Nick Cordes- FreePress Marathon
Nick Cordes, FreePress Marathon
RM: What is your goal for the 2006 Detroit Free Press International Marathon?
NC: My goal for the Detroit Marathon is to run a competitive race against the best in the field. I chose Detroit for its timing but most importantly, its relatively competitive field and fairly quick course. I want the chance to run a quick time, while still having some competition to keep things honest. Last year the winner ran around 2:13. If someone was as fit and in the race this year, I would hope to be in their neighborhood.
RM: How will you use the experience from your previous marathons in Detroit?
NC: The biggest thing that I have learned from my past marathons is to drink more fluids. I have probably not taken in more than 10 oz of fluid in a race yet and I plan to at least double that in Detroit. A lot of things can be made easier by staying better hydrated in the later stages of the race. The marathon is a long race and people that seem to be having a great day can come crashing back to earth quickly in the later stages of a race.
RM: How do you balance being Ashland University’s Men’s Cross Country Coach, working part time for RunMichigan.com and training for a marathon?
NC: Fortunately for Leigh and I, our school allows us to do what we need to do to have a successful college team and a successful personal running career. I am up every morning putting in my harder/longer effort and will get in a second effort after every last college runner has ran and left back to their dorm room. I am not required to make a certain number of recruiting calls or maintain a certain number of hours in the track office. I work out of my house that is right off of campus, about 200 yards from our field house. Runners are always dropping in to talk about school and training.
The rest of the day that I am not talking with the college distance runners, managing their workouts and doing my own training, I am at home relaxing and either working on runmichigan.com stuff, watching some television with Leigh, working on recruiting, planning the next season’s workout phases, or scanning running info on the web. It seems like a lot but it is really laid back and not stressful at all (except when I make a mistake updating runmichigan.com).
RM: What kind of training have you done to prepare for Detroit? What will you be doing over the next two weeks?
NC: I have done the usual training for the marathon: Higher mileage (about 120 a week), long intervals at slightly faster than marathon pace (usually totaling 10 miles or more at that pace), long tempo runs, and a good amount of Vo2 max workouts before the last 8 week block and a few “maintenance” Vo2 max workouts throughout the last 8 weeks.
In the last two weeks I will not be doing anything new. I am a strong believer in not adding new stresses the last two weeks of a training block. Keeping the intensity similar but reducing the overall training volume is the only real change to the previous 10 weeks. Today we finished a 4 x 2 mile workout at a pace that I have ran faster than and for more intervals a few weeks ago. A couple days from now we will do a few 800’s at a pace we have already run than run a mile or two on the roads and do a surge mile. We will not be doing a long run 7 days out but will do a 13 – 14 mile run in its place. The week of the race we will run some mile repeats at pace on the track for one workout and will run some short surges a couple days out from the race.
RM: Will you be getting any course advice from Leigh Daniel (Ashland University’s Women’s Cross Country Coach) and your former teammates on the Hansons-Brooks team that have run the course? And what have they told you about the marathon course?
NC: I haven’t received much of any information on the course and probably will not seek any more out, other than seeing the last 6 miles or so of the course in the car. Leigh has told me that the bridges are not that bad and the rest of the course is relatively easy. I have personally seen at least a 1/3 of the course as I have done a long run the day of the marathon on parts of the course a few years ago.
RM: What do you look forward to most about coming back to Michigan to race?
NC: I look forward most to there being some of my good buddies and friends out on the course. Some people will know me and that might be what I need to make sure I don’t embarrass myself.
RM: You recently raced at the USA 20K Championships in New Haven; have you run any other races in preparation for Detroit? How do you use a race like the 20K Championships to help with running the marathon?
NC: I have not run any other races in preparation for the Detroit Marathon. The 20k was run around 8 weeks out from the Detroit Marathon. Up until that race, I wasn’t really in marathon workout phase yet. My mileage was high but the workouts that were being done were more geared towards making marathon pace easier when those workouts started after the 20k. The 20k was used as a starting point to the specific training that would begin immediately following it. I knew if I could run a fast 20k without doing any long intervals I would certainly be ready for a marathon after 6 – 7 weeks of specific longer distance training. Last year, the 20k was used as a barometer to how the training had been going because it was only 4 weeks out from our marathon. If you could run fast while in an intense part of the training cycle, backing down in a couple weeks would only reap better results. (In theory at least).
RM: Since taking over as Ashland University’s Cross Country Coach in 2005, what do you enjoy most about coaching? And how is your 2006 season going? How are you looking for the GLIAC Championships and the Great Lakes DII Regional?
NC: I enjoy seeing people do things they didn’t think they could do. The emotion is the same, whether it is a 15 minute 5k guy or an 18 minute 5k guy. Ashland has always had a competitive program and the kids have usually always been motivated: this year is no different. Walking into practice with a group of motivated athletes ready to work and improve and chase their dreams is a comforting feeling.
Our 2006 season is going well. We have been making improvements across the board and are looking to finish up the rest of the season on a high note. The guys are looking forward to the championship part of the season and having been for some time.
RM: What are your running plans after Detroit? And when will we see you back in Michigan racing or coaching?
NC: After Detroit, the first stage will be to recover and take care of any aliments that might be present. After a positive systems check, I will certainly be planning on running the club cross country championships in San Fran in early Dec. If the post marathon recovery goes well than there is a cross country time trial that my club (Team Good River/Teamgoodriver.com) will be putting on as a tune up for the big race. That time trial will be in the middle of November.
I will certainly be up in Michigan the winter as our indoor conference meet will be at SVSU. If there is a hot mile race and an open weekend on our college schedule, you might see me trying to weasel my way into that.
Thanks for the great interview Nick (Interview conducted by John Brabbs)