Luke has been training with the Hanson/Brooks team for a couple years now and has been transforming himself into a marathoner. Along with a group of 7 other teammates, Luke is looking to make his mark on the Boston Marathon next weekend. Luke is entering the race with a personal best time of 2:18:49. Read on to find out what the preparation for Boston has been like and what the future goals for Luke are.
RM: What has your training been like and how has it been going of late?
LH: My training has been going pretty well. After Chicago in October I took some downtime and regrouped mentally and physically. That was a big disappointment. I started running 110-125 mile weeks again in December and we decided to do the US Half Marathon in January. All we did was mileage, a long run and one workout every week, so we ran that off of just base work. So, I was pretty pleased to run 1:04:45, a huge PR off of base. After the half, I took a few days off and started ramping up the mileage. I had 5 or 6 weeks where I was at 135-140 miles/week. That was a pretty big jump. I have handled the paces and volume ok, but I can tell that I am right on the edge. Clint and I have been doing all of our workouts to run 2:13 or so. Overall, I would say I am in the best shape of my life right now.
RM: I know some of you guys got a chance to take a look at Boston a couple weeks back. What do you expect from your first race at Boston and how well prepared to you feel going into it?
LH: Seeing the course was a big help, because you look at elevation maps and what other people tell you to try to get a grasp on it. However, once you see and run the course, you can tell that it’s nothing like you would expect. I can see now why all the greats like Greg Meyer, and Bill Rogers say that you need to keep it easy that first half. It would be quite easy to lose control the first 16 miles of the race with the downhill start and the overall downhill. But, once you hit the hills at 16, everything changes. I feel very prepared for the course, but the atmosphere worries me a little. I think we all have to be very careful and not get wrapped up in all of the media and spectators. It would be easy to get caught up in the atmosphere at Boston.
RM: How has the atmosphere been surrounding your training group the past month or two? Is there any heightened sense of excitement?
LH: When the group first started training for Boston we were excited, but then there was a little let down because the BAA then signed on Culpepper and Meb, so we kind of thought that Boston wasn’t excited to have us out there. But then we went out there in February, and they treated us amazing. You could tell that they were excited to have us come out. After that, we get the Boston Globe coming out here to write a story about us, and then OLN comes out for a feature. You start to realize how big of a deal this is. It isn’t about Hanson’s anymore. It's about a bunch a guys working their tail off to show our country and the world that the US can compete with the world. This is bigger than any one of the individuals in the program. I think we all realize that and rely on each other to keep the nerves down.
RM: After Boston what will your racing plans look like for the spring/summer?
LH: I really haven’t though about that. It is going to depend a lot on when the site and date of the marathon trials are announced. That will influence what I do. I would like to have a shorter distance road racing schedule over the summer and fall. I need a break from marathoning for bit after this. I would like to make the fall world road race team, but we’ll have to wait and see.
Thanks for the great interview Luke(Interview conducted by Nick Cordes)