Saturday, 3 January 2009

2009 hopes and marathon predictions

Running over the christmas holiday period didn't exactly go according to plan with a small problem in my left hip bringing me to a standstill for a few days. It was quite literally a pain in the arse and meant that I had to miss out on the Nos Galan 5k race on New Year's Eve. Although I'm now easy running again, this weekend's South West Cross Championships is also out the question so I will wrapped up warm taking photos and cheering on my Wells City Harrier team mates as they chase some more silverware.

The link in the Book secition to the Canova/Arcelli book from the IAAF was no longer working and has now been fixed thanks to a sharp eyed reader.

2009 promises to be an exciting year for marathoning. With Haile ruling the roost and Sammy Wanjiru proving in Beijing that he can win the hard way the scene is set for the world record to get pushed into new territory. Add in a growing group of east africans who have worked out how to prepare properly for 42km and we could see a 2:02 before the end of year with the right race and conditions. Though like many athletics fan what I would really like to see is a Haile v Wanjiru match up. Somehow I don't think it will happen in '09.

The big unknown for the women is what level Paula can return to. I've got a feeling she could be sub 2:20 again but no longer so dominant that she can run away from fields from the gun. So who will be brave enough to go with her and put her under real pressure in the last 10km ? London should be a fascinating race.

Domestically the women look stronger than the men with Mara Yamauchi also having emerged to world class in 2008 with her win in Osaka in January backed up with 6th in Beijing and 3rd in Tokyo at the end of the year. Expect a big PB revision this year.

All eyes will be on London to see if any of the british men can take the step from 2:18 to sub 2:15 and beyond. Their (our) cause is hardly helped by the selection policy of UK Athletics which persists in declining to send to a team to the IAAF World Marathon Team race. Other countries such as Canada have seen the light and are taking a more incremental approach and will send a team to Berlin as long as 4 guys have the IAAF standard. They have a really simple, long term approach which is articulated in a short document on their website. Not surprisingly Canadian marathon standards are on the rise already after 1 year of this strategy. Ian Stewart take note. Dan Robinson will be looking to take a big chunk off his 2:13 PB and an interesting debut could be Andrew Lemoncello who just looks like a marathoner in the making.

My plans will revolve around 2 marathons this year and key to making progress will be to carry improved 10k speed through the marathon build up phase. I'm really looking forward to it along with another training camp or two in the mountains (photo). Before that though there are some cross country races to be negotiated with the highlight being the Saucony English National at Parliament Hill. Bring it on !


Anonymous said...

I was actually going to ask you a question about the IAAF/UKA Marathon standards on Sunday! Totally agree with you though.

Hope injury clears up soon.

Adrian Marriott said...

I wish you had !

How was sunday for you ? I know we had a huge range of abilities there which made it really tricky from up the front. Hopefully you got something from it.



Anonymous said...

Had an awesome day to be honest. Ended up running with Hennessy, Fowlie and Joy for the last 60 of the 90 minutes and they're great guys with plenty of amusing dialogue going on! Pace was absolute fine as well which was surprising after South XC.

Hamstrings were still a bit sore from the S+C session in afternoon though.

Really enjoyed the Q+A though I've heard a few of Paul's stories before they're always entertaining! Also nice to hear some different views on training as a whole.