We continue our lightning round of Vermont City Marathon elite runner previews with Tyler Andrews. We basically just asked one simple question to many of the elites: Are You Ready? They had free reign to answer in any way they saw fit. Tyler was living/working/training at altitude in Ecuador before coming home to run the Boston Marathon this past April.
I think I’m about as ready as I can be. This race is going to be an experiment for sure. I would say of all the people I’ve spoken to about my plan to run another Marathon five weeks after Boston, the majority (runners or non-runners) say something along the lines of “are you crazy??” I think there’s a lot of truth to that. There aren’t many people who can turn around and run another race that quickly after what was a very hard effort in Boston just five weeks ago. I don’t know if I’m going to be one of the people who can, but there’s only one way to find out, right?
In terms of my preparation, I did recover very quickly from Boston. I was surprised by how quickly I went from feeling extremely sore – like, not being able to walk down the stairs – to feeling pretty good and doing some quicker, easy runs. My coach and I began talking pretty quickly about running a second race (either a half or another full Marathon), but we didn’t want to commit to anything before I had a couple weeks of recovery under my belt.
I took it super easy for a week or so and then started “testing the waters” with some faster running. About 10 days after Boston, I did a 12km progression run in ~38’45 (averaging about 5’12 pace) starting easy and finishing at about 4’45 pace. This was a great confidence booster that I was able to mechanically run quick and my aerobic capacity still felt great.
The big test came in the one longer workout I did at about the halfway point between the Marathons. I did a 20 mile run, starting moderate (~5’50/mile) and then 15 miles of fartlek with 1km at “tempo” pace (3’03/km or about 4’55/mile) and 1km at “uptempo” (3’33/km or 5’44/mile). So this was 15 miles of work at an average of 5’18 pace and the whole run was 20 miles at about 5’30 pace with the warm-up.
This workout was the real “I’m ready” signal for me and my coach, and so it wasn’t until after this that we announced publically that I’d be running at the KBVCM. I’d been talking to the race director already at that point and they knew my situation and were super accommodating to my reticence to commit, but were excited to hear I’d be competing.
Then, the last few weeks have just been maintenance and tapering. I ran the Bedford Memorial 12km 8 days ago, but used it as a workout really, trying to average about goal Marathon pace on a very hilly course. Other than that, just some easy running and light workouts.
I’m really excited for tomorrow. The course looks great – very spectator friendly – and the KBVCM folks have got a great field put together here. It’ll be really fun to mix it up at the front of the race and see what I can do against some other really great runners. It’s an honor to be invited here and I’m just going to do my best to represent STRIVE well and see what happens!
You can follow Tyler’s training and progress with STRIVE on his blog at www.strivetrips.org/the-blog. You can also read contributions from Tyler on the Level.