Runner Profiles: Scott Laumann

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 Scott Laumann from Chicago. Scott made an amazing 41 minute improvement from the 2011 to 2012 Chicago Marathons.

1. What are your best times for your favorite race distances?
I definitely favor longer races.
  • 10 mile – 56:11
  • Half marathon (favorite distance) – 1:13:49
  • Marathon – 2:37:29

2. You ran 41 minutes faster in the 2012 Chicago Marathon compared with the 2011 Chicago Marathon. Did you train differently leading up to the 2012 race?
I first got inspired to run a marathon after a couple of friends ran the 2009 Chicago Marathon. I took up running after about 22 years off (I ran track and cross country in high school). I ran my first 2 marathons, including Chicago 2011 with not enough training and goals that were too lofty. I began training with a running club in early 2012 and started doing real workouts and really increased my weekly mileage. I think marathon performance really benefits from a large base of mileage, which I just didn’t have going in to Chicago 2011.

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)?

I was averaging 75 miles per week, with a peak of about 106. I included tempo runs up to about 8 miles, lots of intervals including 8 x 800m, 20 x 400m, 5 x mile, ladders (400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m), and some other hybrid workouts such as the Michigan. My long runs peaked at about 23 miles, and I tried doing some of them with the last 10 miles at marathon pace. We also did quite a few long runs in the hilly terrain of Barrington, IL.

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

If I run solo, I run right after work. If I am working out with my group, I wait until later in the evening when everyone is available. Saturday mornings are for group long runs. Marathon training definitely requires a substantial time investment, and I normally spend nearly 2 hours a day running, 6 days a week.

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

I started running with a racing team in January of 2012. I got hooked up with Track and Trough Athletic Union through a friend (named after where we all meet up for runs – the track or the CARA water trough on the lakefront path). Up to that point, I really had no training schedule, and was not really doing “workouts”, I was just going out and running. Running with the group and doing structured workouts with people who are faster than me has helped me attain huge gains in fitness and speed.

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

Yes, we have several people from my team and we are running it in support of The Chicago Youth Center. Several of us just ran Boston this year, and will take some of what we used in our spring training and apply it to Chicago. We started doing longer tempo runs of up to 11 miles, added progression and marathon pace runs of up to 12 miles, and did more marathon specific speed work such as mile, 1.5 mile and 2 miles repeats.

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

I think the best thing for a first marathon is to make sure you have enough of a mileage base. Spend more time running and don’t be too worried about speed workouts. Set a realistic goal, even if it means just finishing. It will make your first marathon experience much more enjoyable and increase the odds of you wanting to attempt another one.

Thanks for your time Scott!

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

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