While Pete Gilman might not think his PRs from shorter races stack up against other local runners, there’s no denying that his recent marathon PR is among the best in the region. At the Chicago Marathon on October 22nd, the 31 year old Rochester resident ran 2:20:57. That time dropped his 4-year old PR by nearly 4 minutes and, more importantly, qualified him for the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon. (Photo courtesy of Wayne Kruduba)
First off, congratulations on qualifying for the Olympic Trials Marathon at Chicago. Was that your main goal heading into the race and how did the race play out? I’m especially interested in the last 5K, which was into a strong wind.
Thanks. The race went as well as I could have hoped. I was able to get into the right group pace-wise. There were about 50-60 of us through ten miles. I think only a handful of us made the “B” standard [sub-2:22] though. The last 5K were tough. I slowed to a 5:42 at mile 24. I knew things were still going ok by then because that is when I went by Ed Torres.
At what point of the race did you realize that you were going to qualify?
I was sure I would make at least the “B” standard by mile 20. Our group was pretty consistent and our 5K splits were getting faster as we went. We hit 20 [miles] in 1:46 something. I was sure I could run the last 10K in under 36.
To be honest, at 31 years old, I just assumed you qualified for the 2004 Trials as well. However, after doing a little research, here’s what I found for your marathon history;
Spring 2002 2:30
Fall 2002 2:24
Fall 2003 2:34
Fall 2004 2:34
Spring 2005 2:25
Fall 2005 2:36
What do you attribute your ability to drop 4-5 minutes from your marathon PR?
Wow pretty interesting question. After Chicago I sat down and looked over my past marathons. Splits, training leading up to the race, conditions, etc. I sort of asked myself why this hadn't happened sooner. I think all of the variables have to come together to have a good marathon. It took me 6 other attempts to get one correct.
I have also learned how to deal with non-running stresses. My wife and I sat down a few years ago and agreed that I would give it one more shot. She was pretty happy when I finally made it.
Are you working with a coach? If not, is there a certain program you tend to follow?
I don't technically have a coach. My dad has given me workouts in the past so I follow those to some extent. I follow Renato Canova's marathon training plan. I also read a lot of your interviews and some of the workouts the Hanson's run. Ultimately everyone is different so I have to change things around to fit me. I bounce things off some friends and teammates as well.
What type of mileage were you running before Chicago and what would you consider the key elements of your training?
Leading up to Chicago I was doing 100-110 [miles] a week. I did 3 x 2 mile, some ten mile runs at marathon pace, and long runs from 20-24. There are really no secrets to marathon training.
Two weeks before the marathon I did a ten mile run at a moderate pace, followed by a ten + mile marathon pace run. It went very well. In fact I ran faster than I had the previous Sunday at the Twin Cities 10 mile race.
What was your taper like for Chicago?
I have used basically the same taper for all of my marathons. I did a 16 mile run at 6 minute pace the Sunday before the marathon. Monday I ran 6 miles at 5:20 pace in the wind and rain. Tuesday was an easy day. Wednesday I did 3 x 1 mile at 5 minute pace. I followed that with complete rest until the race.
As for diet, the first three days I focus on consuming small amounts of carbs and more protein. The three days leading up to the race I get as many carbs in as possible.
Did you take any downtime after Chicago?
I took 6 or 7 weeks very easy. I gained a bunch of weight and really enjoyed the time away. My wife is pregnant with our third child so we gained some weight together. I am up to 80 miles this week with the hopes of reaching 90 by New Year’s.
The Trials are next November. Do you have a plan of attack for 2007?
I am in the process of planning my races for next year. For the most part I am focusing on being ready for November. I plan on building up to 130-140 miles a week this winter. I will do most of the team races this year. I have joined the Gear racing team so the team races will be important. I hope to peak and lower my PR in the half marathon at Garry Bjorklund this coming June. I am planning on taking a break after the half for 4-5 weeks. I haven't really planned that far out yet though.
In Minnesota, winters are the perfect time for base building. What’s your training like over the winter? Do you focus on mileage? Do you include any type of quality workouts during this time of year?
My winter training has consisted of building a large base and not starting workouts until early to mid March. I don't usually get on the track for any quality in the winter. I think that shows in some of my races. I just don't have the speed to compete at the shorter distances.
When did you get started running and how’d you get involved? Did you run in high school or college?
I was introduced to running by my dad. He has run several marathons. He actually won the first Twin Cities Marathon, which at the time was called the City of Lakes Marathon. I ran for Byron High School and South Dakota State University in college. I had a pretty rough experience at SDSU. I seemed to get injured and had a tough time adjusting to training methods from so many different coaches.
What are your PRs?
I always hesitate to tell people my PR's. They don't really stack up with the others you have interviewed.
Half Marathon 1:07:54
Do you have a favorite local race?
My favorite local race is the Twin Cities Marathon, although, I have only run one decent race there. I like it for a number of reasons; mainly racing local elites at the marathon distance. I also think we take pride in this marathon because it is ours. Jason Lehmkuhle talked about that after this year’s race.
Do you have any training partners?
I do some easy training with Nick Payne. I have a full plate so my schedule doesn't really match up to anyone else’s. I have a full time job and a part time job. My wife is a nurse so her schedule isn't always the same. My two sons are very active as well. We make things work but running can sometimes interfere. I sneak runs in when I can.
I must admit to being jealous of the situations of others, such as [Michael] Reneau, [Jason] Finch, and [Ryan] Miessen. I sometimes wonder how things would be different if I were in a situation like that.
If you could run with any Minnesotan, past or present, who would it be?
Jon Keillor. We only live 5 miles apart. I have a ton of respect for him as a runner. He is very talented. He doesn't get the recognition he deserves.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first started running?
I wished I had learned the importance of patience, both in training and racing. I used to get pretty anxious early in races and go out way too fast. I learned a lot about being patient this year. It really paid off.
Finally, have you ever been confused for Pete Gilmore (the 2:14 marathoner)?
I have had a few issues with Gilmore. I was confused with him a few years ago at the Twin Cities Marathon. Our seed times were the same. I overheard him telling someone "there is no way his PR is as fast as mine". We also had an issue during the Boston Marathon a few years back. I will keep that one to myself.