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November 3, 2016

Tyler Pennel

New York, New York

Q. There are people that take a lot of time to finish the marathon, and sometimes it's even eight, nine, ten hours. Do you think -- there's been quite a debate on should these people run the marathon or not? What do you think of that?
TYLER PENNEL: I think it's good that they're out there, and they set their -- they set a goal to go out and finish a marathon. If they're running -- if it's taking them nine hours, they're probably not running the whole way, but they are traversing 26.2 miles. I think that's a good thing.

Our society is very much more sedentary compared to what it was probably even 20, 30 years ago. I think, if we can even focus on some of those people, saying like look at this. They can do it, anyone can go out there and improve your health and do things like that. From a logistical standpoint, I can understand why like marathon organizers don't like it because nine hours is a long time to keep the course open for people that are taking that long. That's more expensive on their end and things like that. But there's got to be a trade-off at some point. I don't know where -- I can't give a certain time limit because I just don't know enough, I guess.

Q. How long do you think you'll keep on running? Any which age? There are people that are 93 that run.
TYLER PENNEL: I don't know. I see Meb, and he's 41, almost 42 now, and he's still running. Fantastic. So at least from a professional side, I want to go as long as I can, and I do enjoy just the act of running. So I don't see myself just -- once I'm done being competitive, that I'm just going to stop. I don't know. As long as my body will let me, I guess.

Q. How long have you been running marathons?
TYLER PENNEL: My first one was 2014 in the fall. So about two years now.

Q. Which one was that?
TYLER PENNEL: Twin Cities Marathon.

Q. You won that?

Q. You won that one?
TYLER PENNEL: Yes, it was the U.S. Championship.

Q. What was your time there?
TYLER PENNEL: 2:13.32.

Q. Where do you live?
TYLER PENNEL: I live in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. I'm from Golden, Colorado, originally.

Q. Any preference between hilly courses and flat courses? This is a hilly course.
TYLER PENNEL: Where I train, we train on hills all the time. It's hard for us to actually find flat places that are paved. So I run well on the hills. That's one reason why I'm excited to go out to New York and run. Those hills, especially in the second half, like Twin Cities, is not a flat course, especially the last six miles. I think that benefited me in that race.

Q. I want to talk about the Olympic trials this year. I tried to talk to you then, but there were so many people around. You were probably very hot, I'm assuming, because it was so hot that day. But I wanted to ask you, kind of go back to that race. 15 miles in, kind of a slow pace. You're in the lead group, take it out, and in the next four miles, you develop a 15 second lead. Can you just take us through what you were thinking, why you made that move? And what were you thinking when that gap opened up?
TYLER PENNEL: Yeah, we came through -- I don't know exactly how, but we came out of the start/finish area, and there would have been two more loops to go, right? I don't know. We came out, and it was about 15, 16, like you said. I don't know, I just felt really good there, and I just -- I kind of just said, you know, I'm going to run how I feel and not worry about who's around me.

So that next mile, I started putting -- it was just a few seconds, and I kind of like was almost surprised that no one went with me at that point. But then kind of once we got into the USC campus and started turning, because we were just going straight down Figueroa, I guess I got a little excited, and I was like, oh, let's try to take advantage of this little -- I'm feeling good. Let's go. I think that's what really kind of did me in is I started pushing it then.

When I first took the lead, I felt like I was just kind of floating along really, and I guess just the heat eventually just got to me. Yeah, it wasn't any planned moves. I think maybe, looking back at it, coming through the start/finish, where it was so crowded and so much energy there, that it got me excited, and I started feeling good. That's one thing that people have told me for New York is you come off the Queensboro Bridge to just a wall of noise that is First Avenue, that you feel good, you feel excited, you get excited, and you start running faster than you should. So I just have to be aware of that.

Q. If you come off Queensboro Bridge, which is very isolated and also a little bit exposed, and onto First Avenue, which is very flat --
TYLER PENNEL: Everyone says it's a slight uphill. It's not a whole lot, but it's enough that, if you go out and run a 4:40 mile, it's going to hurt you kind of thing is what everyone, like my coach has stressed a lot.

Q. So have you run much of the course at all?
TYLER PENNEL: Yeah, actually, three weeks ago, I came up and ran the last 11 miles. It started on the other side of the Queensboro Bridge and ran the last 11 miles of the course.

Q. [ No microphone ].
TYLER PENNEL: I liked it. It was good. It was real hilly. I run well on the hills, and so, even though slight uphills, like I know I'll be just in that half a percentage more efficient than the people around me is what I'm hoping. And that hill will come up Fifth Avenue, it's a good hill, and it also reminds me a lot of Twin Cities. Twin cities has that long three miles uphill starting at 20, and that's where I pulled away from the field there and where I really excelled.

Q. What will the wind be a factor?
TYLER PENNEL: At that point on Fifth Avenue, it should be behind us.

Q. Tyler, what is the hardest session you've done in preparing for this race? What's something you remember as being a key tough session?
TYLER PENNEL: A couple weeks ago I did a marathon specific long run. So 3 by K, and then four miles, one mile float, three, one, two, one. And then 2 by K, and then 4 by 400. So kind of touched on all the different systems.

Q. 3 by 1K?
TYLER PENNEL: 3 by 1K, so four miles at steady pace, marathon pace. And then a mile float, about 45 seconds slower. Three miles about marathon pace, mile float. Then two miles a little bit quicker than a marathon pace. And then a mile float. And then right into a 2 by K and 4 by 400 to finish.

Q. Your buildup has been a little bit abbreviated because of injury?
TYLER PENNEL: Yeah, the buildup itself wasn't real abbreviated, I would say, it was more that I just came into it not super fit. The last two marathons, I came in really fit into the buildup. I took a little break, but beforehand, I still had come off of some good races.

In April, I had a single stress fracture.

Q. Which side?
TYLER PENNEL: It would be my right side. So I took two months off for that. I'd been running for a while before my official marathon cycle started, but I just wasn't in the same type of shape I was at the start as I had previously been.

Q. Is the original treatment for that just rest?
TYLER PENNEL: Yeah, just rest. My coach, the first four weeks, he was like I want you to move as little as possible really.

Q. How does that affect your race, the buildup you got. You were perfectly healthy at the beginning of the buildup before. How does that affect psychologically how you develop the race?
TYLER PENNEL: Like Dathan said up there, you put in all this work X amount of years. I had five years where I didn't hardly miss more than a few days unplanned. I had a lot of base, and I think that's helped me get back into shape, and I think I'm back into at least as good a shape as I was in February for the trials.

Q. Do you include hills? You said you're good at hills. Do you run in those? Would that session be on hills?
TYLER PENNEL: That was all flat.

Q. On a paved surface?
TYLER PENNEL: Yeah, but where I train, it's just hilly. It's hard to find -- I mean, we only have one venue that's flat really.

Q. What are the biggest things you've learned since you debuted in the marathon two years ago?
TYLER PENNEL: One big thing is learning how to train, I guess, and listen to my body mostly. I have noticed like cliches like, as I've gotten older that I don't recover as fast . So in college, you go out, and you always run 6:45 pace or whatever. It's like I have no problem going out a day after a workout and just going and running really easy and just get the miles in and it is what it is kind of thing.

Q. How easy are you talking? Like 7 flat, 7:30?
TYLER PENNEL: Yeah, I'll go out and run 7:30, and that's fine.

Q. Seems like you had a shorter taper than your training group. That's what I've read.
TYLER PENNEL: I don't tend to taper a whole lot for races. The marathon is a little different than like I did a road circuit last fall. I just noticed I don't run -- I become a little stale, I guess, if I taper too much. I'll run probably 70, 75 miles this week leading into the marathon, where I was at 105 to 115 during the heart of marathon training.

Q. How much?
TYLER PENNEL: 105 to 115 during the heart, and then about 70, 75 this week.

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