Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Hello darkness my old friend

Hey friend's, I'm so sorry for the delayed post. I'll be honest. I'm in a funk. I didn't run well at Scotiabank, obviously, and I'm not super fit for cross country nationals. That said, we keep going right? I'm not that guy who gives up when the going gets tough. So I didn't hit my goals for the fall, so what? I'll make new ones for this winter and spring.

How I've missed this blog, where to start........Firstly, the good from scotiabank, the wolf, Jeff Costen, in his marathon debut becomes a national bronze medalist, I know the kid isn't happy with 2:27, as he's got sub 2:20 potential, but regardless this is a big deal. I called it, he's wise beyond his years, he chilled and took scalps the last half. Also, shout out to Eric Bang, who killed it, I honestly feel he had the best race of the day.

Next, how ridiculous was New York? The black cactus coming 3rd, holy cow. Abdi, you are a strait legend. To pull off 3rd in that field is redonkulous. We were treated to a display from the young Eritrean as he just dusted the boys when he made his move. He even waved to the them.....crazy. I was super impressed with molly huddle as well, coming 3rd in her debut.

Then we have CIS. Yves Sikubwabo.....let's be honest, we knew when the kid was throwing down some respectable 800m times this summer at the U of T track that the kid found his stride again....he looked to be jogging and could roll with the top 10-15 of the NCAA by my estimations. On the women's side, it was a tremendous race, I didn't expect it to play out as it did, but I did expect Claire Sumner to take the win, but huge props to Julie-Anne Staehli for going for it. Far more guts then anyone in the mens race!

As far as the NCAA goes.....just wow, what a race. I honestly though Ches couldn't be beat. Hes basically a distance guy who's run 3:36 flat in college....who else has that pedigree and his track record but man was I wrong. I mean I knew Tiernan was solid after last years NCAA champs and his 13:20 5k PR but dude....he was a man on a mission. And I mean for our homie Justyn to be that close.....he's the future, which is something to be excited about.

Anyway, as for the kid here, I'm just running lots, it's nothing glamorous I'll tell you that haha, but I mean I'm paying, in my mind one of the top 3 coaches in the country and I'm hardly updating our log that he has just for me and him.... I guess I'm just in need of a little break from being competitive. I didn't PB this year and I'm kinda upset about it, I ran 69 low for a tactical half but really I didn't run all that well, 15 low, 31 high, and a 69 low....not where I want to be. So I need a little time to just lick my wounds (John L. I love you bud, we will right the ship yet, I just need some time big guy!), regroup and then attack with vengeance. I've got 0 excuses. I'm in a position to have the coach I want, gear, travel, whatever I need, provided so I have no excuses. It's time to get this bus going towards greatness.

I appreciate the patronage and the continued support. I just needed a minute to get my head strait. Don't worry, the kid is still ready to go, I ran a 3 mile tempo for kicks last week and went under 15 so I'm at least fit enough to roll anyone around here right now,....it's time to get ready for 17'. Thanks Saucony for all the support and for using me in that 2017 hurricaine Ad! You guy's always have my back! #Blessed and I can't wait to work with that new rep of yours! ;)

Stay Hungry, I forgot that,
Dave

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A look at STWM and is running something of a religion?

Hey folks, so here we are, a few days out from STWM weekend. I'm super excited, not only to race but to spend some time in one of my favorite cities and hang out with some good peeps. The weather is looking anything but favorable with heavy rain and winds in the 30km/h range but I'm still going to go out and give it a good rip. Anyway, I don't have a lot of time for this post so I'll quickly give some shout outs and people to watch this weekend followed by a short rant about how I feel like in this day and age people seem to be looking for a sense of belonging and where some would turn to religion in the past, I wonder if they are choosing activities/groups like running, crossfit, cycling... etc more and more in modern day.


Athletics Canada Updating 2017 WC Marathon Standards.


So I'm sure most of you that read this know that earlier today Athletics Canada announced that the standards used for the 2015 WC in Beijing have been updated and made stricter. To be assured of a place on the 3 person team you have to run the times that were in place for the Olympic selection. (2:12:50 and 2:29:50) Or, run their secondary time, which doesn't guarantee selection of 2:14:10 and 2:31:20, both well under the previous marks of 2:15:00 and 2:35:00. I know this has got to be super frustration for some of the girls and guys who were planning on trying to run the standard this weekend in Toronto. With such little notice, the weather forecast and added pressure of knowing the time is faster then anticipated it's an unfortunate situation. I really don't think the previous standards needed to be altered, it would have been great to send a full squad so they could gain the experience of competing at the highest level and return knowing what it takes to get to that next level. I'll save the discussion on this until more comes out, but it's something we need to talk about for sure.


Shout Outs


So lot's went down last weekend from road races to cross country meets people were out there getting after it. The biggest one on the east coast was the AUS meet where Mr. Cyr and Dewolf appeard to be out for a Sunday jog going 1-2 in the exact same time. I didn't catch the finish line photo but I suspect they did a "super friends" high five as they crossed. I predict some serious pack running from X at the AUS champs with Neuffer and Donald in there as well. I'm interested to see how they fair at CIS this year, they have 5 men who will all run very well and are in 30-31 minute shape so they are in the mix for sure. My boy Matt Power also showed some racing chops and hung tough with the boys until they shifted into beast mode and managed a strong 3rd place showing. I predict Matt will be an AUS all star and finish 6th at the big dance. On the other end of the country was the Victoria Marathon Weekend. Robbie D won the half as he continues his comeback on route to NYC. Trevor "Nacho Libre" Hofbauer got the win in the 8km while Lyndsay Carson cleaned up on the women's side. In the marathon we saw Sabrina Wilkie back in action making her debut in an impressive 2:45. Well done friends....well done!


People to watch this weekend at STWM


1 - Eric Gillis - Complete stud, coming off his best year to date and a 10th place finish in Rio, if the weather holds he's going to be close to the CR.

2 - The women's national marathon championship battle. Realistically I see this going down between Krista, Rachel, Leslie, Dayna and Tarah. There are other great athletes in the field like Erin, Meggan, Shelly, Tanis who could all throw down something fast and possibly sneak under 2:35. But, it'll be interesting to see that pack of 5 shake out up front. All have potential to run very close to if not under 2:30 so keep an eye on this storyline.

3 - The battle of the beauties, John Mason, Kevin Coffey, Robert Winslow, David  Le Porho and Philippe Viau-Dupuis. All seem to be close in fitness and running well. On a perfect day I can see all these guys going south of 2:20, heck 2 have already done it. This could be the battle for the 3rd spot in the Canadian Championship. (I like Kip to repeat his Silver). 

4 - The debut of Tristan Woodfine and Jeff Costen. (Now to be fair I feel like I remember Woodfine running Rotterdam a couple years back when Winslow went 2:19?). Anyway, Woodfine is a stud when he's at his best and could potentially run as fast as 2:15 if all goes well. The marathon is cruel tho so we will have to wait until 11:00 on Sunday to see where the dust settles. As for Costen, like I've said before, kids got spunk, loves to put himself in the hurt box and grind. He's a student of the sport and knows his range of abilities and 9 times out of 10 gets the most out of his body. He ran his half debut on this course in 2014 going 1:08:02 for 3rd and won the half last year, I expect a smartly executed race from the wolf, with a strong last 10k as he runs through the carnage.

5 - The half debut of Matt McNeil. This kid has a ton of talent, he didn't get much love on the boards last year going into CIS but he certainly showed he deserved to be in the conversation with the big boys. I could seriously she him running 5 minute miles the whole way and looking smooth doing it. Watch out for this one, it's going to be fast!



Is Running like Religion?


That's a weird way to phrase it, but after reading Michael Rochus's last two articles and listening to more Joe Rogan podcasts then I care to admit, I've been doing some serious thinking about this. As it stands, there doesn't seem to be the same numbers going to church every Sunday like you would see say 50 years ago. Now, I'm not a super spiritual person. I've read the Bible, and I believe the scriptures but I don't see the need or point for that matter of going to church one hour a week and claiming that religion. A building is just that, a building. One's faith is different, it's something that's yours and you don't have to show up somewhere or be seen attending a mass to believe what you believe. If you truly have faith, then your a living testimony to your beliefs, you don't have to tell anyone anything, they will see what you believe through the way you live and that's simply enough.

So with that said, I feel like people in general like the feeling of belonging, and church/religion for most people is just that, a sense of belonging to something. What I'm wondering, are sports like running, triathlon, cycling, crossfit starting to attract more people and fill that void that some people are searching for? When you have something that makes you different, and something you share with only other like minded people it gives that sense of belonging and accomplishment. Not to mention that it's improving ones health and you normally participate in these activities with like minded, driven individuals.

This may be just a jumble of thoughts but it's something that I've been thinking about a lot recently. When I'm driving on a Sunday morning and pass a church with a few dozen cars in the parking lot, then 5 minutes later pass a group of 75 runners heading out on their Sunday long run from their local Running Room I can't help but smile and think, how great is it that we can find belonging in a pursuit as simple as running.





Anyway friends, that's all I've got time for this week, I promise I'm going somewhere with that last point about running/religion haha, I assure you I haven't lost my whole mind yet. I'll elaborate more when I spend some more time thinking about it. But yeah, it's off to Scotia, I'll report back next week with great stories, a race recap and some snaps of some beauties getting into shenanigans! :).

Thanks for reading and see you next time
DF - OUT


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Chicago Marathon Preview and under 2 weeks out from STWM

Hey folks! How goes it? I'm sure your all training hard, or for some of you the taper crazies are starting to set in! Fear not, it's normal, when you start to overthink things and doubt yourself, look back over your training logs and find confidence in what you've done. Know that you can only hurt yourself by trying to squeeze in more work before your goal race. It's better to get on the line 10% under-trained then 1% over-trained. This is ESPECIALLY true for all you beauties taking on the marathon, get those legs fresh and enjoy the reduced volume. When in doubt, always do less. Anyway, things over here on the east coast are going great. I'm feeling sharp for the first time in a long time, there's pop in my legs and I'm about as lean as I can get without people asking me if I'm doing OK haha. We are in the homestretch of the training for the Scotiabank half. My goals are pretty strait forward. Chop a little over a minute off my time there last year. I'll find a group of guys going after 2:14/15 and roll with them. 5:07-5:10/mile or 3:10-3:12/km. I've done a ton of work in that zone over the last 6-8 weeks so it should feel good. I've got the confidence to know that even if I go out a little hot I can still grind out 3:15/km when I'm tired so it'll be fun. I'll break down the full marathon for STWM 2016 next week. But the half should be pretty solid. Last year I was 4th in 68 minutes and 1 second behind 3rd. I can already tell it'll take a lot faster then that to crack the top 3. Matt McNiel is in unreal shape right now so don't be surprised if he runs 5 minute miles the whole way and goes 65 mid to high. There's also Josh Bolton who's in phenomenal shape and has already gone 67:40 this year so he's looking to go 66. Also in the field is Trevor Zimak who's at least in 68 minute shape himself (Split 70 in his last marathon and routinely splits sub 70's during training). Needless to say the kid here is going to have to dig deep, channel my inner Kipchoge and just grind it out. Regardless of the outcome, I know I've trained incredibly hard and I'll be able to walk away from the race knowing my preparation was excellent. After that It'll be all eyes towards XC nationals in Kingston. So without further rambling I'll look at the Elite Field for this weekends Chicago Marathon.


2016 Bank of America Chicago Marathon


So, the second of the fall majors is upon us. Full disclosure I was not happy they took out the rabbits from this race. We have NYC for a tactical fall marathon and Boston in the spring. Chicago was way more exciting when you had E. Mutai and Kimetto both going sub 2:04 in an epic battle in comparison to a sluggish race like last year. But I guess they want to save some money and make it so more Americans can be competitive until the last move is made (Like Puskedra last year in it all the way until 40k).

With that said, looking at the men's start list and what the major players have done this year I expect we will see a mid to high 2:08 race with a strong move coming around 35k. There are 4 major studs in the field and 3 of them have run fast marathons before. Dickson Chumba should be considered the favorite going into this followed by the always consistent Tsegaye Kebede, now Kebede hasn't really shown the magic as of late but this guy has run about as many sub 2:10 marathons single handedly as every american ever combined. He's a beast over 26.2 so look for him to wait it out, hope for a couple people to expose themselves early and then close hard. Then you have veteran Abel Kirui, 2012 Olympic silver medalist coached by the famed Canova. He really hadn't done a whole lot since 2012 until this year where he came back with a solid 2:08 in Tokyo as well as a decent 46 minute 10 miler. If he's found his 2012 form he can be in the mix for sure. The last big guy I'd keep an eye out for is Micha Kogo, this is a guy who really hasn't figured out the marathon yet. He's run 2:06 on Chicago before but he's a complete stud over the shorter stuff. The guy has broken 27 minutes on the road for 10k. Run 26:35 for 10000m and 59 flat for 13.1. He's been average this year running 62 minutes at the always fast RAK half marathon and 2:08 flat in Paris. If he knocks one out of the park he could win the race, or he could blow up and go over 2:10. He's hard to judge but has all the tools to win. 

Now, the one X-Factor is the debut of former Arizona state standout and sub 27 minute man Stephen Sambu. This guy is an assassin on the roads. He trains with Coach James Li in Arizona with the likes of Lalang, Lagat, Chelanga, Abdi et al. Since going pro he's been utterly dominant on the roads from 5k to the half marathon so there's no reason to suspect he won't excel over 26.2, he may be the guy to put your money on.  

As for the American field, Luke Puskedra should lead the way here, if the pace up front is fast enough he could very well dip under 2:10. Elkanah Kibet is another guy who sort of came out of nowhere last year and dropped a 2:11 mid so he may also threaten that 2:10 mark. The last american of note is Diego Estrada. He's definitively got the talent to run well over the marathon but I don't like this sub 2:10 talk when he's yet to finish one. his half PB is impressive but I hope he runs smart and knocks out a 2:12 or so and then really gets after his next one.

As for the women's marathon, it's much more of a 1 women race. Originally I saw both Edna and Florence Kiplagat on the start list but it appears Edna has withdrawn. So the safe bet is on Florence she's far and away the best in this race. She's run 2:23 this year, (Has a 2:19 PR) and dropped a ridiculous 65:09 half marathon last year. She's going to take the win here but if she falters look for Kipketer or Baysa to contend as well.

The women's American field isn't very strong as the marathon event in general in the US is very top heavy. You've got about 5 girls who can consistently break 2:30 by a strong margin then a whole crew of 2:30-2:35ers. I suspect Serena Burla will come out on top as first american in about 2:30-33.


My week in training.


Monday - 92' with 4X15" strides

Tuesday - 75' with 4X15" strides

Wednesday - 64' with 12X200m worked down from 32" off 90" rest.

Thursday - 77' Farlek on the trails 15X1'/1' @ 5:00/5:30 a mile continuous. (Hard on trails)

Friday - OFF

Saturday - 75' with 4X15" strides

Sunday - 120' Long Run with 4X15' mid run @ 5:15/mile on the hilly Blvd Loop 



So that's another one in the books, we started taking my volume down a bit to freshen the legs for Scotia. Before I get out of here, if anyone hasn't read my boy Micheal Rochus's piece on the trackie.ca homepage go give it a read (Junk Miles). It's important our sport starts to attract more casual fans and he's got some ideas that can really work. Give it a read!

Until next time keep those sticks on the ice guys, and go jays!

Dave

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

BEKELE IS BACK BABY & the fall continues to progress

Sup friends! What a weekend hey, holy cow. That Berlin Marathon once again didn't disappoint and treated us to one of the best footraces of all time between two LEGENDS. In this post we will get into that and look at what it means for the marathon, most notably the world record and the insanity that will be the London Marathon 2017. Your boy here got that one SOOO wrong, but we will get to that a little later. First we need to get some shout outs going, but before that a msg to my boy Garrett, I know your reading this dude, don't throw stones if you live in a glass house big guy! ;), point noted about the lower case "d" but easy on the 5k blow up pal....when your back rolling 14's you get to call my blow ups poor performances, deal? haha (I kid of course) ;). Anyway, onto the shout outs. Last weekend saw a ton of races here in Canada, the big one was the CRS Oasis Zoo Run. There were some great times from some beauties, Bolts rolled a nice little 31 high in his 3rd race in 3 weeks, the wolf, JC cranked a low 32 coming off some HUGE weeks of training. By the looks of it he and Clay pack ran in the zoo...hunting down pray all the while reminiscing of the good old days at Queens I suspect. Runner Rob looked to roll a good race too. Well done gents, that's a brutal rhythm sapping course, you can take a minute off that on a flat course with good conditions, your all FIT! The next shoutout goes to two of my favorite peeps working with Saucony Canada. Catherine threw it down at the Montreal R&R 5k and Linda killed it in Berlin completing her 3rd marathon major. (Chicago, NYC and now Berlin). Locally, we had our provincial half and full marathon. Props to Jason Guy on getting the win in a PB of 77 minutes and to Ian Royle for defending his provincial marathon title in 2:41. I really wanted to jump into the half and rip a 67/68 but I was on the road and coach John had a big workout planned for me so I actually ran a half on the same day in Fogo which was near Gander where I was staying. I had 20'/15'/10' off a 5' jog. It went really well, I averaged 5:06/mile or 3:10/k during the working parts of the half and afterwards cruised the rest of the race in at around 6' miles. It worked out perfectly as I finished the race having run my marathon pace for the half 71/72 (depending what time was official).


The GOAT is back.


What can we say about that performance by Kenenisa Bekele, we were treated to some of the magic that made him a legend on the track. And before going a step further let's acknowledge the greatness of Wilson Kipsang. The guy has broken 2:05 for the past 7 years and the average of his 5 fastest times are sub 2:04. I honestly thought he was on the decline a little after seeing his performances since running 2:04 in London back in 2014. But he made this race, and Bekele would have not run nearly that fast without Wilson keeping the pace going after the rabbits dropped. 

What was amazing was that they ran as fast as they did with a very uneven 61:11 first half. I expected the whole pack to slow significantly after seeing 11 men through that fast. you'd think they would want 61:25-30 and then keep it rolling, and certainly not going out in a low 2:40 first K. It's a testament to just how great both athletes are that they could absorb such a hot early pace.

What I found interesting and Andrew Jones, over on the Trackie.ca boards mentioned this as well in one of the treads. Bekele is unsure of himself still in the marathon, especially going through that fast. He likely could have broken away at 38k when he first got back on the shoulder of Kipsang but the track runner he is told him to stay on his shoulder until he was sure he could close it out. And that he did, going 2:47, 2:49 and 30 seconds for the last 195m. We saw him drop the arms, get loose and then rip the way we used to see the last 400 of championship 5 and 10k's. It was such a treat and a race that will go down as one of the best ever over the distance.

So the question now becomes, what could Kipchoge have done in that race and will we see the 3 titans of the marathon square off in London next April? I personally feel like Kipchoge would have squeezed the pace down when Bekele was off the back and that he'd have kept that 35-40k split around 14:30, not letting it get to 14:59 like Wilson did, enabling Bekele to claw back. I'm just speculating here but I feel like Kipchoge could have gone as quick as 2:02:30 if not faster. But, that's just speculation. What we as fans need to hope for is that Bekele stays clear of running Dubai, gets a good healthy stretch of training in and comes to London in the spring in that type of shape or a bit better. He has now run a super fast time and knows he can tolerate it. Even though I think Kipchoge could have run faster, I DO NOT however, think he could have closed the last 2.2k as fast as Bekele did so we could have an epic battle on our hands this spring. He and Kipsang will want to make it fast, obviously a WR attempt and not let it slow at all between 30-40 and hope they drop Bekele.

I don't know what's going to happen but I think this could be the very best Marathon of all time. It's also fair to say that Stanley Biwott could get himself into low 2:03 shape for that race as well. He was in the 2:03's this year on that course. So let's all keep our fingers crossed the good folks at London lay down some big appearance fees and get some sensible pace makers.


My week in training.


I'm really clicking right now. Kate and Peter Bazeley moved back in town so having them and John A. around all the time even my easy runs are super solid and I'm rolling some great workouts. Most notably the half marathon from Fogo last weekend. I actually went 5 seconds quicker through 5km in a 20' segment on a rolling course then I did only a couple weeks ago. I'll go out in Toronto at 31:50 through 10k and work from there depending on how I feel. 32:30 last year didn't feel bad and I negative split the back half ever so slightly so I'd like to be about a minute or so quicker this year overall. 67 mid would be great. I'm not in 66 shape so I don't want to force it and blow up. If this goes well I'll talk to my coach and make a plan for a big race in January. I'd like to debut in the marathon next year if I'm fit so if things go well maybe Huston for a debut, or if he feels that's not a good idea I'll do the half there. I'm only looking towards Scotiabank and National Cross right now but after that and some downtime I'll make some plans. Either way, as I sit here and type this I'm confident I'm fitter then I was this time last year and I ran some big PB's at that time so I'm excited to explore things this fall and run some PB's.

Monday - 93' with 4X15" strides

Tuesday - 90' with 4X15" strides

Wednesday - 66' with 5X1K off 2' recovery "hard". 2:58, 2:52, 2:55, 2:53, 2:46

Thursday - 90' with 4X15" strides

Friday - 47' with 4X15" strides

Saturday - 122' (20.3 miles) with 20/15/10 @ 5:06/mile or 3:10/K avg in a half marathon.

Sunday - 61' easy, legs a little heavy.


Alright ladies and gents. That's it for this week. Next week we will break down Chicago. Onward!



DF - OUT




Monday, 19 September 2016

A look at the first fall Abbott WMM and some great performances to kick off the season.

Hey friends, sorry for missing last week's post. I got home from Toronto and had a lot of work to catch up on at the office so that paired with some heavy training made me decide to just wait a week and post when I had some free time to write a proper entry. Of course Costen has been badgering me since I touched down in Newfoundland to get this up so here you go wolf, finally hot off the press! The badgering was warranted though, as his roommate, and a friend of mine Andrew Courchene, ran me down like I was standing still and streaked away with 800m to go at the 5km champs. Whats worse is the night before the race the three of us were having a chat at the Yorkville Center, I say "I'm going for broke boys, sub 15 on the roads....sprint the first and last K and let the rest work itself out." Jeff being the supportive friend replies "Yeah man, go for it, that's what you came here for". Our boy Courchene goes "Cool man, I'll see you at 4km". Sure enough homeboy rolls me up right where he says he will. Now, dude's such a nice guy the first thing he says when he sees me after the race is "sorry dude". Andrew's an OFFSA bronze medalist from back in the day in the same graduating class as Olympian Matt Hughes so obviously the kid's got a better pedigree then I do so I'll give you that one big guy! Hopefully I play things smart at Scotiabank and roll 4 back to back 15:50's nice and even rather then going out in 8:53 through 3k then all of a sudden start running 3:20k's.


So yeah, before I get into the shout outs I'll briefly talk about my first outing of the fall, the 5km champs last weekend in Yorkville. As you likely gleaned from the opening paragraph, I went out a little quick and my legs didn't have any pop in them over the final 2km. I haven't really laced em up and raced all out in a competitive field since Ottawa race weekend so I didn't feel smooth at all going through the 1k in 2:55 and my racing senses weren't there. There's no excuse for running that slow but I mean I ran 15:40 last year as well in the same race then proceeded to sharpen up and 3 weeks later ran 31:07 and a week after that 68:47 so I'm actually not that bummed or concerned. I hit some big workouts since I've been back and I'm confident it was just an off race. (I did 15X1'/1' going between a 5 minute mile and a 5:30 and just kept going to 10km in 32:17 last week so I know the fitness is there).

Anyway, the race wasn't super great but the weekend certainly was. My flight was perfect, I got a cab with a very interesting driver who gave me the low down on the Jays season so far and TIFF. Then the first guy I spot at our hotel is non other then Nacho Libre, Trevor Hofbauer who's a beauty if you ever met one. (Check out his latest blog, he's moving to Speed River - https://trevorhofbauer.wordpress.com/ ). They didn't have the block of rooms that was provided ready for us so we grabbed stuff from whole foods and then met Mike Tate and my roommate for the weekend John Mason. After we got everything sorted out I met up with Jeff and Courchene for a chat and a Freshii before the technical meeting. That night I grabbed some food with My coach, John Lofranco and his other athlete, my friend Laura Batternik who came 3rd overall in the race btw, congrats Laura! After the race it was all about getting some time in with the GRE crew, I swear you'll never find a funnier or better group of dudes to hang with for brunch and beers. They are all great runners and even better human beings. I mean we are talking legend status to the point they have nicknames...I'm not even joking, from "Runner Rob, to Marathon Mike and Bolts....it's a great crew and I look forward to grabbing some post race beverages after Scotia.


Noteworthy performances and shout outs.


1 - Jay Sneddon and Garrett De Jong in the Ottawa 5k. My bud Jay opened up his season with a super solid 5km that was good for a top 10 finish at the Army Run 5k and the Legendary Garrett "Don't Call it a Comeback" De Jong laced em up for the first time since Ottawa race weekend 2015. It's awesome to see him back, he's got boatloads of talent and some fast PR's (3:54/8:23) 1500/3k so when he comes back at 100% I'll have my hands full for sure. I can't tell you how many times I've been having a great race and out of nowhere comes Garrett galloping along and dropping me in the last half of the race. The sole win I have over him was Ottawa 10k 2015 and it took Costen dragging me to a 31. I remember running 31:17 in 2014 in T.O and feeling like a boss hitting 9k and then he just destroyed me over the last 800 putting like 10 seconds on me. So yeah, get healthy Garrett, come out for Scotiabank, we will get on the go with JC and plan for Kingston! I look forward to chasing you deep into the fall! (Maybe a game of detonator again post XC Nats at the abberdeen house)

2 - Matt Power at the Acadia AUS Meet. Matt's a young guy from St. John's who is beyond talented, he runs super low mileage but is really developing into a stud runner. If all goes well he's certainly got a chance this year at a top 7 finish in the conference. My X boy's have it on lockdown from 1 through 5 but Matt should sneak into 6th or 7th. The only bad news about Matt's development is that back in April I could jump into a local 5k for fun, roll an easy 15:30 5km and be well clear of him, from here on out I'll have to race all out and go 14 high to have that much breathing room, and I bet within a year or two he will be running that quick himself.

3 - Kevin Coffey at the Eastside 10k. Kev ran 31 flat on some serious marathon training. He's running some workouts that make you want to delete strava they are so fast/long. This is going to be the year Kev goes sub 2:20 at Scotia, he's run 2:21 flat before but he's a different beast now so don't be surprised to see a 2:18 out of him or better.

4 - Leslie Sexton, also at the Eastside 10k. Leslie threw down on marathon legs as well and dropped a 33:17 which shows she's extremely fit. Leslie is another one who's strava running will make you tired just scrolling through it. Props as well go to Dayna P on running a strong race too, also mid marathon build. Both Dayna and Leslie could go sub 2:30 if everything falls into place come October 16th so keep it locked!


What will the men's race look like in Berlin this year?


Here we are, less then a week out from the first major of the fall, the notoriously fast Berlin Marathon. From what I've seen and can gather, Berlin isn't really known for spending big money on appearance fees like London and NYC, instead they use the allure of a blistering fast course. This coupled with the fact that people know the organizers generally get really good pacers to go to at least 25k normally attracts the fastest guys to go after the world record. Unfortunately, this being an Olympic year, the greatest marathoner the world has ever seen, Eliud Kipchoge is only 6 weeks removed from a 2:08, Olympic gold performance and thus won't be competing. That's not to say their aren't some big time names toeing the line, there most definitely are. On the very top end you've got E. Mutai and Wilson Kipsang, both sub 2:03:30 runners at their best. We are also going to see the GOAT, Kenny Bekele toeing the line with a couple other studs most notably Tsegaye Mekonnen who I feel is the man to put your money on. He's super young and has a 2:04 mid to his name.

What I've noticed in the marathon at the very highest level, I'm talking sub 2:05 guys, is that the body can only produce so many of those races. We all witnessed what it took for Kimetto to run that 2:02:57. He literally collapsed over the finish line and hasn't been a factor in any race since then. Wilson Kipsang held his peak for the better part of 4 years from the first time he broke 2:04 in Frankfurt up until the 2015 London Marathon when he was toe to toe with Kipchoge running 2:04 in London but even he has lost several steps since then. It's not just what racing at that velocity for 2 hours will do to you, but the build ups it takes. I even see it with sub elites to a lesser extent. It takes a toll on the body.

I bring this up because most of the top talent is likely on the other side of their peak, Bekele's 3rd place in London was a very good sign however given his training had apparently been very spotty and 3 month out he was like 20 pounds over his racing weight, doing workouts and running high mileage on as little as 1200 calories a day if reports from his camp are to be believed. 

If I was laying my own money down I'd put it on the upset and take Mekonnen, he will likely run fearlessly and if he's still around with 10k to go he has the younger less marathon callused legs. But never discount guy's like Mutai, Kipsang or Bekele. They have accomplished so much and possess such talent that anything is possible. This is one to watch. I predict a 2:04 mid race.


OK guys, I'll get out of here. I promise to be back to normal next week and talk training, more marathons and fall plans.

Until then, keep that chin tucked,
Dave

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Week that was in training, some DL stuff & the cool part of running.

What's up guys, I trust you all had a killer last weekend of summer. I kicked it with the fam Newfoundland style and got a run in on Monday with my boy Mike Thorton who had a lay over here in St. John's (He's a pilot so hopefully this becomes a regular occurrence). I hope your all training well, the big races on the roads for this fall season really start to kick off this coming weekend with the 5km champs in Yorkville which I'm pretty stoked for. Then a couple weeks after that there's the Zoo Run, the Montreal R&R which I found out my favorite Saucony rep ;), Catherine will be running in, so good luck out there C! As we move on from there we have the always competitive Eastside 10k in VanCity which always attracts some of the big boys and then STWM which plays host to the National Marathon champs once again. Your boy here will be ducking the big boys battling it out over 26.2 and opting for a quick half but if all goes well I'll run the big show there next year myself. I assume the majority of us who are post collegiate athletes will likely shut the road races down and put in 6 weeks of solid training before heading off to Kingston for XC nationals once again. So, it's going to be a busy fall for sure. I'm pumped to also follow some CIS and NCAA XC. There's lots of hot talent and we will be treated to some spicy races, epic trackie.ca threads and AP shenanigans! So without stretching this any longer I'll briefly talk some pro news, talk about why this sport is so awesome and inclusive and then break down my training.

Some pro news.


Well that Zurich meet wasn't as cracking as I had hopped it would be. I mean there was definitely some solid performances. Most notably Shannon Rowbury taking the win in a seasons best of 3:57 and Muir coming second to steal the diamond race. In the women's 800 the top 3 from Rio went 1-2-3 again just a little slower but still a winning time of 1:56. The men's 5000 really showed that the top dogs are fatigued from a long season of chasing times to qualify, running diamond leagues, rounds at the games and now they are just hanging on. Gebrewit benefited from nobody going with the pace and closed ridiculously fast in an otherwise pedestrian race to snatch 50K for his efforts. Other then that Lashawn Merritt took the win in the 400 and Ruth Jibet proved her dominance again in the women's steeple with a solid 9:07.

This week the last meeting of the year takes place. There's a few story lines that should be on our radars in terms of fast times. I've outlined the diamond races that are still up for grabs last week so check out my last post if your looking at who needs what in this last meeting. But in terms of tasty races. The women's 5000 will be quick because, well Ayana is running and her legs don't go any slower then 70 seconds/quarter. so could Shannon Rowbury jump on the train and threaten Molly's AR of 14:42? I personally doubt it as she was likely at her highest fitness ever last year when she ran 3:56 and ran 14:48 but it's not impossible. Keep an eye on that one for sure. In the men's 1500 the diamond race is basically decided but will we see anyone go for a sub 3:30? I think Kiprop is toast for the year and has just burned a little too hot for too long. He ran 3:29 in like mid April. But Makhloufi is still rocking and rolling. Dropping 1:42 800's like a boss. He will go with a hot pace if it's presented and I also think Managoi of Kenya is still full of running so he may run fast as well. Then there's Blankenship and Andrews who would love to end the season with a new PB. I doubt either are in anything better then 3:34 shape but it's something to watch for. In the men's steeple if this had been a week ago I'd be excited to see if Jager could make an assault on a sub 8 clocking but he looked really sluggish in that 5000 and has had a heck of a season. I suspect this will be an 8:05-8:10 race with a fast last 300m. No blazing times but some good competitive running. Lastly, the men's 800m. Like the other events I feel like this being an Olympic year, everyone has been on their game for a very long time and holding their peak for at least a couple months. I doubt we see anything too quick here. But we could see a 1:43/44. I'm taking Kipketer but I'm also keeping an eye on Clayton Murphy to see how he runs after a story book year.

On the roads next week we are also in for a treat, the Great North Run will be contested in South Shields once again and it's always exciting. Farah ran a smoking time there last year and has won it ever since the great Bekele held him off in 2012. Dathan Ritzenhein is also in the field and ran a decent solo 10 mile at Crim a couple weeks ago. I suspect he's marathon fit but can still run around 61 mid on the quick point to point course. This is definitely one to get up early and watch!


Why I love this sport and it's inclusiveness.


I don't normally get all emo or sappy on here, but lately on runs while shuffling along listening to "Scared" by the Hip, I think about well....running and all the good things it's given me. I think about the friends I've made along the way, guys who have been in it since they were kids, ran track, cross, heck even befriended an ofssa medalist who came through in the class with Matt Hughs. My point is, the running community is just so inclusive. It doesn't matter if you run a 13 minute 5k or a 40 minute 5k. We set out to accomplish the same goal and we form a bond through that endeavor. In the grand scheme of things, even though I'm very committed to my running and it's incredibly important to me I'm far from being a top of the food chain athlete. But I can toe the line with Olympians on any given weekend and can go grab a beer with them after the race. (This happened just a few months back in fact with our boy Reid). After the run is done, we are all just people who are brought together by one sport and it's something I haven't seen in any others that I've participated in. In reality I was, at a time during my Jr career a far better hockey player then I am a runner but the same camaraderie just wasn't there. And though I made some lasting friendships that I certainly value very much it just ins't the same.

Maybe I'm getting sentimental here, I don't know but it's something I've been pondering lately and I even notice it when I frequent different social media mediums. People that I once just followed on twitter or Instagram I've ended up meeting at race expos, a start line or I get a msg saying they are in town and we go for a run and grab some food. It's really what I value most about the sport and the thing that holds the most importance to me. The sport has given me lifelong friends that I'd do anything for and these are also people who I learn a lot from and admire greatly.

I think that to be a good runner you really need determination, discipline and an incredible work ethic. These aren't traits that we simply turn off after we finish our training or run our goal race. They are skills that transfer to our daily lives and it's apparent in all the people I've met throughout this journey over the past 5 years. I've met friends like JJ out in BC who's work ethic, faith and personality have led him to great success in running, work and his life in general. You won't catch many 29 year olds with their lives as together as that guy. My bud Ryan, living the solitary life in northern Quebec teaching kids of various nationalities and effecting change in each of their lives. Amy, an extraordinary soul with a passion for words, she writes such incredible stories about all the amazing runners in this great community of ours. Jeff, a young guy who can come off quiet and reserved but has a very wise head on his shoulders, handling PR and working for some of the most important people in the Ontario political system. I could list literally 50 more people off the top of my head. 

I guess this is sort of a thank you to the sport itself. Thank you for including me in this great community and allowing me to participate even as a late comer and most importantly thank you for the friendships that you have brought me. I'll never take it for granted and hope I can leave the sport just a little better then I found it.

On that note, I want to share an awesome story with you guys about another amazing human I met through running. Jay Sneddon, is an inspirational young man who I met in person for the first time on the starting line back in May at Ottawa Race Weekend. I won't ruin Jay's story for you, instead I'll link to a piece written about him in the Vancouver Sun. Keep up the awesome work Jay, I'll see you in Kingston bud! http://www.vancouversun.com/health/running+delivers+boost+confidence/11719185/story.html



My week in training.


Monday - 76' with 4X15" strides + General Strength 

Tuesday - 48' with 10X200m @ mile race pace off 90" rest

Wednesday - 62' with 4X15" strides

Thursday - 79' with 10X1'/2' continuous going between 5:00/5:30/mile. The average for the 30' was 5:19/mile

Friday - OFF + General Strength 

Saturday - 90' easy long run

Sunday - 60' super chill.



So my week was lighter then the last few, I was really feeling the cumulative fatigue and we are trying to freshen the legs up a bit for a nice 5km PB this weekend then it's back to the grind.

That's it for me,
Enjoy the week folks and stay frosty
Dave



Shoutout to the crew down at Saucony HQ in the US. I had a sneak peak of the Spring/Summer 2017 kit waiting for me along with a really nice card. Thanks guys. It's seriously a privilege to run for the company.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Week that was in training and a look at the Diamond League finals.

Hello again friends, hows the training been going? I know those marathoners are strait GRINDING right now and I love seeing it. Hitting those mega long runs with some race pace at the end of a big week with fatigue in the legs. The stuff that makes you sick to your stomach in the car as you drive to meet your training partners knowing what lies ahead. Well, your all getting close so keep it going and know that once you start to drop the volume and freshen up those legs you'll feel like a million bucks and those PR's from last year will get smashed. On my end training has gotten down and dirty, last week beat up the mind, body and soul but it was a good one and some fitness will be reaped for sure. I'll outline what I did below but I went to the well on both of my workouts that's for sure. So as I sit here typing this I'm about 11 days out from the 5km champs. The field is looking pretty ridiculous with 3 Olympians up front so naturally your boy isn't going to be pushing the pace from the gun or anything, but I'm definitively fit to run a big 5km PR so the game plan will be to find a few guys who I know will be running well and around that 14:45 mark and just let it ride. With the way the girls race is looking, 2 sub 15:20 ladies I don't have much of a choice but to run that fast or else I'm going to get rolled up on. So yeah, the plan is to just trust the work that I've put in and have some fun. Unfortunately my boy Costen isn't toeing the line for this one, he's always my go to for judging where I need to be, basically I get behind him and he slowly gaps me, it's kind of our thing so he will be missed on the start line but he's got bigger fish to fry come October 16th over 26.2 and I hear he's going hunting at the Toronto Zoo on September 24th so watch for him at that race. #Wolf as CoffeyRunner likes to say.


Diamond League Finals; what to look for.


So the Diamond League as you all know is the big show. Each year 16 disciplines are deemed Diamond Events. Over the course of the year/meets they are raced with 10 points for a win during the regular meets and 20 in the finale, so these last two meets a lot can change. A win in a single race will net you $10000 and you take of 40K if you are the Diamond race winner. So let's look at who should come out on top if all goes according to plan and if we might see an upset. (Running event's only as I have very little knowledge about field events)

Men's and Women's 100m - Justin Gatlin and Elaine Thompson should be a lock here, I don't see an upset coming.

Men's and Women's 200m - Alonso Edward is too far ahead of Ameer Webb so he is pretty much a lock and on the women's side it's all about Dafne Schippers

Men's and Women's 400m - Lashawn Merritt has looked great all year, even in his 43:XX for 3rd place in Rio, he's taking the diamond for sure. For the women it's going to be very tight and it's a toss up between Stephenie Ann McPherson, Shaunae Miller and Natasha Hastings who are all only separated by 3 points!!!! This is one to watch.

Men's and Women's 800m - One of my favorite events! Now I'm not saying these are the best two 800m guys, but the two with a shot to take the 40k this year are Rotich and Bosse. Personally, I don't see either of them winning the race but I like Bosse to come from behind and snatch the Diamond race. On the women's side, even with Niyonsaba being just 2 points behind Caster Semenya, there is no way she is beating her, it hasn't happened yet and it won't go down in the final. Look for Semenya to do what she always does, WIN.

Men's and Women's 1500m - Another one of my faves. The two with a shot going in points wise are Kiprop and Manangoi.....boy, they fizzled out this year a little hey. Anyway, I see Kiprop getting the better of this one as he's likely rested from the Olympics and that 1000m he ran about a week ago and has the motivation of squandering incredible early season fitness. Kiprop FTW. On the ladies front, I kinda want to go with the upset here and take Laura Miur, but I don't see her being allowed to do what she did at the last race. It was amazing watching her determination running away from the Olympic champ. But Kipyegon is just that THE OLYMPIC CHAMP. She's going to take it but it will have to be wrestled from Muir.

Men's and Women's 5000m - With the finale being double points the long, lean, Kejelcha could upset the points leader Muktar Edris and after watching him bring back Iguider in the 3000 that was contested over the weekend in Paris I think he's beating anyone and everyone not named Mo Farah, Kejelcha takes this. On the women's side if Ayana toes the line at anything better then 80% she wins this. Mercy Cherono is only 2 points back but she's not beating a rested Ayana over 5k.

Men's and Women's 3000m SC - This is as cut and dry as it gets, even if he doesn't start the champ, Conseslus Kipruto has 50 points and wins by default in true legend status. On the women's side, can we picture anyone beating Ruth Jebet after shattering the WR, no dice! Jebet will be taking home some cold hard cash for sure.

Interesting story line to watch - The Bowerman Track Club teammates of Evan Jager and Ryan Hill in the 5k. Can either of them go sub 13? I think Jager is certainly in that type of shape, the question is, will the race go out that fast or will Edris and Kejelcha just sit back and duke it out letting the pace slow? If the leaders run sub 13 minute pace the whole race I like Jagers chances, he's aerobically very strong and can handle that kind of tempo. I feel like Ryan Hill's best event is the 3k as he showed last weekend running 7:30.9, number 3 all time on the american list (4 if you take Rupp's indoor time). I don't think he's got the aerobic engine to support a sub 13 pace from the gun but he could prove me wrong. My prediction is it's a 13:0X race with a burn up at 600m to go.




My week that was in training.


Monday - 90' with 4X15" strides 

Tuesday - 92' with 4X15" strides + General Strength

Wednesday - 71' with 5X800m on the track off 2' jog/hands on knees (2:12, 2:13, 2:15, 2:14, 2:19)

Thursday - 93' with 4X15" strides

Friday - 45" super relaxed

Saturday - 121' LR, easy first 60' then 3X15' with 2' recover after the first 15' and 3' after the second. Average paces for the 15' segments were 5:07, 5:09 and 5:16. (Ideally half marathon pace will be 5:08, or all 16:00 5km's)

Sunday - 62' death shuffle



So that's another one in the books. I had a little session of mile race pace work today, just sharpening up the legs and trying to get em' feeling snappy again. Things are going well, I was pretty tired at the end of last week with those workouts but I'm coming around now. I'm not running the 120+ mile weeks I used to but all of my runs are much higher quality and I'm spending more time on drills and other accessory stuff which seems to be helping. 

Until next time guys,
Stay frosty,
Dave

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

The insanity that was Rio 2016 Athletics - Semenya, Farah, Bolt, etc.

Hey friends! I trust you are all training hard and looking forward to the fall road and cross seasons. Over here on the east coast I'm putting in some good work. The last 3 weeks have been about the best I've ever felt and things are really clicking. I think coach John has me dialed in perfect in terms of volume and intensity as I'm starting to really hit workouts with confidence and am ending them knowing there's more in the tank. So, needless to say I'll be looking for some PB's in September, October and November. Until then I'll keep my head down and just grind. (I may not feel as positive tomorrow as I've got 5X800 in 2:15....so wish me luck with that one.)

Anyway, in this post I'll try to briefly touch on the last 5 days of the Olympics (athletics) and highlight some of the races I enjoyed and what story lines emerged. After that I'll do a recap of my week that was in training and then get you guys out of here as I'm sure you'll want to spend your time reading better content over on trackie.ca, letsrun.com or flotrack.org. Before I get into that though, a shout out to everyone who's training for a full marathon this fall, it's crazy how everyone I seem to follow on Strava or even just friends in general all seem to be gearing up for a full. My boy Mark Hayward is putting in some stellar training which is hella impressive given the fact that he's in medical school and has a new born at home. Then I caught on Instagram that Kev Coffey is making another appearance at STWM so that's going to be one to watch as he's due for a good one, well south of 2:20. And last but certainly not least the wolf himself, Jeff Costen is putting in some monster sessions. I won't hype the kid too much but you know I'm high on his ability. He likely wants to play it low key in his debut, but it certainly isn't his first rodeo. Dude ran a beauty long run there last week covering 26.2 in 2:4X. He'll be ready to roll come October 16th. Dr. de Jong and I will be at 40K directing all you beauties into the homestretch!


5 story lines that emerged from the last 5 days of Athletics in Rio


1 - Usain Bolt is the GOAT and is truly a star that transcends the sport. We can all pretty much agree that Track and Field at it's core is a niche sport, but every so often there emerges a transcending figure that has the perfect blend of athletic ability, charisma and showmanship that puts them in the mainstream. Usain Bolt certainly fit that bill, and since he burst onto the scene in Beijing 8 years ago he has been a superstar. From appearances on late night talk shows, edgy Puma commercials ("calling all troublemakers..") and appearances at pop culture award shows, he's made himself into a household name. Pretty much anyone you ask will know the name Usain Bolt. It was reported that Bolt pulled in 32.5 million in endorsements last year and that he could potentially make up to 80 this year if he parlays the Olympic year into the equation. And in my mind he's worth every penny. Usain's career has been nothing short of amazing. He's run WR's over the 1,2 and 4X1. Set Olympic records under the pressure of game opposition and faced the very best, even when his training had been less then ideal. I hope we get to see him on the track one more time next year in London, pull off the double and then ride off into the sunset. Will there ever be another like him? I doubt it, but young Andre De Grass is certainly someone who looks poised to take his place as the number one sprinter in the world as we move into a new era.

2 - Mo Farah needs to be in the conversation for greatest distance runner of all time. He can't be kept out of that debate any longer. I still hear people saying he's not winning in fast races, but guess what, the times he ran to win at this year's Olympics were only seconds off the Olympic records and he closed like a savage, even falling in the 10k. Sure he doesn't have a blazing fast time to his name over 5km and 10km. But his hardware is stacking up higher and higher, not to mention the fact that he's still running quick year in, year out. In this, an Olympic year, he has run one of the fastest 1500m times, the quickest 5k and 10k time as well as a sub 60 minute half. He faces all comers and takes them down. I will submit that he doesn't have the cross country credentials of the greats like Geb and Bekele but we also need to understand that Cross isn't as big as it was back in the late 90's and early to mid 2000's. The same can be said for opportunities to time trial fast 5km's and 10km's. How things are looking now, I expect him to pull off the double again next year in London and then move to the roads. I was chatting with my good friend Jeremiah and he made some great points about Mo and Galen and it got me thinking about this GOAT debate. Mo may never run the 2:03 that Geb ran, or have the list of cross country titles and scalps that Bekele does. But we do need to realize and appreciate what he's currently doing and the caliber of athletes he's beating over everything from the 15 to the half.

3 - The women's 800 went exactly how we thought it would. Before I even touch on the top 3 let's give a huge shout out to Melissa Bishop. My girl, Amy Friel and I have been talking about it over the last 2 days. Her performance was inspired, it's one I hope she's proud of. Obviously it's heartbreaking to not medal being in the shape she was, but she ran an unreal race and displayed nothing but class afterwards. We are all super proud of you Melissa! As for the race itself, Caster put on a truly amazing display of 800m running. Her strength over the last 120m in unrivaled. Nyonsaba looked great as did Wambui closing well. I feel there's too much talk over the intersex element right now. I mean we knew about the state of the 800 since April, we should be respecting the medalists at this point and focusing on the tremendous performances put forth in that final. Heck, 1:57 came 6th!!!! The debate about fairness or equal playing field can be saved for those who have the knowledge and understanding of the situation at a later date. Clearly it needs to be figured out and talked about thoroughly but to all those people on social media/twitter who are disrespecting the athletes, please give it a rest. They deserve our respect and gratitude for putting forth a truly memorable 800m final.

4 - NOP and Salazar are doing something right. Regardless if you like them or hate them. The performances put down by Rowbury, Centro, Rupp and Farah were sensational and american distance running in general is in a very good/healthy place. To see Centro running a tactically perfect race and holding off a 1:42 guy over the last 400m will go down as one of the best performances ever. His tactical awareness is unmatched. How he wastes zero energy and looks the same running 75 second quarters as he does 50 second quarters boggles my mind. Every young 1500m runner needs to watch tape on Centro to see how it's done, hell, some pros could learn a thing or two from him. Then we come to Rupp, that bronze medal over 26.2 miles was really something special. He hung with a 2:03 and a 2:04 guy for 23 miles in his second marathon and displayed a calmness that normally takes a half a dozen attempts to master. Kipchoge is the best marathoner the world has ever seen, and the guy just ahead of Rupp, Feyisa is also a stud and won the first major of the year in Tokyo. My boy JJ had told me this before the games even happened but he was right on the money, Rupp's best event will no doubt be the marathon and I believe Salazar when he says he expects him to run a 2:04 at some point, likely 2018.

5 - Canada certainly showed they can compete well on the world stage in Athletics. I think we should look at these games as a huge step in the right direction for our nation. We had stellar performances on the men's and women's side in all events, from Brianne in the heptathlon, Andre in the 100m, Melissa in the 8, Mo in the 5k and Eric holding it down in the Marathon. We sometimes get very frustrated with Athletics Canada be it their criteria, lack of transparency or funding selections but we don't normally congratulate them when they do get things right. In my eyes Rio 2016 was a huge success and I think in 4 years from now we will be even further ahead and other countries will be taking note of our athletes over all disciplines.

 

My week in training.


Monday - 91' with 4X15" strides + 40' General Strength 

Tuesday - 75' with 4X15" strides

Wednesday - 92' with 8X1'/3' @5:00/mile for the 1' and 5:30/mile for the 3' continuous. 

Thursday - 77' with 4X15" strides + 45' General Strength

Friday - OFF, with a 60' swim and some drills.

Saturday - 122' Long Run with 4X10' @ 5:12/mile average. 90" float between intervals.

Sunday - 76' super chill on the trails.


So yeah, that's another week in the books. I'm feeling fit, fast and really enjoying the training. Lot's more work to do obviously and a set of 800's tomorrow in 2:15 certainly won't be a walk in the park but that's the grind my friends.

Anyway, I'll see you all next week, same bat time, same bat place.

Stay pretty,
Dave

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

A look at the first 5 days of Athletics in Rio & my week of training.

Hey ya'll, how are things? I bet you are all glued to the TV/Computer and are enjoying the Olympic Games. It's not just Athletics that's been exciting, everything from swimming to kayaking has been super entertaining. But Track and Field are what's really got me excited right now. There's been so many great races/performances. From Bolt becoming a 3 time 100m Olympic Champ to Alamaz Ayana running a new 10000m WR of 29:17. The Olympics really brings out the very best and it seems like everyone competing has shown up and gotten their peak just right. I`m going to hit some of the best performances, at least what I consider the best performances, below and then recap my week in training. I didn't bother to do a breakdown of the women's marathon after, as I was putting one together it became clear there was only 5 women with a realistic chance to win and non of them were really household names that most would know so there wasn't really much point. Anyway, let's jump into it and look at some of the best races of the first 5 days.

Women's 10000m


What can you say about this race, in my mind it was the 3rd best in recent Olympic history, first being Usain Bolt's 9.63 and David Rudisha's 1:40. Now, we need to start by giving a shout out to Alice Aprop, I mentioned her when I was breaking down the race, she's the one who got after it from the gun and started running 70's. This got rid of everyone who was just at the games to compete and made it about the contenders. When I saw the 3km split I couldn't really believe what I was watching, then came the 14:46 5000m mark where Ayana started to move, within a couple laps she dropped some 66's and was away by 100m. It was truly a performance for the ages, for a women (Alice Aprop) to run sub 30 and come fourth, it shows how magical the race really was. I know right off the hop people started calling "doping" and Steve Magness got all over twitter claiming the performance as "laughable" but the fact of the matter is, it was still something special, regardless of whether or not the athlete had some assistance. She has never tested positive and deserves the benefit of the doubt. Strong performances also came from Vivian C. and T. Dibaba rounding out the top 3. 29:40 for 3rd.....it seems crazy to even type that.

Men's 10000m


Was there ever any doubt about that one? The big surprise was that GK went out the back door as early as he did. There was some talk on the letsrun.com boards that he was getting over an injury which does make sense as he DNF'd the Kenyan Trials. Farah showed great composure after taking a fall early getting clipped by Rupp. You knew when he got on the shoulder of Paul Tanui with 120m to go it was all over. Farah is now in some tremendous company with regards to double Olympic 10000m champs. I feel like he will actually have an easier time doubling back in the 5km this time around then he did in London. Yet, I still see some people saying he shouldn't be in the GOAT conversation with the likes of Bekele and Haile (Zatopek & Viren go without saying). The fact of the matter is, he has displayed unreal dominance since 2011 and run extremely fast from 1500m to the half marathon. The biggest kicker for me is that people like to use the fact that his 5k and 10k PB's are 12:53/26:46. That's true, but that's not his actually fitness level. The man could easily run a low to mid 12:4X and likely 26:30. They don't set up fast 5000's and 10000's to the same degree in which they did when Haile, Bekele and Komen were running. It's about winning these days and times become secondary in most cases. I encourage anyone who doesn't think he should be to go back over the guys he has beat in the last few WC and Olympics. People are quick to bring up the likes of Geb vs Tergat, Bekele vs Tedese etc, which are all fair points but Farah has beaten guys like Ndiku, Gebremeskel, Kipchoge, GK and others. As of right now, he may not be the GOAT, and perhaps he wont ever be considered that but he needs to be in the discussion. 

Men's 800m


WHAT A RACE!! This wasn't as great as the women's 10000m but it was something special, to see Kipketer take it out at a ridiculous pace and not give up the lead until 300 to go, then watching Rudishia just assert his dominance, making a super strong move to retain his Olympic title was a thing of beauty. He has been doubted over the last 3 years having to work through injury and inconsistent training but the fact of the matter is he won worlds last year and ran the fastest time since 2012 in the Olympic final last night. He's the greatest 800m runner to ever live. Makhloufi looked redicously strong in that 800m as well. I'm afraid we might see an upset like in 2012 if Kiprop isn't in the form he was early this year and last year. Either way it makes for a great storyline. Also, what about Clayton Murphy, the kid skips the 1:43's all together, he ran tactically perfect and was rewarded for his efforts, awesome race.

Women's 3000m steeplechase


Another great race, what is it about this track/these Olympics, everyone is getting after it and it's making for some amazing races. After a 3:05 first 1000m, Ruth Jebet was having non of it and took off dropping a 2:54 K and holding on for an 8:59, if she didn't tie up in the last 80m she would have run a WR. And we saw some absolutely inspired running and Emma Coburn realized her potential and grabbed a bronze, running very smart through the middle portion of the race and closing hard in a new AR.

Men's 100m


This is another one we saw coming but actually witnessing it was a different story. Usain Bolt has won the last 3 Olympic Titles over 100m, the rock star event of the games. There's a reason he reportedly makes 80 million a year through endorsements, he transcends the sport of track and field and gets the average person to tune in a watch. He says he's committed to his sponsor to go through the world champs next year before he retires and I think that's the best way to go out. Leave the sport at the top, nobody was good enough to wrestle the title away from you so just walk away the best and never look back. What a legend, a case could be made that he's the best overall athlete in the world, and I think it's a fair one. Our boy Degrass looked like a total stud taking the bronze and won his heat in the 200m today, this is his coming out party and I'm sure we will see him dominate the scene over the years to come.

Men's 400m


All I can say is WHAT WAS THAT.....I didn't think anyone could touch Michael Johnson's WR in the 400. It's stood for 17 years and it's just such a fast mark, most years there's only a guy or two who dips under 44. But Wayde van Niekerk out in lane 8 just threw it down. I honestly thought it would be Merritt and James battling it out for the win but they went 3 and 2. I don't follow the 400 super closely but from now own I'll be keeping my eyes locked on this guy, could we see a 42:XX if he gets the right race in lane 4? Crazy to think about.



My week in training.


Monday - 61' with 4X15" strides + General Strength in the gym (Trying something new)

Tuesday - 77' with 4X15" strides

Wednesday - 66' Workout 8X400m @ 5km race pace with a 400m float 68,70,70,70,71,70,70,70

Thursday - 78' with 4X15" strides + General Strength 

Friday - Off with a 45' swim.

Saturday - 94' Long Run with 25' in the middle at 5:16/mile average.

Sunday - 62' easy/recovery



So that was my week, I'm feeling about the best I have since May, the body is really clicking and feeling 100% healthy which is nice. John has a nice little workout on the books for me tomorrow within a 90' run of 8X1'/3' continuous fartleking between 5:00/mile and marathon pace of 5:30/mile. Anyway, enjoy the Olympics and happy training, I'll chat with you guys next week.

Keep those sticks on the ice,
Dave

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The fall buildup begins + Breaking down the Rio 10k's

Hey friends, I hope you are all well. I'm sorry the last couple weeks got away from me. I just started my fall segment and have been getting my head in the game. I like to make sure I'm updating once a week so I'll make sure not to miss any from here until XC Nats in K-Town. Let's kick this entry old school and get back on track. I'll talk about the women and men's 10000m races and try to break that down as best as I can. I'll write another entry before the women's marathon, that deserves a full on blog post in and of itself. After that I'll break down what coach John had me doing last week in training. As some of you guys know, I had an injury back in June and took 2 weeks off completely. (non running related, I fell doing some work on my house). So we didn't do any real training going into the Tely. John just said to go out and run a controlled race and then look towards our goals for the fall which are the national 5km champs on September 11th, STWM (the half) on October 18th and then close out the season with cross country nationals in Kingston which is the last weekend of November I believe. I'll skip our provincial 5km champs as I don't really see the point of doing it, the last couple years it's been a solo run from the gun so it's better to just get my training in order and hit a fast one in Toronto. I'll try to convince John to let me run the turkey tea 10k. It's a good chance to knock out a sub 31, I was super close last year in 31:07 and I'm sure I'll be much further along come late October, but I'll leave it in his hands. So without anymore rambling let's look at the 10k's. We will start with the women's race which is on Friday morning.

Women's 10000m, will Ayana reign supreme or will T. Dibaba make history?


This is a very intriguing race. On paper, based on the last two years and what's gone down thus far any logical person would say this is all Almaz Ayana. She has been untouched with the absense of Genzebe Dibaba over 3-10k. Heck even when Genzebe was running the 5k, she got her doors blown off by Ayana last year at worlds. We saw Almaz almost run the world record twice over 5k so far this year, and keep in mind folks she's so fast that she can't even find a women quick enough to take her to 3km as she needs about 8:27/8. 8:30 is 14:10 pace. Any women who could potentially pace her is in 14:30-40 shape and would just race themselves. I only mention this to just show how far ahead of the other women she is. Then at the Ethiopian trials she just ripped the field apart and ran 30:07. That said, Tirunesh was early in her build up and has 6 weeks more fitness in the bank and she's the two time defending Olympic champ. Heck she's 11/12 lifetime over the distance with her only loss coming to Ayana at the trials this year. 

So, I'm giving Tirunesh the benefit of the doubt, if she can find the form she's shown in the past I feel like she's got better closing speed then Ayana which is the only chink in her armor. At age 31 can Dibaba bring back the form that showed her closing out 30 flat 10k's in 59 point. Let's not forget Ayana in chasing Dibaba's record after all. I'm very much torn, I'm going to go with the upset here and actually take Dibaba. I know it sounds crazy but I feel like she may know something we don't and wouldn't come back if she didn't think she could win gold. I think Ayana will take 2ed and then go on to double back in win the 5km with ease.

Now, for the last spot. Well, we know it's going to be fast, that's a 100% certainty, I'd even say we could see a sub 30 taking the win. There will be no sit and kick in this race, it's not to Ayana's benefit and it's not how she runs. So the question then becomes who of the rest could run between 30:00 and 30:10? Well, I'd venture to say we should favor Alice Aprop, she's got some super credentials and has the second fastest time in the world this year. Then if she has an off day I'd put last year's world champ, the legendary Vivian Cheruiyot in there, she's a seasoned veteran who's had many EPIC battles with Dibaba over the years and knows how to win, she could very well grab a medal. I'll also add Etheopia's Geleta Burka, she's super strong, not a ton of closing speed but can certainly click off 72's for most if not all the race just don't expect anything under 63 from her at the bell.

I guess we should mention our North American contingent here as well. Unfortunately, this isn't a great year to be running the 10k, I mean Molly Huddle may get herself into AR shape but I fear that's not going to be enough. Even if she's with the leaders or lets say the front two are gone and then she's with a pack of 2 or 3, she's not going to close the last 800 in under 2:10 and it'll take at least that to break the ladies I've mentioned above. I'd say she could close in maybe 2:12-14 but no much faster. That said I'm holding out hope, she's in great shape and knows anything can happen. As for the others...I mean I don't think either of the other two American's can run under 31:30, perhaps like 31:20 in a Payton Jordan type setting running 75.5's the whole way but they will very likely get lapped. As for Lanni and Natasha, I'm super excited with have two girls in this race. That's the key thing here for them, their best bet is to try to run their PR's as evenly as possible. Look to break 32, forget everyone else and trust that the best way for them to finish as high as possible is to run steady and to the fastest their fitness will allow and know that some girls will get in over their head and die. I wouldn't recomend going with the the American's, Infeld or Hall as they both run 15 flat for 5km and are in 31:30 or a little better shape. They may blow up and then our girls can eat them up over the last 2 km.

Predictions;

T. Dibaba
A. Ayana
V. Cheruiyot

Men's 10000m can GK break away or will Mo be there with 2 to go then make him look like he's walking it in?


This is another great one, with 1 main story line. We all know what GK and Karoki need to do here, if they don't it's going to be a very easy day at the oval office for Mo Farah. The boy's need to work together, possibly get Tanui in there as well, though I doubt he's strong enough as Galen dropped him in a 26:44 race but he could help for at least 7/8km. They need to get on it from the first lap, just rolling 2:40/km the minute that gun goes off. Come through 3000m in 7:59-8:02, 5km in 13:18-21, then just try like all hell to push on at that pace and hope to get a little gap. 

It's obvious GK is the best in the world over the half, and I suspect by the time he's 25 he will own the Marathon WR, he's beyond strong. And let's give him credit, he ran 12:59 for 5km as well, that's excellent range. The problem is, I feel like Mo is very much a track runner, he's nervous in a race as long as 13.1 miles and let's gaps open, heck he let Bekele open up one with a little over a mile to go at the great north run that year. But he will never allow that to happen in a race on the track. And with the form he's displayed recently in Birmingham, Monaco and London...he's very confident.You can just tell by how Mo moves on the track in the last lap in comparison to GK and even Karoki, they seem rigid and like they aren't comfortable moving under 60 seconds/lap pace, while Farah is relaxed even the last 80m, he's straining for sure when he's closing the last 800 of a 5k in 1:48 or running a 3:28 1500 but he's still moving with fluidity. Even comparing him to a speedster like Ndiku, the same can be said.

I can't bet against Mo here, he's more vulnerable in this race then the 5km but I don't think GK or Karoki are fit enough to get away from him. When I look back at the 2000's the only guy's who could beat Mo over 10k are Geb, Bekele, Tergat and Shihine. GK will have his time in 2020, hopefully doubling in the 10k and the Marathon.

Now, what about Rupp? Should he be in the conversation here? As much as I'm a huge fan, the answer is no, and there's 2 reasons he doesn't have the same odds in his favor like he did in 2012. The first is the fact that there are 3 guys in better shape and 1 around his fitness. The second being his speed has felt the effects of the marathon training. You can't be in 3:50 mile shape and sub 2:10 marathon shape....it just doesn't work like that. (Well Farah was when he ran 2:08 but he's the outlier). Galen was breaking 13, running 3:34 for 1500m and 7:30 for 3km in 2012, he had to sacrifice that closing speed to chase the marathon. His best hope is that it's a sub 27 minute race, he's very strong and can still probably PR in the 10k. But he's likely not going to close a sub 27 race with a final 800 any quicker then 1:58 and if he's not away with the first two he's in trouble. I hope he pulls something off but don't expect an upset.

Predictions;

M. Farah via sub 55 last lap, letting up for a Mo-Bot
GK
B. Karoki


My week that was in training.


Monday - 62' with 4X15" strides

Tuesday - 77' with 4X15" strides

Wednesday - Fartlek 94' total with 30' of 1' @ 5:00/mile into 4' @ 5:30/mile. Felt super chill.

Thursday - 75' with 4X15" strides

Friday - 47' recovery jog

Saturday - 76' with 8X30"/90" at mile race pace mid run.

Sunday - 122' Long run, just ROLLIN!!


So yeah, that was my week, she was a good one, I'm really getting excited for the 5km champs, I've got a 5km  pace work session of 400's tomorrow which I'll do on the track, just trying to get into that 70 second quarter rhythm feeling really comfortable.


Alright folks, I've taken up enough of your time, I'll be back Friday to break down the Marathon. 

Keep that chin tucked, hands high and let em' fly,

DF - OUT!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

State of the women's 800m and thoughts on the Tely 10.

Hey friends, how goes it? We certainly didn't get much of a down week after the trials as we were treated to the Monaco meet as well as some other smaller meets taking place in Europe like the one in Heusden where we saw Souleiman run a super strong 3:31 and Hill running a 3:35. We also saw the final selections made from the Ethiopian Federation naming their squads from the 800 and up. The only big surprise to me was leaving Keljelcha off the team over 5000, to me that's a big mistake as it's going to be a kickers race and he has the best wheels of anyone they could draw from with the exception of Mukar Edris, but hey, maybe they know something I don't. Regardless they have a fantastic squad going to Rio. Anyway, I'll talk briefly about our local Tely 10 which is coming up this Sunday and then look at the craziness that's going down in the women's 800m.

Tely 10 thoughts and who's looking good.


Here in Newfoundland there is no bigger race then the Tely 10 mile road race. This is the 89th year of it's running. A lot of people try to make observations and predictions but unless you are actually competing against the competition you really have no idea where people are and it's just making guesses based on other races. You don't really know if the athletes were using said races as workouts or all out efforts, then you've got the fact that 10 miles is a pretty awkward distance and favors strong half marathon runners or strength based 10k guys/girls.

On the men's side this year there's one guy who should be considered the heavy favorite but I suspect I'm the only one who thinks this as he's known as a steepler. That guy goes by the name of Ryan Brockerville. He's run 30:30 for 10k on the roads, an 8:34 steeple and a 3:52 1500, (He's likely in 3:43/44 shape though, that was a slow race from the gun, he's run 1:50 for 800 and 3:44 for 15 before). I mean, if you think anyone else on that start line has those credentials then you clearly aren't following the sport closely. He's in his prime and is ready to run. I'd obviously have picked last years Tely champ, Matt Loiselle if he was training like he was last year or in 2012 when he ran 48:08 but I don't think he's going to be starting the race as he's had some injury struggles, but if he does I'm sure he will run well. I don't know what kind of shape Graydon Snider is in as he's raced infrequently in 2016 and seems to be taking up joggling. He ran a 17 low 5k while doing so and according to his blog can run mile repeats in 5:10 without any drops. If he's on at 100% he's in the mix as well and will do well if the pace is hot early, using his strength to grind people away. Then you have Colin Fewer, who's one of the best runners to ever come out of Newfoundland, the guy has competed at world cross running against Bekele so you best believe he has some tricks up his sleeve. He's also won 8 Tely 10s and owns a PB of 49:43.

The race could go many different ways depending on who wants to lead and how fast it goes from the gun, but one things for sure it's going to be an exciting race.

On the women's side it's pretty cut and dry. My Saucony teammate Kate Bazeley is a class above the rest and should win by about 3 minutes if she has a good day. Behind her you have lots of great athletes like Anne Johnson who's run 35 high for 10k this year, Caroline Mcilroy who's gone well under 60 minutes before and races everything from 400m to 100km. Chasing her down will be another strong pack with the likes of Karen Stacy and Katie Wadden among others. It won't be as close as the men's race but it should be exciting non the less.


Understanding what's happening in the women's 800m.


So before I even get into this let me be clear. I firmly believe that both Caster Semenya and Francine Niyonsaba aren't doing anything wrong. They were both born this way and are simply competing in a sport they both love and excel at. I personally believe they have a right to compete naturally, without being forced to take anything such as testosterone blockers or any other substance that some might think would level the playing field. My thoughts stem from the fact that I don't feel like it's fair for these two athletes to compete against other women who don't have the same hormonal advantages that both Semenya and Niyonsaba have being intersex athletes. One poster on letsrun.com who writes for www.sportsscientists.com said it best "the presence of the Y-chromosome is THE single greatest genetic “advantage” a person can have". 

I'm going to post a link below to the article/blog entry on sportsscientist.com below, it's incredibly well written and you'll glean far more from that then anything I'll say here. I do want to just talk about the fact that we need a fair playing field, if not why are we even bothering to hold a race? We don't know how fast Caster can really run, my hunch is she can certainly go under the current world record, (Which is very suspect at 1:53). How she looks closing out the last 120m of an 800 is like nothing I've ever seen before.

We can all agree that the best/most effective way to run an 800m to achieve the best time one's fitness will alloy is a slight positive split with a gradual deceleration each 200m. I once heard Canova talk about the scientific formula, some of what he said is escaping me now, but he suggested running the first 400 at 93% of your open 400m ability then come back at 89% of your open 400m ability on the second lap. 

Well, if any of you saw Semenya's 1:55 last week in Monaco her last 100m was just ridiculous, she's accelerating and finding another gear the last strait. She's not moving until about 200m to go and this is with the very best girls in the world in the race running in the 1:56's up front. This tells me if she went out maybe 3 seconds quicker at 400 and accounted for a slight deceleration and just ran on the edge the whole time she would be WAY under 1:55, I'd venture to say 1:51 high to 1:52 could be a very real possibility given how relaxed she looked running 1:55.

Competing against this type of athlete makes it very difficult for someone who has a ceiling of say 1:56 which is likely where the girls ranked 3rd to 6th are in terms of genetic potential. It doesn't really seam fair does it.

I really don't know what I'm getting at here or if I'm addressing anything at all. I'm just rambling on but it's something that we need to take a good look at before Rio, because if things stand as they are now, if 8 girls are in the final, 6 will realistically be competing for a Bronze Medal, and to me that doesn't seem right, they train just as hard and sacrifice just as much as anyone else and those girls deserve to toe the line knowing that they aren't limited based on their hormonal profile, but based on the fitness they are carrying into the race itself.

Before I clue this up, I want to reiterate what I said before, I 100% support Caster Semenya, she seems like a great person and is only trying to do what she loves. She deserves our respect in each and every debate we have over this issue. She's actually making the other athletes better, knowing they have to raise their game just to be in races with her.

If any of you guys/girls have any thoughts or comments about this leave them below, or if I've made any mistakes in what I've written please let me know. It's a touchy issue and needs to be addressed correctly. Here is the link the the article I spoke of above. http://sportsscientists.com/2016/07/caster-semenya-debate/



That's all for me, I'll get back to writing up my training next week after the Tely 10, Coach and I will begin to plan out the fall and I'm sure he will have me rolling some big sessions as I get ready for Yorkville, STWM 1/2 and National Cross.

Last point before I get out of here, Shoutout to Ryan Noel-Hodge who celebrated a big birthday there last week, I hear he's cutting some hay today on his family farm and squeezing in runs when possible. And to another one of coach John's athletes, Francois Jarry who rolled a 30:08 10000m in Quebec last weekend, stellar running!

Until next time, keep that chin tucked!
Dave

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

AC & USATF Trials Wrap Up.

Hey running friends, I hope you are all well and enjoyed watching the Athletics Canada Track and Field Trials this past weekend, along with the USATF trials. We were treated to some amazing performances, some heartbreak, some feel good stories and our amazing sport was on full display. I for one enjoyed it big time. AC named our team for Rio yesterday and of course there was some heated debates about some who were left off but overall I think AC did an excellent job this time around doing away with the A+ standard that was used last time. So in this post I just want to talk about some of the great performances and some of the story lines that emerged from the two trials. Before that though, I need to give a shout out to my boys who ran in Antigonish last weekend at the Highland Games. Firstly the 5 miler which looked to be a great battle this year was taken by Rob Winslow who's a strait beauty, he ran a great race in Ottawa this year too, I'm excited to see him take a crack at his next marathon. He went 2:19:00 last time out in Rotterdam, I feel like 2:16 is in the cards for his next one. He had his hands full in the 5 miler with McNeil and my boy Alex giving chase along with Scott Donald. (Seeing those results made me wish I'd run our local 8km, I was licking my chops looking at the times that were run here locally). The next day featured the elite 1 mile race and the legend that is Alex Cyr just let it rip and left everyone in his wake. The kid is fresh off a couple 3:52's and seems to be having a great summer, go check out his blog on my side bar for a recap of his spring. Shout out as well to Mr. Dewolfe who was also out there spinning the legs. Look for a big fall from that guy, he's more of an aerobic monster and excels on the cross country course and over the long stuff. (I thought I read somewhere he was taking the LSAT, if that's the case I hope it went well big guy!). Anyway, let's get on with this post shall we.


Story lines from the USATF Olympic Trials.


1 - Bernard Lagat is simply amazing. After a DNF in the 10k he came back looking great in the first round of the 5000 and closed in 53 taking the win in his heat and then in the final came from way back to close in 52.8 in a 13:3X race to take the win. That's his 5th Olympic team which is unreal in a sport like track and field. If the final in Rio is anything like it was in Beijing last summer being a high 13 minute kickers race he could be in the hunt for a medal. Ndiku hasn't looked good at all this year so for my money I see it coming down to guys like Edris, Keljelcha, Farah and then maybe Lagat, granted Iguider is doubling and has ridiculous closing as well so we will see but this was a memorable trials watching Lagat make the team. 

2 - Brenda Martinez showing unreal guts and heart to come back and earn a spot on the 1500m team after the 800m final which saw her stumble and miss out on the team. Brenda embodies all that is great about track and field and is a fantastic role model for girls coming up in the sport. The 1500m team consisting of Jenny Simpson, Shannon Rowbury and Brenda Martinez is a serious group of athletes, all are in sub 4 minute shape and in a tactical race have a shot at a medal. if Genzebe Dibaba runs and is healthy she can't be beat at 1500, and Faith Kipyegon in also on another level but any of these 3 Americans on a good day could make a run for the bronze.

3 - The women's 5000m team isn't very strong at all when compared to their 1500 or 800m teams. This is  a weird event on the world stage, you have a women in Almez Ayana who is in world record shape and can run a sub 8:30 final 3k if need be, then you have Genzebe Dibaba who can also run very close to the WR and close ridiculously fast. After that, there's plenty of East Africans women who can run 14:25-14:40. So what do you do then when your sending a team without Molly Huddle who's the only American women who could potentially run anything in the 14:3X's. It's a really strong event and there's a reason Huddle and Infeld are only running the 10k, you have to either be able to grind something in the 14:2X's or close in sub 60 in a 14:50 type race. I'm happy to see the 3 girls make it, especially Abby who seems like an awesome person, but this is a very hard event to compete in. 

4 - Lashawn Merritt has WHEELS!! He looked fantastic in the 400m and unreal in the 200, Gatlin had to dig into every reserve he had to edge him at the line. I'm really excited to see him doubling in both the 2 and 4. The US have a very strong team in all the sprints as usual and should definitely bring home some serious hardware.

5 - Matt Centrowitz is as silky smooth as they come. Well, we got exactly what we expected in that 1500, Centro proving he is a class above, striding away looking like he's jogging running 3:34 flat, Andrews closing like a train and a battle royal for 3rd similar to last year, this time with Ben Blankenship taking it from Leo. The men's 1500 team isn't as good pound for pound as their women's but it's still very strong. Centro is for sure in the hunt for a medal. (We will know more when we see how fast people run in Monaco). 1 thing I will say, and it's not me taking a shot at Jordan Mcnamara as he seems like a great guy. But like I said a few posts ago when he ran at Oxy, took the time to stare down CPT who had front run the race and then out-kicked him coming from way back.......what goes around comes around. He was pretty happy with himself in that race and talked like he was in unreal form, that may have been his shot at the olympic standard and instead of pushing the pace with Chuck he just went for the win. Like I said after it happened, he will be watching the final from home, while CPT is racing the worlds best at the Olympics. In this sport, nothing is guaranteed, you have to seize every opportunity, Jordan, like a lot of other Americans should have got the standard before the trials and then only focused on coming top 3 with less pressure on time.


Thoughts on our Olympic Team and the trials.


1 - Looking at the team that was named, I'm pretty heart broken for Rachel Cliff and Jess Smith. In my mind both did enough to display they can run at the Olympics and hold their own. Part of me wonders why an athlete without the standard would purposely beat an athlete who has it when they know full well they can't go and are taking someone else's spot away. I mean, I get it, if you can run the standard and another athlete can't you should be able to finish higher then them at the trials. Maybe I don't know all the details or some people can negotiate for sponsorship based on how they do at nationals but to me it seems crazy to do that. 

2 - Our team as a whole seems to have really grown in both numbers and strength since 2012. Just looking at where we are and the rankings of some of our athletes, in addition to the improvements they have made it's really an exciting time. We sometimes get a little jaded, myself included when we watch the worlds best on the diamond league circuit, but we have some unreal talent and I, for one, am excited to watch them all compete.

3 - I'm very upset/sad that Sheila Reid isn't going to Rio. Now, that said I'm pumped Hilary is, she's such an awesome person and ran well all year. She deserves it 100%. I guess this speaks to the depth we have now. But part of me would love to see Sheila at 100% lining up in her best event at the Olympics. In 2012 she had to run the 5k, I was hoping to see how she stacked up against the Americans. She looked really good so far this year running that 4:03. It's the same thing with Cam Levins, I know he's struggling right now but I don't see why you couldn't still let the guy run the 10k. He's the CR holder and might be able to get back into mid 27 shape come Rio. I hope he comes back strong later this year and gets into some races in Europe.

4 - I'd like to see our trials at sea level next time, just so in the distance events if some people wanted to take a run at the standards they could at least have a fair chance at it. Edmonton did a great job hosting and it seemed like a great meet but it just seems like having the trials even at a relatively low altitude isn't ideal for the longer events.




Well, that's it for me guys. I wanted to keep this post solely about the Olympic Trials. Next time I'll chat about my own running, racing plans, etc. I've also got another shoe review coming and we will break down the Monaco Diamond League meet. CPT and Mcbride are running so keep it locked on that meet for sure.

Until next time, stay frosty,
Dave