Jared Ward is an American professional marathoner for Saucony who will be running in the Athletic Brewing Co. Chaski Marathon Relay on Sept 12. as a tuneup for the elite-only London Marathon on Oct 4.
In 2016 he qualified for the US Olympic Team with 3rd place at the US trials and finished 6th in the Rio Olympics and has since run a personal best of 2:09:25 in the 2019 Boston Marathon.
Open entries for the Chaski Challenge (5k, Marathon, and Relay) are free and $1 will be donated for each registrant to ROMP-Global and Brave Like Gabe Foundation.
Listen to the whole interview here.
Give yourself 48 hours to cry about a bad race, then get over it. Sometimes a race can help
“I remember talking to [Boston Marathon Champ] Des [Linden] like 3 weeks after the Marathon Trials [where Jared finished a disappointing 25th]. She was just like ‘you’ve just gotta get over this race. I give myself 48 hours to cry about a race afterwards and then move on’. For me, not having another race on the calendar really threw that for a loop. I think sometimes you need another race to run or even look forward to in order to help you get over a bad one.”
If racing motivates you, find “any port in a storm, any racing during COVID”
Jared told us he was psyched about racing with any opportunity he could find, citing the quote above from his long-time coach Ed Eyestone. Despite not having put in much specific marathon work, he committed to the elite-only London Marathon race as soon as he found out about it.
“I spent most of the early summer doing higher-end track workouts and lower volume. It wasn’t until about 5 weeks before London that I realized I was going to do a marathon, and so the Chaski Challenge lined up perfectly as a tuneup. I’m just pumped to really have some competitive races on the calendar.
Under-training is probably better than overtraining
Jared told us that he felt he might have been a bit over-worked during his marathon buildup for the Olympic Marathon Trials. This time, he’s going into London on the opposite end of the spectrum.
“I’m kind of going from 0 to 60 in terms of marathon training. I was running around 80 miles per week and the week I found out I got into London, it was like ‘okay, I guess I’ll run 95 this week, and 105 next week, and 115-120 after that’. But that’s pretty much all I have time for. Then it’s time to taper. But I’ve actually had some really good workouts this week, so I feel like I’m coming at this excited and hungry and a bit fresher than I usually am going into a marathon.”
Team Utah wants to win the Chaski Challenge.
Jared had no qualms about saying he wanted to win the elite marathon relay, set for Saturday, September 12.
“I’ll be running the 12-mile leg as a tune-up for the London Marathon and we’ve got a great team with Connor McMillan and Clayton Young. A bunch of our guys just ran a 10K in the 28-minute range, so I think we’ll be hard to beat.”
His goal? Jared wants to win the Chaski Challenge Elite Relay and is looking for a PB in his first “flat” marathon in London.
One of his first “breakthrough” races was the Los Angeles Marathon in 2015, where he won his first US title. After that, Jared showed he excelled in races on challenging courses or with tough conditions, making the Olympic Team in the brutal heat of Los Angeles in 2016, and running his personal best on the brutal hills of Boston last year.
“I may not be in 100% shape for London, but I’m still going into this race thinking about a PR. My PR is 2:09:25 (from Boston, 2019) and I think I was in shape to run 2:07-2:08 in February. So, that’s what I’m thinking. There are going to be a lot of rabbits from 2:01-02 all the way to 2:11:30. But, I didn’t want to go all the way to London during a pandemic just to try to run 2:11.”