USATF Indoor champs and the Chili Half.
Last weekend saw the hosting of the USA indoor champs. I was pleased to see a lot of high profile athletes show up. Sometimes with no world indoor team to make you see some of the top talent skip the meet in favor of training for the outdoor season. Especially with an outdoor world champs team to make this year.
The USATF changed things up in terms of the distances that they ran where they didn't have to select a team for indoor worlds. Normally we see the 400/800/mile or 1500 and the 3km but this year they went with the 600/1000/mile and two mile. I thought this was kind of fun and made things interesting in the 600/1000m especially. I won't recap all the races as not everyone who reads this is as big of a track fan but I'll highlight what the major take aways from the meet were.
1 - Alysia Montano is back after her pregnancy and ready to take some names. Many who follow track may have remembered at the USA outdoor champs last year into her third trimester of pregnancy she ran the 800. I'm a big fan of Alysia, she tends to attack the 800m and run from the front as shes a more speed oriented 800m runner with great open 400m speed (52.01). I've seen races where she ran 1:57 low leading wire to wire. So I'm stoked she is back. The US is really strong in the 800 with Montano, Wilson and Martinez all being 1:57 girls under the age of 30.
2 - Robby Andrews is back! I love Andrews man. When I need motivation for a workout I put on the video of him winning NCAA outdoors in 1:44 coming back to take down Charles Jock with one of the best kicks ever. The 1000m is a great race for him and I'm anxious to see what he can do now that hes back with his old coach and training 100% for the 1500m.
3 - Centro shows he's the best miler in the states and always gets it done. Great race by Centro and an awesome race as well by Blankenship coming back after the two mile. He showed some class too letting Centro out of being boxed in hard with two laps to go. He could have kept him in there and then kicked for home but he moved all the way out into lane 3 to let him out and try to beat him fair and square. That's a dudes, dude right there. Respect Ben!!
4 - Ryan Hill can close like a beast when he gets a clear path. He took down some big names in the two mile and ran 25 high for his last 200m. I know the pace wasn't super hot but it wasn't a jog either. He should be a lock to make the 5000m squad this year going to Beijing.
5 - Shannon Rowbery is in the form of her life. She pulled off the mile/two mile double in fine fashion and showed her vicious closing speed. At 30, under Salazar I think she is best served staying with the 1500m. She's run under 4 minutes and in a tactical 1500 anyone with closing speed has a chance to medal if they make the final. That's not the case in the 5000m. The top women are running 14:20-14:35 in sometimes unevenly run races. She can't hang with the very best in the world over the 5km, but can certainly hold her own in the 1500m. Interesting to see what 2015 brings for her.
Lastly I want to touch on the Chili Half Marathon. I'm super stoked for Reid and Krista getting the wins on Sunday. Reid, (my CEP Canada teammate) ran 63:38 on a super cold day wearing a half zip and long tights, solo I might add. So you have to think he is in 62:30 or better shape which is basically his PR for the half. I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do at Rotterdam. Reid has been good for so long man. I'm sure he will hit the A standard and run on the streets of Rio for the Marathon in 2016. Krista, (my Saucony Canada teammate) ran 74:01 which is only about a minute and a half off her PR on a record eligible course so she is in fine form as well. I've got faith that Krista too will run the A standard and be representing us proudly in Rio. Two shout outs go to my boys Nick Senseri and Dan Way who also ran strong at the Chili Half!
My week in training.
10 miles easy 6:17/mile pace - AM
OFF - PM
Workout - 7X1km off 60 seconds recovery. I did this session on the indoor track. I had some problems finding a good rhythm for some reason. Like, I was hitting the times I wanted to at the end of each rep but it was really uneven pacing and didn't feel smooth. But I guess sometimes that happens. I started at 2:54 and stayed there for the first 4 before getting down to 2:51 high for the last one. I had my buddy Jason join me for this session. All in all this was a good one.
5km warm up + strides/drills, 7X1km + 6km cool down - AM
OFF - PM
10 miles easy 6:22/mile pace - AM
OFF - PM
OFF - AM
9 miles easy at 6:14/mile pace - PM
9 miles easy at 6:26/mile pace - AM
OFF - PM
Workout - 25X200m with a 200m jog in under 60 seconds continuous. I averaged bang on 30 seconds per 200m and was just focusing on running fast but relaxed. Once you get into a rhythm running 200's you can just keep it going all day. This workout left me feeling light and fast so definitely a good one.
5.5km warm up with drills and strides, 10km of work including jog rest and 6km cool down - AM
OFF - PM
9 miles easy at 6:17/mile pace with some strides at the end - AM
OFF - PM
Saucony Zealot Review
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post I've been running in the new shoes that Saucony has released this year. The last two reviews I did were the Triumph ISO and Breakthru. This time I'm looking at the all new Zealot. This shoe is a plush, lightweight, 4mm drop daily trainer that features the new ISO technology with a built in booty and cage lockdown system.
I've heard from some of the higher ups at Saucony that even tho the Mirage 5 just came out and there was a recent update on the Cortana 4 that this shoe will be taking the place of both of those moving forward. Now I run daily in the Cortana 4 and I'm going to miss that shoe big time if it goes away. But the new Zealot is just such a cool shoe that I don't think I'm going to mind.
Starting with the upper you can tell that this shoe is designed to really fit the runner snugly and be an extension to the foot. You put it on and it disappears. The ISO lockdown "cage" or "fingers" really lock the foot in place and with the inner booty it just fits really well. If your in a size 10 in a current saucony shoe then this fits true to size. I always find that throughout the lineup I can count on sizes running true. I do however order down .5 in a racing flat but that's just personal preference.
Anyway on to the outsole. Saucony gives this shoe their new PowerGrid+ which you also find in their other premium shoes the ISO Triumph and ISO Hurricane. What you get is a 33% softer ride but it's still really responsive. On the bottom of the shoe you find IBR+ blown rubber for incredible durability.
Those are the specs and what's going on with the shoe but you really have to get into this to know what it's all about. It just feels so light weighing in at 8.3 ounces but you get SOO much cushioning with it. I'm finding I can run in this 7 days a week. If I had to compare it to anything I'd say its a slightly firmer version of the Kinvara with regards to how it feels on contact. But on foot it resembles the ISO Triumph.
Either way you look at it this is a game changing shoe. An incredibly light shoe that delivers great responsiveness and superior cushioning. I'd highly recommend this shoe to anyone who loves the Kinvara or any of the other neutral daily trainers from Saucony.
Saucony Zealot in the back. (Type A6's left, Fastwich 7 right)
That's all for now folks. I've taken enough of your time. But I wish you all a great week in training and I hope your weather is starting to take a turn for the better.
Keep living the dream,