In other news, my running clinic and athletes I've been coaching are doing extremely well and I must say it's an enjoyable experience. I take a very simple approach and try to explain the basic science and purpose of each workout to them. The methodology I'm using with the clinic is very much a progressive one where we hit a tempo session every week. (The first week we did 4X5' off 1 minute float and by next week we will be doing 3X10'), The other quality day is alternated each week, one week it'll be short, fast repetition type sessions, like last week they had 15X200m at 3km down to mile race pace with full 200m recoveries, or sometimes we will do hills to work on our power, neuromuscular connection and creatine phosphate system. On weeks we don't do repetition paced running we do time based VO2 intervals like 10X2' at 5km pace or slightly quicker with half the time spent running as recovery. I expect most if not all of those in the group running on Saturday will PB so I'll give a recap of how it goes down next week.
Some takeaways from USATF Indoor Champs
1 - Donovan Brazier is a BEAST!!! The US certainly have a lot of depth on the men's side in the 800m right now, Clayton Murphy at 100% is super scary and has an Olympic Bronze in his pocket already, Boris is a stud when he's fit and healthy and you've got Drew Windle now who closes the last 200m from last place into the top 3 in a manner that would make a young Robby Andrews or Nick Symmonds proud. But it's Brazier who may have the highest ceiling in the 800 of them all, I think Murphy may indeed eventually be a true 1500m man, but Brazier is your classic 800m stud with great open 400 speed so he's one to keep an eye out for, don't be surprised if he wins or comes very close at world indoors.
2 - Shelby Houlihan and Colleen Quigley have some savage closing speed. Now to be accurate, we all know Houlihan can close like a freight train, but I'm very surprised and impressed by Quigley's ability to close as fast as she has been in under distance events. Jerry is obviously doing some great speed development work with his group lately and it's apparent when you look at his stable and see the speed they have shown of late, like Jager becoming a 3:32 1500m man a couple years back and closing in 60 over barriers. The woman's steeple will be great once again this year.
3 - Ajee Wilson is so darn consistent, at age 23 she's now a 6 time USA champ. Most of the time when you get a hot young prospect they either buckle under the pressure like a Mary Cain type of situation or it takes some growing pains to develop into a true star/master of your craft like Jordan Hassay but Ajee is all business and I love it, she's going up against the worlds best who certainly enjoy somewhat of an advantage but she's so good that she is still right there with them. Can she lower her own ridiculously fast 800m outdoor record this season being as it's an off year and there will be plenty of opportunities to run fast? I'm not sure but she's the favorite for gold at world indoors in my mind, that's for sure.
4 - Paul Chelimo and the Army crew are beasts, though I'm not a fan of his salute victory but I won't get into that here lol. When you see him dipping down and winning the 1500 at altitude against some game milers like Blankenship and Engles, it becomes apparent why he's got that Olympic medal in his back pocket, the guy is aerobically strong and can close with the very best in the world. In this day and age, if your running the 5km you need to be likely a 3:32 or better 1500m runner to have a shot at the medals, and I'd go so far as to say in the 10km you need 3:34 chops. I was impressed with Shadrack Kipchirchir as well, if he had been a better 1500m tactician he likely would have been top 2 in the 1500 at USA's, not that he would have gone in the event, but it shows how legit he is as well.
Just how good is King Ches?
Another story line of this indoor season is the magnificence that is Edward Cheserek. When I saw the mile he ran at altitude in January I thought it was impressive but I'm always hesitant to go by the conversions as altitude effects everyone differently and Ches was also born at altitude, but I was amazed by the gap he put on Blankenship. Then the double he pulled on the flat 200m track two weeks later in the 1500/3km again showed that he'd made some fitness jumps. But the 3:49.4 mile in Boston was unreal, I mean to be honest, I think of Ches as a 5km guy, he was so good over 10km cross and dominated over so many distances in the NCAA. I figured he was a strengh guy with great wheels, somewhat of a Lawi Lalang version 2.0 as Lawi ended up running 3:33 and 13:00. But now I think Ches can be a world class miler and 5000m runner like his countrymen Ronald Kwemoi, coached by the legendary Ronato Canova, who he pegs as the 2020 5000m champ. (He's a 3:28 1500m runner). So yeah, it'll be interesting to follow going forward and also to see if he gets expedited US citizenship!
The Coastal Running Company
I wanted to give a shout out to some east coasters who are doing some amazing work to not only promote the sport that we all love but to also give back and clean up/preserve the beautiful oceans we are so blessed to run by daily here on the east coast. Matt Smith, a runner at St. Mary's University started this company with the help of some running friends and they give 10% of all proceeds to ocean clean-up and conservation. Guys it's a great company doing important work, as well as making some pretty badass apparel so do me a favor, head on over to https://coastalrunco.com and read more about them, check out their gear and toss em' a follow on social media!
I guess that's it for me, I'm going to do a quick post again after my race to let you guys know how it went and give a report on how my athletes do!
Until next time, keep those sticks on the ice,
Shout out to Brooks for restocking me on my marathon trainers of choice, the Brooks Launch and for the 2018 elite pro kit. Looks very sharp!