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Matt, hung out with Rory Linkletter, a professional athlete whose name resonates in the world of marathon running. Rory is qualified for the Olympic marathon and he represents Puma as well as running for his home country of Canada. Full podcast is in the player below and the highlights of the chat are in the article below. 

A Remarkable Achievement: Rory’s Race to the Paris Olympics

Rory Linkletter’s journey to the Paris Olympic Games is a masterclass in determination, strategy, and sheer athletic prowess. Recently, Rory shattered his personal record by running a 2:08:01 at the Seville Marathon, which not only marked a significant personal milestone but also qualified him for the Paris Olympic Games. This feat came after an impressive training regime and strategic decisions that we’ll delve into today.

The Training Journey: Breaking Down the Seville Preparation

Rory’s preparation for the Seville Marathon included fascinating elements such as undertaking a unique training block and starting a YouTube channel.

The Preparation and Insights into Training

Rory’s Seville Marathon journey wasn’t an overnight success. Plenty of grueling training sessions and strategic builds were behind his impressive performance. One highlight that stood out was Rory’s 3:59 mile performance early in his marathon-specific training period. This achievement was particularly inspiring to me as I am trialing a similar approach this year. Running a sub-4 mile as a marathoner is incredibly fast, showcasing Rory’s exceptional speed and endurance.

Rory relies on his coach, Ryan Hall, who is a legendary marathoner in his own right, holding the fastest marathon time by an American. Ryan’s coaching philosophy and methods have significantly influenced Rory’s training regimen. One key takeaway from Rory’s training is the balanced approach of incorporating speed blocks and marathon-specific workouts, which helped him seamlessly transition between different aspects of the sport.

Here’s a closer look at Rory’s insights into his training routine:

Speed Block and Threshold Training

Rory emphasized the importance of prioritizing a dedicated speed block, usually six to eight weeks prior to starting a marathon-specific training block. His coach, Ryan Hall, ensures that this phase focuses on VO2 max reps, fast intervals, and speed development to maintain power and speed. They found that this approach enhances overall performance when transitioning to marathon-specific training.

Incorporating Threshold Work and Long Runs

Rory always includes threshold work as a foundational element of his training, subtly differentiating his workouts based on current goals. Traditional long threshold runs are pushed aside during the speed block phase but reintroduced in a structured manner during the marathon-specific training block to create a balanced athlete.

Gym and Strength Conditioning

Gym work plays a constant role throughout Rory’s training, incorporating both traditional strength and conditioning exercises, as well as specialized rehab and prehab activities. This comprehensive approach ensures Rory maintains his physical robustness and resilience.

Seville Marathon: The Critical Lead-Up

As Rory transitioned closer to the Seville Marathon, he strategically included critical workouts and carefully planned his racing schedule. Racing the Houston Half Marathon five weeks prior served as a significant confidence booster, allowing Rory to gauge his fitness levels under race conditions.

During the peak weeks, Rory executed intense training sessions such as a marathon simulation, a 15-mile marathon-paced effort, and a long run with integrated fartlek sprints. 

Competing and Achieving: The Seville Marathon Experience

On the day of the Seville Marathon, Rory’s strategy and hard work came to fruition. Despite the initial stress and unpredictability of traveling with his family, Rory managed to stay focused and prepared. He openly shared that the group targeting the Olympic standard had a lot of bickering about pacing, making it mentally challenging. Nevertheless, Rory maintained his composure, pushing through the last grueling kilometers with determination.

Rory’s ability to compartmentalize the race and maintain a strong finish is a testament to his strategic training and mental fortitude.

As he sprinted the final kilometers, ultimately crossing the finish line with a remarkable time of 2:08:01. This performance not only shattered his previous personal best but also secured his spot for the Paris Olympic Games.

Reflecting on the Race and Future Goals

Despite his incredible achievement, Rory remains humble and reflective about his performance. He acknowledges the crucial role of strategic pacing and even ponders whether small adjustments in the race might have led to an even faster time. His reflections underscore the continuous quest for improvement that defines elite athletes.

Looking forward, Rory has set his sights on the Olympic Games, aiming for a top 10 finish. Building on his experiences from previous world championships, where he placed 18th and 20th, Rory believes that with proper preparation, a top 10 finish is a realistic and ambitious goal.

Managing Recovery and Preparing for the Olympics

Post-marathon recovery is critical for any elite athlete, and Rory’s approach involves a balanced mix of rest and gradual reintroduction to training. With the Olympic Games six months away, Rory will employ a training cycle similar to his Seville build, including periods of recovery, speed training, and marathon-specific workouts. His upcoming racing schedule includes targeted 10K races to maintain his competitive edge while preparing for the marathon’s unique demands.

Expanding Horizons: The YouTube Venture

Rory’s commitment to his sport extends beyond training and racing. His decision to start a YouTube channel was driven by the desire to increase his value and visibility as an athlete. His channel offers fans a behind-the-scenes look at his training routines, race preparations, and personal life, providing a unique perspective on the life of an elite marathoner. This venture not only serves his personal brand but also brings greater engagement and returns on investment for his sponsors like Puma.

Rory’s relationship with Puma has been a cornerstone of his recent success. As a brand, Puma has consistently provided cutting-edge technology and supportive gear tailored to Rory’s needs. From high-performance racing shoes to versatile training footwear, Rory’s endorsement and detailed review underscore the brand’s commitment to innovation in athletics.

Conclusion: Rory Linkletter’s Inspiring Journey

Rory Linkletter’s journey to the Paris Olympic Games is more than an athletic pursuit; it’s a compelling story of resilience, strategic planning, and the relentless quest for excellence. His meticulous training regime, insightful reflections, and proactive approach to personal branding offer invaluable lessons for aspiring athletes. As he continues his preparations for the Olympics, Rory’s dedication and authenticity serve as an inspiration to the running community and beyond.

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