Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Portland Track Fest recap and Looking ahead to the USATF Champs: Last Week's Training

Sunday at the Portland Track Festival was my first race back since the London Marathon, and it was quite a drop in distance. I haven't run a 1500 in a couple of years, so I knew it was going to be painful. I ran evenly, but I didn't have the wheels to close on the last lap and ended up with a 3:43. My PR is only 3:42.8, so I can't be too disappointed with the result given that it was my season debut. Deep down, I would have liked to get a new PR, but looking back, it just wasn't realistic. While my track training has been going very well, I needed hard effort like this to shake the rust off. It was excellent preparation heading into the 10,000 meters at the USATF Outdoor Championships. Following the 1500 I paced the 5000 meters for 5 laps at 65 seconds per quarter, which ended up making it a well-rounded training day. The meet overall was a huge success; all events went off on time, pace-makers were in place for the Sunday events, and the crowd turnout was great. All you have to do is take a look at the starlists/results to see that the Portland Track Festival is turning into one of the country's premier distance events. 

The entries are settled for the USATF Outdoor Championships, and the 10,000 meters looks strong for an off-year. By off-year I mean that there is no World Championship or Olympic Team to qualify for. You can check out the startlist on the USATF website; you'll see plenty of familiar names. It will be interesting to see how the pace plays out, but no matter what the pace is, I think fans will be in for an exciting finish. I haven't had the opportunity to race in Sacramento since my sophomore year at Oklahoma State for the NCAA Track Championships, and I'm excited to return. I have fond memories from the Golden West Invitational in high school, and two NCAA Championships as a college athlete. The weather is suitable in the later evening, the stands are big enough for an excellent crowd and atmosphere, and the warm-up facilities are the best I've encountered at a track meet. 

Airfare cost and hotel availability are also a bonus when compared to previous locations. The athletes who will benefit the most from this are those just out of school or those just on the cusp of making the championships. Since the USATF only funds the top 4 athletes in each event for travel, it is very expensive for a young athlete without support to travel to a meet like this. It's also important to note that the top 4 ranked athletes in an event usually already have some kind of travel support from a sponsor or club, so they typically aren't the athletes in the greatest need of the funding. After plane tickets, hotel, entry fee, and meals, an athlete can easily be looking at well over $1000 in travel expenses. While it is still expensive, having the meet in Sacramento will help mitigate these costs and help those younger athletes who will be vying to make US teams in the near future. 

Feel free to check out my training from last week at the bottom of the page. The workouts have continued to progress, and I've been enjoying the lower volume training. This week was a 90 mile week and is dropping all the way to the outdoor championships. 90 miles is a far cry from the 150 I was hitting just months ago, but the higher intensity of the track workouts still has me plenty exhausted. Thanks again for reading and don't forget to go see the Brooks PR Invitational at Renton Memorial Stadium this coming weekend. It will feature the fastest high school athletes in the country in a rare opportunity to see them in the same place at the same time. Also, if you'd like, follow me here on twitter for more updates. 

Where                                  Renton Memorial Stadium
When                                    June 21st, 1:30pm-4:30pm (doors open at noon)
Why                                       Come watch the fastest and deepest high school meet of the year in our backyard!!
                                                1000 technical PR Invite t-shirts to the first spectators arriving
                                                Come Meet the Brooks Beasts
Cost                                       $10 per person, kids 6 and under will be FREE (all proceeds go to the Renton School District)

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Week 9 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 10 + drills and strides 5 40 minutes 15

Tuesday 3 mile tempo @ 71.0, 4 min rest, 3 x mile (4:17, 4:15, 4:13) 4

Wednesday 12 easy off 30 minutes 12

Thursday 30 minutes easy, 6 x 200 (29-30), 25 minutes easy 5

Friday 8 5

Saturday off 8+drills and strides 40 minutes 8

Sunday 2 mile shake-out Race 1500, pace 2km @ 65 for 5000 meter race




  1. Ryan, it was great watching you "shake the rust off" this weekend. I hope you come back again next year and nab that new PR in the 1500!

  2. When you were doing the pacing duties, what were you thinking when that guy went around you? Did you just try and maintain the 65 second quarters and whoever wanted to stick to an even pace could do so? or did you think about peeling off early because of it? Thanks, and thanks for keeping the blog up to date. It's always fun to look for bits and pieces of training from elites that can be adjusted for a hack like me.

    1. When he went around I just assumed that he was ready to run faster than I was told to pace. That happens sometimes. As a pacer I am given a pace for a reason, so no matter what the field does, I try to stick to it. It was a little difficult because I didn't want to get in anyone's way, but I knew German Fernandez wanted 65s, so I stayed in for 2km to try to help him out, even though he had a pretty good train without me. Thanks for keeping up with the blog!

  3. Ryan, you're the man! You've got some killer wheels on ya. I'll be screaming at my computer screen for you at USA's. The WOW with you and German back in your OSU days on the xc course absolutely legendary.

  4. Ryan,

    I was wondering how you're able to maintain that speed for anything from 1500 on up to the 10k even after doing so much marathon training. I feel like I've had a tough time while training specifically for the 10k-half marathon distance to really have as much speed as I used to in high school and in college. I have a great strength/stamina, but when it comes to the shorter races (1500, 3k, and sometimes even 5k), I'm not producing what I know I'm capable of. What would you suggest to incorporate into training to be able to keep the strength, but also have that speed at the end of the race or in shorter events? I do strides and that sort of thing after recovery runs, which seems to help a bit.

    Thanks for the tips and good luck at USAs! I'll be rooting for you!

    Peter Falcon

    1. i have a 2009 ncaa x-country picture i need to have you autograph.
      wish i had talked to you but got sidelined.
      probably won't get the oppertunity to meet you again.
      Louie Tieman

    2. I'd love to see the pic. If you'd like, you can mail it to me and I'll mail it back.