Wednesday, February 11, 2015

USA XC recap and last week's training

I'm very excited to have made my 5th USA World Cross Country Team this past weekend in Boulder at the US XC Champs. The men's field was deep, and the altitude and heat completely changed the dynamics of the race. After watching the junior races and senior women's race, I knew that I would have to race conservatively in order to give myself a shot at making the top-6 and world team. I'm not exactly sure what place I went out in, but I would guess somewhere around 30th, although we weren't far off the lead. Looking back at my splits, I stayed fairly consistent until the last 2km. I felt in control and within my limits through 10km, but after making an attempt to go for 2nd place, I had to really fight on that last 2km loop. At altitude, there is a fine line between running hard, and putting yourself into a debt you cannot recover from. I think I was riding this line quite well through 5 laps and then dug in for the final lap. Had I been more aggressive, maybe I could have contended for 2nd place, but in the end I can't be upset for running conservatively and locking in a spot for the 2015 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China.

The World XC Champs may be my favorite race to take part in as a professional. I miss the team atmosphere of NCAA cross country, so this is as close as I can get now being a post-collegiate. Cross country allows you to get away from the watch completely and simply go after the body in front of you. It's pure competition with a simple goal: Beat the guy in front of you. Times mean absolutely nothing. After achieving the team silver medal in 2013, expectations have risen, and I think the six of us will be disappointed to come home without a medal this time around.

There is nothing particularly interesting from last week's training as it was the week leading up to the race. I'm happy to be back at sea-level in Portland, and I'm awaiting my blood results from my return. I suspect I was altitude too briefly to see much or any increase in levels, but I will know shortly, and I will post the results on my blog next week.

I'm excited to announce that I will be returning to the Gate River US 15km Championships in Jacksonville on March 14th. I had the same schedule in 2013, and it worked out so well that I've decided to replicate it in 2015. Gate River is one of the most competitive US road races each year, and I hope to improve upon my 3rd place finish from 2013.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Twitter contest last week for the XC Champs! This one required a little homework, and I was surprised how close many of you come to nailing the splits and final time. I will look to get creative for the World XC Champs as well, so stay tuned. Feel free to check out last week's training below, and follow me here on Twitter for more updates.

Week 12 AM PM Strength/Drills Mileage
Monday 11 + drills and strides 5.5 30 minutes 17
Tuesday 5 x 1k @ 2:58-3:00 w/1 min rest + 6 x 200 meters @ 29-30 5 15
Wednesday 9 5 14
Thursday Off - travel to Boulder 8 7.5
Friday 5 + drills and strides Off 5.5
Saturday 1.5 pre-race shakeout Race 12km USA XC Champs 14
Sunday Off - travel to Portland Off 0

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on a smartly executed race in Boulder, Ryan. I watched the live webcast, which showed how you patiently moved up through the field throughout the race. It's not just being in good enough shape to compete, but to also know how to execute a wise race plan, which you always seem to do.

    Good luck in your training toward World XCs and the Gate River Run!