Some thoughts after the second diamond league stop in Shanghai.
1 - The officials need to get their act together with regards to starts/starting commands and not be afraid to call a false start in a mid-d or distance event. In the first meet of the year there was a fall in the 1500 right at the start. The guy flew halfway across the world to hit the Olympic standard of 3:36.20 and falls when the gun goes off. He ended up running 3:40. Nick Willis seemed to be the only one concerned about it however. Then at the Shanghai meet on Saturday they had the most awkward starting commands in the 800 and left David Rudishia standing with his hands on his hips and the pacer looking behind him wondering what's going on. I mean, this isn't a twilight meet here folks, it's the biggest track and field circuit in the world. Let's get the little things right shall we.
2 - The men's 5000 is going to be SPICY this year. Not that it ever isn't but with Edris coming back on the scene after a relatively low key year in 2015 compared to his great 2014 where he ran the world leader over the distance it seems like Ethiopia will have a really difficult time picking their 5000m squad. You have to go with Keljecha as he's the world indoor champ, but after that with guys like Edris, Gebriwet, Gebremeskel, Alimirew and others they are going to have an insane team. Kenya has some studs as well in Soi, Longasiwa, Koech, Ndiku just to name a few but I don't think they have the same kind of firepower as Ethiopia on the track in the 5000. I'm curious to see how both federations select their teams and if we see a crazy fast time at one of the next meets.
3 - It's not looking good for Jenny Simpson or Shannon Rowbury in the 1500m. Olympic years always brings out the best athletes and they normally elevate themselves to their highest levels. In that first womens 1500 in Shanghai we saw some blazing times and some of the big players didn't even come out. If you aren't capable of closing in sub 2 minutes for the last 800, maybe as quickly as 1:57/58 like we saw at last years world champs then your out of luck for a medal......these girls are playing for keeps.
4 - We all want to see Bolt vs Gatlin again. Good vs Evil as some see it, regardless this is once again going to be the showdown to watch in the most popular track event that's run. I don't know if we will see them square off before the Olympics but when these titans clash be sure to be glued to your TV!
Some thoughts on who could be going to Rio in the 800 - 10000m
Obviously we are still early days in the track season but we have gotten a glimpse of what types of fitness people are carrying into the summer. I'm so excited to see who we send to Rio in these events and it's something I'm always looking at or talking to my buddies about.
I feel like in the women's 800 we still haven't really seen enough to draw any conclusions other then Melissa Bishops being a lock based on the fine form she displayed indoors and Jess Smith running a 2:01. There's spots up for grabs and it'll be interesting to see how girls a running in the upcoming weeks. On the men's side I like Anthony Romaniw to hit the standard and come top 3 at nationals and Rob Heppenstall. Obviously Brandon McBride is going to be a lock after already running a 1:44 and showing good strength running a 3:41 1500m.
In the women's 1500 I like Sheila Reid, Nicole Sifuentes and Gabriela Stafford, but it's still early, Hilary could throw down and has proven she can come up big when it counts, she's already run 4:08. Fiona Benson ran the fastest time of them all last year so I may be crazy for not mentioning her in my top 3, I just haven't seen anything quick from her yet but again, in a month from now things could look totally different. For the men I like CPT, Nate and Rae (provided he gets back to form soon, I believe he may be opening up at Oxy but I'm not sure).
For the 5000 Jess has been running great in the event for the past 3 years and should have no problems making the team, after her I like Andrea and Sasha to also punch their tickets. For the men you've got Cam and Mo as locks then the battle for the last spot between Ross, Luc and Justyn. I favor Justyn because he's very sharp right now but both Luc and Ross are studs and have run 13:29. Coorigan is also running great and I'm pumped he's PBing each time out. This will be a fun one to keep an eye on.
In the 10k I don't think we will fill out the team on the men's side. It'll be Cam and Mo there and that's all I can see. On the women's side if Lanni doubles it will be her and Natasha with the 3rd spot really depending on if anyone can hit standard. Laura Batternik, Rachel Cliff and Hannah, Kinsey Gomez.....it'll be a tight one but I wish them all the best and can't wait to see it play out.
I'll leave the marathon and steeple talk for another day as with the rest of the track events.
My week in training.
75' easy - AM
75' easy - AM
Workout - 25' fartlek, 30" surge at 5km pace followed by 4:30 steady state continuous so right back into a 30" surge after the steady state. This was something I've never done before and I was excited to try it. I ran the 30" parts a little quick at the beginning, like 4:30/mile pace but got it right on by mid way through the session. I was running the steady state portions around 5:15/mile. The average of the whole workout was 5:10/mile pace and I covered a little under 8km. 4.87 miles. The strava breakdown is here - https://www.strava.com/activities/572657602
75' easy - AM
60' easy with 4X15" strides - AM
Progressive Long Run - 120', the first 60' were really chill, like 7:30/mile and then I changed my shoes and ran the next 40' at 5:27/mile and the last 20' at 5:14/mile. I was suppose to go 5:30, 5:25 and then 5:15. But it was really hard to negotiate the difference between 5:30 and 5:25 on the hilly roads I was doing it on. Either way this was one of the harder ones I've done.
60' - AM
So that was my week, I'm really enjoying the training that coach is giving me and it's going great so far. We are touching on 10k pace with week and doing a sharpening workout on the track on Friday so wish me luck with it. Ottawa is only 11 days away!
Next week I'll talk more pro news, Canadian running stuff and review the new Saucony Zealot ISO2. My friends at Saucony sent me some of the new shoes that will be releasing as the year moves on and they have some wicked cool stuff coming so I'll get the info to you guys about that as I put some miles in the various models.
Anyway, I'm out, have a great week and be safe out there this weekend.