How do you improve on a top 3 American place at the Chicago Marathon? Welcome to episode 95 of the Final Surge Podcast where today we talk to NAZ Elite runner Aaron Braun about exactly that. Aaron was the leader of the 2017 Chicago Marathon at about 25k, we talk to him about what was going through his mind then. Aaron will be blogging about his 2018 training on Final Surge. Make sure you check the show notes to view the blog.
Stream it right here:
How did you get your start in running?
- Active kid played soccer and football
- Elementary School got 2nd place in a citywide mile race
- Once I got into high school loved the team aspect of cross country
- Recruited by a few D1 schools
- Ended up at Adams State – D2 school
When did it change and you became a fan of running?
- Mostly in college
When did you decide it possible to run as a professional?
- My third year, but the sophomore year of running I was second at Nationals
- Coaches planted a seed it is possible
How did you get connected with NAZ Elite and Coach Ben Rosario
- When I was training in Flagstaff earlier we became friends
- As he started his team we stayed in touch
- 2016 I called him about joining the team
Was Ben’s passion for a marathon a factor in choosing a team?
- That was one of the big factors
- We wanted to get back to Flagstaff was another factor
- Had maxed potential at shorter races so wanted to maximize the marathon
When did your thought of retirement come in?
- 2015 and 2016 I was injured a lot and the thought entered my mind
- On July 4th in 2016, I did a 5k in Fort Collins and surprised myself how well I did
- Decided to give running one more chance
You have the Chicago Marathon coming up that you blogging about on Final Surge. Last year you found yourself at the front of the pack halfway. Was that the plan?
- No pacemakers so we thought it was a possibility
- Was surprised how long it lasted
- The plan was to run an even pace and get locked in
What is your goal for Chicago this year?
- Want to improve placement and time
You can set a goal for a major race, but anything can happen. It is hard to keep improving each race. What advice do you have for age group runners who may be having a hard time dealing with not hitting PR’s?
- I had that problem early in my college career
- Was hard when I did not PR in a season
- Now I can look at a race and say did I give my best effort I could today based on how I was feeling
When did you start your buildup for Chicago
- July 8th was last race of the summer
- Took a week off and jumped back into training
What races do you have planned between now and Chicago
- US 20k Championships
I noticed from your training log you recently did a 4-mile tempo run on the track. How often do you do those on the track vs roads or trails?
- Very rarely
- Was alternating 800’s so pacing was easier
What has been your toughest workout this cycle?
- 2x1mile at 4:50 with 3min rest then ten mile run alternating paces, then 2 more miles at 4:50, but ran 4:42 and 4:46
When you are doing a marathon training cycle is there a workout you like to do that gives you a gauge of your fitness level compared to the prior training cycle?
- We use the long steady state as a barometer the last few miles we ignore pace and go by feel so we get a good gauge of our fitness based on that effort
What can the readers expect from your Chicago Marathon blogging?
- What I am doing and the thinking of why we are doing what we are doing
- Feedback on workouts and how I was feeling
- Updated weekly
Final Surge 5 questions in under a minute
Favorite endurance/running book? – Matt Fitzgerald How Bad Do You Want It
Current trainers you are wearing? – Hoka Clifton, Mach and Challenger
Favorite race? – Bolder Boulder 10k
Favorite recovery meal or recovery drink? – Egg Sandwich and milkshake
Your favorite workout – 4×400 max effort with long recovery
Aaron Braun blogging about Chicago
Aaron Braun on Twitter https://twitter.com/aaBrauny
Aaron Braun on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/aabrauny
Final Surge on Twitter https://twitter.com/finalsurge