Runner Profiles: Kevin Dockemeyer

In Runner Profiles, we interview runners that have achieved recent success. You won’t find interviews from professional runners who have shoe sponsorships and can train all day, but you will find tips and insight from runners like the rest of us. In this profile we speak with Kevin Dockemeyer from Wilmington, IL. Kevin made an eight minute improvement from the 2011 to 2012 Chicago Marathons.

1. What are your best times for your favorite race distances?
  • Marathon: 2:36:23
  • Half-Marathon: 1:13:14
  • Ten Mile: 55:56
  • 10k: 33:40

2. You ran over eight minutes faster in the 2012 Chicago Marathon compared with the 2011 Chicago Marathon. Did you train differently leading up to the 2012 race?
The biggest contributing factor for my success at the 2012 Chicago marathon is probably just the fact that I got in a spring marathon I ran the 2012 Boston Marathon in 2:51:52 (in 90 degree heat). Years prior I’ve never done any spring marathons or half marathons. I usually didn’t start marathon specific training to almost the end of July.

3. What was your average weekly mileage in the months leading up to the 2012 race? Did you do any speed workouts (i.e. tempo runs, intervals, fartleks, etc.) or long runs (i.e. runs longer than 10 miles)?

My weekly mileage was relatively low to what people would think I would have been at. I hovered between 60-70 miles a week. I did every sort a speed work imaginable but the workouts that really boosted my confidence and what really told me what I was capable of was my tempo runs. I built up to a maximum of a 15 mile tempo run. For mile repeats I normally build up to 15×1 mile with a 2 min rest and I’d keep my miles between 5:45-5:50.

4. How do you find time to train during the week? Do you run in the mornings or evenings?

For the 2012 Chicago Marathon I was working the afternoon shift so I did most of my runs in the morning! I have gone out after work and ran a few miles around the airport at 1am. I work at Southwest Airlines over at Midway Airport in Chicago!

5. Besides training, how do you explain your awesome improvement in the 2012 race?

I have to attribute a large part of my success to weight training. I worked on my quads hamstrings and calves quite a bit (which I think I need to put more work into my calves this year than I did for 2012). I’m huge into doing lunges. I highly believe in them! I’ll go out to the track and do 800m of lunges probably about every other week! I’ll do shorter distances for lunges but when you go that far you’re sore for a few days!

6. Are you going to race the Chicago Marathon again this year? Are you making any adjustments in your training?

I was fortunate enough to get into the 2013 Chicago Marathon! I wont have too many adjustments for this year except I’m focused more on half marathons during the spring a summer months. I’d like to get my PR down under 1:11:00. In order to get into the Elite development start for Chicago you need to run under 1:11!

7. What advice would you give to runner who wants to run his or her first marathon?

Whenever a new runner has asked me for advice on running their first marathon for training plans I usually suggest Hal Higdon’s training plans. My friends have had a lot of success following them and he has quite a few plans to chose from! Don’t set your expectations too high for your first marathon get one in and go from there. The best workouts to judge what you can potentially run a marathon is your tempo runs! I highly suggest doing a half marathon or two before your full to also gauge your fitness! 10k’s are a great race for speedwork; 5k’s not so much!!

Thanks for your time Kevin!

Please let us know about other successful runners that should be included in Runner Profiles.

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