content that I hope will be at least somewhat interesting. Before I go any further, a quick Shoutout and thank you to Brooks Running, I signed a new contract with them that will keep with with the brand for the next couple years which I'm stoked about. I love their gear, reps, vision and loyalty to the sport. It's an honor to wear the uniform. (PS: The 2018 pro kits are strait fire!! You may have seen my teammates Jenna Westaway punching her ticket to world indoors in the new digs last weekend going 2:01:50 for the 800m and Gabriela Stafford going sub 4:30 for the mile at the Armory where Kate Van B. ran the Canadian indoor mile record! Killer performances ladies!)

As for my training thus far in 2017 I've run 476miles in January with some fartleks and harder long runs, so I'm ready to get into specific training starting tomorrow, Feb 1st. I've committed to run the Vancouver Sun Run again so that's the first big one on the books and then another crack at the Marathon on May 4th, at the Goodlife Toronto Marathon. Mike C, the elite coordinator was gracious enough to host me and put my bottles out so I'm excited to finally put down a decent time next to my name, hopefully something between 2:24-26. It's a nice course with great support, I ran the half there in 2016 in 1:09:16 on a pretty brutal day so if all goes well I think it's going to be the perfect race to bridge me to where I'll want to be in the fall for STWM to try to compete with some of the great marathoners we have in that 2:20-2:26 range like Jeff Costen (who's in fine form already this season going 25 flat last weekend at Robbie Burns 8km), Aaron Cooper, (also threw down a stellar performance at the 8km in sub 25) and there are lot's more like Matt Suda, Josh Boltz et all who are tremendous competitors and athlete who I'd be honored to be able to hang with if training goes according to plan. Those boys are always so consistent that if you don't show up ready to rock then you'll get waxed which happened in my debut there in October. 2:33 might as well have been 3 hours, I wasn't involved at all after 25km.

So yeah, I'm actually feeling very fit currently and am already at my race weight so I'm doing a 5km on Feb 24th in Holyrood, I figure I should be able to solo something a little under 15:20 by then on the roads and anything 15:10 or under I'll be elated with given it's Feb, so that will give me a gauge on things. Then we can put in 2-3 good months before Vancouver and Toronto. I actually contemplated Ottawa race weekend marathon but I felt I wouldn't have enough time to turn it around for the Tely 10 on July 24th. Last year I finally figured out how to run that race and I'd like to aim for a sub 50:30 next year as I feel like that always has a shot to win, it just depends on how fit the others are. I don't think I'll have enough time to train for sub 50, and to be fair, it's a big jump from 51:22 so this year anything under 50:30, run evenly and sticking with my own game plan like last year will be the goal.

So, before I get out of here I'll just give some details on how the first marathon experience went and then mention a couple things I'm excited for on the pro scene in the first half of 2018.

What happened in the Marathon debut


I was trying to be conservative the first half, came through in 74 which was a little slower than I wanted but it felt like I was easy running which was good, I picked up the next 5km a little too fast and the american, Alexander (also his debut, 67:53 half marathoner from NY) who I was running with dropped out and things got hard and lonely after I burned through my fuel. I ran 2:33 and was honestly 9 minutes slower than I wanted. But looking at the results after, I know where my fitness was, I wasn't beating guys like my bud's Jeff Costen and Aaron Cooper who both showed their racing chops and heart out there going 2:24/2:26. That said, I felt like I was easily fit for sub 2:30, likely 2:28 flat on that day, but I'm proud I stuck it out. A lot of guys took the easy way out on that fateful Sunday. If an organization like CRS and Alan Brooks are going to be nice enough to offer me a place to stay and put bottles out for me every 5km, we owe them to finish......on our worst day we aren't suffering like most people. I didn't want to see a 2:33, but I'm not going to drop if I'm not hurt, it's not fair to the guy's who beat you fair and square. That's part of the beauty of this sport, each and every guy who beats you was better that day. Looking back now, I was definitely very half marathon fit, but wasn't muscularly capable to fighting the fatigue after 32km on my first time out over the distance. Areobically speaking even 2:23/24 pace is sustainable for me and is pretty comfortable, I just didn't do enough hard long running, or workouts like a lot of Steve's athletes do, 120 minutes easy followed by 30 minutes at marathon pace when your already tired and depleted. This build up I'm going to run several 20 milers at sub 6 minute pace, and cover the marathon distance 2-3 times at 90% of race pace like Canova has his athletes doing so I'll be callused for the pounding.


Things I'm looking forward to in the first half of 2018.


1 - World Indoors, this is always such a fun meet as you don't get the very best normally or you get 5km specialist coming down to the 3km going against some strengh based 1500m men. You also get cool tactical races over 800m as pole position is just so important on the tight indoor oval. On the women's and men's side I'll be watching closely everything from 800-3km. I feel like Hassan and Keljelcha are going to be VERY hard to beat at 3km, in the 1500, if Dibaba is healthy she's the best indoor runner of all time so she should easily win the 1500m, but on the men's side with some guys skipping indoors like Centro and Willis, and most big Kenyan's not known for running indoor seasons in favor of summer or diamond league peaking I'm unsure of how that will go down. In the 800 if any of the big 3 ladies and Ajee are competing they will be the favorite and for the men I might favor perhaps an NCAA guy who's sharp and has raced allot indoors. Either way it'll be fun to see.

2 - USA Cross Champs, mainly because Rupp and Hasay are now running. Not that either were killers on the mud/grass but the last time Rupp ran in Edinburgh he was second to Farah and he was an NCAA champ. And I mean Hassay just ran mid 68 and has the strength of a 2:20 marathon so if she made it hard from the gun and there's no Huddle or Flanagan than i'd be shocked if she didn't win.

3 - Boston Marathon, Rupp vs Geoffrey Kirui, round 2. If Rupp is healthy he's not losing that race, as great as Kirui is being last years champ and the World Champ, Boston won't be any faster than a 2:08 type race if history tells us anything and Rupp will eat him up the last few miles like he did Abel Kirui in Chicago, as his speed is much better than Geoffrey, I mean he's training with Keljelcha and jogged a 13:34 with him last weekend. (Granted in a fast race I think this would be VERY interesting and I may give Kirui the edge if this was to take place with pacemakers or in Berlin. On the women's side, I don't think an american woman will win but I do think it'll be a beauty battle for top American with Flanagan, Huddle and Hassay. (Desi is in there too, but isn't going to be a factor if the american woman run under 2:23 type pace). 

4 - London Marathon, this is THE marathon to watch, I'll never bet against Kipchoge, I think he wins and if he's pushed the WR may actually go, even if he isn't planning on it, just based on how he ran there in 2016, that 2:03 flat looked pretty easy even off a vicious first 10km. What will be interesting too is Mary Kaitany going for the WR with male pacemakers, I mean if she hadn't of gone on out 2:13 pace through half last year she may have very well done it, and maybe T. Dibaba could threaten as well, she ran 2:17 and 2:18 last year in her two outings over the distance with a 2ed in London and dominant solo win in Chi-Town.



Anyway, I'll get out of here, but I do hope to be back blogging regularly now as the new year is settling down and I'm getting into a good schedule with work, coaching, family and my own running. I hope you are all well and that your 2018 is off to a great start.

Stay frosty,
Dave

Friday, 29 September 2017

Marathon GOAT, Chicago thoughts & training updates.

Hey friends, how are things? My apologies on the delay between posts/updates. Life is a lot busier right now then it's been in the past and though training hasn't been compromised I simply haven't had the time to sit down and write a blog post that's worth reading. With work, my run clinic, family and trying some new strength stuff in the gym I've been up to my eyes but I'm hoping now things will slow down a little, or at the very lease I'll try to carve out an hour each week to get a quick post up. Even with things going a hundred miles an hour I must say my love for running is likely stronger than ever. I think it's the combination of great coaching and advice from JJ that has allowed me to strike a balance between training hard but then leaving it on the roads and not procrastinating over it any other time of the day. That advice has been so valuable and has me not only running very well but being productive in all aspects of life, I know I'll have a text msg from Jeremiah when I get back to my car after the workout, we analyze it, he tells me about what's new on the west coast and how he's killing the game with Solo J Sales and life moves on. Speaking of the west coast, I'm heading up there for a little vacation on October 9th and look forward to seeing some friends and getting some runs in when I'm there so reach out if your game for some miles or to just kick it and eat some of the best Sushi in the country! Anyway, I'll get into a few things below and like I said, I'll make a conscious effort to get more frequent posts up as we get into October and beyond.

Berlin Marathon and the Marathon Goat.


Well Berlin may not have produced a new WR with the wet conditions but that was a barn burner ladies and gentlemen. Who the heck is Guye Adola and how have I not heard of a guy who pushed Eliud Kipchoge to the edge of his abilities in his debut over the distance? When I was reading some of the press releases, Letsrun.com break downs and "expert analysis" I figured it wouldn't be close and that what we would end up with was a finish similar to the London Marathon of 2015 when Kipsang and Kipchoge were side by side at 24 miles and Eliude dropped a 4:24 to break away in devastating fashion. Now I know that Bekele is always a wildcard, but when he said he was at 90% I figured there would be a chance he would DNF. But Wilson Kipsang had looked amazing this year in Tokyo and had run his last two marathon in an average time of something like 2:03:30. So, needless to say when he stepped off at 30km after taking his fluids on board I didn't know what was going on. Then when the announcers started talking about Adola having 59:13 credentials I figured he might stick around until 35, but never did I think he would try (and succeed) to open a gap on Kipchoge. Those last 7km were amazing to watch and I truly hope Adola is guided and handled in the right manner moving forward so he's not just a star that burns bright for a year or two, but one that has staying power. I always thought GK (Kamwroro) would be the future of the marathon when he made the permanent move to the distance and would eventually hold the WR, but he may have some company as the next generation over 26.2. In the end however, Eliud did as Eliud does.....he wins and when you saw the slight smirk on his face after a 2:51km split from 40-41 we knew the GOAT of marathoning had Adola's number. The record he has posted is simply unreal and despite 9 marathons (including his Sub2 attempt), he doesn't seem any worse for wear. In a lot of cases you see guys knock out a few unreal performances like Geoffrey Mutai but then you see a very harsh decline, the same holds true for Kimetto, but with Eliud he shows time and time again that his simple lifestyle of diligent training and attention to detail pay dividends as he always comes out on top and with fast times. Let's hope we see him line up in either Dubai or London and lower that WR which is the only thing missing from an otherwise unrivaled marathon resume.  

Chicago Marathon


The next stop in the fall season of the world marathon majors. Now, on paper you have some fast guys, but the top two on the list, Kimetto and Stanley Biwott aren't the 2:02/2:03 guys they once were in my mind. So I don't see them being factors at all in this race. That leaves 4 contenders and a whole lot of pretenders. The 4 to keep an eye on are Olympic Silver medalist, Fayisa Lilesa, Bronze medalist, Galen Rupp, two time world champ and 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Abel Kirui and (I may get flack for saying this) Zersenay Tedese. Now, I say Tedese because I think the Sub2 attempt really helped him, he had no success in the marathon before that but managed a 2:06 going out at WR pace, also in the build up he ran a half in 59:47 looking smooth so that's my thinking for having him up there with the other 3.

Now, if all of these guys had perfect prep I'd put my money on Lilesa, he's looked great over the last 2 years and beat Rupp in Rio, but from what I've read he hasn't had a perfect build and he's been jumping from location to location with him not returning home after his political protest in 2016. It's that reason why I'm taking Rupp for the win here, I was on the fence about it but JJ also likes Rupp and with Tedese still being an unknown in a tactical marathon and Kirui being very hit or miss despite training under the legendary Renato Canova I'll take Rupp for 1st followed by Lilesa and Tedese. (Also keep an eye out for Ezekiel Chebii, he had a big breakthrough in 2016 going 2:06 flat in Amsterdam)


My training


Things are clicking along nicely for me. As you know I ran the MTL Rock and Roll half last weekend in the craziest heat I've ever experienced, and that includes having run a 5km in Florida in July before. At 7:30 the temperature was 30 degrees with 100% humidity and feeling like 39. The organizers cancelled the marathon and put all the elites in the half (The 5km was won in 17 and the 10km in 35). At the start I spoke to Phil Viau-Dupuis and he told me the the last time he ran the course he went 69 mid and later that fall ran 67:22 and a 2:20 marathon so even on the best day with the hills after you leave the island it's a tough one. So after hearing that I figured we were all in for a rough day and that I should find someone to work with and keep Phil and Emmanuel Boisvert (30:12 for 10000m in June) in my sights and hope for the best. After the first mile I settled in with Jacques-Sylvain Lecointre who's a great athlete (31:44 in hot conditions in Ottawa this May and training for a sub 2:25 marathon). We worked together well and came through 10km in 33:30, about 30 seconds back from Phil and Manny, from there we took turns leading and stayed side by side until I luckily pulled away at 19km going up the hills. I ended up finishing in 72 minutes which granted is pretty slow, was a great placing as Phil and Manny were 71 and Jacques came in 73. I've still got almost 4 weeks until Scotia and plan on hitting a 10km here on October 8th. It's generally a great race and Colin Fewer will likely be there and should help drag me to a 30:XX as he's always good for that kind of time. So yeah, the goal is to keep working away and take things one day at a time.


SunGod Sunglasses




Before I let you guys go I want to mention a cool, innovative company called SunGod. They make amazing glasses. I've been rocking the Renegades from them all summer. What makes them so unique is that you can customize everything from the frame, lenses to the logos. What's most amazing is that they are literally "life proof". They can be put in your backpack, thrown in your car or stuffed in your pocket and they bend but don't break. They also have great polarized 4k lenses that have amazing views. Here's the link to their site so you can check it out https://ca.sungod.co/. If you do decide to purchase a pair you can use the code DFREAKE20 for 20% off, they ship to Canada super quickly. I received two pairs within about 3 days. Here are the individual links to all their frames/models. I'll attach some pictures below, but for runners I'd suggest the PaceBreakers, but if your looking for something casual the polarized Renegades are superb.




Here are the specific links and a picture of the PaceBreakers;

Classics2: sungod.to/Gr0H7aBT

Renegades: sungod.to/vRpXwCht

PaceBreakers™    sungod.to/wNpjSY9E  





OK Guys, that's it for me, I'll make sure to update after my next race and keep you all in the loop, this is going to be a great fall. Scotiabank is going to be unreal this year with so much depth in the half and full marathons. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Josh Bolton's full debut, Paul Rochus in the half, Jeff Costen, Aaron Cooper, John Mason, Trevor Hoffbauer and Rob Winslow all running the full. Look for all of those guys to run lights out, it's going to be spicy and a fun weekend all around.

Stay frosty,
Dave

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Checking in, training, worlds thoughts and Blue Door Walk/Run

Hey friends, how is your summer going? Things out east have been amazing. The weather, my family, friends and puppy. I've got a lot to be thankful for and with all that paired with work and coaching another running clinic at MAX Fitness I've had very little time to write a blog post so I wanted to check in really quickly with a few things today and I'll try to get a regular post up once a week now as we move into September and October where I'll be hitting some big races, chasing some big PR's and hopefully having some fun along the way. I'll talk a little about training at the end of this post but let's just say it's going better than I'd imagined. JJ really has me dialed in and I think we are at a point that we know what I respond best to and what works. 2 hard sessions a week, one being a tempo on the roads and the other being intervals ranging in distance from 2 mile reps all the way down to what we did last week which was 20X300m. Everything else is just easy mileage with a 100 minute long run at around 6:30/mile pace. Nothing special but it's working great. Having JJ there to shoot a txt after my workouts really keeps me accountable and I'm so grateful for his help and guidance. I honestly don't know how he does it, since late March the guy has driven 20000km all over BC building his client base and keeping folks running happy in Brooks shoes, so if you are ever at one of the specialty run shops in the area and here Solo J Sales will be visiting or doing a demo I highly recommend you stop by, I've seen pictures including pancakes, puppy dogs and fresh sneakers....all the makings of a great demo day. Anyway, yeah, training is going great and we will be hitting some fast ones this fall so stay tuned for more in the upcoming posts. Racing less and training more consistently is really paying off and something I'm going to do from here on out.

My 5 biggest takeaways from Worlds 2017.


Usain Bolt was a once in a lifetime athlete and we should be grateful to have borne-witness.

What can be said about Usain that hasn't already been said, he dominated the sprinting game from 2008 through 2016. He couldn't pull one more out of his hat in London but he was gracious in defeat and will leave a massive void that I can't really see anyone filling in the near future. It wasn't just the times, world records or championships that defined the legendary Bolt, it was his charisma and character. The level of self belief and confidence was unrivaled and it will be missed as a lot of athlete who try to portray those qualities come across and arrogant and cocky which Usain never seemed to do. I believe that while we wait for another like him, which may never come that it opens up things for the star that is Wayde Van Niekerk to burn bright. Only time will tell.

The 5k/10k double is brutally hard and the fact Mo has done it so many times is amazing.

Even though Mo got beat by Muktar Edris, I still firmly believe he's the best 5000m and 10000m runner in the world. He had to run 50 laps of the track in 10 days against a fresh pair of east Africans and that was too much to handle after having been pushed to a near PB performance in the 10k. A fresh Mo Farah dusts that field like we saw at Pre, and the very same argument I will make for Almez Ayana. She closed her second 5km of the 10000 in 14:24. Had she been fresh going into the 5000m final I suspect she would have stretched Obiri and run close to 14:10. With that 10k in her legs she couldn't grind out a pace rich enough to drop Obiri and with her 1500m chops (She medaled in the 15 in Moscow) Ayana had no answer. Like I said, both Farah and Ayana are the best at both distances but going up against fresh competitors after having to run lights out in the 10k isn't easy.

How the heck did the US go 1-2 in the steeple?

When I was watching this all seemed to play out as I expected, right up until 600m to go, then it took a turn to crazy town. How did these sub 9 minute girls get dusted so badly? Better yet how did the Americans run such huge PB's in the final. I was stoked to see a steeple title wrestled away from the Kenyans but if anyone in the championship was going to do it I'd figured it would have been Jager and only against a compromised Kipruto

Amy Hastings is a ballar!

What a performance and display of grit over the last couple miles, her close in the last 800 was unreal. I figured after she ran that 68:3X half in the spring and 31 low 10000m solo that she was ready to PR in the marathon and likely had 2:23ish potential but I would have never guessed in a championship style race where there was that many woman in it so late in the game that she would come top 3 and almost run down 2ed. Major props to her and Jerry who had an amazing medal haul at these champs.

More of the same in the woman's 800m.

Watching the final 100m of Caster Semenya is unreal, nobody can touch her. Like, the 800m is generally run as a positive split. Generally you want to run the first lap at around 93% of your 400m potential and come back in 89% of your 400m potential on the second lap. Caster seems to run her last 100m the fastest and manages to do so running 1:55 low which tells us if she were to get after it she is likely 3 seconds better than her current PB indicates. It's got to be discouraging for the other athlete to be up against someone with that type of speed but Ajee Wilson is certainly stepping up and is running insanely well. I was so happy to see her medal. She can beat Neyonsaba I think on her best day but Semenya will remain untouchable. (I'm interested to see just how good she can get at the 1500m, that bronze was solid for sure, but when she figures that event out we could see something special there as well) 



Blue Door Walk and Run 5km


A friend of mine, Heidi asked me to give this a mention here and I'd be remiss if I didn't as it's a great cause. This 5km is put off by a group called Verafin and their mantra from what I've read on their site reads as follows; 

"The Blue Door is a new St. John's based program that is operated through Thrive. This program is the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is designed to support individuals, primarily between the ages of 14-29, to exit sex trade activities, and/or sexually exploitive situations including sex trafficking. The program is inclusive of gender & sexual orientation and offers intensive, individualized services and supports that addresses key barriers to the exiting process and helps participants move forward with dignity, self-determination and respect."

So anyone in the area who is free on September 24th please think about coming out to the run or donating to the organization. You can find more details here - https://verafin.com/BlueDoor/ or contact my friend Heidi directly heidi.murphy@verafin.com


My training


So in terms of my training recently it's been excellent. This week I had a 5 mile tempo where I ran 25:27 and did 8X800m on the track yesterday off 2' recovery nice and smooth in 2:20 (dipped under on the last 2 but never got too spicy or out of control). Like I mentioned above, JJ is keeping it simple and it's the best training I've ever had. What's nice about it is that I wasn't peaked in April or May and hanging on for the Tely in late July. We really only put about 5 week of solid training in before that and came out with a big PB so building from there while being fresh has been excellent. Also, what's different this build up that JJ reminds me daily is that I've got to have balance. When I'm running for my 90ish minutes a day, I'm all in but when it's done I leave it out on the roads and get back to focusing on family, friends, work, my run clinic, etc. It's making things more fun, less stressful and the results are speaking for themselves. I'll let you guys know my final fall race plans when I have them set but for right now I'm focusing solely on September and running well at the 5km champs and Eastside 10k. After that we will turn to a fast half and continue the build up towards Scotia.


Until next time, keep those sticks on the ice,

Dave


(Few shots I found of the Tely)