Photo Credits: Karen Mitchell (left) and Amanda Watters (right)
Team B.A.A.’s Bo Waggoner and Matt Fischer will both be making their marathon debuts at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials this Saturday in Los Angeles. Before they take the starting line, both Bo and Matt gave us a preview of what to expect as they tackle 26.2 miles for the first time.
Name: Bo Waggoner
Marathon Personal Best: Debut (qualified via 1:04:50 performance at the Philadelphia Half Marathon)
Name: Matt Fischer
Marathon Personal Best: Debut (qualified via 1:04:30 performance at the Philadelphia Half Marathon)
What are you most looking forward to regarding the Olympic Trials?
(BW) The atmosphere and excitement surrounding the event.
(MF) Getting a vacation from work and racing with the other BAA guys
What has been the best part of your Marathon build-up?
(BW) Meeting up with teammates for tough workouts.
(MF) The mild winter we’ve had so far (fingers crossed).
What has been the toughest part of your Marathon build-up?
(BW) Figuring out how much recovery I need to take and balancing different goals (mileage, very long runs, race pace, speed work).
(MF) Getting used to training with a full time job. I just graduated college in May.
Does it give extra meaning to the Trials knowing that you will be competing along with many other B.A.A. members?
(BW) For sure. I’m excited to see how they can do.
(MF) It has been so awesome to have guys to train with, knowing that we all have a common race that we are focusing towards.
What are your thoughts on the Olympic Trials course?
(BW) From the map, I like it. Normally I like more interesting or hilly courses, but for this race, I think the four big laps will make it easier to break up the race mentally, and it could be a nice distraction to see other groups of runners at lots of points in the race. It should be great for spectators too.
(MF) I have not looked at the course, but I’ve heard there are a lot of turns.
Going into the race, what is your race strategy?
(BW) I want to start off very relaxed and conservative and gradually pick up the pace if I can.
(MF) I’m looking forward to finding a rhythm at goal pace and hopefully running with some teammates.
What was your favorite workout leading up to the Trials?
(BW) None really comes to mind. I try not to hit any one workout too hard and focus more on the overall volume. But I think some of the most important were some tempos we did, like 10-12 miles at around race pace, sometimes broken up (like 2 x 6 miles).
(MF) Any of the workouts I did with Brian [Harvey], Bo [Waggoner], and Eric [Ashe]
What are your goals heading into the race – do you have a time or place you are aiming for?
(BW) As a first-time marathoner, I’d just like to run strong through the whole 26.2 without running out of gas. If I can do that I’ll hopefully land around 2:20 and pass a fair number of people in the last 5-10 miles.
(MF) I would be extremely happy to run in the 2:15-2:17 range, but my main goal is to feel good racing my first marathon.
Three things I couldn’t leave for LA without are:
(BW) Jersey, shorts, and shoes – that’s it!
(MF) A pair of skateboard shoes, a bathing suit, and a Hawaiian shirt