Saturday, February 18, 2017

USATF Masters National Indoor Championships '17 - day two meet report

200m prelims - 25.07

200m prelims went pretty well - 2nd fastest M55 time in the world, just over a tenth second behind '84 Jamaican Olympian Karl Smith.  I flinched a little prior to the start, so my start could have been better.  Overall, the race felt fine, strong to the end. 

Second fastest qualifying time puts me in lane 5 with my stiffest competition - Karl in 4, and Don in 3.  Not happy to be running blind to my competition, so I have to take it out hard and trust my training to bring it home.  

Race video

Not a real clear video, but what I could capture from USATF TV.
M55 Championship race, USATF Masters Indoor Nationals

Friday, February 17, 2017

USATF Masters National Indoor Championships '17 - day one meet report

M55 USATF National Indoor Champion - 55.92

Mission accomplished.  4th consecutive National 400m Title ('15 outdoor, '16 indoor and outdoor)
I wanted to win with a time under 56 and I did.   About the same time I won with in '16 outdoor Nationals (55.93) and close to the time I ran 5 yrs ago when I won my first National Indoor Title in '12 (55.90).   However, 0.70 slower than I ran last year (55.22) - which was a season best.

Unfortunately, our World Record attempt in the 4x200m relay won't happen because Don is not 100% and Oscar is sick.   And, to avoid risk of injury, I'm not racing in the 60m this year since I'm going to Daegu for the World Championships.  So, instead of running 7 races like last year, I'm only running 3:  the 200m semis and finals are tomorrow and Sunday.

The Race
Home stretch - last 50m
 As top seed, I got lane 4 which is a good lane, although I prefer lane 5 on this banked Mondo.  Warming up, I felt a bit stiff and sore in the feet (after having been in spikes 4 days in a row and taken 2 days off), but I started warming up way early, nearly 2 hrs before the race.  I did a good warmup running several fast ~70m sprints after stretching.  20 min before the race, I just relaxed.

I got out of the blocks well but James in front of me, got a slow start and I took the lead immediately.  I never saw anyone after I entered the back stretch.   I hit my 200m split really close to where I wanted, about 26.25, (shooting for 26.0).   James made a move on the back stretch and I could hear his foot steps ... he seemed close.  As I was about to enter the final stretch I glanced over my shoulder to see if he was there, but I was alone.   15m out, Peter Taylor said, "And Yelverton will win it."  It was a relief.  Very happy to be under 56 again.

Nice to join up again with my Masters track family.  Chatted with Ben, Jim, Sonya, George, John C., Marcus, Sue, Robert, Bill C., Jack, Dave, Rob, Francois, Emma, Lorraine, and many others.

M55 400m medalists - with Jim and David
I saw Bill Collins and said... "did I see you walking with a limp?"  He said , "Yes".... George quickly interjected, "until the gun goes off!"

I saw Orville Rogers - age 99, the meet's oldest competitor, and I got him to stand for a photo with me.

99 yr old athlete - Orville Rogers
It was great to be here.  200m semis tomorrow.   I'm wondering if Don will be able to bring it, having a slight ham injury.  Karl Smith, the Jamaican Olympian will be here but running exhibition.  He beat me by 0.4 at outdoor nationals and will probably win here, although his results are unofficial as this is a USA Championship meet.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

final pre-championship workout

I've been on the track 9 of the last 11 days.  That may be close to an unprecedented amount for me in a short time.  Happy to say the final workout went great.

Cool, upper 40ºs, cloudy and calm winds in Sewanee.  I did a lengthy warmup and one race pace 350m blast.   I hit very close to all of my splits and brought it in at 56 pace.

Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 100m striders 
Puma Spikes on
350m event run - 47.8  (13, 13.2, 14.1, 7.5) 
200m - 26.8
The 350 felt good and it was as fast as any 350 training run I've done.   I wasn't totally spent afterward either.  I did a 200m in about 10m afterward.

It looks like I'm good to go.   Would really like to drop a 55 like last year.   Leave Thurs, race Friday.
Stay tuned.

Monday, February 13, 2017

more speed

Sunny mid 50s and light winds in Sewanee.   Back on the track for more high intensity race prep.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
400m - 57 (27.5, 29.5) 
200m - 26.7 
split 400m - 300m / rest 1 min / 100m - 42.5, 14.5
Pushed the front end of the 400m a bit more than yesterday, but running all out or nearly all out 400s 3 days in a row was a bit much.   I wasn't hitting my target splits on the last 2 sprints and I was exhausted after the split 400 and felt bad.

Tomorrow, I'll go out and try for one good 300m and maybe a 200m and call it a day.   Not much more I can do with Nationals 4 days away.

Already thinking about what I can do next week when I start my next training cycle for the World Championships.   I'll have 3 weeks and I plan to do more strengthening (hills), a little more foundation and more speed.

141.6 lbs after workout.

Sunday, February 12, 2017


At the Marist School track for some race prep.  All workouts now are fast.   These 400s were run relaxed first half and hard second half.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
Puma spikes on 
3 x 400m - 57.7 (27.7/30), 57.4 (28.2/29.2), 59 (28.5, 30.5) 
150m and 100m strides
The goal was to work on the second half of the race but not totally waste myself so I could do some quality repeats.  The last one I didn't run as hard as I could have and concentrated on form.   The second one felt the best as I was really warmed up and took a little off the front end.  I finished with some striders on the turn.

New WL
'15 World Champion Benoit Z. of France just dropped a stunning world lead in the M55 400m:  55.10.   This is the fastest indoor M55 400m in the World in almost a decade, since Bill Collins in '08.   It erases my effort of 55.22 that held that distinction last yr.   Wow, he must be in killer shape.  Between him and the German who ran 53 flat last yr, the 400 in Korea will be the most competitive M55 indoor worlds in years.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Samford Open - meet report

Back on the Crossplex track today in a competitive college meet, 72 competitors in the 400m.


An improvement from last week, but .75 slower than I ran here last year, and .98 slower than 2 yrs ago.  Still an M55 World Lead and a time that would've won M55 Nationals every year since '13.  This was my fifth race in 3 yrs at this fine facility.  The other races were: 55.68, 55.91, 56.62, 56.69.   So, room for improvement, but I didn't taper at all for this meet... I worked out on Friday.  So, this... just another event run workout.

I've always been fortunate to have good lanes here, but not today: lane 2.  That definitely cost a few tenths.  When I ran 55.68, I had lane 5, which is my favorite.

I could see race clocks at 200m and 300m, and I think my splits were a tad shy of the 26/40 goal ... more like 26.2, 40.6... and my last 100m was fairly weak, probably 16ish.   

Perhaps by the time I get to Korea in March, I'll be back to the 55s.   This year, I really didn't have an off season except for Nov.   So, started late and the Nationals are early... so that may be the difference.   But, I think I could run sub 56 in NM.  

I'm planing to do some significant work Sun and Monday, light workout Tues, off Wed and Thursday.  400m Nationals on Friday.   Should be ready.