Coach Blog: April

Things got busy, blogs didn’t get written. But I want to try to catch up and recap our spring because it’s been a key period I think in preparing us for the successes we’ve seen so far this summer.

Here’s a quick run down of the workouts in April:

March 31-April 5: Circuits and 200ms, long run with tempo.
April 6-12: Tempo, intervals+hills, fartlek long run
April 13-19: Tempo, goal pace intervals, easy long run
April 20-26: Long intervals, short intervals, easy or progressive long run

What you can see here is pretty basic stuff. What we started to do is add in some shorter, faster intervals (or short hills) to get ready for more specific intensity later. One of my favourite workouts here is the intervals+hills in the second week of April. We did it as 6x600m at 5k effort, with 1min jog, 4x10sec hill sprint, 1min jog recovery between each 600. 6×600 at 5k is not all that much, but throw in the hill sprints, and it gets a little tougher. The way I see it is that the hills make those 600m feel like they are later in the race, rather than the first 600 of a 5000m. And of course, it’s easy to run the first couple 600m in a longer race; it’s the latter stages that are tougher.

This time of year, running with junk in the legs is fine by me. As we move to the real competition season, more “pure” intervals with regular rest take the forefront, and allow the athlete to build some confidence in running the pace you want to run in the race. This part of the year is about building the fitness to be able to run those paces later in the year.

We had some very nice races in April, including a breakout performance. The big one was François Jarry’s 1:09:36 half-marathon in Montreal. As a coach, I pride myself on being able to predict what an athlete will run in a given race, based on workouts and prior races. I have to be careful about this though as I don’t want to set any limits. Usually I use what I know to suggest to the athletes that they can run faster than they think. In rare cases does the athlete’s expectation surpass what I suspect they will run. Sometimes it’s just genuine confidence (prediction of the women’s indoor 5000m for example); in others it can be delusion. In this case, Jarry was pretty close to what we had hoped for him, but especially in a half-marathon, a conservative estimate is not a bad thing. Regardless, kudos to him, and as we will see, even more impressive results are to come.

Results:
St. Laurent
10k
Dave Liu 33:33
Antoine Joliceour 34:16
Adam Shiri 35:34 PB
Mandy Douglass 41:59

5k
Francois Jarry 15:22
Anthony Franchini 18:01

Montreal Half Marathon
François Jarry 69:36 PB
Shawn Kehoe 76:37, PB
Charles Benoit 81:55 PB
Mandy Douglass 1:30:47
Leslie Gold 1:34:13

Boston Marathon
Michael Martin 3:03:51 PB
Chris Carrique 2:51:52