One of the American men that TV viewers can expect to see much of on November 6th is Scott Fauble. With a marathon personal best of 2:08:52, Scott has proven himself as a consistent presence near the front of World Marathon Majors as he has twice finished 7th in Boston and was 7th here in the Big Apple in 2018. Maybe this will be his luckiest year yet and he’ll finish 6th?
In addition to my fun conversation with Scott here, my CITIUS MAG colleagues caught up with him on a run in Boulder last week, which you can watch and subscribe to here.
THE LAP COUNT: We are less than two weeks away now. How is everything feeling?
Scott Fauble: Training has been good. I don’t have to do any more 115-mile weeks. The last one was actually 118.
THE LAP COUNT: How does that compare to what you’ve done previously?
Scott Fauble: It’s a little bit higher than before Boston, but it’s been way nicer weather. It’s much easier to get out the door — even when you’re not feeling good — when it’s 60 degrees and sunny every afternoon.
THE LAP COUNT: Some people argue that Boulder is an awkward altitude in that you’re not quite getting all the benefits possible. Does it feel much different than when you were in Flagstaff?
Scott Fauble: I think 5,000 feet is much easier than 7,000 feet. But one thing Joe [Bosshard] has been into is this thing called “altitude density” with like the pressure in the air, given if it has rained, the temperature, and stuff like the barometric pressure changes. Altitude training is basically just a measure of pressure.
This fall he’s always been saying, “it is a low-altitude day!” As opposed to the summer when it’s hot, you’re getting more high-altitude days and you run slower. I don’t care that much about altitude since I was born at it.
THE LAP COUNT: From now on any day that I am tired after a shitty night of sleep will be referred to as a high-altitude day.
Scott Fauble: That’s fair.
THE LAP COUNT: With this being your eighth marathon, do you constantly look back on old logs and reflect on what you did previously and compare them?
Scott Fauble: I used to do that and it was an issue for me. I felt like I was racing my ghost occasionally, especially during big sessions. We would do a 16-mile steady state or and I’d be like, ‘I did this in 5:12 last time so 5:10 would be good.” And what I should have been doing is focusing on staying smooth.
THE LAP COUNT: Is there a particular workout that you’ve done in this build-up that you are going to draw the most confidence from? Readers will appreciate any hard numbers!
Scott Fauble: I’ve only done like one build-up with Joe as my coach and it was really, really windy and cold in the winter before Boston. So times have been faster. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re better given how good the conditions have been.
THE LAP COUNT: So you’ve done New York before and it went well. Is it fair to say that your thing is being pretty consistent at these Majors now? What lessons are you taking with you into this race?
Scott Fauble: I think that’s true — it’s a good thing to have. I’ve only ever had one stinker.
I think the key is having more faith in myself now than I have ever had in my career. Running a marathon is a skill in and of itself. You understand that there’s going to be a stretch in the middle that sucks where you are pretty far in and tired, but can’t quite see the finish yet. That part gets grindy, but it’s not going to be a surprise. And I know that if I can just get through that part and come out the other side that the legs are going to be there. All the training and my past performances would suggest that I’m going to be able to close and so it’s just having that faith. If I can close hard there’s going to be a lot of spots to be grabbed in those last five miles.
THE LAP COUNT: Is the goal exclusively place? I feel like at this point your personal best doesn’t really tell the story of how good you are at this thing.
Scott Fauble: Time is definitely not a concern in New York. I’d rather run 2:12 and be in the top five then go 2:08 and be ninth or whatever. There isn’t a specific place that is considered a success, though. Joe is big on the only thing we can control being how fit we are on the day, how well we run, and how good of decisions we make. If seven or eight people beat you, but you ran as well as you could, what more can you do?
THE LAP COUNT: I’ve been describing my goal as being less of a time and more of an emotion. I’ll know if I ran well afterward.
Scott Fauble: Yea, like making hard but smart decisions early and then being full of running at the end and actually capitalizing on it. You can have the energy and capability to dig and rip those last five miles. But if you don’t have the will, it doesn’t really matter.
THE LAP COUNT: You know we love asking this question at The Lap Count — are we going to see a new uniform on race day?
Scott Fauble: Shit, man. I hope so. There’s still time to at least come to an agreement with a company, but nothing has been finalized at the moment.
THE LAP COUNT: Is that a chip on your shoulder or not a concern at this point?
Scott Fauble: I mean we are homeowners and I’ve been unsponsored for almost a year now. I’ve done well in my career, but I haven’t done so well that I never have to worry about money again. So I would certainly like to be paid again to run. I don’t think that’s a wild statement, but in terms of the preparation or my motivation, I don’t think it’s a contributing factor. It’s mostly like a logistical and financial concern over more than like I really need a sponsor to validate my worth.
THE LAP COUNT: I see that NYRR is giving you a five-minute head start over me. Do you think that is enough? Is there a lot of pressure knowing that I am coming?
Scott Fauble: It’s nice to know that even if I have a bad day I have a five-minute cushion, and then I also have the ten-minute cushion of me just being better than you.
THE LAP COUNT: I asked a bunch of professionals this week for some advice. What do you have for me? I also need the official Kyle prediction on the books.
Scott Fauble: I think you should break the race up into segments. Feel good in Brooklyn. Expect Queens going into Manhattan to feel bad. Look forward to getting to Manhattan. And then once you get to Manhattan, you only have two sections left. You go to the Bronx, then you come back. Keep looking forward to the next section.
Don’t think about the race as 26 miles — just one mile at a time. And if you can stay positive, it’ll take care of itself as long as you’re prepared, which I don’t know if you are. You haven’t really been running enough, have you? You’re only doing like 60 miles a week.
I think if you spent a year training exclusively to run a really fast marathon I think you could probably go 2:16 or 2:17. I don’t think it would be that hard for you. But I think off a few long runs I think 2:20 would be a really good day.
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