Put your hand up if you thought Cross Country was dead. Well not quite yet, atleast not on Sunday morning in Canberra. Stromlo Forest is set to look like the MCG on Boxing Day ahead of the 2015 World Cross Country Trials. With over twice the number of entrants as the 2013 edition the men’s field is crammed with quality to match. Commonwealth games gold medallist Michael Shelly headlines the field alongside Zatopek 10 winner Brett Robinson and 2014 National XC Champion and Chiba team mate Duer Yoa. However with no less than 6 Australian representatives in (Nipperess, McNeil, Hunt, Adams, Rayner and Brown, apologies if I’ve missed someone) competition for the top places will be a real fight. I think if you collected all the state and national medals won from the rest of the field you would probably have enough to fill the pool room. It’s set to be a cracker of a race and the fight for those top 6 positions will be tough – those who fill them will truly have earned their place!
Not to be out done the women’s field has almost doubled to that of the 2013 trial. Commonwealth Games team mates Jess Trengrove and Emily Brichacek look like favourites to fill the top positions but will face strong competition from 2013 World Cross Country representatives Sophie Barker, Celia Sullohern and the ever improving (world junior rep) Kate Spencer.
For me I placed 7th (6th Aussie) in 2013 trial and will look to repeat that performance and hopefully go one or two better! I was unfortunate in my bias opinion not to be selected for the world cross that year in Poland and hope 2015 starts with a bang and I can book a seat to China. I’m coming off a really solid winter and 3 of my biggest weeks of training at Falls Creek so hopefully on Sunday at 7:30am all that training and racing comes together and I put in a good performance. I can’t wait to get 2015 off the mark.
I know that leading into a big race a lot of talk around the tracks and trails goes into the “taper week”, what to do, when to start, how many reps and at what percentage of HR should I be at?…etc etc. It can be a fine line between easing back too much or perhaps not enough. My coach Ken has a simple approach “this week is all about getting some rest”. No scientific calculations or Garmins and HR monitors, just good old fashioned rest. Sunday’s long run of 2hr 15 was cut to 1hr 45, Monday and Tuesday remain the same, but from then on its just easy / relaxed running leading up to race day.
Tue: am-8k, pm-Mona Fartlek
Sat: 30min plus drills / strides