Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Thoughts on London, Payton Jordan and Team Sponsorship vs Individual deals.

What's up my running friends? I don't even have to ask if you are all training hard and racing as I'm sure you are all hammering at this time of the year. Because this was a rather uneventful week in terms of training I'm going to skip doing a recap and talk about a few things that have been on my mind. Please feel free to jump in the conversation on the comments section below after reading. I'm a serious fan of the sport but my opinions may not always line up with everyone else's but I certainly want to hear other peoples thoughts and corrections if I misspeak or am off the mark on something. I'll be back to normal with a training recap next week as we are only 3+ weeks out from Ottawa race weekend and I'm poised to run a 30 minute 10km there. The following Sunday then is the half marathon champs in Calgary. I'm a little nervous of the elevation. Does anyone know how much the 3000ish feet above sea level that Calgary is effects half marathon performances? I'd like to run something in the 1:08 range but if it's going to be a factor then I'd like to know so I can manage my effort from the gun and run a smart 1:09 and hopefully catch some of the people who fall off the pace. Anyway, onward to some running talk.

Eliud Kipchoge, the most under appreciated/underrated runner in the world.


I needed to talk about Eliud after his performance at the London Marathon this past Sunday as it, in my mind anyway, solidifies his place in history as one of the top 5-10 distance runners of all time. Before I break down what exactly he has done during his illustrious career let's look at the London Marathon. Billed as "The Clash of the Champions" it was hyped to be Kipsang, the former world record holder, defending champ of London and number 1 ranked marathoner of 2014 vs. Kimetto, the current world record holder, first man to run 2:02 and defending Berlin champ. It seemed that the build up and media that London was trying to generate was really to hype this clash/showdown. If you got a chance to see the 4 minute clip they posted on YouTube you know what I'm talking about. They tried to take a page from boxing's play book especially now with Manny vs Floyd finally happening and the commercials that bout is putting out in the media.

I noticed immediately that there didn't seem to be as much publicity given to the likes of E. Mutai, G. Mutai or Kipchoge, all of whom are studs in their own right and with an average personal best of mid 2:03. 

Anyway, as the race played out and we got to see the battle at the end with Kipchoge and Kipsang it was clear that the best man won. We know Kipsang is known for having a tremendous finish at the end of marathons. We need look no further then NYC 2014 when he absoluptly dusted Desisa and made it look like he was standing still the last 400. (Desisa is a two time Boston winner and is in his prime). So to see Kipchoge put the boots to him and run around 1:37 for his last 600m in a 2:04 race....let's just say we know who the best marathoner in the world is right now.

Why I say/think he's under appreciated is that, here is a guy who is 30 years old, coming into his prime years as a marathoner and has been at the very top, I mean TOP, of the game since he was 17 years old. At age 18 in 2003, he beat the best 5000m field ever assembled at the world championships in Paris. Sure, London called this the best marathon field ever, and it was, but I'm sorry Wilson Kipsang, Dennis Kimetto, Emanuel and Geoffrey Mutai in their 30's aren't in the conversation with a prime Bekele, Hicham El G, Gebremariam, etc.... At 18 he took down this incredible field with a vicious final 400m. I'll link the video below.

I won't just sit here and try to convince you why he should be in the conversation for one of the best runners of all time but I'll list his PB's, tittles and let you decide for yourself. Before doing so however, think about this for a moment. He's beaten the world record holder over 1500m (granted it was in a 5000m), 5k/10k and the record holder over the marathon. The only scalp left to collect is Tedese over the half and as it stands right now if they faced off over 13.1 my money is on Kipchoge. Lastly, how many guys in the world who have run a 3:33 1500m and a 3:50 mile can say they can take down a 2:02 marathoner?

PR's
1500m/mile - 3:33/3:50
3000m/2mile - 7:27/8:07
5000m - 12:46 (number 7 on the all time list!!)
10000m/10km road - 26:49/26:54
HM - 59:25
Marathon - 2:04:05 (capable of much, much faster!)

A bronze and silver medal from the Olympic games and a gold, silver and bronze(indoors) from the world championships.


I also want you guys to have a look at this 1500m from Brussels in 2001. I thought we were getting the 1500m depth and talent back to this kind of level the last two years with Kiplagat and Kiprop running 3:27's but watching this, we are not there yet. Look at this battle between Lagat and El G. 


Canadian women set to battle over 10000m in Palo Alto.


This weekend is the always epic Payton Jordan invite. I could do a whole post about the meet and races but I'll reserve that for another day. Let's look at our girls going after some standards/spots for the Pan Am's and WC's. 

Rachel Cliff - 27 and coming off a nice 5000m PB of 15:33. I'm a big fan of Rachel and I think she is suited to the track. If you've seen her run you'll notice she is up on her toes and sort of springs/bounds very lightly. If she was going against the other girls on the roads for a 10km I wouldn't like her chances as much but on the track I think she can hang with any of them. Based on her 5000m time and the fact that I think she's more 1500/5000 as opposed to a 10000m/HM runner I'm going to say she has a shot at running 32 mid to high in her first try at the distance on the track.

Natasha Labeaud - 27 and coming off a great season in 2014. We have seen a couple good races from her so far this year running 16 flat for a 5000, 56 for a 10 mile and 1:15 for a half. She is definitely more of an endurance based runner with bests of 15:50/32:43 over the 5 and 10. I'm going to say she runs right around her current PB. She seems to be making the transition to the Marathon as her main distance but I suspect she can come through 5km in under 16:30 and keep it going to run something in the high 32 minute range.

Natasha Wodak - 33 and hot off a 32:34 Sun Run and 1:11:20 NYC Half. She's the veteran in this group but she's also been setting PB's this year so it's certainly possible we see a big one from her this weekend. I don't know that she has the high end speed to run under 32 minutes. She has run a super impressive 8km and split a sub 16 5km en route but other then that she hasn't broken 16 minutes for 5km so I'm going to say she runs a strong race and comes home with something around 32:10-32:15. This is going to be a big season for Natasha and I'm psyched to see her run her next Marathon. All things point to sub 2:30!

Lanni Marchant - 31 and obviously ready to roll a fast 10km. She ran 32:11 on the track at the Stanford Invite and 31:48 at Yonge Street. I chatted with Lanni at the hotel last weekend while we were getting taken to the start line and she is in 10km mode right now. It's definitely possible and within her to see something under 32 minutes. In her last 10000m she did all the leading in the chase pack as she knew going with Shalane would be a suicide mission. So provided she can just hop on a train with a group going out in 31:30-31:45 pace I think it's fair to say she's ready to go sub 32.

Rachel Hannah - 28 and I like to call her the X factor of this group of 5. Rachel is a sweetheart and had an amazing season last year running PB's over every distance she ran. Behind Lanni, she is the one to watch. She beat Lanni at the 10km champs last year on the roads but there are a lot of things to consider about that race. Lanni had run two marathons already at that point and was in a high mileage week as she was a month out from STWM. In Ottawa last year they raced and had a fantastic back and forth over the last 5km with Lanni just holding Rachel off. In my mind, Rachel is the other girl who has the ability to go sub 32 if she has a good day. She is ever improving, training with a great group and this is her time to really throw down a fast 10km. I predict somewhere between 31:50-32:10 and that it's a toss up between her and Lanni for the first canuck across the line.

Official predictions.

Lanni - 31:5X
Rachel H - 31:5X
Natasha W - 32:1X
Rachel C - 32:4X
Natasha L - 32:5X

I wish you all good luck and I'm rooting for all of you to kill it! :). As Lanni likes to hastag #MakeYourLegsGoFast

Team Sponsorship more lucrative then individual deals for most Elites?


I recently watched a video interview with the coach of the newly formed "Hoka One One Northern Arizona Elite" - Powered by Training Peaks . That's a mouthful isn't it? Anyway he talked about something that I've wondered about for a long time. The state of sponsorship in track and field/road running. (Video is linked below)

Now I'm one of these people who only likes watching something that is quality. This is true for all sports I watch, Hockey, Track and Field, MMA, etc. So I get really annoyed with sub par sports as entertainment. I feel like we have a huge problem with over-saturation in almost all of the major sports in north america. Take the NHL for example. The NHL is basically a brand first and foremost who cares about the bottom line. So the more teams, games, and merchandise that is sold the better. The problem is we, the audience/consumer of said product suffer from their greed in the form of very poor hockey. Don't get me wrong, I love hockey, and have played it at what I would say is a higher level then my running at one point. But there is just too many teams and not enough talent to fill the rosters. Every team needs 4 lines and from what I can see this leads to some pretty bad players making it to the big leagues. (Obviously this is just my opinion and it also means I wasn't good in the grand scheme of things either if I didn't go past Major Jr.). But I know for a fact I'm right in saying that hockey would be SOOO much better with 12-18 teams. We wouldn't have as many filler players for lack of a better word, we wouldn't have each team playing as many games and therefore every game would mean more and we as fans would be even more invested. Sadly, the dollar rules all and I'm sure we will see a couple more expansion teams sold to the tune of 500 million dollars within the next couple years.

I want to mention this as I feel like Athletics as a whole can be so much bigger. We are fortunate to have a sport that only the truly elite make it to the big shows/stages like the Diamond League Meetings and global championships. The problem is we aren't capitalizing on it and the athletes aren't getting paid what they are worth. There is no way some plug who rides the pine in the national hockey league should be earning a base salary of 900K with about 1% of the athletic ability of some of the track and field stars who are training like animals, ranked in the top 5-10 in the world and aren't even earning 10% of that number for certain events.

So how can we correct this? To be honest I don't know enough about the business end of the sport to draw up a good idea but we need to get this fixed ASAP. And I think one way of doing it is to set up teams/training groups that have a tittle sponsor similar to the Nike Oregon Project. You see kids all over the place rocking NOP singlets and shirts and cheer for Rupp, Levins and Farah. They get behind the team and thus behind the brand. This helps the brand get more exposure then sponsoring one individual athlete who maybe races 10 times a year max. With a stable of athletes you have people racing almost every weekend at different events. There is a team/brand recognition and it's a win-win for the athletes and companies that sponsor them.

What would really help is if we start getting the big companies involved that aren't really directly associated with the sport like Apple, Samsung (Other then the diamond league) or car companies like Lexus or Audi. Let's get a bigger piece of the pie and make it so that our athletes are getting what they are worth. 

Now "worth" is a tricky thing to compare from sport to sport as you are only worth what you can negotiate. But if the athletes could come together and devise a better plan in conjunction with the governing bodies and broadcasting entities as well as blue chip sponsors......well then we would be really making some headway and at least the athletes could try to maximize their earning potential more.





Alright, this has gotten super long, I'll stop here. Again, these are just my opinions and ideas. I'm no expert and would love to hear what you all think about this type of thing.

I'll see you all next week with a training update and more ramblings,

DF, over and out.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Week of training Monday April 13th - Sunday the 19th

Hey everyone! This will be a quick update as I'm up to my eyes right now but I wanted to make sure I got something up about last weeks training and my race at Yonge Street. I must say, it's always an awesome time in T.O. Obviously I didn't run as fast as I wanted to. Coming through the 5km in 15:29 kind of dishartened me and it was tough to try to keep fighting as it was a slower split then last year. Obviously the wind had to do with this but regardless I had some fun, got to see lots of friends and hit up some places for some tasty treats and some beers of course.

Before I do a quick recap of last week in training I'd be remiss if I didn't quickly talk about Boston. That was pretty darn entertaining wasn't it? When I tune in to a Major I get so pumped up and start thinking how awesome it would be to race a marathon. But then, after the race is over and I ponder it some more.....I realize it's 26.2 miles, and that would hurt. Obviously I'll do one at some point but I really want to get my 5/10km times down to something I can be pleased with before getting into something like that. As it stands now my best distance performance wise might be the 5km so we will certainly need some more aerobic strength worth in the next few seasons before tackling a beast like the Thon'.

But enough about how I'm a big baby afraid of a marathon. Let's look at who did run one this weekend. Lelisa Desisa....oh man, this guy is a stud. I figured coming into this race he was the man to beat. Not because of times he's run as good as they are but because of last years NYC Marathon, he hung with the best Marathoner on earth in my mind, Wilson Kipsang, right up until about 400m to go when Wilson decided to use that extra bit of talent that has made him the best man over 26.2 the last few years. I didn't see anybody on the start list who could run with Desisa if he was ready to go on race day. I didn't like Chibet putting it out there that it was his race to win....I mean he's a world class Marathoner but what's his best performance? a 2:05:23 from Rotterdam in 2011? That's a fine run but your not hanging with Desisa, sorry.

Now I thought there was a few very notable performances during this race. Let's start with Ritz. His first marathon in 18 months. He ran with guts and smarts. It was a very good day for him and this should tell us baring injury or a poor performance at the trials he will be a lock for that US team. Meb, again had a great showing finishing in 2:12 and displaying the type of class that we just don't see in many sports. What a guy!!. Lastly I was happy to see Wesley Korir have a solid 5th place showing. He's such a great dude and if any of you haven't watched Transcend, I suggest you pick up a copy!

On the women's side, I was super impressed with Desi for making the race honest when it started to lag and to see her stick her nose in it with some very credentialled women was impressive. She's another athlete who is a great ambassador for the sport. Now she's not going to be able to go with those top of the food chain women when they change gears at the end of races, she has very modest PB's in the 5/10 and half but she held on pretty well and will certainly make the US team next year at the trials. The winner of the race, Caroline Rotich, now her I didn't predict winning. I had it between Dibaba and Deba with a slight edge to Deba for going sub 2:20 last year on the course but we were treated to a great race and I'm happy for Rotich getting the win.

Finally congrats to everyone else who ran. I've got tremendous respect for anyone who steps up to the marathon and runs the full distance. Great job and I hope you work at a job where your sitting down this week! :)

My week in training.

Monday

8 miles easy 6:14/mile pace - AM
OFF - PM

Tuesday

Workout - 5km tempo on the treadmill at 4:43/mile pace on 0% incline. Just trying to teach the legs to run fast but controlled. Felt really good during this workout. I like seeing progression doing these where all the variables are controllable. I try to just shut off my mind and think about running relaxed, holding good form and visualize what races will be like.

4km warm up, 5km tempo and a 5km cool down - AM
OFF - PM

Wednesday

7 miles easy at lunch at 6:09/mile pace - AM
OFF - PM

Thursday

6 miles easy at 6:12/mile pace followed by 10X100m strides on the track - AM
OFF - PM

Friday

Travel - AM
5 miles easy on the treadmill at 6:20/mile pace + strides outside - PM

Saturday

5 miles easy at 6:15/mile pace + strides - AM
OFF - PM

Sunday

Race - 2 mile warm up with Kevin, Joe and Driss (Former 2:11 marathoner and ran 33:09 at age 53!!!!). Then got after the race as best I could. Got depressed seeing 15:29 at the 5km split. We could still see the lead group and people were falling off that even as they had split 14:45 so I knew times were not going to be fast. We had a vicious head wind down Yonge. It's unfortunate because I feel super fit right now. I'll have many more shots at running fast over 10km. I just couldn't get excited to attack the back half after a split like that. I supposed we all have those types of days. I ended up with 31:22. I'm sure effort wise it was a far better race then last years even so as Eric was 40+ seconds slower then last year but I'm leaving dissatisfied but hungry. This will be remedied my next time out no doubt. No point in being negative as in all honesty I had a TON of fun and saw lots of the boys who I hadn't seen since STWM and some of them since last years 10km champs.

2 mile warm up + 10km race in 31:22 + 3 mile cool down (with Matt, Sami and Trev) - AM
OFF/Beers and the hockey game - PM



Well that's my week. I don't have a ton of time right now and I also don't want to ramble but a couple of shout outs have to be made. 

1 - Aaron - I wish we had a chance to chat after buddy, you killed it. 31:00 mid marathon build. No doubt in my mind you will run under 2:25. You looked smooth and like you were built to run 26.2

2 - Matt - Stoked your back man, within another month or two you'll be fighting right to the line for the win with whoever toes the line. Know that you've got a place to stay if you come back for the tely. (PS: the red wings warm up and cool down hat is glorious. Die hard fan. I love it!

3 - Garrett - Stay the course with working on that plantar. Your going to have a huge season man. Hopefully we get to work together in Ottawa and we both get a time we are happy with! Great run on Sunday bud.

4 - Rejean - How do you do it dude? Your like the face of T.O running haha, I'm amazed you even have time for your own training, enjoyed catching up and solid race there Sunday. Glad your working with Steve again and looking for a big Marathon!

5 - The man who makes it all possible, Alan Brookes. Love that guy man, thanks for taking care of me this weekend (That goes for Ian as well!). I don't know how you do so much in 24 hours. Safe travels to London! As I mentioned I'll be hitting up every race I can manage in the series this year so I'll be seeing you soon.

6 - Dan - Glad to finally chat in person dude! I'm excited for you to jump into a marathon in 2 weeks. Your a veteran at the distance and can take whatever it throws at you. Hopefully you come off it really well with a time your happy with and we can toe the line together in Ottawa as part of #TeamAwesome. 

(Guy's if you don't know Dan (Way) check out his blog on the side of my page. You know that cool Race Guide magazine from Canadian Running that was in our race kits? Yeah, that's his doing, so be sure to check it out and follow him on social media!)

Alright, I'll leave this with a few pictures and I wish you all happy training. I'll be taking a crack at another race this weekend so lets hope for a fast time or something reflective of the fitness/workouts that I've been hitting.

Thanks friends, stay frosty,
Dave

Finishing it up.


Race start


Headache at the airport I hit L instead of K when typing my last name...not smart


People watching on Yonge were calling out "Go Freake!!" some of the runners in our chase pack might have been offended, I assure you tho those chants were directed at me ha.


Lanni and Eric, always get it done. Clutch performances.


The legend that is Rejean! I don't know what kind of three quarter thumbs up I'm giving. It could be representative of the race ha. 



Resting the getaway sticks!


My boy Joe also all the way from Newfoundland! (Way to not open my eyes ha)


Getting in some liquid recovery with Joe at this rad sports bar that's by the big Cineplex, Sunday night beers and the Ottawa game!

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Week of training Monday April 6th - Sunday the 12th

Oh hey there, what's up friends. How was your week? I bet mostly everyone reading this got after a race last weekend or will be getting after one this coming weekend. I hope your training is going well and your enjoying the process of training as much as the outcome that it breeds. I had one of my best weeks in terms of training and am now starting to drop back the volume as I prepare to hit a few races pretty hard. I plan on doing 5-6 races in April/May before I take a little holiday for 3 weeks when I get back from the half champs on June 1st. My lady friend and I are going to go down to Florida for a week where my family has a place and then do a little road trip Merica' style for a couple weeks. Should be fun. I'll need a little down time after my spring races and hopefully I'll be able to get into a fast track race or two during this time too. So yeah, that's the plan for the next couple months. I'll keep this post short, (I promise) and just talk quickly about Rotterdam and break down my week that was in training.

Rotterdam Marathon, where Canadian Marathoner dreams come true?


Well, Sunday was certainly a treat, I got up early and logged into Trackie.ca to get myself set up with a stream for the Rotterdam Marathon. I was obviously pumped to see how our Canadians would run but I mean it's also Rotterdam, it's a race like Dubai where guy's from East Africa come to run fast and make a name for themselves. The pace for the lead group went out REALLY HOT. I mean at one point on the broadcast they said the group was 20 seconds up on World Record Pace. I figured this might end badly for most of the runners as anything under 2:04:00 pace early takes it toll on just about every runner in the world except for a handful and I didn't see the credentials to back up that kind of spicy pace but it was still exciting to watch. Eventually after passing the half in 62 low they started slowing down substantially and most blew up pretty bad but there was still some solid times. The race was won in 2:06 which is certainly no joke and there was some wind on the back half that slowed times for sure. 

Now for our Canadians it was a very good day for the most part. Reid ran a 2:11:23, which he talked about on his blog was the 3rd time he has run that exact time down to the second, crazy consistent. Reid seemed pleased with his race. After rolling his ankle he didn't know what to expect but he knew the fitness was built. I'm stoked he got under the 2012 Olympic Standard as I assume Athletics Canada will use that again this year. Reid is nails over 26.2 man. Someone showed his splits on facebook and he was just knocking out consistent 3:05-3:10's like non other. His final 7.2km I believe he said was the third fastest in the field. Krista also got under the 2:29:55 mark which was used in 2012 for women. What a comeback story. Just 12 months after a broken femur to running sub 2:30 at age 38, that's some inspiring stuff man. I was beyond excited and happy for her. Nobody deserves it more. Way to go Krista!! :). The other speed river guys seemed to have good showings as well. Winslow ran 2:18 which is over a minute PR for him, Mason came out with a 2:24 which is definitely a step in the right direction and Woodfine seemed to struggle a bit on the back half but the guy is 21, I've got no doubt he learned some valuable lessons from his first Marathon and you can be sure he's going to be running in the 2:15 range or close to it his next crack at it.


My Week in Training,


Monday

11 miles easy at 6:19/mile pace - AM
OFF - PM

Tuesday

Workout - I had a 4 mile tempo on the books followed by 3X1km (I mentioned this one last week as I had just completed it when I published my last weeks post.) I went 19:58 for the tempo with the splits being 5:09, 5:02, 4:55, 4:52. After a 5 minute recovery I went 2:52, 2:52 and 2:49 off a 1 minute recovery. Hitting the 1km's after the tempo was pretty hard. My legs didn't want to go faster then 5 minute pace or about 3:05 pace so I had to really force the reps, but I got it done and it was on the roads which was good to get the legs used to what the roads feel like again.

5km warm up + workout + 5km cool down - AM
OFF - PM

Wednesday

10 miles easy at 6:31/mile pace - AM
5 miles easy at 6:09/mile pace - PM

Thursday

12 miles steady at 5:35/mile pace followed by 10X100m strides - AM
OFF - PM

Friday

11 miles easy at 6:24/mile pace - AM
OFF - PM

Saturday

Long Run - 16 miles easy at 6:22/mile pace.

Sunday

Race/Workout - As I mentioned last week I had a local 5km on the books. We decided to train through it as this was my last week to get in a good training stimulus. I was a little nervous doing a long run the day before but I mean you just have to roll the dice. I got on the start line and surprise, surprise it was freezing cold and wind gusts of 50km/hour. Yeah your reading that right. Just have a look back at our forecast or at the videos that were on twitter of the start it was INSANE. So I'm thinking to myself....."Great this is going to do wonders for my confidence, I plan on going away and hitting some fast 10k's with the hopes of running mid 30's and I might not even break 16 minutes with this wind today...." I'll go more into the race below but thanks to having some company in the form of Jordan Fewer I was able to actually run a respectable mid 15 even in ridiculous conditions which I was super happy about. The course isn't super fast as it is. In 2013 I ran it on a windy, cold day and only managed 16:27 but ran 32:08 a couple weeks later under good conditions for a 10km so I'm feeling pretty good about it. After the race was over I did 4X1km off 1 minute rest on Snow's Lane which is just off the course. I went 3:01, 3:02 (into the crazy wind) and 2:49, 2:47 with the wind at my back and they felt easier then the first two. All things considered, great day.

2 mile warm up + race + 4X1km + 5km cool down - AM
OFF - PM


So that was my week. I'm thrilled with where things are right now. I've started to drop the mileage but have kept the intensity jacked so I'll see where the chips fall now this weekend when I get into a fast race.

The 5km went really well. I knew Jordan was in really great shape. His Uncle, Colin Fewer is one of the best runners to come out of Newfoundland, he's made National teams and represented Canada at World Cross. He's been working hard with Jordan so I was grateful to have him to run with. He took the pace out ridiculously fast for the conditions and split 2:55 for the first K. After I saw the split I sat off the pace and let him go as I knew we weren't running 14:35 on that course, especially with those winds. By the 2km he had a good 7-8 seconds on me and didn't seem to be coming back so I made a big surge to catch back up from 2-3km right into a headwind while climbing the hill by Boston Pizza. When we hit the 3km we were both working pretty hard but we shared some encouragement and just kept it going stride for stride. At this point we had well over a minute on the rest of the field so we just tried to keep it going. With about 400 to go Jordan made a move that I tried to cover as we were dodging lapped runners (2 loop course). And he managed to get a step on me and held it through the finish line. I was super happy with the run. It was a lot of fun and the race was very well put off. Huge thanks the ANE and the NLAA.


Well that's it for me friends, I'll jump on mid week and talk about the upcoming Boston Marathon and some of the track races we can look forward to. 

Until then, keep your sticks on the ice,
Dave
Start
About 2km in

Putting in a big surge to catch up


Around 3.5km just working together to get the race done.


Chaos trying to get around lapped runners,

I couldn't close it down the last couple feet, Congrats to Jordan on a great race. Dude is ready to run very fast this year.



Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Week of training Monday March 30th - Sunday April 5th

Hey friends, a belated Happy Easter to you all. I hope you enjoyed some down time with loved ones and put away lots of chocolate, I know I did. Last weekend was a pretty big one in terms of racing with the Stanford invite and up here in Canada the Harry's Spring Run Off 8km. I'll keep this post as short as I can but before I recap my training I want to look at the best performances by Canadians down in the states last weekend, look at the run off 8km, and look forward to the Rotterdam Marathon. After that I'll recap my training which is going better then I'd have imagined. As long as I can stay healthy this is going to be a really great year for me. I really owe all my progress to my coach. Since starting to work with Jeremiah full time back in December, I feel like a completely different runner then last year. I'm going to do a low key 5km this weekend but I'll be training through it. The plan will be to just get a good effort in and then hit 4X1km about 10 minutes after the race to get a little more volume in. Then kick off the racing season with a bang on April 19th. I had a very good workout today on the roads where I did a 4 mile tempo in 19:58 (Splits 5:09, 5:02, 4:55, 4:52) then after a 5 minute break I hit 3X1km in 2:52, 2:52, 2:49. It was hard hitting this one on the roads where most of my sessions have been on the indoor track and all of my tempos have been on the treadmill but I felt really good about this session. So onward, here we go!

Top performances by Canadians on the track last weekend.


1 - Nicole Sifuentes in the women's 5000m. She went under the A standard in the 5000m in her first race of the season which she was using as a rust buster. This is a very good sign of things to come for Nicole. She is our top 1500m runner right now with a 4:04 PB. (I think she has the ability to get down to 4 flat). To see her have the strength to drop a sub 15:20 coming off the winter in what I'd assume was more of a base/strength phase means once she starts sharpening up and touching on more 1500m race pace she's going to be a girl to watch if she makes it to the final at worlds this summer. She has proven that in a major she can get it done. In 2013 at world indoors in Poland she took the bronze in a deep field so look for a BIG season from Nicole. Awesome job!

2 - Lanni Marchant in the women's 10000m. Lanni is such an awesome person. I can't say enough good things about her. I mean just watch her interview after the race. Obviously she wanted to dip under 32:00 but she was so humble and positive. It's so refreshing to see that. I'm sure Lanni wasn't super happy with her half in NYC. I mean she still ran great and a 1:11 is solid but she is for sure capable of threatening 70:00 on the right day. I'm glad to see her jumping on the track and mixing it up in the 10000m. Anyway, terrific job Lanni, great race and way to keep it classy. (She may have had the quote of the meet as well "I'm kind of a one pace wonder so when the bell lap came I just kept plugging along"). 

3 - Luc Bruchet debuting in the 10000m. Luc ran a very solid 28:36 for his debut at the distance. Now, I think he has plenty left to explore in the 1500/5000m. But being able to jump in a 10km and run 28 mid is a very good sign. I'd like to see him get his 1500m down into the 3:36 range and his 5000m into the low 13:20's which is very doable. He's run 3:39 flat, 3:57 indoors for the mile and 13:33 for 5000m. His future could very well be in the 10000. It's not out of the realm to think he could run under 28 minutes this time next year with some more work over the shorter stuff and keeping his strength up training with Dylan, Kelly and the crew. Lets wish Luc a great season and hope he sets himself up to hit a standard in the 5 or 10 next year looking towards Rio.

Now there were some other great performances last weekend at this meet by Canadians and I'm super stoked for everyone who threw down. This is just my opinion on the top 3 performances. Let's give a shout out to Hendrix on running under 29 minutes, Mo for running 13:32 in his opener, Rachel Cliff on her new 15:33 PB and Mike Tate running 3:46 for the 1500m. Just a few of the many great showings by our Canadian men and women, congrats to you all!! :)

Harry's Spring Run Off 8km


On Saturday the Canadian Running Series  put off their second event of the season. Originally, Paul Kimugul was supposed to be running but he and a few others decided to not race where it was only 6 days after ATB30km. But we were still treated to a great race. Eric took the win in a time that was 2 seconds faster then he ran last year. Like I mentioned on the trackie boards, this is a great sign for him. Last year was one of Eric's best as he won the 10km, half and full marathon national champs as well as running PB's in the half and full. Let's hope he has another great season. Matt Loiselle also had a solid performance on the comeback trail. Matt's such a nice guy and one of the toughest racers you'll ever come across. I'm super happy he's starting to get back into shape. I bet he will throw down a really fast 10km on the roads this spring and be ready to take a crack at a fast Marathon by the fall. Keep the comeback going buddy!! (And come back to St. John's for the Tely 10 this year if you can!!). Lastly let's give some shout outs to some of my boy's who were in the mix on that hilly course. Rejean, Garrett, Eric B and Runner Rob!! #CantWontStop. Love that dude! Check out his blog if you get a chance, there is a link to it on the right side of this page!

A look forward to the Rotterdam Marathon.


I'm really excited to watch this. Firstly because it's always an awesome race and we normally see a winning time in the 2:04-2:06 range and secondly because some of our top marathoners will be going after fast times in the hopes of going under the yet to be released standard (I'm guessing they assume it will be the same as 2012. So 2:29:55 for women and 2:11:29 for men). We have Reid and Krista coming back from injuries and looking to throw down. By the looks of their training and check point race at the Chili Half they are both right where they want to be. Good luck you guy's!! I'll be tracking and cheering for you! We also have Robert Winslow in the race who seems to be in fine form coming off a 1:06 half and a 2:20 PB last October. I'd say he will be looking at something in the 2:16 range. Next up is Tristan who will be making his debut. This guy has a ton of talent and could very well be a fantastic marathoner in the next few years. He's a 28 minute 10km guy so I'd say he will be looking to run something similar to Winslow in his debut. I'd venture to say anything between 2:15-2:18 will be a success for him on his first attempt. He's still super young and will be a force at 26.2 I'm sure. Last but not least a couple more river boys. The man, the myth, the legend, John Mason! That dude has got one epic beard going right now. He's run 1:07 for the half (in NYC last year if I'm not mistaken) so I hope he crushes it. From what I hear he's in tremendous shape and killed his last big workout of mile repeats and finished it off with a 4:33. Good luck dude! The other guy from the river is my boy Sunseri. Nick seems to be in very solid shape right now and he's ready to pop a fast one so look for a good one from him as well. So, to all of you guy's, I wish you good luck and good weather. Trust the training and go out there and execute the game plan!!


My week in training,


Monday

11 miles easy at 6:27/mile pace - AM
OFF - PM

Tuesday

Workout - Originally coach had me down for a 5km on the treadmill in 15:10 then head downstairs to the indoor track and hit 3X1000m in 2:50-2:52 but there was something on down on the track and I couldn't get on it so I adjusted and did a 10km tempo on the treadmill in 30:00. I attached the picture to last weeks post. (0% grade on the tready so it was the equivalent of 31:30). This workout went really well. I left it feeling strong and like I could have kept it going.  

5km warm up + 10km workout + 5km warm down - Lunchtime
OFF - PM

Wednesday

10 miles easy 6:17/mile pace - AM
5 miles easy 6:21/mile pace - PM

Thursday

12 miles steady at 5:39/mile pace outside + 10X100m strides - AM
OFF - PM

Friday

10 miles easy 6:11/mile pace - AM
OFF - PM

Saturday

Workout - 10X1km on the roads off 1 minute rest. I've been trying to get out on the roads for more workouts now just to get the body used to the pounding. I'm finding it much harder to hit the paces then I was on the indoor track. I don't know if it's being spiked up, getting feedback every lap and not having any wind or me just being a baby but it's hard man. Anyway I hit the first 4 in 2:57 and then started to hit 2:55/2:56 for the next couple. I told myself I'd rip out the last two or three but man, 1 minute rest creeps up on you. I basically just survived the last two and worked my ass off to hit 2:55. The average was 2:56 I think. Either way, this was a character builder. I was in the hurt locker. 

5km warm up with strides and drills + 10km worth of work + 6km cool down - AM
OFF - PM

Sunday

16 mile long run nice and easy at 6:18/mile pace - AM
OFF - PM


So that was my week. Looking at it now, I'm pretty psyched about it. I hit 92.3 miles on the week with a couple good sessions. I'll keep my mileage around 90 this week with a couple good workouts and that race then it's go time!

Talking with my coach this week as he gave me the plan and goals for this month we are going to consider going to nationals for either the 5000 or 10000m. It's not that far to travel and I'd love to race a 10000m on the track. After my last two road races in May (Ottawa and Calgary the 24th and 31st) it would be nice to change the focus up for June and July and run some track so that's something we will talk more about and hopefully put a plan in place after my goal races in April and May.

Well, that's about it for me. I was hoping this post would be short but I've gone on and rambled again. I get the gears about blogging from my friend Jon Lodge. He finds it hilarious. I was even called out on FB this week by the guy. He had the nerve to insinuate I'm spending too much time blogging and not enough building fitness.....who knows ha. The dude is possibly the most funny guy to walk the earth. He's heading up to Ottawa race weekend with me so if you see a guy who's 6'5 next to me talking smack about "living the dream" and wearing a singlet that says "Legends Running Club" tell him he's a champ! (I know your reading this Lodgy!! All in good fun buddy, keep up the comeback! Your doing great dude!)

As I did last week, I'll leave you with a picture or two and I hope you all have a fantastic week. Stay frosty,
Dave

This is the Jon Lodge character of which I speak!

Destroyed some Easter cookies I helped make with my girl.

This legend Mike Scott is possibly the best Pound for Pound runner in the game 6'4 175ish and a 16 minute 5km guy, oh yeah he wears size 14 shoes #Beast (Sometimes I feel small around these dudes and I'm 6'1)

The problem with the flow after hammering a workout outside. It looks freaking ridiculous. Bandanna from here on out! 

It's much more under control normally!


Huge thanks to my sponsors. Saucony, Smith Optics and CEP Canada. I got a boat load of stuff from them all last week, like boxes. Here's a little sneak peak. Debuting the race kit this weekend.