/ Watts That Won

Watts That Won: Joe Gray Wins Pacific Northwest Cross Country Championship

With victories at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships in WI, the Oze Vertical Kilometer (OVK), Joe Gray arrived in Washington confident.

Watts That Won = 335

Prepare with Purpose

Coming off of a succcessful mountain running season, everyone knew Joe was in good shape.

"I knew I was fit, but cross country races require speed. Mountain running is different than a cross country course; I needed to prepare to compete with guys with track speed." Joe said.


Joe switched up his training to prepare for the race. He hit the track more often so he could burst at higher power ranges. He followed Stryd's Improve recommendations to know how much speed work he should do.

The Race

The 10k race was divided into five laps, feauturing tight turns on every lap and 500 feet of overall elevation gain. "A real cross country course" as veterans of the sport would say. The elite race was the last race of the day, which meant the course was in rough shape when Joe toed the line.

Like any cross country race, the runners sprinted off the line. After settling in with the lead pack, Joe settled into his ryhtmn at around 330 watts.

Joe threw in a surge the second lap, going above 400 watts for a short period of time and leaving his competition in the dust. His preparation paid off as he was able to out sprint the cross country runners.

Once in the lead, Joe focused on keeping his footing when going through multiple sections of the course that had potholes and slippery terrain. He brought his power back to a manageable range of 330 watts.

Joe finished in the 10k in a course record time 31:14, a full minute ahead of the next competitor. He showed again he is able to perform under adverse conditions. He prepared with purpose and was able to face the challenges on race day. Joe was the engine, and Stryd was the spedometer.

What's next for Joe?

Fresh from his victory in Washignton, Joe he'll look to defend his world title at the Xterra World Trail Running Championships in Hawaii on December 3rd.

Follow Joe on his Facebook page.

Credits to Thomas Gray for the images.