Pro Runner Lauren Jimison on Marathon Training
After more than a year of running in Mammoth Lakes with the ASCIS Mammoth Track Club, Lauren Jimison, had a break through performance at the US Half Marathon Championships in Huston last month. She placed ninth with a personal record time of 1:12:01 in a very deep field. We caught up with Lauren to hear about her most recent race and training for the ASICS LA Marathon, which will be the 2015 US Marathon Championships this March.
You ran a two-and-a-half minute personal record at the Huston Half Marathon. Tell us about the race. Huston was really exciting. It was so fun to have a big crew there. Our coach Andrew Kastor was there and the new ASICS athlete manager, Tony Herr, came out. It was nice to go to a race with Lauren Kleppin, my training partner, and catch up with friends like Sara Hall. I knew I was due for a fast race from how my training is going and how the build up has gone so far, so I was excited to put all my work into a race.
What made the difference in this race to have such a break through performance? I had two successful marathon training cycles back to back. I debuted at Grandma’s Marathon, took a little time off then did another build-up and raced Chicago Marathon. So I think we are now seeing the benefits of two healthy build-ups and eating, sleeping, running, and staying focused on training. We started to see glimpses of my fitness, but now things are really moving forward.
Mammoth Lakes is situated at 8,000 feet, which is considered ideal for endurance athletes. Do you think altitude has helped you competitively? I’ve been in Mammoth now for a little over a year-and-half. It takes a while to adjust to altitude. Even though I adjusted very quickly, it’s still a process. Now I feel fully adapted to living in Mammoth and training at altitude. I think all of those things coming together are yielding good results in races.
Does your performance in Huston give you confidence heading into the ASICS LA Marathon next month? It does in a way propel me forward into continuing to do what I’ve been doing—putting my head down and working hard. I have goal times for LA that I think I’ll be able to run, but it’s all about racing. When you go out and compete in strong field, the time will come. Having a great race and putting all my hard work into one race will hopefully yield a fast time.
You raced your first World Marathon Major at Chicago last fall, how did you decide which spring marathon to focus on? This year LA is the US Marathon Championships. I love the USATF road racing circuit. You get to see the same people over and over, and it’s competitive. Because LA is the marathon championships, it’s drawing a very strong field, which I am excited for. It’s also good for me to run in LA to get a feel for the US Olympic Trials even though the trials will be on a different course. And it’s my first ASICS sponsored event; to have their support will be really fun.
Will you have support crew cheering for you at the race? I went to school in Southern California, so I have a lot of support from my college coach, college teammates, my boyfriend, his family, and my family. This will be the most support I’ve ever had at a race professionally, so it will be fun. And hopefully I run fast.
The Los Angeles Marathon is a point-to-point course starting at Dodger Stadium and finishing in Santa Monica near the ocean. What did you learn about the stadium to sea course when you previewed it? The course loses 400 feet in elevation, so it can be fast. Mentally if you can stay focused and get past the first 10k, from there you have a little bit of gradual downhill. It’s rolling, but what better place to train for hills than Mammoth? I couldn’t be more prepared for a course like LA because we train on hills everyday.
What is marathon training like on a weekly basis? Typically I have a day off on the schedule every three weeks. Mileage can fluctuate from 100 to 120 miles per week. It all depends on the week. Andrew and I both believe that mileage is just a number. Mileage is king in marathon training, but it is also more important to get to the line healthy, rather than half injured.
Have you enjoyed living and training in Mammoth Lakes? Mammoth is the best place to train for a marathon and to train for what we do for so many reasons. We can live high and train low when we need to. It’s just thirty minutes to Bishop where we can get more turnover or be in the sun if it’s snowy up here. You can’t beat the views in the summer and in the winter. It makes training pretty enjoyable.
Does the community get behind the Mammoth Track Club? The support of Mammoth Lakes in general for our team is wonderful. I am so thankful for the support of Mammoth Hospital and Mammoth Mountain. We feel that in the town daily. And the support of the Kastors and everything they’ve done for our team is really neat. Andrew is the best post-collegiate coach that I could ask for. He is supportive training-wise, but also mentally and physically. He cares about us individually as people, not just as athletes. Our team functions as a family and that is something that I am super thankful for. Follow Lauren on Twitter @LaurenLoveRun For more information about elite athletes in Mammoth lakes, check out MammothLakesCrib.com