Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Thoughts on indoors, my training and The Coastal Running Company

Hey friends, I trust all is well and you are getting some quality training in! The weather here has been very good this winter and conducive to good training so your boy has been taking advantage. This time last year I was running almost everything on the treadmill but now, 90% of my running has been outside which is what I want/need during this important block of specific training. As I mentioned in my last post, I'm running a road 5km this Saturday as a rust buster with the hopes of being somewhere between 15:10-20. I haven't done a ton of quick stuff yet but my threshold is super strong as on off days I'm pacing anyone and everyone who is around doing workouts so I'm very aerobically fit. For instance, today I paced Kate Bazeley to a great workout which shows just how quickly she's coming back after the birth of her latest daughter. I took her through 15'-10'-5' with a 2' jog recovery and she averaged 5:40/mile on a very difficult rolling loop. (5:51/mile for the full 34' of running with the 4' of jogging the breaks). So yeah, training is going well, I'll rip the 5km as hard as I can then I'll try to run around 8:30 indoors at our NLAA indoor meet in March followed by the Sun Run and Goodlife Toronto Marathon the first week of May.

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 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!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Quick check in and back to regular scheduled programming.

Sup friends, so sorry for the long absence, no excuses, the marathon just kicked the crap out of me last fall. I took a month off after STWM and got back into easy running before the holidays hit which were tremendous. Things were busy at my house and we had a terrific holiday season. I'm so thankfully for my family, friends and loved ones, sometimes we take it for granted but it's important we take the time to cherish our time with them. This will be a short post as I'm pretty busy with work, coaching, family stuff and my running clinic. I just want to give you guys an idea of where I'm at running wise and what some of my short term as well as long terms plans/goals are. I'm going to blog every second Sunday this year, I don't really have the time to put one out each week but I want to get back to writing at least twice a month, more if time permits and really dive into the pro scene, training principles, Canadian news, etc. So stay locked this year for lot's of content that I hope will be at least somewhat interesting. Before I go any further, a quick Shoutout and thank you to Brooks Running, I signed a new contract with them that will keep with with the brand for the next couple years which I'm stoked about. I love their gear, reps, vision and loyalty to the sport. It's an honor to wear the uniform. (PS: The 2018 pro kits are strait fire!! You may have seen my teammates Jenna Westaway punching her ticket to world indoors in the new digs last weekend going 2:01:50 for the 800m and Gabriela Stafford going sub 4:30 for the mile at the Armory where Kate Van B. ran the Canadian indoor mile record! Killer performances ladies!)

As for my training thus far in 2017 I've run 476miles in January with some fartleks and harder long runs, so I'm ready to get into specific training starting tomorrow, Feb 1st. I've committed to run the Vancouver Sun Run again so that's the first big one on the books and then another crack at the Marathon on May 4th, at the Goodlife Toronto Marathon. Mike C, the elite coordinator was gracious enough to host me and put my bottles out so I'm excited to finally put down a decent time next to my name, hopefully something between 2:24-26. It's a nice course with great support, I ran the half there in 2016 in 1:09:16 on a pretty brutal day so if all goes well I think it's going to be the perfect race to bridge me to where I'll want to be in the fall for STWM to try to compete with some of the great marathoners we have in that 2:20-2:26 range like Jeff Costen (who's in fine form already this season going 25 flat last weekend at Robbie Burns 8km), Aaron Cooper, (also threw down a stellar performance at the 8km in sub 25) and there are lot's more like Matt Suda, Josh Boltz et all who are tremendous competitors and athlete who I'd be honored to be able to hang with if training goes according to plan. Those boys are always so consistent that if you don't show up ready to rock then you'll get waxed which happened in my debut there in October. 2:33 might as well have been 3 hours, I wasn't involved at all after 25km.

So yeah, I'm actually feeling very fit currently and am already at my race weight so I'm doing a 5km on Feb 24th in Holyrood, I figure I should be able to solo something a little under 15:20 by then on the roads and anything 15:10 or under I'll be elated with given it's Feb, so that will give me a gauge on things. Then we can put in 2-3 good months before Vancouver and Toronto. I actually contemplated Ottawa race weekend marathon but I felt I wouldn't have enough time to turn it around for the Tely 10 on July 24th. Last year I finally figured out how to run that race and I'd like to aim for a sub 50:30 next year as I feel like that always has a shot to win, it just depends on how fit the others are. I don't think I'll have enough time to train for sub 50, and to be fair, it's a big jump from 51:22 so this year anything under 50:30, run evenly and sticking with my own game plan like last year will be the goal.

So, before I get out of here I'll just give some details on how the first marathon experience went and then mention a couple things I'm excited for on the pro scene in the first half of 2018.

What happened in the Marathon debut

I was trying to be conservative the first half, came through in 74 which was a little slower than I wanted but it felt like I was easy running which was good, I picked up the next 5km a little too fast and the american, Alexander (also his debut, 67:53 half marathoner from NY) who I was running with dropped out and things got hard and lonely after I burned through my fuel. I ran 2:33 and was honestly 9 minutes slower than I wanted. But looking at the results after, I know where my fitness was, I wasn't beating guys like my bud's Jeff Costen and Aaron Cooper who both showed their racing chops and heart out there going 2:24/2:26. That said, I felt like I was easily fit for sub 2:30, likely 2:28 flat on that day, but I'm proud I stuck it out. A lot of guys took the easy way out on that fateful Sunday. If an organization like CRS and Alan Brooks are going to be nice enough to offer me a place to stay and put bottles out for me every 5km, we owe them to finish......on our worst day we aren't suffering like most people. I didn't want to see a 2:33, but I'm not going to drop if I'm not hurt, it's not fair to the guy's who beat you fair and square. That's part of the beauty of this sport, each and every guy who beats you was better that day. Looking back now, I was definitely very half marathon fit, but wasn't muscularly capable to fighting the fatigue after 32km on my first time out over the distance. Areobically speaking even 2:23/24 pace is sustainable for me and is pretty comfortable, I just didn't do enough hard long running, or workouts like a lot of Steve's athletes do, 120 minutes easy followed by 30 minutes at marathon pace when your already tired and depleted. This build up I'm going to run several 20 milers at sub 6 minute pace, and cover the marathon distance 2-3 times at 90% of race pace like Canova has his athletes doing so I'll be callused for the pounding.

Things I'm looking forward to in the first half of 2018.

1 - World Indoors, this is always such a fun meet as you don't get the very best normally or you get 5km specialist coming down to the 3km going against some strengh based 1500m men. You also get cool tactical races over 800m as pole position is just so important on the tight indoor oval. On the women's and men's side I'll be watching closely everything from 800-3km. I feel like Hassan and Keljelcha are going to be VERY hard to beat at 3km, in the 1500, if Dibaba is healthy she's the best indoor runner of all time so she should easily win the 1500m, but on the men's side with some guys skipping indoors like Centro and Willis, and most big Kenyan's not known for running indoor seasons in favor of summer or diamond league peaking I'm unsure of how that will go down. In the 800 if any of the big 3 ladies and Ajee are competing they will be the favorite and for the men I might favor perhaps an NCAA guy who's sharp and has raced allot indoors. Either way it'll be fun to see.

2 - USA Cross Champs, mainly because Rupp and Hasay are now running. Not that either were killers on the mud/grass but the last time Rupp ran in Edinburgh he was second to Farah and he was an NCAA champ. And I mean Hassay just ran mid 68 and has the strength of a 2:20 marathon so if she made it hard from the gun and there's no Huddle or Flanagan than i'd be shocked if she didn't win.

3 - Boston Marathon, Rupp vs Geoffrey Kirui, round 2. If Rupp is healthy he's not losing that race, as great as Kirui is being last years champ and the World Champ, Boston won't be any faster than a 2:08 type race if history tells us anything and Rupp will eat him up the last few miles like he did Abel Kirui in Chicago, as his speed is much better than Geoffrey, I mean he's training with Keljelcha and jogged a 13:34 with him last weekend. (Granted in a fast race I think this would be VERY interesting and I may give Kirui the edge if this was to take place with pacemakers or in Berlin. On the women's side, I don't think an american woman will win but I do think it'll be a beauty battle for top American with Flanagan, Huddle and Hassay. (Desi is in there too, but isn't going to be a factor if the american woman run under 2:23 type pace). 

4 - London Marathon, this is THE marathon to watch, I'll never bet against Kipchoge, I think he wins and if he's pushed the WR may actually go, even if he isn't planning on it, just based on how he ran there in 2016, that 2:03 flat looked pretty easy even off a vicious first 10km. What will be interesting too is Mary Kaitany going for the WR with male pacemakers, I mean if she hadn't of gone on out 2:13 pace through half last year she may have very well done it, and maybe T. Dibaba could threaten as well, she ran 2:17 and 2:18 last year in her two outings over the distance with a 2ed in London and dominant solo win in Chi-Town.

Anyway, I'll get out of here, but I do hope to be back blogging regularly now as the new year is settling down and I'm getting into a good schedule with work, coaching, family and my own running. I hope you are all well and that your 2018 is off to a great start.

Stay frosty,

Friday, 29 September 2017

Marathon GOAT, Chicago thoughts & training updates.

Hey friends, how are things? My apologies on the delay between posts/updates. Life is a lot busier right now then it's been in the past and though training hasn't been compromised I simply haven't had the time to sit down and write a blog post that's worth reading. With work, my run clinic, family and trying some new strength stuff in the gym I've been up to my eyes but I'm hoping now things will slow down a little, or at the very lease I'll try to carve out an hour each week to get a quick post up. Even with things going a hundred miles an hour I must say my love for running is likely stronger than ever. I think it's the combination of great coaching and advice from JJ that has allowed me to strike a balance between training hard but then leaving it on the roads and not procrastinating over it any other time of the day. That advice has been so valuable and has me not only running very well but being productive in all aspects of life, I know I'll have a text msg from Jeremiah when I get back to my car after the workout, we analyze it, he tells me about what's new on the west coast and how he's killing the game with Solo J Sales and life moves on. Speaking of the west coast, I'm heading up there for a little vacation on October 9th and look forward to seeing some friends and getting some runs in when I'm there so reach out if your game for some miles or to just kick it and eat some of the best Sushi in the country! Anyway, I'll get into a few things below and like I said, I'll make a conscious effort to get more frequent posts up as we get into October and beyond.

Berlin Marathon and the Marathon Goat.

Well Berlin may not have produced a new WR with the wet conditions but that was a barn burner ladies and gentlemen. Who the heck is Guye Adola and how have I not heard of a guy who pushed Eliud Kipchoge to the edge of his abilities in his debut over the distance? When I was reading some of the press releases, break downs and "expert analysis" I figured it wouldn't be close and that what we would end up with was a finish similar to the London Marathon of 2015 when Kipsang and Kipchoge were side by side at 24 miles and Eliude dropped a 4:24 to break away in devastating fashion. Now I know that Bekele is always a wildcard, but when he said he was at 90% I figured there would be a chance he would DNF. But Wilson Kipsang had looked amazing this year in Tokyo and had run his last two marathon in an average time of something like 2:03:30. So, needless to say when he stepped off at 30km after taking his fluids on board I didn't know what was going on. Then when the announcers started talking about Adola having 59:13 credentials I figured he might stick around until 35, but never did I think he would try (and succeed) to open a gap on Kipchoge. Those last 7km were amazing to watch and I truly hope Adola is guided and handled in the right manner moving forward so he's not just a star that burns bright for a year or two, but one that has staying power. I always thought GK (Kamwroro) would be the future of the marathon when he made the permanent move to the distance and would eventually hold the WR, but he may have some company as the next generation over 26.2. In the end however, Eliud did as Eliud does.....he wins and when you saw the slight smirk on his face after a 2:51km split from 40-41 we knew the GOAT of marathoning had Adola's number. The record he has posted is simply unreal and despite 9 marathons (including his Sub2 attempt), he doesn't seem any worse for wear. In a lot of cases you see guys knock out a few unreal performances like Geoffrey Mutai but then you see a very harsh decline, the same holds true for Kimetto, but with Eliud he shows time and time again that his simple lifestyle of diligent training and attention to detail pay dividends as he always comes out on top and with fast times. Let's hope we see him line up in either Dubai or London and lower that WR which is the only thing missing from an otherwise unrivaled marathon resume.  

Chicago Marathon

The next stop in the fall season of the world marathon majors. Now, on paper you have some fast guys, but the top two on the list, Kimetto and Stanley Biwott aren't the 2:02/2:03 guys they once were in my mind. So I don't see them being factors at all in this race. That leaves 4 contenders and a whole lot of pretenders. The 4 to keep an eye on are Olympic Silver medalist, Fayisa Lilesa, Bronze medalist, Galen Rupp, two time world champ and 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Abel Kirui and (I may get flack for saying this) Zersenay Tedese. Now, I say Tedese because I think the Sub2 attempt really helped him, he had no success in the marathon before that but managed a 2:06 going out at WR pace, also in the build up he ran a half in 59:47 looking smooth so that's my thinking for having him up there with the other 3.

Now, if all of these guys had perfect prep I'd put my money on Lilesa, he's looked great over the last 2 years and beat Rupp in Rio, but from what I've read he hasn't had a perfect build and he's been jumping from location to location with him not returning home after his political protest in 2016. It's that reason why I'm taking Rupp for the win here, I was on the fence about it but JJ also likes Rupp and with Tedese still being an unknown in a tactical marathon and Kirui being very hit or miss despite training under the legendary Renato Canova I'll take Rupp for 1st followed by Lilesa and Tedese. (Also keep an eye out for Ezekiel Chebii, he had a big breakthrough in 2016 going 2:06 flat in Amsterdam)

My training

Things are clicking along nicely for me. As you know I ran the MTL Rock and Roll half last weekend in the craziest heat I've ever experienced, and that includes having run a 5km in Florida in July before. At 7:30 the temperature was 30 degrees with 100% humidity and feeling like 39. The organizers cancelled the marathon and put all the elites in the half (The 5km was won in 17 and the 10km in 35). At the start I spoke to Phil Viau-Dupuis and he told me the the last time he ran the course he went 69 mid and later that fall ran 67:22 and a 2:20 marathon so even on the best day with the hills after you leave the island it's a tough one. So after hearing that I figured we were all in for a rough day and that I should find someone to work with and keep Phil and Emmanuel Boisvert (30:12 for 10000m in June) in my sights and hope for the best. After the first mile I settled in with Jacques-Sylvain Lecointre who's a great athlete (31:44 in hot conditions in Ottawa this May and training for a sub 2:25 marathon). We worked together well and came through 10km in 33:30, about 30 seconds back from Phil and Manny, from there we took turns leading and stayed side by side until I luckily pulled away at 19km going up the hills. I ended up finishing in 72 minutes which granted is pretty slow, was a great placing as Phil and Manny were 71 and Jacques came in 73. I've still got almost 4 weeks until Scotia and plan on hitting a 10km here on October 8th. It's generally a great race and Colin Fewer will likely be there and should help drag me to a 30:XX as he's always good for that kind of time. So yeah, the goal is to keep working away and take things one day at a time.

SunGod Sunglasses

Before I let you guys go I want to mention a cool, innovative company called SunGod. They make amazing glasses. I've been rocking the Renegades from them all summer. What makes them so unique is that you can customize everything from the frame, lenses to the logos. What's most amazing is that they are literally "life proof". They can be put in your backpack, thrown in your car or stuffed in your pocket and they bend but don't break. They also have great polarized 4k lenses that have amazing views. Here's the link to their site so you can check it out If you do decide to purchase a pair you can use the code DFREAKE20 for 20% off, they ship to Canada super quickly. I received two pairs within about 3 days. Here are the individual links to all their frames/models. I'll attach some pictures below, but for runners I'd suggest the PaceBreakers, but if your looking for something casual the polarized Renegades are superb.

Here are the specific links and a picture of the PaceBreakers;




OK Guys, that's it for me, I'll make sure to update after my next race and keep you all in the loop, this is going to be a great fall. Scotiabank is going to be unreal this year with so much depth in the half and full marathons. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Josh Bolton's full debut, Paul Rochus in the half, Jeff Costen, Aaron Cooper, John Mason, Trevor Hoffbauer and Rob Winslow all running the full. Look for all of those guys to run lights out, it's going to be spicy and a fun weekend all around.

Stay frosty,

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 - or contact my friend Heidi directly

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,


(Few shots I found of the Tely)

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Ten mile PB, fall 2017, we comin' son.

We did it, I finally ran a respectable time at the Tely. I knew I was fit, (One day doing a 3X2mile workout and was going sub 5's feeling comfortable, I knew I was ready to go and in sub 15 5km shape). But doing it on Tely day was another thing. So in this post, I'll keep things short and talk about how the Tely played out and what some temporary fall plans are and then Tuesday or Wednesday break down the middle, distance and marathon at the world champs. I really feel like this is going to be both memorable and a special worlds as it'll be the last time we see 2 off this generations greatest athletes and personalities running on the oval. Usain, has cemented his legacy as a legend and the greatest of all time. I'd love to see him in the 200 but I totally get why he's sticking with the 100 only this time around. And then Mo Farah, a guy who began his dominance just as I got into the sport myself in 2011 and I've got tremendous respect for, and always say we need to put in the GOAT convo. I saw a stat saying his last 15 DL appearances he's won 14 of and the one time we saw him lose, he was second and treated for a fairly serious bug, confirmed by other athletes post race. I won't get carried away with this talk here, but I'll write a dedicated post early this coming week talking about the WC's. (I get upset when much more weight is put on WR performances than global tittles. And, yes I'll submit he has looked pretty horrible on the cross country courses and beatable on the roads but to go undefeated on the track at global champs since the 10k in 2011 is beyond crazy, throw a 3:28 metric mile, 59 mid half, and 2:08 marathon....let's get real, that's dominance in your mid 30's.)

Tely 10 2017.

So yeah, the training had been fantastic in the lead up. The Mews 8km tune up felt really easy and smooth so JJ said go for the 51:30 and I knew he had me ready based on the tempos I'd ran. Hence why I said last post, under any conditions I'd run that. I ended up with an official 51:22 which was like a 90 second PB. When the gun went off I saw Colin and Matt take it out hard, and I knew, if they ran to their fitness they showed in Ottawa, coming top 7 at the national 10km champs I wasn't ready to go with them after a sub 50. I chilled and ran a 5:12 for the first mile which is uphill and got the time back on the 2ed which comes back down going 4:58. At that point, I didn't really know why I was in 5th. I had put over a minute on Mark Greene just 2 weeks before in the final 5km of the Mews and he came rolling past me to catch Grant Handrigan, who I knew was pretty fit as he'd gone 31 minutes in Vancouver and has a 51 Tely PB. I figured he and I would be side by side for most of the race. By the 3rd mile which is a slight uphill again, I ran a 5:09, passed Mark and got up to Grant, got side by side with him and we ran the next 2 miles together. I was talking to him at every mile split and giving him our splits. After the downhill 5th mile in 4:58 and passing 5 miles in 25:17 I mentioned the split and he sped up. At that point, I sat off him and kept the effort steady on the flat 6th mile going 5:08 and passing 10km in 31:34. At the uphill start of the 8th mile I saw he was starting to come back and pushed to catch back up and offered some encouragement to stay on it as we were looking at 51 low and Matt had fallen off Colin. I ran the uphill 8th mile in 5:24 and stopped hearing footsteps so I figured I was on my own at that point and got the pace back down to 5:14 on the 9th mile and started pushing the pace as I knew I'd be under 52 as long as I ran like 5:35. I went 4:58 on the last one feeling great and came over the line looking ridiculous celebrating 3rd place, which my parents captioned beautifully on film. (Note, don't by your Dad an IPhone! :p). Anyway, I was really happy, I've struggled for form at the Tely and didn't run well in the spring but am finally feeling fit and strong.

Fall Plans.

So I'll have a chat with JJ early this week. We talked briefly after the race and a 67 half is definitely one of the top goals on the list, we know I'm ready for a 67 high right now and I'll be happy to run that and lower my PB. But our provincial record is 67:22 which who knows, might be something I can take a crack at with 2 months of good training but maybe that's too big of a jump from 68:47. We will see how training goes and make the call when it comes time to get after it. I've committed to the 5km champs where I'll want to go under 15 and a trip to Vancouver again to see my peeps out west with the family and run the Eastside 10k. I'll be honest, the provincial marathon record is on my mind as well, but I'm wondering if stretching myself too thin in training and running distances from the 5km to the full this fall is smart. I'll have to decide for sure on a fast 5km through half and nail those sub 15, sub 31 and sub 68 will be the best goal or sub 68 and 2:24:17 marathon is the better option. I'll talk to JJ and I really do think he will be able to best guide what I do and where we go. The last 5-6 weeks have gone perfectly and I don't want to fool up how great I've felt and miss out on any times.

So yeah, that's all for now. I started coaching my fall clinic late last week. (Also jumped into a 2X25' M paced workout as I got excited and jumpy after trying to take a full week off) But we have the head strait again, goals in the works, family and friends doing great so it's time to get the fall training going.

Like I said, I'll do a full post on world champs early next week. Shout Out to the trackie boys for the thread after the Tely. Always an honor fellas! Everyone on those boards is a strait beauty!

Stay hungry,

Saturday, 15 July 2017

1 week out from the Tely 10 and Mews 8km Recap.

What's up friends? I hope you are having an amazing summer, relaxing with friends and family and getting some running/racing in. This has been a different one for me with lot's of family stuff, coaching a run clinic and getting my own training in where I can. Talking with JJ, he's been such a great help with not just guiding my training and bringing me back into great shape but also putting it into perspective. When I'm running/training, I'm all in 100% but when it's over, the other 22 and a half hours a day it's really not on my mind at all. Granted I still follow track as closely as ever and can be seen checking for results from small meets in Europe mid day at work haha but I guess the take away is that I've got much more balance. Anyway, in this post I'm going to talk about how my training has gone, my last race (really my first road race locally all year) and talk briefly about my plan for the Tely 10 mile next Sunday. I'll jump on next weekend after the Monaco meet so we can talk about the last two Diamond League races before worlds, Rabat is tomorrow and Monaco is next Friday. After those go down we will have a pretty good idea of what's going to unfold in London so we will spend some time looking at that and I'll give my predictions for the mid and long distance events as well as take a look at our Canadian contingency.

Mews 8km,

So since my horrendous 32 minute 10k performance in Vancouver at the end of April, I haven't raced locally other than a 5000m track meet which was a solo 15:02. I had about 4ish weeks of sound training back under Jeremiah's guidance and I was starting to hit some good workouts and tempos but I honestly had no idea how fit I was. After the last tempo we did before the Mews which was a 4 miler at just over 5 minute/mile pace JJ told me we should shoot for 24:40, but to be honest he likely didn't know where I was either as we just hadn't really done a whole lot. So last Sunday I got on the start line and was actually pretty nervous, I knew Mark Greene was racing and is in decent shape, last year at the tely he wasn't far off me so I told myself I'd stay with him for the first couple miles then start opening things up, it was a little warm but honestly, it didn't really seem to effect me as much as some people said they found it, the wind early was a little rough but we went through the mile in a relatively pedestrian 5:09, and followed that up with a 5:17, at that point I told myself there's no point of being out here running slower than half marathon pace so I put a surge in and went to the lead and ran the next mile in 4:57, felt great so picked it up again and dropped a 4:49 and 4:50 last 2 miles. My watch had me at 15:09 for the final 5km which I'm happy with an 9:02 for the last 3k. I was 24:54 for 8km and stopped the watch at 5 miles in 25:01. I felt like had I even ran the first 2 miles at an honest 5:00 mile I'd have gone 24:35/40 so it was a good sign and gave me the confidence I needed going into next Sunday's race. It wasn't so much the time I ran but how easy it felt running the time. For reference, the race started at 8am, and I went strait to my run clinic and took them for their Sunday Long Run at 8:30am which got me 20 miles on the day before 10:30am.

Since then, we did a session of 3X2miles on the road off 2" recovery and averaged 9:50 being progressive about the workout starting at 9:57 and getting down to 9:46 for the last rep. Then today we had our last big tempo, a strait 7 mile tempo at goal Tely 10 pace. I did it on my flat road loop and went just over 36 minutes going through 10k in 32:11 and averaging 5:09/mile.

Tely 10 goals and breakdown.

So the goal for me this year is to actually run my own race and forget about what's going down up front. I've got to realize that if Matt Loiselle and Colin Fewer are at their best they are both going under 50 minutes and I just don't have the fitness to do that with just 5 good weeks of training, tho I am ready for a big PB. I can run a controlled effort and have the strength to go 51:30. I've got complete confidence that I'll run that this coming Sunday even if the weather isn't ideal, it'll just take a smart race execution. When I look at the start list there's nobody else on there who can run with me if I perform to my current fitness so I don't want to give anyone the chance to grab 3rd by me getting sucked into a pace that's too rich for me. So if all goes well come next Sunday after the dust settles I'll have run a shiny new PB and will start the proper build for a large fall campaign. 

In terms of who wins the race, if Matt is healthy he should win just because his pedigree is so good, I mean even at 70%, the guy is a 63 minute half marathoner and should be able to get the win. He just nipped Colin in Ottawa and you'd expect the marathoner in him to have the strength to stretch him over 10 miles. But if he's off his game, Colin is super fit and is likely close to PR shape so that could translate to a 49 high. It'll be very interesting to say the least. I'm taking Matt if he's at least as fit as Ottawa but Colin if Matt's training has been spotty like last year.

On the woman's side, without Kate Bazeley you won't be seeing any fast times but Jennifer Murrin is a strong local runner and should go 58-59 minutes which is pretty respectable. I don't see anyone challenging her this year as she's been beating the other girls by a minute or two in most races.

What I'm most invested in is some of my buddies like Jon Lodge, Mike Scott and Dan Conway who are all looking to go under 60 minutes for the first time. They are all strait beauties and if it's not too hot they should all do it. If I was around their fitness and looking to sneak under I'd latch on to the legendary Mark Hayward. Mark's a new Dad who's finishing up Medical school so is taking the less is more approach these days with his running but the guy is a stud (He scalped me BAD in 2012 when he ran 54 flat). So for anyone who wants an even paced ride to a sub 60 go with Mark, he will likely have a chat with you during the race too!

So that's about it, I wanted to keep this one short and just talk about my running, but next weekend we will get into the good stuff. I'll be going taper crazy so I will likely write a crazy long post about the last DL meets before worlds and give my predictions.

Until then, stay frosty,


Shout out to Brooks for a fresh summer shipment and the cool official Hanson's Brooks Original Distance Project singlet, it's fire!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

USATF Champs Post Mortem, Quick Training update & Sponsored Post.

Hey friends! I've had this written for a few days in anticipation for a busy weekend, which it's certainly been. I won't get into it here but my close friends and family know it's been a great time. Anyway, I won't post anything too long. I just want to give a few thoughts/quick hits on what transpired at USA's and what it could potentially mean at worlds. My training is going great, I'm hitting workouts that I haven't hit in over a year and ran a 15:01:44 5000m solo last weekend at a local track meet that was mostly for Canada games selection for JR athlete. So with that and the upswing in fitness that's come each week I'm happy about where things are. If Wednesday isn't too busy I may drive out to Clarenville to run a road 5km out there as it's a civil holiday in that town and I'd like to get a sub 15 in before the 8km next weekend and the Tely. Just so I know 4:55's or quicker won't be too bad in the 8km and 5:05's will feel manageable for the Tely 10 mile. To be fair the gains in fitness have been due to the structure of the training JJ has laid out for me and the fact I've been so busy that I haven't been eating as much and I'm ridiculously lean, about 10 pounds less than I was this spring, like way leaner than I've ever been in the past which, from a physiological standpoint means running given paces is costing me less energy and I'm dissipating heat at a more efficient rate. Finally, as many of you guys who blog and do good traffic know, companies approach you from time to time to review their product or do a sponsored post. Generally it's either a conflict of interest of brands or a company asks me to write up something about their product or race and I don't feel it's mutually beneficial. In this case approached me, and after checking with my eyeware sponsor I got the OK to write a review in exchange for product so I'll do that at the bottom of this post. Know that Glasses Shop has great products, service and shipping options for prescription and normal eyeware. I'm under contract with SMITH Optics and will continue to wear exclusively their product but for some cheaper options you can't go wrong with glasseshop, for the price they are incredible quality.

Key Takeaways from USA Track and Field Champs.

1 - Justin Gatlin gets it done once again despite being 35 years old and having an injury earlier in the year. Say what you will about the guy. He's been popped and served his time but to see him running this well at his age and being so good since the early 2000's (Olympic Champ in 2004) It's pretty incredible. With plenty of time to train for worlds over a month away I expect him to grab a bronze behind Bolt and Degrass.

2 - Jenny Simpson is in great form once again this year and makes winning US titles look easy. The problem that will arise at world however is that Sifan Hassan is on a different level now, going 3:56 twice this year and with Olympic Champ Faith Kipyegon and Dibaba out there she can't run the type of race she ran last year in Rio, 3 of those girls won't come back when they go. So Jenny, don't spot them even an inch.

3 - Paul Chelimo should repeat his silver from Rio in London this August, that display he put on in the 5k was unreal, he jogged a 13:08. His closing isn't on the level of Farah but he's hella strong and fast enough to duke it out for silver with guys like Keljelcha, Edris and Alimirew ( if Ronald Kwemoi were running the 5k instead of the 1500 he would smash him but Canova has gone on record to say he will do only the 1500m, which makes sense given he ran 3:30 at the Kenyan trails AT ALTITUDE!!!)

4 - Rupp's 10000m win streak ends at 8. Galen didn't look good in the 10k and I'm guessing he couldn't recover fast enough after running that sub 2:10 for 2ed at Boston. It's a shame really because even if he had gotten 3rd come August you know he'd have been ready to go and Kamwroror is going to make it spicy which plays to his strength. Not that he could medal but a top 5 would have been there. In London I'm looking for Farah to dominate the 10k, Kamwroror in 2ed and Karoki in 3rd with Paul Tanui close behind in 4th. As good as Mead is, as soon as the race goes into sub 27:30 territory it's all over for him.

5 - Centro likely won't be standing at the top of the podium come London. Obviously with the niggles he had to take some time off and it was apparent the last 80m when he couldn't hold off Robby Andrews. Normally that wouldn't be an issue at all. Now most people will say "Andrews has a HUGE kick!" and I mean, yeah it's good, but Centro has run 1;44 as well and at 100% Andrews isn't coming close the last 100 so this means it'll be a battle of the East Africans for the top 3, maybe Willis jumps in to grab a medal again too, who knows.

6 - Ajee Wilson is in rediculous shape right now! To go 1:57 negatively split, you have to be mega fit. I feel like she's in the same position Melissa Bishop was in last year, able to beat everyone in the world except for Semenya, Wambui and Neyonsaba. It's difficult to know what to say about this except to execute and hope one of those 3 uses poor tactics.

My training

Like I mentioned above it's going really well, the last 2 sessions I did was 7X1000m spiked up on the track averaging 2:57 which I was really happy with. I tried to do 10 a couple weeks before and couldn't average them all under so doing 7 was a confidence boost. Still hard but felt good. In the 5000m I ran it was awkward getting splits as the guy calling them was at the 200m mark where the 5k start is and I wasn't doing math very well. I was on 14:50 pace through 3km but gave back a lot of time the next 3 laps. I needed a 68 last lap to break 15 and only managed a 70 point. Either way, it's like night and day since April so that's a good sign.

I had to push the workout I was going to do this weekend which was a road tempo until next week with some important family stuff going on but I'm hoping to get it done on Monday or if not I'll do that 5km on the road on Wednesday and see what JJ thinks I should add after. (We pulled a Salazar and got in a few more 1km reps post 5000 but it wasn't pretty as I had to wait for the boys and girls steeple to finish and got pretty tight)

But yeah, things are looking great right now and I'm excited to race this coming weekend, get another big training week in and then the Tely 10. After that I'll have to give JJ a call and get his advice on the plans for the fall. I know Brooks asked me to do the Rock and Roll MTL half so I can put my French Immersion to good use and help out at the booth so that one is nailed down for sure as is STWM. But I'll look at what can be done between that and see what JJ is thinking.


So, Glasses Shop is a great online site to order just about any type of eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses. They sent me some glasses to try out and my favorites were the "Faye Wayfarer - Black". They fit my face great and were super comfortable, really you can't go wrong from what I've seen as far as eyeglasses online. You can check the different sizing on their site to see what will fit best for your face. As well, if you would like to order prescription glasses you can do that there too. The glasses are very high quality and the pricing is very reasonable at around $50 with some models being a little less or more expensive depending on the model.

The shipping only took a little under a week and they come with a durable labeled carrying case and cleaning cloth. They have models geared towards fashion, lifestyle and outdoor activities/sports so you will be sure to find something for you. Here is the link to the pair I really liked - and here is the link to their homepage - They currently have a 50% off sale on for independence day, to avail of it use the code GS50. Or you can use my coupon code for an even better deal GSHOT50.

I'll attach a few pics below of the glasses I've enjoyed the most.

Anyway, that's it for me guys. I'll be back next week to talk about what's going down on the DL Circuit, Canadian Track and Field Champs and what's to come in London.

Until next time, Happy Canada Day!