Lot's to talk about. I must admit I was slacking on my women's breakdown of the fall Majors but to be fair Berlin wasn't going to be an epic race on the women's side other then the story line of Shalane Flanagan going after the AR, shout out to her for going after it, she ran gutsy and was rewarded with a PB of 2:21 low which is solid. Chicago and NYC are the races with big prize purses and appearance fees and they attracted the top of the food chain women. I'll do my analysis of those two women's fields later this week. All the heavy hitters are ready to roll. Both Jeptoo's, Kiplagat and the big return of Kaitany after her ridiculously fast 1:05:39 half marathon at the Great North Run. So look for that Wednesday or Thursday.
Is 2:02 the new 2:03 now?
I don't know how many of you set your alarms for 4am like I did. (even though I was racing/doing a race as a half marathon workout this morning in Harbour Grace) I'm so happy I did, Dennis Kemetto threw down an incredible performance with the help of Emanuel Mutai. This one was a barn burner. You know when you drop Kebede before the halfway mark that your running fast. I figured if it was tactical or a 2:04 mid type of race Kebede would win, but if it was a 2:03 type race it was down to these two stallions as I stated a couple posts ago. They went out at near world record pace coming through the half in 1:01:45 (world record pace was 1:01:41) which set them up perfect for a negative split which is how you approach that kind of a record. If you over cook things even 2-3 seconds/5km too early you could get into trouble. But when they passed half the pacer pushed the pace on to the point where they were 8 seconds inside of it when they dropped at 30km, this is where Mutai stepped up and made it interesting ratcheting the pace down, there was a 2:46 followed by a 2:47km split in there from 32-34 which is just silly. World Record tempo would have been 2:55/km. At this point it was on to break 2:03. Kemetto really owes much of that time to Mutai who was rewarded himself with a crazy new PR of 2:03:13. At 38km Kemetto got a gap and made a strong move. He kept the foot down and covered the last 1km in 2:57 to run 2:02:57. I was amazed to see it unfold and it's an incredible feat. I hope to see Kipsang return to Berlin next year with Kimetto and Mutai again to see what they can do with the 3 of them charging down the streets of Berlin.
JJ's Weekly Training Wrap Up.
JJ once again gives us his weekly training break down. He was a little under the weather this weekend so lets wish him a speedy recovery so he can shake this flu and get back to hammering out those hard workouts we love reading about!
Monday - Easy 18km in 70 minutes. Felt pretty good and ready to roll tomorrow.
Tuesday - Easy 4 km warm up. Drills and strides. 7.7km tempo @12.6mph or 4:46 mile pace. Great session for me as this is always tough @ 5:45 am. Came through 7km again in 20:45 and 5km in 14:51. Easy 3 mile warm down. 16.2km total
Wednesday - Easy 18km in 70 minutes. Not to bad from yesterday.
Thursday - Easy 17.7km in 69 minutes. Starting to get sick and low energy levels.
Friday - 17km in 65 minutes and feeling terrible. Sore throat and congestions setting in.
Saturday - sick on the couch
Sunday - the worst 14 miles of my entire life with David Jackson. Body was tired, and I mentally didn’t really want to be out there. I guess a character builder run. 22.5km
Summary - 109.5km or 68 miles. One tempo that was standard procedure and the rest really wasn’t anything to hit home about. Hopefully I can kick this cold, get my left hamstring to start cooperating and rip through some workouts again soon.
My week that was in training.
Long Run - I was still in T.O for this so got after a long run with Lindsay Carson. SUPER nice girl and a huge talent. Took second this year at the Vancouver Sun Run in 33:48 and was 6th at the 10km Champs last week in 34:28 I do believe or right around there. Anyways it was super wet but very enjoyable run.
20 miles - AM
OFF/Travel - PM
Workout - Where it was a Saturday race and I was feeling good Jason and I met up for a workout. He had a marathon one with 3 miles, 3X1km, 4X400 but we synced up as best we could. I did 7X1mile off 60 seconds rest at a moderate effort, a little slower then 10km race pace. I averaged 5:04 and felt super smooth doing it. Really just flowed well. I'm surprise as I felt raged during the race that weekend but the easy days before must have helped here for this one.
14.2 miles with workout - AM/Lunchtime
5.5 miles - PM
12 miles easy with Jason - AM
9 miles super slow - PM
Workout - Treadmill tempo, 35 minutes at 5:00/mile pace with no incline or 12.0 miles/hour. This equates based on conversion tables to 5:13/mile effort which is bang on where it needs to be. I just couldn't be bothered to go outside and beat my legs up more then they needed to be. I figured as long as I was running the proper effort less impact is better.
15.9 miles with workout - AM
3 miles at a brutally slow pace - PM
5 miles easy with strides - PM
14 miles - PM
OFF - AM
60 minutes Pool Running - PM (my Achilles was hurting just being safe)
8 miles with 4X400m to get the legs going - AM
10 miles - PM
It may look like I front loaded my week but I didn't do a workout on Friday or Saturday because I wanted to use the Harbour Grace 10km as a tempo/race pace workout for my half marathon coming up so I raced/used that as a workout this morning and won about 2 minutes give or take. I'll talk about that in next weeks blog post. I'll attach a picture below. The plan is to put in some good training this week with most at goal race pace then do one hard workout the next week before I cut things back a little for the Turkey Tea 10km. That's a decent course so I'l try to lower my 10km PR on that one. I should be able to at least bang out a 31:30 even though the training is half marathon specific, hopefully things go well and I run under 31:17. We shall see. The problem is running a pace like that for a 10km by myself here is really hard. I need people to chase. Either way I'l give it the old college try. After that one it's all about STWM!!!
Saucony Cortana 4 and Virrata 2 Review.
First let's talk about that Cortana 4. This is what's referred to as a premium cushion neutral training shoe. But what's cool about it is the fact that unlike other shoes in it's category it's not a heavy shoe, in fact it's super light. In the last edition it was 9.6 ounces for a mens size 9 but this time around it's down to 9.2. So not only are you getting an incredibly plush ride but your getting it in a lightweight package so you can wear this and still feel light on your feet and turn the legs over fast. I know for me I can't stand heavy shoes but I know that running the mileage I do in a really light shoe would have me broken up so this is my shoe of choice on my easy days and long runs. It fits super snug with the "Sauc Fit" technology in the lockdown around the laces and it also features a plastic support frame on the outside of the heel counter which helps support a good footstrike when your getting lazy at the end of a long run. From the Cortana 3 it seems to have changed the "flex-film" overlay pattern and dropped some weight. Overall a superb update. Check out the original review I did on the Cortana 3 in early 2014 if you want to know more about the franchise.
Cortana 3 left and 4 on the right.
Now for the Virrata 2. This is a very unique shoe that occupies it's own place in the market. As most of you know the minimalist movement exploded a couple years ago which saw companies putting out zero drop shoes (0mm offset from heel to toe). And while in theory this is great for working on footstrike and all that good stuff companies were making shoes with nothing but blown rubber on the bottom of the shoe with no foam or protection. In the Virrata you get a 0mm offset shoe with 18mm of foam between the ground and your foot so you can run feeling protected for any distance and still get the benefits of a zero drop shoe. This is a supremely lightweight daily training at only 6.7 ounces so you'll feel super fast in them. I've seen my Teammate Kelly Wiebe wear them racing a half and I wouldn't hesitate to do the same. Your foot when wearing these can move however it wants because of the immense flexibility of the outsole. I'd recommend transitioning into this shoe slowly and adapting to the offset. But after some time you'll fall in love with the feeling and you'll want to break them out all the time!
Nice clean upper, this shoe is very minimal.
22 flex pods on the outsole with blown rubber in high abrasion areas.
Well friends, I should call it a wrap on this blog entry as it's becoming super long haha. But I'll be back this week and we will talk about the women's fields for Chicago and NYC. I'll also be testing out the new Saucony Triumph 12 that will showcase some of the things the people at the Saucony Performance Lab have been working on like ISO-Fit technology and PowerGrid+. It's going to be coming out soon but I'll be letting you all know my thoughts on it early before it drops!
Keep training hard friends and I'm sure I'll be seeing you on the roads/trails soon.