Friday, 17 February 2017

Thoughts on new marathon standards, more indoor talk and my training.

What's up friends! Oh man, are we ever getting a lot of snow here on the east coast, over a 48 hour period this past Tuesday and Wednesday we saw 66cm fall, everything was closed so your boy was running like a hamster on the treadmill.....not fun at all. Since we last spoke, Millrose went down, a few low key meets in Europe and the usual meets here in Canada as well as ones a lot of Canucks like to hit like Spire, UW and the BU Valentine Invite. We saw some fast times, tactical races and are starting to get a look at where people are going into outdoors. On the marathon front Tokyo has apparently removed a couple hills from their course and Kipsang announced a WR attempt and we got an update on the controversial Nike Sub2 Project, Kipchoge seems to be going about his normal training, and Desisa as well as Tedese seem to be in great form as well. From the workouts that were talked about Tedese's were the most impressive sessions of 12X1200m where he worked down to running 62 second quarter pace off 2' and a 35K long run at 5:00/mile pace. (Both at sea level). In other marathon news Athletics Canada has adopted the IAAF standards of 2:19:00 and 2:45:00 for this years WC's which opens up the door for more athletes to realize their dreams of representing their country. I'll talk a little about that below, some indoors and my own training as I get ready for my first goal race of the 2017 season which will be the Vancouver Sun Run.

Canada Adopts the IAAF Marathon Standards.

So this is the big news here in Canada and has a lot of athletes excited. Personally as a fan of the sport I'm really pumped for this. I'm of the opinion that international competition will help the development of athletes and encourage them to take their training to the next level. With that said however, I'm also partial to the idea that we shouldn't just rush or force training and racing. When we compare the men's standard in the marathon to the 5 and 10k it's not even in the same ballpark in terms of relative performances based on IAAF point scoring, so guys who may be 10k specialists but can't yet run the 27:45 10000m standard may try to lace up for a shot at the marathon time before they are ready and that's something to be careful with. Because someone can run a relative performance over a shorter distance it doesn't necessarily translate to the longer events. The biggest example of this is the USA Marathon trials, there you can get in with a sub 65 half which is pretty attainable for a relatively fit post collegiate runner in the states. You see them roll a 63/64 and then getting amped up for the trials, they go out with the lead pack and fade to sometimes outside 2:30. The marathon needs to be respected and a 2:19 is still a very fast time. Our women seem to be more aware of this and they treat the distance with respect from what I've seen. Leslie Sexton comes to mind in 2015, she ran her game plan, forgot about 2016 time standards and was rewarded with a huge PB. Now, if your a male and a sub 29 athlete or a 64 minute half marathoner then this doesn't really apply as if you follow a proper training plan then you should be able to relatively easily break 2:19 (if they are only going for a 2:18 and not a sub 2:15). It's people who haven't displayed that ability who are going for broke in order to make an attempt at the standard that scares me. Like Andrew Jones mentioned on the trackie forums, you won't learn anything about your marathon potential if you blow up and jog it in or DNF. Running to what your fitness is indicating is the safest move and will results in steady progress. Look at guys like Reid, Eric and Dylan, they were very accomplished 10000m runners and all made debuts around 2:15/2:16.....high 27 and low 28 10000m runners. The distance deserves the utmost respect. Again, I'm all for these new standards and I'm so excited for what the spring marathon season brings now that this has been put into effect.

With that said who are the players, and who could be booking a ticket to London? Well there are 3 tiers of athletes on both the women's and men's side. The top tier are Eric, Reid, Lanni and Krista. All can run under the old standard and I suspect they will pass on worlds but if they do chose to run then they will be on the top of the list. (Rachel Hannah's 2:32 should be a lock, she is in my mind at this tier as well). Then you have the second tier, those who are either already under the standard, close or displayed the ability to do it with ease given a proper race execution. In this category I have runners like Brandon Lord, Thomas Toth, Kip Kangogo, Sami Jabril, Evan Esselink and if Hendrix or Woodfine give it a go both have displayed sub 2:19 ability. On the woman's side we have Leslie Sexton, Tarah Korir, Dayna Pidhoresky, Erin Burrett and Neasa Coll. Then we have the guys and girls who on the right day can go under the standard or are already under it but are far down on the list. For the guys we have the likes of Rob Winslow and Terrence Attema who went 2:19 last year, Kev Coffey and John Mason who can go under 2:19 on the right day as well as some guys who could potentially debut under the standard, the name that comes to mind is Blair "Captain" Morgan. His first half was sub 66, I have no idea if he has any plan to ever even run one but he's the guy who stands out to me as someone who could drop that kinda sub 2:19 debut. For woman Lissa Zimmer, Ailsa MacDonald and Ellie Greenwood come to mind when looking at the rankings. 

Now, this is all just speculation and ramblings, anything can happen, a guy like Seth may knock his debut out of the park, he's training hard and is a grinder. The same can be said if we see a debut from someone like Lisa Brooking, Laura Batterink or Emily Setlack. Anything can happen under the right circumstances. But with all that said expect the guy's team to be composed of athletes who run sub 2:17 and girls who run under 2:36.

More great indoor action - Who's looking good going into outdoors?

Eric Jenkins - This guy is really developing his speed under Salazar and ran an amazing race taking the win in the Wannamaker mile. He looked like he'd been a 1500m runner his entire career how he executed, when he lost the lead got right back on the shoulder and made his last big move with 80m to go running 3:53. Look for him to be the next american under 13:00 for 5000m

Ben True - He hasn't run indoors in a long time but his endurance/strength really showed as he outlasted Ryan Hill's final push at the 2mile during Millrose. To take down a 7:30 3k runner in his best event shows True is in the form of his life. The question is can he translate this to outdoors and finally break the 13 minute barrier which he has talked about doing for the last few years

Genzebe Dibaba - She looked silky smooth in that indoor 2k WR running solo basically the entire race, now that was a soft record for sure but her run there was worth around 3:54/55 for 1500m and to do that solo indoors.....yeah she's mighty fit.

Laura Muir - I think this is the girl to watch moving into outdoors, her indoor season has been flawless where she started off by going sub 15 solo and taking the British indoor record down. She then blasted a crazy fast 3k to add another record to her name and one that put her on the top 5 list all time indoors over the distance. She's in great shape.

CPT and Brannan - Both displayed some fine form this year so far and won't have any trouble running the 3:36.20 worlds standard once they take a crack at it outdoors. I personally want to see both of them do two things if they get the chance outdoors; 1 - Run the 5000m at Payton Jordon and see how low they can both go. (I suspect sub 13:20 is possible but will take a great race) and 2 - Get into a really fast Diamond League like Shanghai or Monaco where they can jump on the back of the bus and hopefully get dragged under 3:34.

My training

Things are going really well right now and my last two weeks I ran 132 miles and 119 which is a lot but not crazy, I've been as high as sustaining 140 for a few months and I feel a lot better with a big base under me which could have been a reason I didn't run well after getting injured last May, my base eroded after some promising racing in April and May and I didn't have time to build it back up so I'm making sure I'm super aerobically strong so it can carry me through the summer even coming down for periods of time to target certain races.

My last 4 workouts were a set of 5X2k at goal 10k pace off 2:30 recovery which averaged 6:10, I wanted to go a little quicker but the fact of the matter was that felt like the right effort, any harder and it would have been like 8km pace so I figured I'll train at my current ability and go from there. Next I did 16X400m Hard with full 400m recovery. These were done at mile race pace but the recovery was near two minutes on some reps when I'd get down to 62/63 which was a little too spicy. Then this Monday I did a 5km on the roads at goal 10k pace. I ran 3.12 miles in 15:23.6, I think I split the 5k in 15:19 but I went a little past just in case the garmin was off. I was sheltered so I didn't have any wind to deal with which was nice. Then today I did a progressive 80' run starting at 6:00 per mile and going down about 10 seconds a mile every 15 minutes, so not super fast but I averaged about 5:40 pace so a good aerobic run, slower then M pace but much quicker then a normal run.

Anyway that's all for me right now, I hope your all putting in work, the spring season will be here before you know it. Be sure to watch the Birmingham indoor meet tomorrow at 9am ET and the Montreal Grand Prix as well. On another note I got a huge shipment from the great people at Brooks today with the new pro kit, I left my phone at work but I'll post a pic on social media and on here next blog, it's pretty fast looking! ;). 

Have a great weekend and be safe out there,

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