Wednesday, 17 February 2010

January POM and P-K at the Kingston Twosome

Since I generally council against serious racing in the weeks between the end of the long Canadian racing season in early December and its beginning in late March, there's rarely much meaningful club racing action on which to report for the weeks before X-mas until the clocks "spring forward". There was, however, one performance in January which would be a worthy Performance of the Month nominee in any month-- Dylan O'Sullivan's 23 second personal best over 3k in Thunder Bay-- and it is the POM for January.

Following almost 8 months off for various health-related problems beginning in January 2009, Dylan returned to action very tentatively in the late summer of the year. In his first few harder sessions, a pace of only 3:45/km was sufficient to put his heart rate into threshold-pace range. But, in a little more than 3 months, he had become a scoring member of both his school's OFSAA silver medalist team-- finishing a flat-on-the-back 23rd place-- and the P-K junior boys medal-winning team at the National X-C championships in Guelph, where he finished 33rd. After a short break, followed by 5 weeks of hill and fartlek training alongside yours truly and his high school team mates*, Dylan decided to enter an indoor 3000m race-- his first track race in almost 2 years-- while on a recruiting trip to Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. He would proceed to win the event with the aforementioned 23 second personal best-- a negative-splitting 8:52 (4:30 and 4:22)-- completing his year long rise from the ashes.

*In related news, the "Sydenham Boys" (Jeff Archer, Dylan O., and Rob Asselstine) finished 2,3,4 (behind P-Ker Rejean Chaisson)in a 3k race at the Dome Louis Riel (an indoor 400m complex near Orleans in East Ottawa) in 8:41-43 respectively. These results represent a remarkable improvement for all three. Even since late fall, these boys have made tremendous gains in both fitness and confidence. From the unique perspective of coach and regular training partner, I can assure all of their competitors in the upcoming school and summer club seasons that they will be forces to be reckoned with. Forget their fall 09 incarnations; the Sydenham boys will be all but unrecognizable when they hit the outdoor track in 2010, and may even make a little OFSAA history-- for very rarely, if ever, have three distance runners from one small high school performed simultaneously at the the level they are fast approaching. (And big congrats go to Rejean, who ran a solo personal best of 8:33. Look for R.C. to pick-up where he left off in Niagara Falls last year, where he finished runner-up in a 3min. personal best of 1:06:33. Next stop: Sub- 1:06 and sub 30/10k!).

(For those interested in the details, the Sydenham boys' 3000m times were achieved without any focused max V02 work at all. Their training since December has been confined strictly to: one fartlek session of 16 to 26mins total, with speeds ranging from 1500 to 10k race effort separated by "recoveries" of 40-90 secs run at 3:20-40/km; and, one session of hill or track reps @1500 race effort, with recoveries of 75secs to 6mins [e.g. 6x600m in 1:33-36 with 3-4mins recovery]. Throughout, they have maintained weekly volumes of 90-100km/week. Further and perhaps even more rapid improvements are expected over the next 6-8 weeks, as the focus of their training shifts to tempo and interval sessions, and as their weekly volume increases to 110-115km/week. They will race only once more indoors this year-- at the NCIS meet in New York City on March 12th.)

In other P-K racing news, the local group competed at the Kingston Twosome event-- a Valentine's weekend tradition here in town-- with notable performances by the following athletes:

-New members Aimee Young and Colleen Coderre, who ran 40-50 second personal bests with their times of 21:10 and 21:28 respectively.

-New masters member Kevin Armstrong, who came close to a personal best with his 18:46.

-Dylan Wykes, who won the event over-all in 15:20 (following a 3min break from doing the course beforehand in 15:30!). Dylan looks to be fully rehabbed following a slight injury to his achilles in early January. Dylan will race next in Vancouver's Spring Run-off 8k on March 7.

-Emily Tallen, who won the women's division and finished 4th over-all in 16:53. If all goes according to plan, Emily will race next at the Around the Bay race at the end of March.

I'm still awaiting that guest-post from Performance of the Year winner Mike Gill, which I now expect to be a major milestone sports-literary blogging!!


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