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,

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