Saturday, 1 March 2014

Week of training Sunday February 23rd - Saturday March 1st + Thoughts on the importance of having a coach.

Hello again,

I'm back for another weekly update. It was a grind of a week, put in some killer workouts and some good mileage. This week has been pretty busy so I haven't had a ton of time to formulate much in the way of some training articles. But I'm not forgetting about it. Just tabling it for another week when I'm less busy. Before I get into this week in training I wanted to talk about the importance of having a coach, or an advisor to help formulate training and to critically look at what's working and what isn't.

The importance of having a coach for continued running development.

As many of you know I've recently teamed up with a coach. Jim Finlayson was kind enough to take me on as an athlete. Jim is probably the best Masters runner in the country. If all goes well look for him to take a run at the Canadian National records for the half and full Marathon of 1:06:33 and 2:19 and change. Last year under not ideal conditions Jim ran a 1:07 flat for the half. So on the right day I can see him taking down both of those records. Jim himself has worked with some of the best coaches around and has an outstanding running pedigree having made several world teams, with PR's of 29 low for the 10km and 2:18 for the marathon he has incredible range. I'm really lucky he was able to take me on. And now after a month under his guidance I'm feeling great about where things are headed this season. Along with Jim my friend Jeremiah Johnston (former track and XC runner for the University of Idaho and 1:08 half marathoner)  is helping me out and offering some killer advice. Last but not least Mike Greene (great runner and possibly the most knowledgeable person on training I've ever spoken to and holds a masters in Exercise Physiology) is really helping me with the development of my mechanics and helping me strengthen areas that are week in my running gate. I feel that with Jim taking the reins on my training and with the help of Jeremiah and Mike, I have the perfect combination to ensure I have a successful 2014 and hit all the time goals that I have laid out en route to continued development as a runner.

I wanted to bring this to light as I feel that people for the most part seem to train with an almost reckless abandon and with no real road map. I know this because the first 3 years of my running career saw me doing the very same thing. Thankfully I didn't sustain any injuries and I managed to run enough volume and workouts to continue improving but that's not the way to approach this sport. Most runners who are invested in their training tend to over think things and run themselves into the ground. It takes an outside perspective and someone who can see the bigger picture to let you know where to improve things, or pull you back when your doing too much. 

Now not everyone can coach, I see it all the time, people think just because they ran well themselves this will somehow translate into them being a fantastic coach. To take on the responsibility that comes with coaching another athlete is not an easy task and one that needs to be treated with the utmost dedication and diligence. 

If anyone reading this is looking or thinking about getting a coach I would highly recommend it. If your looking for someone in person and your in the St. John's or surrounding area, the only coach I would look at working with would be Ray Will. He has an outstanding coaching pedigree and actually teaches coaching courses. If your looking for someone online I'm going to suggest my friend Josh Seifarth, not because I know him but because I've spoken with him about the role a coach plays and about his training philosophies. He has the right mix of passion, knowledge and education to really make a great coach and produce a great athlete. If you want to get in touch with Josh check out his website I don't know if Jim is taking on any athletes but if you would like to know more about Jim Finlayson and his coaching shoot me an email and I'll pass along his information as well.

Quick video clip and some pictures.

I'll attach a clip of the first half of last weeks 3000m race here and a couple pictures. Mid race my ipad shut off so the race is in two parts and I'm having trouble cutting them together, I'll post the full race on my Youtube page when I get it figured out. This is just short of the first mile. I was running 35's for the most part or pretty close to that, the 1km was 2:55.4 and the Mile/1600 was 4:41.

This week in training.


Long run - 2 hours of steady state. I felt good after the 3000m and the tempo run from the night before and got a little jumpy during this long run. I averaged 5:48/mile. I kind of surprised myself with this effort. I was really rolling. I did it on the long loop that leaves from the east end and heads out portugual cove road then comes out on thorburn rd. I started to hurt at about 100 minutes but just kept grinding. Felt pretty cool to run a long run like that. Not that I would do it but I could probably run a respectable Marathon with some specific training. 2:28ish or there abouts. But that's just a guess, maybe I'd die with 5km to go and walk it in for a 2:45 or something ha. Anyway not about to step up to the big show until I'm much quicker and stronger.

20.8 miles - AM


9.4 miles - AM


Workout - I misread what Jeremiah had told me, I was supposed to do either 16X400m or 20X300m. I ended up doing 20X400m with 1 minute recovery. The workout was supposed to be dialing in 5km goal pace of 70 seconds/quarter(400m). Everything was smooth sailing the first 10 or so. I was feeling like I was really relaxed and fluid. Normally when I run 400's I'm doing them at 1500m pace so between 62-64 with large recovery. But these were great until I hit 15 and then things got hard/ugly in a hurry. I managed to hold it together but I don't think the last few looked pretty. Thankfully a friend of mine was at the track and took me through the last 4 so that made it better thanks Mike T.!! 

4.6 miles - AM
11.3 miles with workout - PM


11.4 miles - AM


Workout - 8km tempo - 3 minutes rest then 2X1km with 90 seconds between reps. This was a solid effort. The tempo was done on the treadmill at 5:00/mile pace but with 0% incline. I did this to work the turnover and get the legs feeling snappy at 5 minute pace. The actual effort of the pace was a 5:13/mile pace. Then I did the 2X1km on the track and went 3:03 and 2:58. I wanted 3:00 for each but its hard to go from running on a treadmill to then on the indoor 200m track. My sense of pace was all off. Good session overall though.

4.2 miles - AM
12.5 miles with workout - PM


7 miles - AM
7,2 miles - PM


8 miles with 6 strides - AM

So a lighter week on the mileage front with 96.4 but the workouts were there and I'm letting my coach decide what's right for me mileage wise. He gives me workouts and my running schedule in terms of time. We know I can handle the big miles but he pointed out to me that I'm still really new to the sport of running and have only really trained properly with some structure for a little over a year. We feel that I need to address some things before I move to running super high volume again. I've got to work more on my speed and develop my mechanics so the goal is to have me running about 110 miles a week for the next little while and see where we get. I had a good period of 12 weeks putting in the foundational base where I averaged 133.6 miles/week over a 3 month time frame so that base will carry my through this season.

Well that was a heck of a long post haha. Much more to come though so stay tuned this week and next. I'm testing out the new Mirage 4 and Type A6 and (spoiler alert) they are epic shoes! So I'll review them in the upcoming weeks.

Thanks friends,
Stay frosty,

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