Sunday, 20 August 2017

Checking in, training, worlds thoughts and Blue Door Walk/Run

Hey friends, how is your summer going? Things out east have been amazing. The weather, my family, friends and puppy. I've got a lot to be thankful for and with all that paired with work and coaching another running clinic at MAX Fitness I've had very little time to write a blog post so I wanted to check in really quickly with a few things today and I'll try to get a regular post up once a week now as we move into September and October where I'll be hitting some big races, chasing some big PR's and hopefully having some fun along the way. I'll talk a little about training at the end of this post but let's just say it's going better than I'd imagined. JJ really has me dialed in and I think we are at a point that we know what I respond best to and what works. 2 hard sessions a week, one being a tempo on the roads and the other being intervals ranging in distance from 2 mile reps all the way down to what we did last week which was 20X300m. Everything else is just easy mileage with a 100 minute long run at around 6:30/mile pace. Nothing special but it's working great. Having JJ there to shoot a txt after my workouts really keeps me accountable and I'm so grateful for his help and guidance. I honestly don't know how he does it, since late March the guy has driven 20000km all over BC building his client base and keeping folks running happy in Brooks shoes, so if you are ever at one of the specialty run shops in the area and here Solo J Sales will be visiting or doing a demo I highly recommend you stop by, I've seen pictures including pancakes, puppy dogs and fresh sneakers....all the makings of a great demo day. Anyway, yeah, training is going great and we will be hitting some fast ones this fall so stay tuned for more in the upcoming posts. Racing less and training more consistently is really paying off and something I'm going to do from here on out.

My 5 biggest takeaways from Worlds 2017.


Usain Bolt was a once in a lifetime athlete and we should be grateful to have borne-witness.

What can be said about Usain that hasn't already been said, he dominated the sprinting game from 2008 through 2016. He couldn't pull one more out of his hat in London but he was gracious in defeat and will leave a massive void that I can't really see anyone filling in the near future. It wasn't just the times, world records or championships that defined the legendary Bolt, it was his charisma and character. The level of self belief and confidence was unrivaled and it will be missed as a lot of athlete who try to portray those qualities come across and arrogant and cocky which Usain never seemed to do. I believe that while we wait for another like him, which may never come that it opens up things for the star that is Wayde Van Niekerk to burn bright. Only time will tell.

The 5k/10k double is brutally hard and the fact Mo has done it so many times is amazing.

Even though Mo got beat by Muktar Edris, I still firmly believe he's the best 5000m and 10000m runner in the world. He had to run 50 laps of the track in 10 days against a fresh pair of east Africans and that was too much to handle after having been pushed to a near PB performance in the 10k. A fresh Mo Farah dusts that field like we saw at Pre, and the very same argument I will make for Almez Ayana. She closed her second 5km of the 10000 in 14:24. Had she been fresh going into the 5000m final I suspect she would have stretched Obiri and run close to 14:10. With that 10k in her legs she couldn't grind out a pace rich enough to drop Obiri and with her 1500m chops (She medaled in the 15 in Moscow) Ayana had no answer. Like I said, both Farah and Ayana are the best at both distances but going up against fresh competitors after having to run lights out in the 10k isn't easy.

How the heck did the US go 1-2 in the steeple?

When I was watching this all seemed to play out as I expected, right up until 600m to go, then it took a turn to crazy town. How did these sub 9 minute girls get dusted so badly? Better yet how did the Americans run such huge PB's in the final. I was stoked to see a steeple title wrestled away from the Kenyans but if anyone in the championship was going to do it I'd figured it would have been Jager and only against a compromised Kipruto

Amy Hastings is a ballar!

What a performance and display of grit over the last couple miles, her close in the last 800 was unreal. I figured after she ran that 68:3X half in the spring and 31 low 10000m solo that she was ready to PR in the marathon and likely had 2:23ish potential but I would have never guessed in a championship style race where there was that many woman in it so late in the game that she would come top 3 and almost run down 2ed. Major props to her and Jerry who had an amazing medal haul at these champs.

More of the same in the woman's 800m.

Watching the final 100m of Caster Semenya is unreal, nobody can touch her. Like, the 800m is generally run as a positive split. Generally you want to run the first lap at around 93% of your 400m potential and come back in 89% of your 400m potential on the second lap. Caster seems to run her last 100m the fastest and manages to do so running 1:55 low which tells us if she were to get after it she is likely 3 seconds better than her current PB indicates. It's got to be discouraging for the other athlete to be up against someone with that type of speed but Ajee Wilson is certainly stepping up and is running insanely well. I was so happy to see her medal. She can beat Neyonsaba I think on her best day but Semenya will remain untouchable. (I'm interested to see just how good she can get at the 1500m, that bronze was solid for sure, but when she figures that event out we could see something special there as well) 



Blue Door Walk and Run 5km


A friend of mine, Heidi asked me to give this a mention here and I'd be remiss if I didn't as it's a great cause. This 5km is put off by a group called Verafin and their mantra from what I've read on their site reads as follows; 

"The Blue Door is a new St. John's based program that is operated through Thrive. This program is the first of its kind in Newfoundland and Labrador, and is designed to support individuals, primarily between the ages of 14-29, to exit sex trade activities, and/or sexually exploitive situations including sex trafficking. The program is inclusive of gender & sexual orientation and offers intensive, individualized services and supports that addresses key barriers to the exiting process and helps participants move forward with dignity, self-determination and respect."

So anyone in the area who is free on September 24th please think about coming out to the run or donating to the organization. You can find more details here - https://verafin.com/BlueDoor/ or contact my friend Heidi directly heidi.murphy@verafin.com


My training


So in terms of my training recently it's been excellent. This week I had a 5 mile tempo where I ran 25:27 and did 8X800m on the track yesterday off 2' recovery nice and smooth in 2:20 (dipped under on the last 2 but never got too spicy or out of control). Like I mentioned above, JJ is keeping it simple and it's the best training I've ever had. What's nice about it is that I wasn't peaked in April or May and hanging on for the Tely in late July. We really only put about 5 week of solid training in before that and came out with a big PB so building from there while being fresh has been excellent. Also, what's different this build up that JJ reminds me daily is that I've got to have balance. When I'm running for my 90ish minutes a day, I'm all in but when it's done I leave it out on the roads and get back to focusing on family, friends, work, my run clinic, etc. It's making things more fun, less stressful and the results are speaking for themselves. I'll let you guys know my final fall race plans when I have them set but for right now I'm focusing solely on September and running well at the 5km champs and Eastside 10k. After that we will turn to a fast half and continue the build up towards Scotia.


Until next time, keep those sticks on the ice,

Dave


(Few shots I found of the Tely)





5 comments:

  1. Nice run in the 10 miler, Dave. Well done.

    What a wild and wacky WC it was, eh? My prediction that Barega may end Mo's streak was off, but I wonder if they did sacrifice young Barega a bit as he seemed to increase the pace quite a ways out as a way of softening Mo up for his two teammates.

    Re. the Women's steeple - I think it's great that a steeplechase at this level was decided somewhat by technical skill. Granted, the barriers are lower than for the men, but (missed water jumps notwithstanding!) the two Americans had by far the best technique and were perhaps rewarded for that by having more left in reserve over the last lap. Full measure for their triumph!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Andrew,

    Thanks I was happy with that race for sure, and thanks for the comment!

    It was a crazy WC for sure, but very entertaining. I was thinking of your Barega thoughts during the 5000m final and you were onto something. They had him up there working, and he'd have been best served waiting until the last 200 to go for a medal, so I think they did sacrifice him, as with Keljelcha making a HUGE move to take the lead at the bell leaving him with just fumes the final 80 meters. But it was very entertaining, as was the 10000m. Much more so then the last WC in Beijing over both events (Though the 10k there was decent, nothing like this years).

    As for the Women's steeple, I just re-watched it and that 100% true. When the race was unfolding live I wasn't really watching for their form/steeple technique. But watching it again you are definitely bang on, they had more in the tank to finish hard because they just didn't waste as much energy. Those sub 9 minute girls are definitely a lot faster/better flat runners but when you look at their hurdling....let's just say they could certainly sharpen things up there no doubt.

    One quick question, how do you feel about this new Diamond League Finale format? The fact that some medalist don't get an invite is rather annoying, and others getting invites in different events like Sifan Hassan in the 800?

    ReplyDelete
  3. One final thought on the women's steeple -- did you notice that super "left turn" by Coburn coming into the apron for the final WJ? She really got the inside track there and that set her up beautifully coming off the WJ into the finishing straight.

    Dave, I'm not sure of the communications that occurred during 2017, but I would hope that the athletes and agents were told by the IAAF that participation in the Final would be dependent on the Grand Prix standings. Now, that is always a bit of a potential nightmare, in the case of athletes that did well in the first part of the GP, but via injury, illness, coming off peak, etc. are not performing well at present.

    If that did occur, then I wouldn't have any real concerns about the format as I believe most track fans would prefer to see the top athletes across the series in the wrap-up.

    As far as Hassan goes, she qualifed in three events, so do you think the 800m was chosen for her by the IAAF, as you imply when you say "invite"?

    Interested in your thoughts and information.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I saw that as it was happening live, it looked like an exaggerated left turn by Coburn for two reasons; firstly, like you eluded to she took the PERFECT line and came out of the WJ powerfully and secondly, the east Africans were a mess going into that turn and seemed to fumble/stutter step which made Coburn's turn look all the more perfect.

      Your right, if they were informed of the structure for the finals this year then it's certainly fair. I just feel like with the WC being the big pinnacle of the season for the top contenders, most are looking to peak in late August, they may not want to run meets like Doha or Pre, and like you said we always get some casualties due to injury each year. So I feel like some of the best were always going to miss out given this scenario. I do like how the prize money is structured this year with regards to the finals but I can't help but feel like we are missing out leaving some medalist from the WC who are clearly in peak form out of the final because of a lack of points/standing.

      And with Hassan, I guess that's what I'm wondering. Was it her decision to choose the 800 or did the IAAF simply want the most stacked field in history in terms of seasonal/personal bests in the final. She's run 1:56 this year but obviously has a better chance in the 15 and 5km.

      Maybe I'm overthinking it but it just seems very different this time around with this new system. Regardless we have some great races to be run and the finals are a dream for mid D and distance fans!

      (Last note, did you catch the letsrun.com article by RoJo wondering out loud about the strength of the Chicago field? I can see where he's coming from but I'd add that since pacers were taken out we haven't seen as many sub 2:05 guys there anymore)

      Delete
  4. You're right Dave that we're missing some athletes that could make things more interesing. But the GP format rewards staying power of the long-term, it seems, and not always who is on form. Regardless, as you say some tasty matchups!

    Re. Chicago I know it's not the strongest lineup ever, but I think RoJo may be overstating that it will be Galen, Galen, Galen. I think Kimetto is due for a good one, Kirui can still run, and even the chronic marathon underperformer Tadesse may surprise.

    Rupp may win, but I still think he's going to have to run hard for it!

    ReplyDelete