Huddle on losing her AR in the 5000, “I committed to (the marathon) a while ago knowing that Shannon was in great shape and even Jenny (Simpson) was in great shape and that one day they would crack under 14:40 and it was this year. That’s where the record belongs.”
September 17, 2016
Yesterday, at a college cross country race in Boston, LetsRun.com writer Jonathan Gault bumped into American 10,000 record holder Molly Huddle and had a nice five-minute chat with her. He talked to her both about her marathon preparations and her recent loss of the American 5000 record to Shannon Rowbury.
You can listen to or watch the whole interview below but we give you the highlights in text form as well.
In Huddle’s last race, at the Rio Olympics on August 12th, Huddle shattered the American record in the 10,000 by running 30:13:17 to place sixth. Huddle was clearly in the shape of her life. However, she didn’t get to test that fitness on the track in a post-Olympic 5,000 to see if she could lower her then-American record of 14:42.64 as Huddle had already committed to making her marathon debut at the 2016 TCS New York City Marathon on November 6th.
So instead of trying to lower her own 5000 AR, Huddle took a week off from workouts and just ran base and then started with her marathon training. In her absence, Huddle watched Shannon Rowbury break her American 5000 record in Brussels by running 14:38.92 in the Diamond League finale on September 9th.
When asked about not getting the chance to defend her AR in the 5000, Huddle was pragmatic.
“I would have loved to have fit in a fast 5k but when I committed to the marathon back in March or April, I looked at the Diamond League schedule and I looked at Brussels and said, ‘I’ll miss that race,’ and it’s upsetting (as) you always want to be in the Diamond League final in Brussels. It’s a great meet and great track,” said Huddle, who wasn’t surprised that her record was broken by Rowbury. “But I committed to (the marathon) a while ago knowing that Shannon was in great shape and even Jenny (Simpson) was in great shape and that one day they would crack under 14:40 and it was this year. That’s where the record belongs – we’ll see how much lower it can go.”
In terms of her marathon preparations, Huddle said things are going well but she’s only in the early stages of her marathon training which she feels she is “still kind of building” into. Her training in October will be much more difficult than what she has experienced so far during the last four weeks. In terms of mileage, Huddle won’t be doing a whole lot more than what she’s done in past winters during her base phase – 100 to 110 mpw – but the difference is she’ll stringing multiple triple-digit weeks back to back.
Huddle indicated that the biggest change in training for the marathon is the fact that she no longer regularly works out on the track as she’s working on tempos and long runs. Huddle said she’s only been on the track once since Rio and admitted, “I kind of miss the track already.”
That being said, Huddle is enjoying the challenge that the marathon – a totally new event – offers her. “I’m excited just to see what I can do – and experience that whole different – it’s a different sport so that’s always exciting to do something that new,” said Huddle who did admit that while she’s excited, she’s also apprehensive about the marathon. “In the marathon, they say you don’t know if you are ready to do it until you get to the race because you don’t do a workout that simulates (it) really.”
Huddle is doing her best to get as prepared as she can, however, as she said already practiced fueling and “running 5:30 pace with bottles” indicating she might be shooting for a mid-2:20 showing (5:30 pace is a 2:24:12 marathon). Huddle is very much aware that New York announced this week that its 2016 race will feature four international women who have broken 2:20 in their careers. “It’s a stacked field – four women under 2:20 is pretty legit. I’m hoping it doesn’t go out extremely fast from the gun. Typically New York doesn’t (go out fast as the course is hilly),” said Huddle. “But it’s a challenging debut for sure in my eyes.”
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