Off To A Fast Start: Exclusive Interview With Ricky Flynn

Who is coaching you and what kind of mileage and workouts were you doing as part of your marathon buildup?

Well I pretty much coach myself and I get a little bit of feedback from my brother who coaches at Bridgewater College in Virginia. He helps me out some, but it’s pretty much myself doing it and bouncing ideas off him and going back and forth here and there but I do a majority of it. As far as mileage I’d never been a really high, high mileage guy in high school or college. I think in college I got up to maybe 75-80 miles [a week] training for 10K and that was pretty much it. But ever since college I’ve been progressively adjusting to higher mileage, making that transition very smoothly and very slowly. I was able to get in up to 115 [per week] about 6-7 weeks out from the marathon and that was pretty good. I did have a little bit of a stress reaction in my shin but I was able to take a couple days off and bounce back very nicely. I was hovering between 80 and 100 miles [a week] for a majority of the training and as far as workouts go I did a lot of long tempo runs, a lot of longer runs of 20+ miles. I was able to hit the 26-mile long run at least once during the training so that worked out well. And I also did a lot of strength-based workouts, long intervals obviously, as well as some hills combined with tempo workouts.

Were you training mostly by yourself or did you have training partners to push you day in and day out?

For the most part by myself. I still live here off campus from Lynchburg College and my roommate still runs for the team, so I’ll run with him on easy days every now and then, but for the most part the workouts were by myself. He’d be nice enough to join me for the first part of my long run then I’d do the other half by myself, but yeah, a majority by myself.

Based on how well your first marathon went, what do you see as possible for you in the future? And what will it take for you to be one of the top Americans four or eight years from now?

It’s really hard to say. Four years, eight years down the road is so long from now, so who knows what can happen between now and then. I can get injured, I can just not have the dedication or motivation anymore and I could just give up on the sport. I don’t see that happening but you can never rule that out. I think if I can stay healthy, which is the biggest thing for me, I can train consistently, and that’s why I think I’m having all these big breakthroughs and big PRs. So I think if I can continue to stay healthy there’s a lot that’s possible and I’ll have great potential in the marathon. Specifically, as fas as numbers are concerned, that’s hard to say, but with running a 2:13 on my first one, I definitely feel like I could have run faster if I was a little bit more experienced at the distance. In the 2:12s, low 2:13s was definitely not out of the question in my first one if I had run my perfect race. But four years down the road, and if everything goes well, in order to be in contention for an Olympic spot four years or eight years down the road I’m going to have to be running at least 2:10, 2:11 by then. There are a lot of guys out there who are better than me now and there’s gonna be a lot of guys who are going to be moving up to the distance who aren’t even there yet, such as Glen Rupp and those guys. It’s definitely not going to be easy but I think if I can play my cards right I’ll put myself in a good position to at least be competitive in 2016, 2020.

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