Well, better late then never. As I mentioned I would look at the fields for the two deepest major marathons of the year (though London 2014 was stacked as well! Watch the full race on youtube if you have the chance!). I'm also going to talk about fuelling for 26.2 when pushing the limits of what the human body can handle and asking the question of weather having a long track career or running super fast times on the track hinders the ability to run well over 26.2. Ronato Canova spoke about this on Alberto Stretti's blog. http://www.albertostretti.org/ Anyone out there who likes track and field and marathoning needs to follow this blog and never miss a post! It's where the truth is told and the best in the world are asked about thier oppinions and stats are broken down like no other. This week he talks about the performance of Denis Kimetto in Berlin and shows each and every split. Read the part where he talks about the last 10km split of 28:53. Also these are the splits run from 30-35km (2:47, 2:46, 2:52, 2:48, 2:58) Think about that for a moment.....mind blowing.
Women's Elite Field for Chicago.
Rita Jeptoo - 2:18:57
Florence Kiplagat - 2:19:44
Mare Dibaba - 2:19:52
Birhane Dibaba - 2:22:30
These are your contenders to watch. There are about 25 on the Elite Startlist but these are the only women worth mentioning if we are talking truly elite. In women's marathoning right now if your not of sub 2:20 ability with the exception of a new comer to the marathon game on your way to the top then you won't win a major unless everyone else runs horribly. Case and point Shalane Flanagan ran AMAZINGLY last week in Berlin but when the two Ethiopian girls who are relatively still unknown and non sub 2:20 performers took off at 32km it was over. It's the same thing on the men's side. If your not a sub 2:05 guy, it really needs to be a situation like Boston this year to win.
So who's going to take the tape? It's going to be between Jeptoo and Kiplagat. Both are incredible marathon runners and half marathon runners for that matter. I don't know how to break this one down. I feel like they will want to run fast and the 4 above names are the only ones with PR's capable of going out at that pace so look for all 4 to go out at around 1:10 for the half and things will get strung out from there. I'll take Jeptoo as I feel like she's got more Major Marathon credentials but Kiplagat could surprise with her 1:05 half marathon speed!!
Women's Elite Field for NYC.
Mary Kaitany - 2:18:37
Edna Kiplagat - 2:19:50
Buzunesh Deba - 2:19:59
Priscah Jeptoo - 2:20:14
WHAT A FIELD!!!!!! I'm so excited for this race on both the men's and women's side. Mary Kaitany has been on a tear since returning from having her first child. At the great north run she ran the world record for the half marathon of 1:05:39. I'm going to say this comes down to the last 2 miles in central park. I think it's going to be the opposite of last year. These ladies won't let Deba go and spot her 3 minutes and 15 seconds like last year. They know Deba is now a sub 2:20 girl and they will never get her back. I envision Deba taking the pace out hot like last year and they go through the half in 1:11:30ish and keep moving well as a pack until Jeptoo pushes the pace hard and only herself and Kaitany are left. I'm going to say Jeptoo takes it. I can't not after the race she ran last year. But I could be wrong and Mary will put up a heck of a fight. Either way this is a MUST watch! So be sure to tune in. It's just 29 days away.
Fuelling in the marathon for men running sub 2:05 hindered by the track?
Now I'm asking questions here more then talking about the idea and I encourage anyone who understands this metabolic physiology better then myself to jump in! (Mike Greene that means you!!). I bring up this point as I read about Canova talking about the difficulty to train the body to be efficient at burning fat for fuel at 4:40-4:43/mile tempo. Especially for a guy coming from a great track foundation where they have a huge ability to "resist" fatigue as Renato puts it while running at a very fast pace. (We are talking sub 26:40 10km ability and sub 12:50 5km runners). These races at that type of tempo have the runners burning glycogen as their primary fuel source at an incredibly fast rate. He talks about the hard transition that occurs when these athletes make the move to the marathon when they are running a much slower pace and trying to conserve their glycogen as long as possible. The issue is now with the top guys running so fast, they are on that fine line where they need to make their bodies as efficient as possible to ensure they can maintain that pace and not run out of fuel too early. Obviously they are taking in carbohydrate but the key is their ability to oxidise and utilize fatty acids at such a velocity and conserve that pure energy source (glycogen) for later stages when dropping those fast 5km's with 30 minute or less of running on the clock.
Canova expresses his thoughts that runners going strait to the roads/marathon and jumping right into that type of training are at an advantage and teach their body right away through lots of marathon race pace work to get as effecient as possible at running on fats. He questions how much faster Bekele can run over 26.2 but says it is possible to develop this ability in some cases later in one's career after coming from the track like his top competitor in Chicago Eliud Kipchoge.
Anyway this is just to get the discusion started. I find this very interesting. And to be honest I'm thinking this may be why Mo Farah only mustered a 2:08 debut marathon. Mo ran 3:28 for 1500m 10 month before he ran the marathon. I wonder if he had too much speed if there is such a thing for the marathon. I guess not so much that his speed was holding him back but that he was still a runner that operated best at high intensities where he was powering his aerobic engine on carbs alone and that's what it needed to run well.
Leave me some thoughts in the comments section below!
I'll be back Sunday with the usual update!