“My talk to him the day before the race was: ‘When you get to 25K don’t make a move before. I want you to look around and I want you to ask yourself a few questions. It’s simple. 1) Is anyone in that group better than you? 2) Has anyone in that group gone through what you’ve gone through personally? 3) Is anyone in that group hungrier than you for success? I want you to turn it up. I want you to really make it hurt. I want you to take all the frustrations that you’ve had over the last three years and I want you to make people pay and be really aggressive.’ He did that…The conversation I had with him the day before the race was nothing like Chicago. He’s in a different headspace. Things are really going well. He’s working on his Masters. He’s tutoring. He’s got a stable relationship. I said to him, ‘Jake, tomorrow you have the opportunity to be an Olympian. You have something that as a kid you dreamed about. I want you to run into it. I want you to embrace it. I want you to be excited about it. I want you to not have fear. I don’t want you to use anger or the other things that have happened. I want this to be a pathway of light that you embrace and enjoy.”
Team Boulder’s Lee Troop joins the show to share how Jake Riley went from an Achilles injury that nearly ended his career to the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials runner-up and headed to the Olympics. Riley ran 2:13 for his first marathon in 2014 and then finished 15th at the 2016 trials. He also went on to finish 12th at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore. but then his career got rocky.
He went through a divorce, moved from Michigan to Colorado to pursue his mechanical engineering masters and then joined Troop’s training. An Achilles injury was later diagnosed as Haglund’s syndrome and he had to undergo surgery. Troop shares the process of how they worked back to the starting line and then what ultimately led to his major breakout of a 2:10:36 in Chicago last fall.
Among the key pieces of insight shared by Troop are the pre-race talks that he shared with Riley and race plans in both Chicago and Atlanta.
We also share how Riley developed the “No more next times” mantra, the decision to wear the AlphaFly shoes and much more.
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Here’s how Troop outlined Riley’s training on Twitter:
Sunday: 2 hours and 30-minute run
Monday: AM: 50 to 60 minutes; PM: 35 minutes
Tuesday: AM: Session PM: 35 minutes
Wednesday: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Thursday: AM: 50 minutes; PM: 35 minutes
Friday: AM: Session PM: 35 minutes
Saturday: AM: 50 to 60 minutes PM: 35 minutes
6 weeks out: 3-hour long run
3 weeks out: 18-mile marathon progression run
Sessions are comprised of: Hills, Fartlek, Tempos, Intervals
Hills were 60-seconds hard; Fartlek efforts were anywhere from 2:40 to 3:00 per kilometers but solid recovery floats of 3:15 to 3:30 per kilometers. Intervals start at 10K pace and work down to 5K pace. Tempos are usually at half-marathon pace.
Support for this episode comes from Stryd. They’re helping ensure that you nail the perfect pacing strategy so you can keep a consistent effort in challenging conditions – all in real-time. I’m digging all the data that it’s collecting and you’ll see a bunch of people wearing them on their shoes at the US Olympic Marathon Trials. Learn more by visiting STRYD.COM/CITIUS
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Photo by Kevin Morris