Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Pre Classic Post-Mortem and GRE Spring awards/analysis.

Sup friends, how goes the training? As promised I'm trying to get back to the regular blogging, so I wanted to get a post up talking about some of the ridiculous action we were treated to last weekend at Hayward field. After that I wanna give some shout out to my amazing running club, Grand River Endurance. Not only are they a talent rich group of educated professionals but they are just about the best friends anyone could ask for. I can't wait to actually get to hang with all of them soon. I got some time in with individuals here and there but I haven't been with the whole crew since last October's Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Weekend. So the plan is to stop up in June as I have an unused ticket from Ottawa weekend that can be put to use to see those legends. Anyways, I'll talk about some of the takeaways from Pre, give out my GRE spring performance awards and talk about the training I'm starting to get going.

What we can glean from the 2017 Pre Classic.

1 - The men's 100m isn't off to a hot start amongst the top dogs like other years. I suspect father time is catching up with Gatlin as he's looked like a shell of what he normally does this time of year. In 2015 if my memory serves he went like 9.7 and sub 20 within 90 minutes in one of the European Diamond League stops. This year he's looking pretty vulnerable. Andre Degrass isn't running much better but he's progressing each week and he's still a very young guy so I expect come August he will be on the podium again. If I was a betting man, I'd put money on Bolt and Yohan Blake going 1-2 at Worlds in London this August and if Andre finds his form he will repeat a bronze in the 100m and be in the mix at the 200m

2 - The woman's steeple keeps getting better and better! Man, when you see Emma Colburn almost breaking her own American Record and being half a strait away behind the leaders and an 18 year old you've got to think she had the perfect mix of luck, fitness and field last year to medal. The steeple on the women's side right now is one of the most exciting races to watch. There are in reality 4 maybe 5 ladies who can go sub 9 at any given time right now.

3 - Genzebe Dibaba is fit but not as fit as 2015 when she went 3:50 for 1500. Now perhaps I'm wrong and she just didn't want to push solo. I mean 14:25 is still a LEGIT 5000m time but I think to break her sisters 14:11 (which her 3:50 tells us shouldn't be a problem) she will need Almez Ayana in the race. They also can't fool around playing cat and mouse. To threaten 14:11 you need to be on 69's from the gun, it's a relentless pace. Maybe they should get Mary Kaitany on the phone and ask her about her attack of the London course back in April, that's how you have to get after it if your going to dip under that 5000m mark.

4 - Good luck beating Mo Farah again this year.....what can you say. I mean this wasn't a slow race. A 13:00 flat race where they let off the gas for around a mile before 800m to go is no joke. And even if it was a 12:50 race they had nothing for Mo. The 5000m guys just aren't fast enough over the last lap to challenge him. I mean he's likely only now getting into some speed and sharping work and he's already running 3:34 for 1500. Come August that 55 second last lap will be 51-52. It kind of sucks if your a guy like Kamwroror who just doesn't have that pace despite being an aerobic monster. The only guys who can hang with those last laps in a 5k would be a sub 13, and sub 3:30 performer like Iguider. Hopefully he doubles.

5 - What's going on with Kiprop? 3:58 for him is like doing an interval. The guy has run 3:26 for 1500. I heard he was sick but still, he shouldn't have started if he was in that kind of shape. The 3 Kenyans that battled for the win seemed to be where you'd expect with Canova's boy coming out on top. (Note, I love Canova, I think he's the best coach in the world and is the only person really pioneering the principles he uses but his boy isn't beating Farah over 5000m this year. His 2020 prediction of being the 5k champ is definitely more believable tho). In the Bowerman mile I was also impressed with Clayton Murphy, 3:51 is a big time PB but I hope he doesn't get the idea he's a world class miler. The guy is a world class 800m runner and is by FAR the best in the US right now, there's nobody close. He needs to stick with the half mile. I don't think you'll get Makloufi doubling in the 800m/1500m this year at worlds as he generally only tries that in Olympic years so there could be a Silver up for grabs if Murphy has a good one and gets through to the final.

6 - The american woman don't appear to be in good form for the 1500, at least this early in the season. (note that the men other then Centro are even worse). In the Saturday 1500, Kate Grace, Jenny Simpson, Shannon Rowbury and Brenda Martinez were all in there, all Olympians and non were a factor. Now the only one under 30 in Grace at age 28/29 so this may have something to do with it but if they weren't a factor in that race and Dibaba as well as Hassan were busy in the 5k going 14:25 and 14:41 I can't see them competing for a medal in London. I'll tell you who could grab one is Laura Miur, that girl runs with such heart. I'd love to see her podium this year, her indoor season indicated she's ready and she looked good at Hayward on Saturday. 

7 - Gabriela Stafford asserted herself as a threat winning the national section of the 1500 on Friday night, running away from a very good field. Sasha Gollish also looked great. Gabriela is running in Rome next which is awesome, we will get to see her in a fast race. I suspect she's got 4:03 high to 4:05 flat in her legs in the right race this year and at 21 she's got years of good running over the metric mile ahead of her. Keep crushing it Gabriela!

GRE Spring Season Awards

Grand River Endurance has had a great spring overall, from Josh crushing a great ATB 30k, Marathon Mike and Amy running and killing their first Boston Marathon, Tanis running PB's over every distance every time she laces em' up. Rob throwing it down in MTL and going sub 2:30 in the marathon, Brendan rolling in Vancouver, Mitch running a great Chili Half and of course Mike Bentz, who literally runs EVERY DAY while completing his degree at U of T. The squad strait up killed it this spring. T-Chac has been nursing an injury but that hasn't stopped him from moving more Hoka shoes then anyone in the game and getting out to Vancouver all the while moving into a new place and having his 3rd kid on the way. I've been the weakest link with only a decent 3k to my name and a very forgettable/poor 32 minute 10k in Vancouver. I've got my health/feet under me now so I'm looking to get things going again ASAP and hope to run PB's from 5k to the marathon in the next 6 months. But this isn't about me, let's get to the awards. (I have no idea how I came up with these but they carry merit, value and prestige I assure you).

Rookie of the year/most valuable club acquisition - Amy Friel. To be fair it was between Amy and myself and she blew me out of the water, I'm a little less valuable then a spare pair of trainers of used water bottle right now but I'll prove my worth in the summer! Amy crushed Boston and I venture to say we will see a new Tely 10 and half marathon PB from her this year.

Most improved - Tanis Bolton. The gains Tanis has made rival that of bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman in his prime. It's been awesome to watch her hard work pay off this spring.

Best beard award - This goes to Bentz as he's got one of the most legendary beards in the game, it's topped only by his run streak which is just ridiculous at this point!

Legends only award - "Runner Rob". That's right, he's known only as runner rob, no need for a full name. This kid has paid his dues, put in the work and was rewarded this spring with a 70 low half in MTL as well as with a sub 2:30 marathon. Your a strait beaut bud.

Enforcer award - Brendan Hancock, this guy is the one you want on your team if something is going down. He's a sweetheart of a guy but when a lady in Vancouver wouldn't let us in the Elite area to warm up when we didn't have our bibs on I saw that this is not the man to mess with :p. He's one of the best pound 4 pound runners around. Great dude!

Mile high award - The one and only Marathon Mike! This guy trained for Boston this winter and spring in horrible weather while flying planes all over North America. How he manages to squeeze everything in and still always be there for his friends is a pretty special thing to witness. Did I mention he's ever improving and has sub 2:40 marathon potential with another few marathon cycles under his belt? Keep an eye in the sky for this cat.

Big Papa award - This was a tie between Mitch Free and Tyler Chacra. These guys train like animals, work, (Mitch even coaches) and they still have time to be providers and amazing parents/husbands. Props you guys, your what most of us aspire to! You are both gona be sub 2:30 guys for the marathon within 12 month, mark my words. #Legends

Captain/Legend of the year - This goes to the one and only Josh Bolton. I know he wasn't completely satisfied with his spring season even tho he ran great times over 8k through 30k. He's building for a fall marathon that's going to be LIGHTS OUT! So here's to you captain, your a hell of a runner, one of the best pour over coffee makers in the game and an even better friend. 

Alright that's about it I guess. I'm back on the blog train as you can see. I'm working on two articles/posts for LeanFit that should pop up here very soon so keep an eye out for that. As for my running I did a 25' tempo on the roads to at least get an idea of where I am. It went ok, 5:13/mile feeling somewhat comfortable. I've got a session of 16X400m on the books tomorrow that I'll do on the outdoor Pearlgate track off 60" rest. I'm getting back to JJ style short, suffering workouts to make sure I'm ready for a huge PB at the tely 10.

Lastly, shout out to my running group at Max Fitness if you guys are reading this, coaching you guys has been great for me since coming back from having some of the illness I was dealing with the last month. You guys are killing it and it's been such a pleasure to coach/guide you all. See you at 6pm!


Saturday, 20 May 2017

Check in and a look at the outdoor season thus far.

Hey friends, how are things? My apologies for the long delay between posts, I'll elaborate on why I took a little hiatus later. My boy JJ got on me to post earlier this week so I can't let him down! Speaking of JJ, why don't we start with Vancouver in catching you all up with what's been going on. At the end of April, I went out west for the Sun Run. It was an amazing weekend as a whole but a very forgettable race. The main reason for going out was to see the LeanFit team and take part in their 15th anniversary celebration. It was such an amazing time getting to tour the facility, do a photo-shoot and record some video content. I can't say enough amazing things about this brand and the support they have given me. It goes far beyond sending me some products or bringing me out there for the race. It's the fact that they welcomed me into their family and ask my opinion on upcoming products. I hope to continue to help them out in an capacity I can. Thank you for everything you guys! Next on the list was getting to spend some time with Jeremiah, this guy has been such a mentor and friend to me ever since 2013. It was so great to spend some time with him, his amazing wife MJ and cute dog Tucker. I'm working on them to take a trip to Newfoundland this summer, it would be amazing to have them here and show them around the Island when the weather is nice! Guys, check those flights!!!! :). As for the race, what can you say, obviously I wasn't as fit as I wanted to be or thought I was, only doing 2 workouts on the roads and no tune up road race before hurt me but after coming through 5km in 15:46 I just felt really tired and couldn't do anything from there. JJ gave me some great advice when we were driving that evening which really resonated, I've got to get back to hurting hard in training and taking really short rest periods during my intervals. He had me in the best shape I've ever been doing that kind of training in 2015 and it led to PB's over 8k/10k and the half so I'm getting back to basics and I'm not going to race until I'm ready and am running 10k tempos in sub 32 on the roads (I'm also taking the mileage back a bit to 2015 levels). After the race I actaully ended up getting sick with a viral infection which was brutal, I'm feeling better now but it was lingering for a while. Anyways, enough about me, let's take a look at what's been going on in the Pro ranks. I'm going to do some quick hits with people who have been impressive thus far. Before we get into it, Shout out to my Brooks Teammate Lewis Kent on throwing down the fastest beer mile ever in Australia last weekend, I talked to Lewis today and he's been nursing a little injury as well which makes it all the more impressive, dude's a beast.

Who's looking good so far and some interesting spring story lines.

UTEP's Emmanuel Korir is a legit BEAST! - I guess the first thing that has been apparent this year outdoors is this freshman is the real deal, with 44.53 quarter mile chops this kid is going to be a star. UTEP is known for developing great long sprint/mid distance athletes but in Korir a star has been born. How he ran that 1:43, negatively split was absolutely crazy. Go back and watch the video of the final 120m. Where most of the time in 1:43 races you see guys treading water the last 60m he was powering home. He's definitely got another second or more in him this outdoor season if you get him in a spicy race.

Eliud Kipchoge and #Sub2 - So, that was something to watch. Did I like the commentary? Nope, bringing in Flanagan for her two cents or Paula? Absolutely not. Did we see an incredible run by the best marathoner to ever live? You bet we did. Kipchoge is seriously a once in a lifetime athlete. This is a guy who's run 3:33 for 1500m and 12:46 for 5000m. A world Sr. champ in the 5k while still a Jr, having taken down the greatest 1500m runner and 5000m runner in history. Now, some 14 years later he's running faster then any human was thought to be capable of over the marathon. I know he had pacers jumping in and out and that Tesla pace car had a massive sign to block the wind, but regardless that performance was, in my mind at least, worth 60-75 seconds better then Kimetto's WR. I think the biggest reason why is that he went out at 60:00 and didn't really die that bad, If you get him in Berlin, splitting 60:45-61:05, who knows what's possible. I think we are still years away from a legit sub 2 but Kipchoge can chop a hell of a lot off that current WR, that's for sure. Props Nike, most of the time your ridiculous but I enjoyed this "experiment".

Centro may not be ready for the longer stuff but he's ready to kill in the 15! - So, indoors Centro wanted to test the waters moving up with the 3k and 2mile. It didn't go well, neither did his 5000 at Payton Jordan where he didn't even win the slow heat in 13:48. However, we need to remember he's a pure miler, with a two year old 1:44 800m PR that could likely be updated. We saw a couple nights ago just how deadly his close is in that final 120 off the final bend at Oxy as he dusted O'Hare and Farah. Do I think he could win in an uber fast Monaco sub 3:30 race, no I don't, but championships are never that quick and Centro is a master tactician. I see this season going very well for him and anticipate some PB's over the mile and metric mile with the first coming next weekend at Pre!

The women's 800m is right where we left it last summer - In the first 800m contest of the season Caster Semena seemed to jog 600m before blowing the doors off the field with a 1:56 season opener followed by Olympic bronze medalist Wambui in 1:57 flat. We haven't seen Neonsaba yet but it's a safe bet to say your top 3 from Rio will remain on the podium come August in London....(I wasn't impressed with Dibaba's effort over the half mile, she's closed in 1:56.9, in a 1500 before, granted you get a running start but still, hopefully we see her in another one soon. Look for her assault on her sister's 5000m world record next weekend at Hayward Field.)

The women's steeple continues to be exciting and FAST - Between the likes of Jebet, Jepkemoi and Chepkoech already going between 9:00 and 9:01, you can expect fireworks again this year in the steeple. Where it's still an event in its infancy for women I expect the WR to be lowered again this year and more ladies taking it to higher and higher levels.

Mary Kaitany is unreal and should be officially recognized as the WR holder - What can you say about her performance in London, I would have never imagined someone going out that fast and not falling apart, to hang onto 2:17:01 with the splits she ran in that first half hurts my brain to even think about. I feel like that needs to be the WR because it's run in a women's only race. We saw how fast of a half the ladies ran earlier this year with a male pacing all the way til' the end and breaking the WR in sub 65. You get a huge benefit from having to shut the brain off and just follow someone, not to mention the benefits of drafting. It may end up being the WR regardless as there's be some chatter about whipping clear all records before 2004, but that's a topic for another day.

Anyway, I just wanted to jump on and give you guys a quick update to say I'm still alive and kicking! Training is going again and I had a nice session of 12X500m yesterday with my boy Mike. I'll blog regularly now as I'm back to my normal routine. Before I get out of here, shout out to my Brooks teammates who killed it at Oxy, Gabriela S. won her heat in the 1500m in 4:08, Jenna W. ran a 2:03 half mile and Devan W. ran a solid 2:08.

Alright, that's it for me, I'll attach a couple pics I've got on my laptop here from the LeanFit celebration and I'll post the rest of the ones I've got from BC next week.

Stay frosty,

"Gettin' the people goin'"

JJ killing the shoe game once again with Brooks out west! (I should have gotten a pic of his new wheels, he has such a slick Benz!)

The LeanFit team supporting Nick.

Lindsea and I in BC place.

You know how we do...motivate!!