by Mike Smith
Ask any of my kids what collegiate team is my favorite you would quickly get a response: NAU. I’ve been following them since the days of David MacNeill and Eric Heins, then Futsum Zienesellassie, and now the Mike Smith, Tyler Day and Matt Baxter era. I’ve used their workout videos to inspire my athletes to work smarter and even have a Mike Smith quote on the back of one of our team shirts. It’s safe to say I like what I hear, and because of that I pay attention and I suppose that makes me a bit of a fan boy.
Turns out one of my former runners ran collegiately with NAU’s assistant coach, Jarred Cornfield, which means I was lucky enough to get permission to observe an NAU workout. That workout was this morning. I arrived at the track at 7:30am, just in time to meet up with Coach Cornfield and two recruit prospects with one of them being NH’s own Aidan Cox. He and another recruit were along to observe the workout and see what the program has to offer them. I got a unique glimpse into the process, watching the NAU team interact with each other and these two potential recruits. Needless to say, I was impressed with what I saw.
And that’s not to mention the workout. Most of the guys were split into four groups, with two groups doing a 3 x 3200/1600 tempo workout, and the other two groups doing repeat 1600s at tempo. Seeing Nico Young, Drew Bosley, Abdi Nur and Luis Grijalva rolling 72 second laps over nine miles of tempo work with little rest was simply mind blowing. Not to mention seeing pros like Grijalva, Edward Cheserek and Rachel Schneider (formerly of St. Thomas Aquinas and currently Mrs. Mike Smith) getting it going, made it worthwhile getting up for the workout.
After a post workout breakfast (workout for them, breakfast for me), we chillaxed at the house while Elizabeth started to prep for her run tomorrow while losing her mind. I’ll reveal those plans in tomorrow’s blog, but suffice it to say she has good reason. Later we headed out to Buffalo Park for a shake out, looking to keep it flat for her. I ran the Nate Avery loop again, at what I thought was equal effort, and while I got back 40 seconds faster I didn’t feel any better than I did on Saturday. I think hypoxic Smith is a slow responder to altitude.
After a nice meal at Salsa Brava, we headed back to the house with Coe Brown’s Tim Cox for some fire pit relaxation and an early evening for tomorrow’s early morning.