Friday, September 12, 2008

Meet Team USA's Josh Moen

Iowa native Josh Moen was the first of four newly recruited Team USA Minnesota athletes to arrive in Minnesota and begin training with the elite distance development group. We caught up with Moen (pictured) recently to begin getting to know him a little better.

DtB: We know you're from Iowa originally and were a part of the Hansons' program for a spell, what prompted you to join Team USA Minnesota?

Moen: After my departure from Brooks-Hansons I moved back to Iowa to train under my collegiate coach, Steve Johnson, at Wartburg College. We had worked well together in the past and teamed up again. Things were going well, but one important aspect was missing from my training, which was training partners and a better support system. I love Iowa, but it can be hard to train on the gravel roads in the middle of winter. I had known Dennis Barker and Pat Goodwin through various races and emailed them to see if there were any openings on the team. Thankfully there was and here I am answering this question!

DtB: You've been training with the Team USA Minnesota group for about a month now, how has the transition gone?

Moen: Relatively easy for the most part. The weeks are set up differently from what I was used to, which was doing a workout one day and having two recovery days before the next. Dennis has set up a different, more active schedule. It took a couple weeks to get into it, but I feel it's better than what I was doing the past 3 years. I'm also a countryboy and living in the city is frustrating at times. (Think traffic and too many people). Pat, Dennis, my training partners, and members of the Team USA Minnesota board have made me feel welcome and appreciated. The support I've received has been amazing. Thank you all very much.

DtB: You were a very successful Division III runner at Wartburg. What was the most noticeable difference you felt between running at that level and then doing so professionally?

Moen: The mileage and density of workouts stand out to me. In college I would average around 65-70 miles per week, doing workouts such as 6 x 1k or 4 x 1 mile. I'm now doing mileage ranging from 80-120 miles per week depending on what I'm preparing for. Workout now are more like 10 x 1k and 6 x 1 mile (at faster paces). Another difference is the caliber of athletes you race, which seems obvious. In college most athletes are relatively inexperienced in higher level racing. That's all different now. Most people at the level I race are seasoned and know what to expect.

DtB: You're planing your marathon debut at Twin Cities next month. How has training been going for you? What's your goal?

Moen: Training has been great. I've learned some new things and experienced new avenues in training. One thing I've learned is to actually recover from workouts and not worry about how fast you're going. After a big workout I probably average 7:20/mile on my recovery days. I've learned to get rid of the watch and run by feel. If you feel sluggish, take it easy. Enjoy the run. I've also experienced running for 3 hours straight, something I never dreamed of doing. My goal for the marathon is to be competitive and race. The times will come if you are competitive. I would anticipate a finish around 2:13-2:15 on day of good weather. This is just a guess since I've never raced a marathon before.

Photo by Gene Niemi.

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