Friday, April 23, 2010

mzungo exclusive: Sage Canaday

You ran 2:24:07 in Boston. How did the race unfold for you?
I was hoping to run a sub 2:19:00 with my teammates Drew Polley and Chad Johnson.  The three of us all went out at 2:18 pace and we were pretty much all together the first 15 or 16 miles.  When we got to the hills I knew I was in trouble because my legs were really getting tight and running 5:15 a mile was getting hard.  I hit the wall at 20 miles and the last 10k was a total death march.  At 23 miles I thought I would pass out because the road in front of me was spinning….I started grabbing cups of Gatorade at every chance I had because all I could think about was sugar and just making it to the finish line.

Did you train on the course prior to the race?
Yes, we were fortunate enough to get out and run workouts on the whole course a couple of months ahead of time.

What was the game plan beforehand?
The game plan was to run the downhills conservatively and to run even to negative splits throughout the race.   Drew and I decided we were going to stick together and alternate pacing each other every other mile.

What did you learn from that race?
I learned that even if your training leading up to a marathon goes well, you can still have a bad race.

Is there anything you would change if you run Boston again?
Not really.  I would pace myself the same way, but hope to roll at the end instead of die.

What was the toughest part of the course for you?
The last 10k for sure.

Please give our readers some background on your career, how it all started etc.
I started running in middle school because I stopped scoring goals in soccer. I thought that doing a sport would help get me a girlfriend (it got me several eventually….but it took awhile…and well, I’m single now). I was a decent 4:30 miler in high school, but never made states in track.  I was a part of one of the deepest classes of high school distance running in the history of Oregon (class of 2004).  I got 13th at states in cross country and was 50 seconds behind Galen Rupp.   I was fortunate enough to be recruited by Cornell’s distance coach Robert Johnson (also co-founder of  At Cornell I suffered from anemia all of my freshman year (I also gained the freshman 15 in the first month from eating waffles, doughnuts, pizza and ice cream almost every day). A highlight of my college career came after my junior year of track when I ran Grandma’s marathon (June 2007) and qualified for the 2007 US Olympic Trials with a 2:21. I was the youngest guy at the trials at the age of 21.  However, I was running cross country for Cornell that fall so I just ran the first 6 miles and then ran NCCAs. In my best year of track I won the Ivy League conference championship in the 10k (29:47 PR).

Where are you planing to get your trials standard?
On a fast and flat course…..probably Chicago.

Do you see yourself as a runner in the low 2:10s one day?
I think I can run under 2:15 one day….it wouldn’t be by that much though if it does happen.

What would you suggest a 2:30 guy who wants to become a 2:20 guy?
Run more mileage.  Put in around 5000 miles a year if you can.

You were racing in the Brooks Green Silence. What shoes are you training in?
I trained in the Green Silence for almost all of my workouts.  On easy mileage days I run in the Brooks Ghost 2.

What's your favorite training session? 
I really like 4-5 by 2 miles at faster than marathon pace.  I really feel like I can throttle down on my lactate threshold pace/intensity and improve my fitness.

What's your favorite running route?
We have a 12 mile run called “Bear.” It goes out on some hilly trails in a park and I enjoy the scenery there.
What's on heavy rotation on your iPod or car stereo?
I basically listen to just 3 songs:

  • “Wagon Wheel” (Old Crow Medicine Show version)….which I like to cover on my guitar
  • “Kids” by MGMT
  • and of course, “I’m in Miami B**ch” by LMFAO…which I wake up to every day on my CD alarm clock that I got from NCAA xc in 2007.
Thanks Sage, have a great prep for a speedy fall marathon!

And while Puma is ditching shoe boxes, Brooks et al. are still coming with a box. Sage has figured out a way to use the cardboard...

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