Coach Blog: Fall training October 20-26

This week we switched things around a bit because of the provincial cross-country championships on the weekend. Monday we hit the track, Wednesday was pretty light, and Saturday was race day.

Monday we went back to the repeat 200ms we did a few weeks ago, and just tried to do the same again, only more or have it feel easier. So last time not everyone made it to 25 at goal 5k pace, but this time, most did. For those on the 1500m side of things, we added a few, getting up to 10-12 of them at goal race pace. This isn’t a particularly hard workout or anything. The goal is simply to engrain the pace in the legs. The more time you spend running the pace, the better the connection between the brains and the muscles. The pace becomes “known.” Later, when we extend this to more difficult lengths, that knowledge will come in handy, allowing the runner to put off fatigue a little longer because he or she will be in a state of normalcy for more of the interval. Then when it does get long, that work will fatigue the body and get it used to running both at the pace, and while tired.

Wednesday we really took it easy: 4x2min at cross country race pace, then 4x200m on the track. It was so easy, I actually did the workout. Now, for us, the provincial championships is not necessarily a peak race or anything. This was our easy week and we were resting up anyway. For a lot of people it would be the only xc race of the year, or maybe just the 2nd one. Cross country is a season to build. So we took our regular easy week and went into the race feeling good. Next week, we are right back at training.

Saturday we raced. Results are here. Highlights are that we had 34 people racing. Some ran for their schools: Champlain, McGill, Concordia, André-Laurendeau, proving once again that clubs and schools are entirely compatible if coaches are open and communicative. The highlights from a results standpoint were Nassim Ennabaoui’s 7th place in the college race (and correspondingly 4th place in the club junior standings). He ran his best race of the year to date, and moved up steadily during the race. He qualified, with his college team, to the CCAA XC championships in Calgary on November 8th. His goal there is top 14.

Jullien Flynn won the university race for women and finished 2nd overall in the club race. The women’s club team finished 3rd out of 14 clubs, one point back of both CAUL and CNOR who were tied at 20 points. It was a very close race and we look forward to competing with these two great clubs again next year. Mel Myrand (8th) and Val Sicard (11th) were our other scorers. Yes, the only score three women. It is very lame and the rules will change next year.

The senior men’s club team was also 3rd (91pts), helped by new recruits Max Lebeouf and Oliver Babineau. These two guys live in Ottawa and train on their own, but wanted a “home base” club in Quebec. We were happy to oblige. François Jarry and Dan Kelly, two club members who have been running for the varsity team, were the other scorers. We were 60 points back of CNOR and 75 back of powerhouse CAUL, but it would be fun to see what we could do with our best runners around (Noel-Hodge, Lecointre, Pagé, Mcelligott).

The masters men’s team defended our title, with a big help from new recruit Shawn Kehoe. He won the race outright, I maintained my second place masters spot from last year, and Anthony Franchini, riding a big summer of marathon training, helped us sweep the podium. It would be great to see more masters runners out for this because, as nice as it is to win, surely there are better runners out there. But you can’t win if you don’t play!