Lets talk Berlin, Chicago and NYC Marathons. (Men this week, women next week)
This year it seems like the 3 big fall marathons have all gone after a couple big names and used most of their appearance fee bankroll to get them. So they are a little top heavy with talent but if all these guy's make it to the start line healthy......oh dear, it's going to be epic. I predict we will see a new world record this year with an off chance at someone dipping under 2:03. (I'd feel much better about the chances if Wilson Kipsang was running Berlin rather then New York).
The two men to watch in this race are Dennis Kimetto, winner of last year's Chicago Marathon in a course record time of 2:03:45. This guy is a beast, he's not as consistent as the next man I'll mention but this guy has proven he can win a Major (Tokyo and Chicago) and do so in dynamic fashion. (note that the man who finished second to him last year in Chicago Emanuel Mutai will also be in the field and has run 2:03:54 and come second in a race while doing so, think about that for a minute......crazy.) The other man to watch and the one I'm going to put my money on is Tsegay Kebede, this guy is the little engine that could, he's 5 feet 2 inches tall and is just over 100 pounds but man can he move. He was the World Major winner last year and has gotten it done time and time again in big races. At the young age of 27 he has won London several times, Chicago, Fukuoka, Paris, medalled at the Olympics and had runner up finishes at NYC and Berlin. I think he's going to make a strong move with 2 miles to go and take the tape for first!
This is a dream race with the two favourites being two of the most accomplished and decorated track runners in history Eliud Kipchoge and Keneneisa Bekele. First lets look at the credentials of Kipchoge, the only man who has shown better range is Haile G, and Kipchoge is still just 29 despite having international medals from the world championships as early as 2003 in Paris and the Olympics in 2004, 2008. He has personal bests of 12:46 for 5km, 26:49 for 10km, 59:25 for the HM and 2:04:05 for the full 26.2. In my mind this is the man who will be the best Marathoner on the planet for the next 4-6 years, he has transitioned seamlessly to the roads and his slowest Marathon ever run was his Debut of 2:05:30. He won Rotterdam this year in poor conditions in 2:05:00. Look for him to make it a HARD pace from the gun and try to run away from Bekele as he knows all to well what may happen if he isn't dropped. Now for Bekele, the most decorated track runners EVER. He holds the world records over 5km and 10km with times of 12:37/26:17 and had a stellar Marathon Debut of 2:05:02 in Paris in what was a solo effort after 25km. I think he will become a fantastic Marathoner but I wonder if he can achieve the greatness he found on the track. I expect him to run 2:03:XX this year given the right conditions. It's going to be an epic battle with Kipchoge and it could go either way.
NEW YORK 2014
For the final Major of the season we have the NYC Marathon, and we have the best for last. Geoffrey Mutai vs Wilson Kipsang on the streets of New York......what a barn burner this will be. To tell you the truth I was very surprised to hear they were racing each other. They train in the same camp in the rift valley with Kimetto so I was expecting Kipsang would run Berlin and go after his world record leaving Mutai to get his third win in a row in the big apple. Breaking this down is hard to do. You can't do it on times as Kipsang is the "official" world record holder and Mutai holds the "worlds best". To me it just comes down to who prepares better and shows up ready to roll without injury on race day. If it's the Mutai of 2011 who ran Boston in 2:03:02 and New York in 2:05:02....then I may give him a slight edge but he needs to be in that shape or better to beat Wilson, as he's been unstoppable lately. He set the world record in Berlin last September and demolished the deepest marathon field ever assembled (including the Olympics) in London this past April running the course record there. Both are age 32, in their marathoning prime and coming off great tune up races so it's going to be up in the air who takes this one. I'm going with Kipsang, but Mutai could very well take his third strait at the finish line in central park!
JJ's Weekly Training Wrap Up
JJ shares his week in training and explains some of the hamstring issues he's been having. I'm sure he will get this taken care of and be running personal bests all across the board later this fall. Thanks for sharing my friend.
Monday - Easy 17km in 65 minutes. Felt good
Tuesday - Easy 17km in 65 minutes. Felt pretty good.
Wednesday - 4km warm up with drills and stretching. 7km tempo in 20:45. 12.6 mph or 4:46 mile pace. With my new job I’m doing all my workouts and runs at 5:30 am with a few exceptions. This went very well and I was happy with how it went. Just over 3.3km for the warm down.
Thursday - 15km easy in 58 minutes.
Friday - easy 7 miles in 39:45. Started dropping 5:35 mile pace after work. My left hip was very bad however.
Saturday - 4.5km warm up and drills. 10km race which was a disaster in 34minutes. No cool down.
Sunday - 22.1km long run with David Jackson in 90 minutes.
Summary - 111km or 69.5 miles. This may be a bit long but I need to explain the race. Since 2012 I have had some major hip, glute, and hamstring problems on my left side. What started to happen as I started to try and train harder my hips were becoming more imbalanced and my SI joint would get jammed due to muscle fatigue and weakness on my left side. Any run over 7 miles at a hard pace, I will have to slow down or stop to stretch to allow my left side to stabilize itself. If I don’t, my left leg becomes useless and there is absolutely no stabilization and thus I would fall unless I stop. Those who are close to me and know my story know that my last couple of big races dating back to 2012, two half marathons, three 10k’s and a couple of 8k’s have seen me literally stop to stretch as my left side becomes fatigued and tightens. That is exactly what happened on Saturday and it forced me to stop 4 times to stretch. I believe I should have just stopped and dropped but I felt since the Canadian Running Series showed interest in me by paying for my entry; I should at least finish regardless. However, in this circumstance, I really hurt myself as David Jackson this morning saw me stop three times on a slow long run because my left side was still in spasm. At this point I am very fit and know it has nothing to do with workouts but I need to properly fix the situation. I have a plan in place and a very regimented training program to help fix the imbalance. My next race is unknown but I will be back and will be fitter than ever. I’m not even close to giving up yet.
My week that was in training
Long Run - Standard procedure here, put in my headphones with some heavy dubstep house music and rolled a nice 20 miler, 1:58:37. Average of 5:56/mile. My legs get a little raw the last 3-4 miles when I'm doing these. I may start wearing a little bit heavier of a shoe. I've been rolling in the Saucony Fastwich 6 for long runs but may switch it back to the kinvara 5's to save my legs from the pounding.
20 miles - AM
OFF - PM
6.7 miles with 10X1 minute hill sprints and strides - AM
12.1 miles - PM
Workout - 6 mile tempo in 30:44. This was a super good session. I got after it pretty well and my boy Jason did it as well running his in mid 34 minutes. After seeing that I know he's really getting fit for his Marathon.
14.4 miles with workout - AM
5 miles - PM
6 miles with 20' of diagonals on the soccer field - AM
12 miles - PM
Workout - 5X1mile, I just did this as a feel good progressive workout. I started at a little slower then 10km effort and worked it down off 60 seconds recovery. 5:07, 5:01, 5:00, 4:56, 4:43. I ran these really controlled and just needed a session where I felt smooth and fluid. I was beat up after that tempo tuesday.
6 miles easy - AM
11.4 miles with workout - PM
OFF - AM
7.3 miles - PM
Workout/Race. Did the 5km race as a good hard effort. I did a 2 mile warm up with strides then the race, afterwards I cooled down by running the course again with Jason after he finished the 10km and chucked in a few hills for good measure.
9.4 miles with race and warm up/cool down - AM
10 miles easy - PM
So that folks was my week, things are going well. Like I said I'm off to Toronto on Thursday with Kate and Julia at 4pm. I'll train normally until Wednesday then cut things back. I want to place well at Nationals but the end goal here for the fall is Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon in October so we will have to approach this as a step along the way but I'll get after it and give it my all. I feel ready for a good tactical 10km as the Zoo is possibly the slowest course in the country with over 30 turns on the second 5km alone. Anyway I will be updating on social media and taking lots of pictures and all that good stuff so stay locked for all the happenings. I'll leave you with a few pictures from Saturday.
Thanks for reading and stay frosty,