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Scott Smith - over 2 minute PR at age 31.
Kudos to the NAZ elite HOKA guys for there marathon performances.
To address the "16-miles at M.P."....the faster one is in the marathon, the harder that workout becomes. I coach a lot of 3hour- 2:50 type runners and that is a very manageable workout (many can hit marathon pace for nearly 18-20 miles in training) when you are in that time range or slower.
Get down to sub 2:18 pace (as a PR and faster) and that becomes a very, very hard workout to do on tired legs while doing other speedy workouts. Every workout pace becomes more critical as their marathon pace is closer to lactate threshold pace (this usually isn' the case with a 3 hour marathoner).
another factor to consider: These guys live and train in Flag at altitude...they go down to Camp Verde for a lot of the speed workout, but that longer stuff on Lake Mary Road is up pretty high!
When I ran for Hansons a lot of us used to crush "The Simulator" 16-miler at goal marathon pace or faster....it wasn't always the best workout indicator and I think sometimes a lot of us overdid it (usually in combo with a too fast 2 x6 mile workout at 5-10sec/mile faster than M.P. that followed it closely).
Great races and great coaching by Ben!
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