Liv9 Ambassador/Athlete, Ryan O'Shea has just completed his latest training block leading up to this years' Fredericton Marathon (May 14th) and during our most recent run he tells me how things went. According to him, he feels like he's ready to run his best marathon yet. He says his fitness is there and his race plan has been carefully assembled based on his training data and personal goals. As far as he's concerned he's done everything in his control to improve his chances of success.
During our run this past Sunday we talked about this years' training leading up to the race. We discussed potential race strategies, A-B-C goals, adjusting for weather, etc. For the first time in a few years he really feels like he's had an ideal training block, pointing out he's had no prolonged down periods in training due to weather, illnesses or injuries. He indicated that the last time he had a cycle like that was prior to his win at Legs for Literacy. Believe it or not, even a veteran runner like Ryan has the ups and downs in training that the rest of us have, but somehow this year he avoided major colds/flus, managed to keep balance between running, work and life with young kids, and most importantly stayed injury free by building up his volume and intensity slow over a longer period of time.
He really feels like he's in the best shape he's ever been. Having trained with him quite a bit over the past few years I have to agree. If you take a look through his more recent workouts, he ran a 2:43 marathon in training 4 weeks ago, and then just last week he completed a 2x10k workout, with both 10k times just under 35mins. He did let on after this practice marathon, he was afraid he overdid things, but this most recent workout seems to indicate his body is bouncing back just fine. He's now officially tapering and if he was anything like the rest of us he'd be second guessing himself and his goals, but that's not like Ryan. For him, the marathon seems to be his comfort distance. He's calm, cool and collected and ready to race. He really seems to love that 42.2k distance, and despite my attempts to lure him to the ultra-marathon, he's not inclined to focus too hard on any other distance. His biggest running goals all center around the marathon and for the foreseeable future I doubt this will change. Based on random chats we've had this winter he has at least two more marathon's on his mind, Toronto this fall and Boston next spring, but I bet it won't stop with those. Ryan just seems to love the marathon, or perhaps he just feels like his work isn't done yet, after all even the greatest marathoner of all time, Haile Gebrselassie, said this - "I have to change a lot of things before I become a good marathon runner.". I guess Ryan still has more changes to make.
It's one more week till race day and I can't wait to cheer all the runners on from the side lines. Ryan, I'll bring the cowbell, you bring the hurt. Good luck Ryan, you got this!