Saturday, 31 March 2018

Quick update 5 weeks out from my spring marathon.

Hey friends, I've been slacking on updates so I'm sorry for that but I assure you it wasn't because I've been neglecting my running. Work is always busy this time of year with vaccines and what not for spring break and people traveling in general as well as meetings with our R&D team at head office as we await pending drugs to pass FDA approval and results from various clinical trials. Generally things slow down by May so until then I'll have to just do my best with the blog, I want to be writing more and definitely have the material but as we all know life is about prioritizing and sometimes the blog ends up lower on the list than I'd like it to. If you follow me on social media however you'll keep up to date. I took over the Brooks Running Instagram account on St. Paddy's day and got some great feedback so thank you to all who followed and sent kind/funny notes my way. I'll be doing it again throughout the year in different formats like race day prep, destination race weekends, etc. The other thing that's been taking a lot of time is my winter run clinic that has gone insanely well. I've got an amazing group of athletes and everyone has either already PB'd or is about to so that's been extremely satisfying as a coach and runner. My next clinic which starts the week of April 23rd sold out so it'll be fun to prep another group of athletes as they target the Tely 10 this July.

As for my own running I'm beyond happy with where things are right now. I have really focused on doing a lot of volume at marathon pace. Today I had my longest marathon specific workout which was 5X15' at marathon pace (5:31/mile avg for the 15' segments) inside a 20.8 mile long run that averaged as a whole 5:56. I didn't do anything that long before and I have 3 more big ones like that planned with the "simulator" being 3 weeks out and doing 26.2km at goal race pace on my loop with bottles laid on top of my car that I'll take down every 5km segment. Before the marathon however I have a 5km and 10km on the books that I'll race all out to get the legs moving quickly with the first being a 5km on April 15th. I'm really excited for this spring marathon, I've also been jumping in with Kate Bazeley and Jason White to pace their workouts on my easy days which has led to me getting anywhere from 10-15 additional miles a week at between 5:30-5:45 a mile. Tuesday for example, Jason, who is a little over 2 weeks out from Boston had 10 miles at a little quicker than his marathon pace and I jumped in on tired legs and ran 57:30 in what felt like a solid long run type pace. So let's hope I get a good day weather wise in Toronto and capitalize on the last 13 weeks of good training.

A couple other quick points I want to touch on, firstly the greatness that is GK! If you guys didn't watch the world half champs it was a treat, watching the ease at which Geoffrey moved away from a 58:40 athlete and a bunch of sub 60 performers. The last 5km split of 13:01 is a thing of legendary proportions, tailwind or not that's ridiculous. Cam Levins showed great form there too running 62 low and hanging with some big names while beating all the Americans except Sam Chelanga who under any circumstances would be difficult for him to beat given his range and PB's. Either way this was such an amazing event in a beautiful city. Having it bi-annually really does make it more special and a treat to watch. I wish world cross would attract this many studs like it did in the late 90's and early 2000's because these events are super fun and fan friendly.

Another note is the upcoming London and Boston marathons. London being the cream of the crop (having the deepest pockets and one of the fastest spring courses). I really see this on the men's side as a rematch of last fall's Berlin Marathon between Guy Adola (fastest debut ever on a legit course) and Eliud Kipchoge, the best marathoner to ever live. If the pace is hot enough (but no suicide like a couple years ago) we could see a WR which is the only thing lacking from Kipchoge's resume. Speaking of world records we have an assault going on the woman's side as well with two of the ladies who went 2:17 here last year. Then, the other story-line being Mo Farah goes to the marathon! I don't think he will be a factor but I'd like to see him run 2:05ish which should be doable provided he sits off the pace and runs his race. I'm so pumped for this race guys, you know it's going to be lights out!

Then in Boston the biggest race within the race is among the American ladies. Hassay is the fastest on paper and ran two superb tune ups before pulling out of the world half champs with some planter issues. I think if the east Africans go out in sub 70 that Hassay will likely be top American but if it's Tactical and the top american time is 2:23-25 I'll take Huddle or Flanagan for the top spot. I don't think they have a chance at winning (despite Shalane being the NYC champ which was incredible, I feel that was a matter of her being ready to go and Mary Kaitany getting it wrong/not performing.). But anything can happen as Meb showed so who knows, it'll be fun to watch. Desi will be in the mix too, I just don't see her with the lead Americans after that 73 half in NYC. On the Men's side I think it'll be a rematch of last year except this time Rupp is at 100% and fresh off a 59:47 half (2+ minutes quicker than his tune up in Prague last year before Boston) Geoggrey Kirui is no joke as he proved last year and at the world champs but he's not beating the Galen who showed up in Chicago so I'll take Rupp for the win.

That's all I've got time for right now, tomorrow is Easter Sunday and before going to family dinner I have my clinic's long run in the morning and after the workout I had this morning I'm falling asleep as I type this but I do promise to make more of an effort to update more frequently, even if it's a shorter post like this. I want to get into breaking down the mid and distance events on the track this year and look at how people will approach things being an "off" year. Will we see record attempts by the likes of Jager and Centro and will we see people trying other events like Kiprop in the 5000......will Makloufi emerge from the shadows after another absence post Olympic cycle? Lot's to look forward to regardless and I'm extremely excited!

I'll be back as soon as possible to talk some track, training and recap the second and third marathon major of 2018! Before I go, a shout out to Nate Brannan who retired this week, what a classy guy and a tremendous career he had both as a sub 4 minute high school miler from Canada, in University in a class with Alan Webb and Nick Willis then as a professional at 3 Olympics. Thank you for giving so much of yourself to the sport Nate!

Until next time, stay frosty,

Shoutout to Brooks for another little care package that showed up. (Not shown is the 2018 Pro/Elite Marathon Kit that is being unveiled at Boston, they told your boy not to show it till after that race, know that it's strait FIRE!)

Also thanks SMITH Optics for another year of support, you guys are amazing, thanks for the spring shades to help me look rad and protect the eyes!

Cool pic from a 5km I ran in basically a snow storm, photocred to Greg Greening!

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