Kellyn Taylor: Aiming For Olympic Team In Just Second Marathon Ever

Leading up to the February 13th U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials, FloTrack will highlight the storylines of the contenders on both the men's and women's side.


Kellyn Taylor: Sixth-Fastest American Debut Aiming For Olympic Team In Second Marathon Ever


Name: Kellyn Taylor

Age: 29

Hometown: Sussex, Wisconsin

Marathon PR: 2:28:40 (Houston 2015)

Best Trials Qualifier: 2:28:40 (Houston 2015)

Previous Trials Results: n/a

Our Take: Completing your first marathon with the sixth-fastest American debut of all time is impressive. Running that debut, an impressive 2:28:40 in Houston, while training to become a firefighter is even more impressive. But why does it feel like nobody is talking about Kellyn Taylor?

Her 26.2 coming out party in Houston launched a huge 2015 year for Taylor, who recorded personal bests in the 10,000m (32:29) and half marathon (1:10:59) and brought home 5000m bronze and gold at the Pan Am Games and NACAC Championships. Her successful and consistent 2015 season is a good indicator that she should be able to to hang with 2012’s top returners. After all, her time on the Houston course would have placed her fifth in the 2012 Trials, and she’s the seventh fastest qualifier on the USATF list. The one factor in her way? This will only be her second marathon ever. 

Below, Taylor answered three questions leading up to the big race.

Give us the details of your best workout.

All of my workouts were at the least solid but a few gave me more confidence going into the trials. [There's the] 20 mile alternating pace long run, alternating between race pace and a min a slower every mile. 5:30 average for the marathon pace, and 6:25 for slower portion. Another good one was a 3 mile tempo at marathon pace with 5 minutes rest, then 6x1 mile alternating between slightly faster than marathon pace and progressively faster with 1 minute rest after the slow mile and 2 minutes after the fast mile, then another 3 mile tempo. Then of course the 16 mile steady state at race pace. I feel that is always a marathon staple.

What do you need to do on race day to make the team?

I think I'll need to stay tough both mentally and physically. I know my body is capable of handling whatever pace is thrown down. I've done the work and know that I'm ready. Everyone will be in pain towards the end so it'll come down to who wants it most and who can be the toughest those last few miles.

What’s been your biggest obstacle to overcome in your Trials prep?

Honestly my trials prep has been pretty smooth. Everything has gone well. I guess keeping my body in one piece is always key, especially with the mileage increase and the pace and length of the workouts. Fortunately we have a great crew here in Flagstaff. Hypo2 and Dr AJ Gregg have been my go-to a couple of times a week, and LMT and Stephanie Delgorgio every other week. They are a big reason I'll get to the line healthy and 100%.  Also, the amount of time marathon training takes. I have a husband and five year old daughter. They are both pretty busy so I value the time I do get with them (which has been significantly less than normal through the buildup). Fortunately they have been incredibly supportive.

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