Ever Wonder How the Pros Train for a Marathon? Here's an inside Look with Pro Marathoner Scott Fauble.

Marathons, meditation, and Mexican food. If Scott Fauble’s recent years as a professional runner could be described in a few words, these would surely make the list. In addition to being a prolific blogger and spearheading a burrito movement called “Burrito Mafia”, the Team Roctane athlete has built up quite the resume in just a few years.

From his dominant college days at powerhouse University of Portland to the professional ranks with Hoka ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite, Fauble has been on a mission to discover his running potential.

Here are some of his recent personal bests and achievements:

  • 9th place at 2017 Frankfurt Marathon (2:12:35)
  • 4th place at 2016 Olympic Trials in the 10,000
  • Runner-up at USATF Half Marathon Championships
  • 3rd place at Great Edinburgh International XC Challenge
  • 2016 USA Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier
  • 3-time All-American in Cross Country at University of Portland
  • PRs:
    • 13:50.81 5k
    • 28:00.43 10k
    • 1:02:58 half marathon
    • 2:12:35 marathon

Scott’s next conquest? Marathons. After an impressive top-10 debut in 2:12:35 at the Frankfurt Marathon last October, he has established himself as an elite American marathoner. Scott joined us to share marathon advice, including four of his recent key marathon workouts: Bread & Butter 400 Repeats, The Long Run, Mile Repeats, and Race Simulation. Along with specifics, he drops marathon training tips for runners of all levels on how they can adjust his workouts to their own needs, whether the goal is to qualify for the Olympic trials or simply cross the finish line.

(Note: Scott lives and trains in Flagstaff at 7,000 feet but drives down to Camp Verde at 3,100 feet for some key workouts.)

Workout #1: Bread & Butter 400 Repeats

“Fast, efficient, and smooth”

Purpose: “The point of this workout,” according to Fauble, “is to allow you to work on feeling smooth and efficient at a pace that’s well under your marathon pace without tearing your legs up too much. The rest for this workout is short so you still get a good aerobic stimulus despite running short intervals.”

Specifics: 25 x 400 meters @ 10K pace (67 seconds per lap) with 100 meters recovery (45-60 seconds)

Splits: All splits were on pace, at 67 seconds per lap

Total Miles: 6.25 miles of work, 11 miles including warm up and cool down

Making it work for you: “When adjusting to your own plan, think about it in terms of time instead of distance. You want to be running between 60 and 80 seconds per interval, at your race pace for a race that would last 25-40 minutes. For example, if you run a 5k in 25 minutes, you might want to use that pace for about 1 minute at a time, even if that means running 200 to 300 meters.”

Scott’s Note: You shouldn’t feel completely recovered at the start of each interval, but you shouldn’t be working too hard during the repetitions. Focus on being as smooth and efficient as possible.

GU products used:

  • Before: 2 x Branched Chain Amino Acid Capsules, Summit Tea Roctane Energy Drink Mix
  • During: Summit Tea Energy Drink Mix
  • After: Vanilla Cream Recovery Drink Mix in a smoothie with spinach, a banana, beets, almond milk, and a little bit of turmeric.

Workout #2: The Long Run

"The first true marathon fitness test"

Purpose: “The point of this workout is to get a really long effort in while still adding some work at or faster than marathon pace. It’s great for simulating the feeling late in a marathon, when your legs get really heavy and tired.”

Specifics: 4-mile tempo at marathon effort, 10 miles steady, 4-mile progression starting at marathon effort

Splits: 4-mile tempo: 21:00 (5:15 pace), 10 miles steady: 60:00 (6:00 pace), 4 mile tempo: 20:24 (5:17, 5:10, 5:02, 4:55)

Total Miles: 18 miles of work, 22 including warmup and cooldown

Making it work for you:  This is a good marathon workout to incorporate into your cycle at the end of your base phase. You need to be fit enough to get through a really long day and add some intensity, so it’s not the best marathon workout to do right off the couch. This workout is great 10-14 weeks out of a marathon. The first 4-mile tempo should feel easy but somewhat fast. The middle steady part should be 1 hour to 70 minutes at a pace that you find slightly challenging but not that hard. In other words, if your easy days are a 3 out of 10 in difficulty, this steady portion should be at a 4-5 in difficulty. The important part is the last 4-mile tempo. For this part, start at marathon pace and then work down to half marathon pace.

Scott’s Note: This is a good chance to start dialing in your fueling strategy for your race. The run is long enough to get a sense of the number of calories you’ll need, and it is hard to enough to establish what works with your stomach.

*Bonus Note* “One cool thing about this workout (and there aren’t many), is that since it’s so long, it feels like extra credit. Running 22 miles will make you fitter, no matter the difficulty. Even if you don’t hit all the splits or even finish the workout, you can always chalk it up as a good, solid, hard, long run.”

GU products used:

  • Before: 2  x Branched Chain Amino Acid Capsules, Strawberry Energy Chews, Summit Tea Roctane Energy Drink Mix
  • DuringSummit Tea Roctane Energy Drink Mix, 1 x Espresso Love Energy Gel (taken after the first tempo, before the 10 mile steady)
  • AfterChocolate Recovery Drink Mix in a smoothie with spinach, banana, almond milk, and peanut butter

A post shared by Scott Fauble (@sfaubs) on

Workout #3: Mile Repeats

“Develop lactate threshold and strength”

Purpose: This workout improves efficiency by developing your lactate threshold, which is the effort you can exert while your body is able to buffer lactic acid. If you can successfully run quite a bit faster than your goal marathon pace with short rest in between, then you’ll feel much more relaxed and like you’re working less at a slower pace.

Specifics: 10 x 1 mile at half marathon pace

Splits: Each mile was ran in 4:45

Total Miles: 10 miles of work, 15 miles including warm-up and cool-down

Making it work for you:  “Think of your lactate threshold as the fastest pace you can run for 1 hour. This worked nicely for us because we can run a half-marathon in close to one hour. To tailor it to your own training, you can treat it as a Fartlek. Do 8-12 intervals lasting 4-6 minutes at a pace that you can run for 1 hour. You want the total duration of the workout to be about 50-60 minutes, including the 60-90 seconds of rest in between intervals.” Example: Do 12 x 4 minutes with 1 minute rest.

Scott’s Note: You want to put this workout close enough to the race that you’ll get a ton of benefit, but far enough out that you’ll be 100% recovered for the marathon. This workout works well approximately 6 weeks out from your marathon.

GU products used:

  • Before: 2 x Branched Chain Amino Acid Capsules, Strawberry Energy Chews, Summit Tea Roctane Energy Drink Mix
  • During: Summit Tea Roctane Energy Drink Mix
  • AfterChocolate Recovery Drink Mix in a smoothie with spinach, banana, almond milk, and peanut butter

workout #4: Race simulation

“Simulate the late race feeling without running all the miles”

Purpose: “The point of this workout is to practice running faster than marathon pace when your legs are very tired as well as add a little bit of VO2 max work into the training plan. It also forces you to find a rhythm that’s faster than your marathon pace, which helps you get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Specifics: 3-mile tempo at 3-5 seconds per mile faster than marathon pace, 3 x 1 mile at 10k pace with 3 minutes rest between intervals, 3-mile tempo at 7-10 seconds faster than marathon pace

Splits: First tempo at 4:55 per mile (14:45 total), 3 x mile at 4:40, 4:35, 4:30, last tempo at 4:52 per mile (14:36 total)

Total Miles: 9 miles of work, 14 including warmup and cooldown

Making it work for you:  Do the first three-mile tempo a little quicker than marathon pace, and give yourself ample rest in order to feel fresh for the 3 hard mile repeats. However, don’t let your legs recover too much after the repeats, because you’ll want to feel the fatigue in the last tempo.

Scott’s Note: This is one of the few marathon-specific workouts that you can rip directly from our training and put into yours. On that last 3-mile tempo, feel free to open up and push the pace if you’re feeling good. If you don’t feel good, just do your best to be tough and push yourself like you would on race day. Afterwards, find a place to sit down because this workout hurts really badly but can provide a huge boost.

GU products used:

  • Before: 2 x Branched Chain Amino Acid Capsules, Blueberry Pomegranate Roctane Energy Gel, Summit Tea Roctane Energy Drink Mix
  • DuringSummit Tea Roctane Energy Drink Mix
  • After: Vanilla Cream Recovery Drink Mix in a smoothie with spinach, banana, frozen berries, turmeric and almond milk

“I think of burritos as a fundamental piece of my life that helps to sustain my life force.” – Scott

Along with using GU products before, during, and after workouts, Scott is a firm believer in the benefits of burritos. Whether those benefits are nutritional, psychological, social or all of the above is unknown, but one thing is for sure: that this simple Mexican staple food item has been essential to his well-being, just like his consistent marathon training. Yum.

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