Who's looking good early in 2017
So we've had a few big indoor meets going down each weekend of this new year out in Washington, New York, Boston, Penn State as well as some road races like the Pioneer 8k and the Robbie Burns 8k here in Canada. Not to mention Millrose is coming up and the First Half out in Vancouver goes off this Sunday and always puts together a stud filled line up.
I guess the first guy we can talk about is Centro, in his season opener he looked to be picking off right where 2016 left off and was silky smooth running a 3:55 mile for the win. Granted he certainly wasn't running against the best in the world or anything but the ease at which he runs a 26 second last 200 not even straining a little shows he's VERY FIT. Now, the question is if he was to go after it, would he have a chance at Rupp's Indoor 2 mile AR of 8:07? I personally doubt it, that's a really fast mark, the outdoor record held by Tagenkamp is also 8:07 and back when Teg ran that he was one of the best 5000m runners in the world that year running 12:58. Centro can for sure run in the 8:11ish range but I think he will need a couple more years of strength under him to get that 8:07, but he's the one to take it down when the time does come.
Next I guess we talk about the two new 3000m PRs that CPT and Nate ran. Both looked really strong and closed well in a relatively fast race. Anything around 7:45 is definitely a world class indoor time and it's early in the season, it's not a stretch to say they could take another few seconds off what they laid down there and CPT in the future might break 7:40. We saw him lower his 5000m PB to 13:33 last spring, I'll be interested to see if he toes the line in Palo Alto again how much more he takes off that. Could he go sub 13:20?
We certainly can't talk about mid distance running without mentioning how badass Paul Chelimo is becoming. Now, I follow track VERY closely, but I thought last year going into Rio a good finish from him would be to make the final, not be trying to chase down Farah and pull away from Hagos Gebrewit. This guy is not a one hit wonder and if you listen to his interviews he has some swagger to him too which is refreshing. He knew that 3k in Boston was his for the taking and he threw it down and showed the chops of an Olympic Silver Medalist. Another point that's worth mentioning is that Lawi Lalang looked very good for the first time in a while, he was scheduled to bring the group through 3k but he stayed in the race and ran a respectable 7:45. Now a guy of his pedigree and talent (3:33 1500m man and 13:00 for 5000) should be running like 7:33-35 but this is a step in the right direction and he's one to keep an eye out for when outdoors comes around.
Next up is a teammate of Chelimo's from the US Army club coached by Dan Brown, Leonard Korir. This guy looked fantastic in XC taking down Callum Hawkins at the line and then threw down a 61 low in Huston beating Olympic Silver Medalist in the marathon Lelisa Feyisa at the line in really humid conditions. He's another guy to watch for. I don't know that he's got the closing speed to win medals on the track over 10000m as Rupp on marathon legs dusted him the last 200 of the US trials and he didn't have the aerobic strength to hang on to the lead group of the 10k in Rio but perhaps his future lies in the marathon. He will certainly be a guy going well under 2:10.
Here in Canada we are starting to see some road races playing out which is always fun to watch. The Robbie Burns 8k in Burlington had some solid depth up front with Sammi running well under 24 minutes wearing long tights and a half zip. My boy Captain Morgan looked great almost going under 24 himself, this guy is a stud and will have a bright future over many distances. You guys reading this likely already know that but ever since that 14:10 he ran over in Belgium last year he's been on fire. Sergio came in around 30 seconds or so after Blair, he's another athlete with a bright future, he's still a JR and ran 30:00 on the track last summer. Arron Cooper had a solid race back after battling some injuries running 25:00, he's a tremendous strength based runner who gets better as the distance grows. Look for him to go 67/68 at the Chilly half and sub 2:24 for the full come April. Rounding out the top 5 was Paul Rochus who's another stallion and owns a 30:33 10k PR (I will also add that he's the younger brother of the legendary Micheal Rochus of Terminal Mile fame which increases the aura around him). Look for Paul to attack the FISU half marathon standard the next chance he gets!
My trainingSo yeah I've been plugging away these past two weeks. I'm running my easy days on feel and have been turning my watch around so it's facing down and on the days I'm outside I run a 10 mile route from my house in the mornings. Some days its as fast as 58 and others have been almost 75 minutes depending on the footing and how I'm feeling, I've been doubling on the treadmill in the evening for 45' which generally gets me around 6.5 miles. The last 4 workouts I did over the 2 weeks were a set of mile repeats off 2 minutes, 6 to be exact. I stayed at 5:00 even for the first 4 and went 4:43 and a hugely positive split 4:36 on the last one going out in 2:11 through 800. I also did another set of K's on the indoor track but this time did 10 at goal 10k pace off 2 minutes averaging 3:03. That's a pretty easy workout considering the break and not ripping but I was still getting tired over the last 3 or 4. then I had 2 tempo runs. the first was an 8k time trial outdoors wearing far too little gear and being froze solid, but it was successful averaging 5 flat a mile but suffering the last 8 or 9 minutes then a proper controlled 40 minute progression from 5:40 down to 5:00 pace that averaged 5:16/mile for the whole run. Other then that it's been all easy days. I'm starting my build for the spring next week so I'll document everything like I used to from there on out.
Lastly before I get out of here I'll announce that I've joined the Grand River Endurance Team based in Ontario. Obviously I live in Newfoundland but I know the whole team well and they are an amazing group of talented, driven, hard working athletes and people. We are all around the same age, are passionate about the sport and strive to improve and have some fun along the way. You can check out the club's site here http://grandriverendurance.weebly.com/.
I also wanted to share my teammate and runner extraordinaire Tanis Bolton's blog/site on here. She's a great athlete and personal trainer. She runs everything from a 17 minute 5k to a sub 3 hour marathon debut last fall. Check her out here - https://tanissmith.com/
Ok guys that's it for this week,
Enjoy the weekend and be safe out there on the roads!