Workout of the Day — Dawn Grunnagle

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Dawn and I, after she qualified for the 2016 US Olympic Marathon Trials.

90 minutes tempo (Goal Marathon Pace)

Result: 15 miles in the 90 minutes (6:00/mile pace)

Dawn Grunnagle, February, 2015

Dawn Grunnagle was one of the first ELITE athletes that I coached. She had a pedigree unmatched by most…she could run a 2:06 for the 800 meters and a 4:15 for the 1500 meters…but she had come to me to become a marathoner.

In 2014, Dawn qualified for the US Olympic Trials in the Marathon when she ran a 1:14:57 at the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. That was after a full year of working together and growing our coach/athlete relationship…it took a full year to really learn what Dawn needed in order to feel good in training, as she was a natural mid-distance runner and not a marathoner, yet.

We had decided upon the 2015 LA Marathon as her first attempt at the distance. It would give us a year from the trials and would be in the host city. The training for that marathon was some of the best training I’ve witnessed Dawn complete and at that time I was with her for nearly every step of it.

However, for this 90 minute tempo run, I was not…thankfully she had Logan Sherman to run with on that day and they did an excellent job of pacing, taking fluids, and rocking the 90 minutes. All in all she got in 2 hours of running that day, with the middle 90 minutes at 6:00/mile pace (15 miles). It was one of the best sessions that Dawn did while I was her coach.

Unfortunately, every  marathon that Dawn and I worked together on ended up being either extremely hot, or extremely humid, or both…I no longer work with Dawn as a coach, but in this past 18 months after our coach / athlete relationship ended she was able to get into a groove with the marathon and run several PRs throughout the last year, including a 2:35 marathon performance in 2017 that led to a US Olympic Trials ‘A’ Standard.

Rachel (my wife) and I are great friends with Dawn and her husband Harry and very excited to watch her run at the 2020 US Olympic Trials!!!


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