Laura Thweatt wants a PB at Virgin Money London: but she is not ready to give up track (yet)


Laura Thweatt and her coach, Lee Troop, have a master plan. Her overall training for cross country, track and the roads, provides her the variety she needs to be successful on both track and roads. She is now running another marathon, but do not call her a marathoner, well, just yet.

Thweatt_LauraLeds-NYC15-thumb-500x750-14241.jpgLaura Thweatt, 2015 NYC Marathon, photo by

The New York City Marathon is a race that tests all of the marathoners' skills. Laura Thweatt, who stayed in control, and ran with vigor and focus, finished seventh in 2:28:23 in the 2015 version of the NYC Marathon. For the young American, this perfomrance was a big success. Yet, before, during and after the race, Laura Thweatt and Coach Lee Troop maintained that the marathon focus would be for the future. For Thweatt, the magic year is 2018 and beyond for the focus.

Need a caption for this moment from the #preclassic 2014. #readysetgo

A post shared by Laura Thweatt (@lthweatt) on

(Photo caption: Where Laura Thweatt nearly becomes a triple jumper)

Laura Thweatt has been focusing on the track, and with PBs of 4:10 for the 1,500 meters, 8:57 for 3000 meters, 15:04 for 5000 meters and 31:52 for 10,000 meters, it shows. Speed is always needed in our sport. Last week in Boston, a terrestrial TV reporter asked me if marathoners coming from the track is a new thing, as if track pedigrees have been a hindrance in the past to the marathon.

Truth is, most of our great marathoners in the US came from the track, and also around the world. Olympic 10,000m silver meters gold medalist Carlos Lopes (1976) came back eight years later to win the marathon. And remember a guy names Galen Rupp? Galen won 2012 Olympic silver in the 10,000 meters, and in 2016, took the bronze in the marathon.

The Gate River Run 15k, where Laura Thweatt took fourth, showed that her fitness (49:54 for 15k) six weeks out from London was pretty darn good.

Lee Troop coaches Laura Thweat. He is coach and confidence builder for his athletes. At the Boulder Track Club, his athletes, from Laura Thweatt to Sean Quigley, to Matt Tebo, race on the track and roads. Troopy was the Aussie NR for the 5000m in 1999. He was also a threee time Olympian at the marathon distance.

Laura Thweatt has always been well prepared when she races. She is sponsored by Saucony Running, and supported by Fleet Feet as well.

When I intereviewed Laura Thweatt yesterday, she was positive, expressive, but also, amazingly relaxed. How does an athlete at that level, with so much on the line, remain so relaxed?

My experience tells me that Laura is quite fit and quite confident of her run tomorrow. " There are two pace groups tomorrow, a 2:18 and a 2:26. I will probably go with the 2:26 and see what I can do."

Great lesson here. If you can get through halfway in good shape, one can always speed up, reevaluate, and speed up again after 20 miles.

Laura Thweat told me about a three hour run she did with Sean Quigley and some friends. She felt pretty good on it and took a few days easy to recover as she prepared for the London Marathon.

The Gate River Run 15k, where Laura Thweatt took fourth, showed that her fitness (49:54 for 15k) six weeks out from London was pretty darn good.

Okay, a confession. Writers are fascinated by small details. As a former coach and athlete, I try to observe little things about athletes, what makes them tick? are they relaxed? do they seem ready for the race? Laura Thweatt was really fun to speak with, comfortable in her own skin, and obviously confident in her training and her training culture. All of those things add up.

In a marathon, many things go through one's head. If the race is going well, the confidence builds, so that, one hopes, when the going gets tough, you have some spiritual reserves there. Calling on those reserves over the last few kilometers is what makes a good race a great race. Laura Thweatt has leg speed, and her 3000 meters has improved, giving her a full arsenal of skills to choose from on the cobbled streets of London tomorrow.

How will she fare in Londontown on Sunday, April 22, 2017. I believe a nice PB, in the 2:24-2:25 range could be in order. Another step towards 2020, where Laura Thweatt will be a marathoner. But, one success at a time, one success at a time.

Best wishes to Laura Thweatt tomorrow.

To read about her breaththrough 2015 marathon at TCS NYC Marathon, click here:

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