American Ryan Vail Ready To Take Next Step Forward After Six Weeks Over 140 MPW on Average

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by LetsRun.com
November 1, 2013

New York, NY – We caught up with former Oklahoma State standout Ryan Vail today. The 27-year old has been enjoying a strong 2013 campaign. So far this year, he has helped the US win a stunning silver medal over Kenya at the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, forever remembered in America on LetsRun.com as the Miracle on Dirt and having set a 27:44.05 10,000 personal best at Stanford in April.

Vail comes into New York, his third career marathon (he ran 2:12:43 at the OTrials in January 2012 and then 2:11:45 in Fukuoka in December 2012), after having run and won the Rock ‘n Roll San Jose Half in 62:46 four weeks ago on October 6th.

We started off our talk with Ryan by pointing out he’s run 2:12 in his first and 2:11 in his second marathon and asked him what the goal was for Sunday.

“I don’t want to put a time goal on it. This (New York) is about competition. I want to place well. The time is going to depend on the conditions, what the wind is like, what the competitors do and how fast they go out,” said Vail. “If I were going to be running the same course that I ran 2:11 on, I think I’d be ready for another minute plus PR so I’m going in with confidence based on that.”

When Vail was introduced to the media, the NYRR spokesperson said that Vail had run 145 miles during the week of his 62:46 prep race. When asked about that, Vail said that wasn’t technically true, but the truth is even more impressive.

Vail Averaged Over 140 Miles A Week For Six Weeks

Ryan Vail on Friday

Ryan Vail on Friday

“I ran 150 miles the week before (San Jose). My mileage was a little down that week because I had to take a couple of days off that week because of knee tendonitis, but I tried to keep the volume pretty high still every day going into that. I tried not to rest going into that race and I was really happy with how I felt, going and running 4:50s and being able to close the last three miles,” “said Vail. “I think it was a good indicator (that I’m fit).”

As for the specifics of his training, Vail said he and coach Dave Smith, the Oklahoma State coach who has guided Vail for nine years since Vail enrolled at OSU in 2004 as a 1:54.26 (800), 3:53.64 (1,500), and 8:30.68 (3,000) performer in high school, had a 13 week program for New York.

Smith wanted to get Vail up to the 150 mark which Vail got up to, but Smith was worried about keeping him that high so Vail alternated 150 and 135 mile weeks during the peak of his training cycle. He did that for six weeks then came down and ran his half-marathon. Then Vail got right back into it and his last four weeks of mileage have been upper 130s, then 123 and 105 and then something in the 80s this week (including the marathon).

Vail was optimistic that based on that training he’ll take another step forward in the marathon.

“I’m still making steps in the right direction, little prs every year. That’s the way Dave and I have done things for nine straight years so there is no reason in my mind why I’m not ready to take the next step forward in the marathon as well.”

We asked Vail what his game plan was for Sunday. He said “65 minutes would be a reasonable time to shoot for in the first half,” given the first half is easier than the second, assuming there wasn’t a 20 mph head wind (and it may be windy).

After New York, Vail said he and Smith will sit down and come up with goals for 2014. They are planning on taking “advantage of not having the world championships in the track” and try to accomplish some other goals.

Before we stopped talking to Vail, we decided to talk to him about Smith’s 2013 Oklahoma State Cross Country men’s team which has won three of the last four NCAA Crowns but recently went from #1 in the coaches rankings to #3 after running a ‘B’ team at Pre-Nats (but not in the LRC rankings where OSU is still #1).

Vail Says The Oklahoma State Men Will Be Hard To Beat in 2013

“They’re definitely fit. I think (Dave) not taking the full team out to Pre-Nationals shows his confidence in his top guys. He doesn’t think they need that prep work. He’d rather have them stay at home and rest and stay out of that situation. I think that shows Dave is confident,” said Vail. “I think they are going to be tough to beat but Colorado and NAU have great teams as well.”

Video with Ryan below.


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