Monday, March 11, 2019

Springfield’s Tyler Pence training for U.S. Olympics Trials marathon

Tyler Pence never struggles to get out the door.

Well, unless there’s a freakish snowstorm not unlike the one in January. That forced him to stay indoors and run on a treadmill.

“But usually 99 percent of the time I’m running outside,” said Pence, who graduated from Springfield High School in 2011.

That’s because the 2016 USI grad is prepping for his first appearance in the U.S. Olympic Trials marathon scheduled Feb. 29, 2020 in Atlanta.

“That’s something that I really wanted to accomplish,” Pence said. “The marathon, it’s a gamble. Things can go wrong. It’s such a long period of racing that something can go wrong at any moment, so to put it together and have the day that I had, I was very happy with how it went.”

Pence had only attempted one other marathon – the Las Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon in 2016. Pence said that was just for fun. Sacramento was different.

Pence started training rigorously in August, approximately the same time he won his third straight 10-kilmometer Abe’s Amble road race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. His training spanned four months, running 110-120 miles a week. Sundays were always his big runs, reaching up to 20-24 miles.

His job was not a hindrance. Beginning in 2016 under Mike De Witt, Pence has been the assistant coach on the University of Illinois Springfield cross country and track programs. He often did morning practices with UIS runners, in addition to a second jaunt in the afternoon. It was the source of his inspiration.

“I’m a big believer in practice what you preach. That’s definitely what got me back into getting motivated to run at the next level.”

”Tyler’s now turning his eye toward higher altitude during the summer, specifically Colorado Springs. He doesn’t have any real goal in mind, except one thing. “I’m just going to go there to compete and give it 100 percent,” Tyler said of Atlanta. “I just want to leave there knowing that I left it all out there for sure.”

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on March 10, 2019.

Read the entire article online.