By Chris Lotsbom, @ChrisLotsbom
(c) 2013 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
CAPE ELIZABETH, MAINE (02-Aug) — Two-time American Olympian Ryan Hall is just where he wants to be heading into tomorrow’s TD Beach to Beacon 10-K. With injury troubles in the rear view mirror, the 30-year-old native of Big Bear Lake, Calif., has his eyes set on the future, with the 2013 ING New York City Marathon being his main focal point.
“Training is going very well,” Hall told Race Results Weekly here this morning. “I’m where I want to be –though not for 10-K– for the marathon.”
Over the last two months, Hall has been building a significant training base in Flagstaff, Ariz., one he calls the biggest base volume that he’s ever done. Averaging 18 to 20 miles a day for the last eight weeks, Hall said he has forgone fast speed work, instead opting for longer training that will help build strength for the future.
“My 10-K fitness isn’t great but I’m super strong right now which I think is where I want to be,” said Hall, who is making his TD Beach to Beacon debut. Saturday’s race along the Maine coastline will serve as a test, one which Hall hopes to pass by averaging under 4:40 minute-per-mile pace (2:54/km).
“This is a good checkpoint for me along the way to kind of see where my 10-K fitness is at, but not huge expectations. I want to see progress. If I can run faster than I did at Peachtree that would be great, but [I’m] not trying to run 27 minutes or something,” he said.
Reflecting on his 2013 racing season thus far, Hall said he is encouraged by the improvement shown from race to race. After averaging 4:46pace (2:58/km) at the Bay to Breakers 12-K in San Francisco, Hall ran 4:42 pace (2:55) for 10-K at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race. Hall believes he is primed for a faster time here.
“If I can dip under 4:40 pace for this then it’ll be good for me where I’m at right now,” he said.
Having healed from injuries that forced him out of the London Olympic Marathon last August, the 2012 ING New York City Marathon (which ended up being cancelled), and the 2013 Boston Marathon, Hall is ready to return to the 26.2 mile distance.
“I’m not anxious, but excited. Very excited,” said Hall, a slight rise in his voice. “When you miss one it makes you that much more excited for the next one, and I’ve not finished a marathon since the Olympic Trials (January, 2012). I’m definitely very excited.”
Using a heart rate monitor while training, Hall feels he has taken the necessary measures to ensure he returns to the marathon starting line completely healthy. He says he has held himself back in training, and learned not to do speed work before his body can handle it.
“Last year I tried to do too much intensity too early, and that’s why I kept getting hurt,” he said.
The only hiccup in Hall’s preparation thus far may have come traveling here. Due to flight delays, Hall flew into Boston instead of Portland on Thursday, causing him to arrive here at 2:30 this morning.
“It won’t effect me at all,” Hall assured. “Before I ran my half-marathon in Houston [where he set the American record of 59:43 in 2007], I only slept two hours and had far worse travel troubles… Usually a little travel craziness is a good thing, takes your mind off of things.”