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Team Leader
Amy Freeze
Amy began running at age 8 with her father, and ran cross country and track growing up in Indiana. This will be her 7th marathon. Her first was in the snow.

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Technical Coach
Jay Holder
Jay has been running since he realized he was the least-coordinated person on the planet and couldn't possibly play a sport that involved a stick or a ball. He has run 5 marathons with a PR of 2:40:28, finishing in the top 100 of the 2012 Boston Marathon. He is proudest of his 2012 NYC Half-Marathon PR of 1:11:19.

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10/22/2012

Training Talk: 2011 Top American Molly Pritz

MOLLY pRITZ 2
Photo Courtesy: Asics

By Jay Holder

In November of 2011, Molly Pritz ran her first marathon and it was a debut to remember.  Pritz crossed the line of the ING New York City Marathon in 2:31:52 and was the top American female finisher. A knee injury sidelined Pritz last winter, causing her to drop out of the Olympic Trials Marathon in January.  But, she came back strong.  Pritz set a huge PR at the San Francisco Half Marathon in July, winning the race in 1:10:45.  She followed that up with a second place finish at the U.S. 20K Championships in New Haven where she ran 1:07:21. Pritz lives and trains in Boulder, Colorado where she is sponsored by Asics. She is coached by Charlotte, North Carolina based distance coach Mark Hadley.  Together, they are preparing for this year’s ING New York City Marathon where Pritz hopes to capitalize on her fitness and experience.  She answered some questions for us as she starts her taper for the big race.

 What made you want to come back to New York after having such a strong debut here next year?

The ING New York City Marathon is special to me for so many reasons. Watching Paula Radcliffe crush the 2008 NYC Marathon inspired me to become a long distance runner and set me on my present path. I knew that someday I wanted to have my own special moment where I was accelerating through the hills of Central Park. Last year, I was in survival mode in Central Park, so I really hope that this year I can finish stronger and faster than last year. Additionally, the NYRR assemble some of the strongest fields in the world each and every year.  My goal in this sport is to be as fast and competitive as I possibly can and it is always fun to test myself against a world class field.

 What did you learn in last year's race that will help you this year?

New York City's course is not the easiest by any means and now that I have run it, I hope that knowing how it ebbs and flows will help me execute a smarter race this year. You have to have a lot in the tank when you hit Central Park, because those hills turn even a minor blow up into a huge one. I also learned that I burn through glycogen at a fairly fast rate for someone my size, so I need to take in extra calories to account for it. 100 calories every 5k is what I have found to keep my engine working at its capacity. We are all different and sometimes you just need to learn from experience with the marathon. I am thankful that the NYRR are giving me another "go" at it.

 What are the best and worst parts of the course for you?

I absolutely love running over the bridges. They change up the muscle groups used and it is a different feeling running them as opposed to the streets with lots of fans and energy. They are a great chance to truly check in with your body and see how you are feeling and re-calibrate any weaknesses. Those bridges are one of the reasons I love this course so much. On the opposite side of the coin, I have yet to figure out how to run as well as I want in Central Park. I've spent the entire past year working on it and I hope that my mental and physical preparation has prepared me to conquer it this year.

 Between the fast field in this year’s race and your experience at the distance, what do you think you are capable of running this year?

I try to never base my goals on other people's success. You cannot control anyone but yourself, so I always focus on a time goal and hope that it places me in the best position possible. Regardless of anything else, the person who runs the fastest wins the race. I just want to do everything possible to ensure I am running my fastest to achieve my own, personal goals. On an ideal day, I would like to see myself run 2:26:xx on November 4. I would be happy with anything 2:28 or under, but in all honesty I will be disappointed in something slower than that. I have had a great build up and hope to put my best foot forward.

 You followed up an injury in the winter with a pretty incredible summer of racing.  What did you do to get back into shape and how are you warding off injury now?

Nobody ever wants to hear this, but the best thing I did was take time completely off from training. This means no cross training, no pool workouts, and no AlterG sessions. I just let my body HEAL. Injuries usually mean you were pushing too hard and I tried to take that as a sign I should listen to my body and let it rest. When I did start training again, my ElliptiGO became my lifeline. I never did anything too crazy, but I tried to do a little something every day to get my body back into the routine of training. I supplemented my ElliptiGO sessions with lots of yoga to work on my imbalances, so I could hopefully kick the injury cycle once and for all. When I could start running again, I was wicked out of shape, so I tried to do a better job of listening to my body. If something was telling me to back off, I would back off. This was a foreign concept to me, because as distance runners we are constantly taught to push through whatever we are feeling, but my motto for the rest of the 2012 year was "getting to the starting line with 90% fitness is better than not getting there at all." This means I may skip a workout here and there, but it has allowed me to be more consistent than ever. 

 Additionally, I have added more massage and acupuncture to my preventative treatment routine. The combination of Active Release Therapy and acupuncture has healed my ankle and restored my pain free range of motion. All that time stretching, strengthening, and getting massages adds up, but it has been worth it to me since it has been keeping me healthy.

 What does a typical training week look like for you?

I run between 108-116 miles per week during marathon training. Instead of having a rise and fall to my mileage during a segment, I am more of a steady eddy. Therefore, I never go super high, but I will run 12 straight weeks in that mileage range. A typical marathon training weeks like something like this:

Monday: AM 8 mi. PM 4 mi. yoga

Tuesday: AM track workout/shorter faster tempo repeats PM 5 mi. (ART day)

Wednesday: AM 10-11 mi. PM 4 mi. strength session

Thursday: AM 10-11 mi. PM 4 mi. (acupuncture day)

Friday: AM long tempo/marathon paced workout PM 5 mi. core session

Saturday: AM 8 mi. PM 4 mi.

Sunday: Long run of 21-24 mi. with the occasional marathon paced workout thrown in 

 At 24, you are a marathon veteran before a lot of elite American women have entered their first 26.2.  Do you think doing the longer races earlier in your career puts you at an advantage and do you see this being your discipline for the long term?

I do not have enough data to say with certainty that running the marathon earlier in my career is an advantage, but I do know that long distance races are my passion and if I did not discover them, I would not be running at the elite level right now. I like the patience and discipline it takes to execute a successful long distance race. It is not just about running as hard as you can the minute the gun goes off and that appeals to me on an intellectual level, as well as a physical level. There are highs and lows both in training and in races. Running long distance races has not only made me grown as a person, but it has brought patience, discipline, and maturity into my life as well. Although I hope to shake it up on the short distance scene after New York, my focus for the rest of my career will be the half marathon/marathon. I am too passionate about those distances to not have them be my primary focus.

 What are you post-race plans?  What will you do immediately after the race and what will you focus on next?

I will take two weeks off from running after the race to allow my body to heal from the race and my mind to be re-charged. I will go home to spend some time with my family and then return to Boulder to train for a cross country segment. I have a star around USA Cross Country Championships and I also hope to have time for an indoor 3k or two. Then, this spring I hope to either run a flat, fast marathon or go after the 10,000m on the track. Either way, you will definitely see me in long distance and shorter distance races this upcoming year. Balance is key.

 

Comments

Midwife Chandler

Swimming is a relaxing activity that strengthens abdominal and shoulder muscles for pregnant women.

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