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Blog 51- Tyler Jermann-‘What’s beyond the mountain?!’


Blog 51: Tyler Jermann- ‘what’s beyond the mountain?’

“Nobody can know what their ultimate potential is in the sport until they commit themselves to climbing that mountain, and not giving up as long as it takes, and seeing what is on the other side of it.” –Tyler Jermann.

Hey readers, I have got a great interview for you all today to mark Run Culture’s 51st  blog! It’s the kind of interview that any mad keen, passionate distance runner will love. This blog is for the, ‘journeyman runners’ out there, it’s a blog that demonstrates we can achieve more than we think, it’s a blog that demonstrates that hard work, a s* load of patience and spades of persistence are an integral part to achieving our running goals/success. It’s a blog that shows that ultimate running potential is not achieved over night, it’s achieved after many, many years of ups and downs, failures, lessons, consistent training and adaptation.

Today I catch up with the one and only; Tyler Jermann, an athlete who epitomizes all of the above.  I have really enjoyed monitoring and watching him progress from afar. Tyler’s marathon career thus farcould already be earmarked a success. In 12 marathons he has improved a whopping 9 minutes, and has hit not only his initial goal the US Olympic Trials B standard for 2020 but more recently at the 2019 Houston marathon he exceeded even his own expectations and ran the US Trails Olympic A standard with a 2:13:29 marathon (another 3 minute PB). Obviously, with success, new goals emerge and at just 26 years of age I am sure he will continue to improve and grow from here.

If there ever was an inspiring story of fortitude, belief and resilience it is Tyler’s. There are just so many invaluable lessons here for all us distance runners.

Anyway, without further ado ‘lets get into it!’ with the ‘gritty’, Tyler Jermann!

Tyler, first of thanks so much for your time and welcome to the Run Culture blog, how are you? It looks pretty cold right now in Minnesota?

Hi Dane, thanks for having me on here.  Always love a chance to share my story and maybe help some younger runners not make the loads of mistakes I have.  Doing well, getting back up to volume again after the race.  It’s been a bit over 4 weeks now so I took 2 full weeks off and now just starting to get back to full volume again.

Actually, the timing of Houston ended up nearly perfect.  We had a very very light winter up until mid January, and the worst 2 weeks of it were the 2 weeks we had off after the race.  Got about 2 feet of snow during that period and the temperature got downs to -20 degrees Fahrenheit, so that made it a lot easier to take my rest and not rush back to training!

How do you run in that stuff? You must get sick of the treadmill?

Well honestly, I’ve always been the biggest avoider of treadmills in the past.  No matter what the weather, I’ll chose trudging through the snow over going inside.  But with the fact that I got lucky enough to have good weather to train in for the early winter, I figured last week when we got a bit of snow I would just play it safe and treadmill most of the week.  I actually find it much more enjoyable when I focus on the benefits you can get out of it like the mental training and the quality faster work rather than the fact that I’m just spinning on a hamster wheel.

Do you mind introducing yourself to the readers?

Sure thing!  My name is Tyler Jermann.  I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Married my wife Katy in June of last year (she is also a runner and much faster than I am).  We both are coached by Chris Lundstrom (Lundo) and run for Team USA Minnesota.

You grew up in Chicago Naperville, have you always run?

I came to running a pretty normal route for most competitive runners, played a lot of sports when I was younger with not much success, but finally found something I was good at.  I didn’t start competing in cross country until my freshman year of high school and I found I was pretty good at it and I think the part that really intrigued me the most was how simple it was, the more you run, the harder you train, the better you get.  I guess even back then I had a pretty good growth-mindset, it didn’t take long before I was training hard to try to keep up with the older guys on the team.

Were you a superstar high school athlete?

I went to Naperville North High School, not sure if any of your readers will know Chris Derrick but he is also from my hometown however he went to one of the rival high schools.  When I joined the team my freshman year, the program already was a pretty competitive program and there was already a great culture of  ‘hard work’ and ‘success’ engrained in the program.  Some of the older runners and my coach David Racey were great leaders who really brought me in and taught me things I still usetoday.  I don’t think I realized how valuable that type of atmosphere was at the time but comparing to other High Schools now, I can really see how that atmosphere set me up for success.

Individually, I had my ups and downs through High School and ended up with 1-2 stress fractures a year by just trying to push my body to do things in training that it wasn’t ready for.  Patience has never been my strong suit.  My best 2 mile in high school was a 9:17, which was decent back then but honestly now probably wouldn’t even get you a spot on a Division 1 team.  As a team our big accomplishment was a state championship in 2008 and we went on to place 3rd at Nike Cross Nationals that year.

You went to Iowa state College and studied Maths and Finance. In other interviews I have seen you describe yourself as a subpar college athlete and that you never ran anything worth a D1 spot. Tell us about your time at Iowa?

Yep, went to Iowa State and really cannot identify more than 1-2 races during my whole college career that I’m proud of.  When I got to college I just continued that injury cycle I had established in high school and never really had the chance to get in the consistent training you need to make those big improvements.  I guess that’s always been the problem for me in the past.  Not having the patience to let things come in good time and trying to force the results.

I think learning that, almost comes hand in hand with running a good marathon—you have a goal pace in mind or a goal group you want to run with but it’s such a long race that you need to have the options to adjust and run your own race when necessary.  If you are running with a group at 10 miles and you feel you are getting out ‘a little over your head’, you can adjust and avoid the epic blowup most of us have experienced at mile 20-22.

In your last year at College, Martin Smith was brought on as head coach, he seemed to really believe in you and give you a lot of time?

Martin actually came around my 2nd to last year at Iowa State.  He really was a polar opposite to our old coach Cory Ihmels.  Ihmels was the kind of coach that gives you a lot of flexibility and ownership of your training, and lets you make mistakes so you can learn from them.  Smith on the other hand knows the pitfalls and likes to head them off before you make them.  Obviously different approaches work for different runners, but for me at the time, I really needed somebody to make me stop banging my head against the wall and break out of that injury-overtraining cycle.

I don’t know what Martin saw in me right away or why he gave me a shot.  When he came to the team I had had 3 rough years at Iowa State and had PRs of 8:38 in the 3k and 15:08 in the 5k.  Really nothing that shows a lot of potential.  I guess he at least saw that I was willing to work hard and that I really wanted to be good, even if I didn’t know the steps it took just yet.  He was a similar runner when he was younger, the same type of Journeyman runner, not born with the incredible talent but willing to do everything in his power and push himself to his absolute limits to see what he was capable of.

He always used to use the metaphor of climbing a mountain and seeing what’s on the other side.  Nobody can know what their ultimate potential is in the sport until they commit themselves to climbing that mountain, and not giving up as long as it takes, and seeing what is on the other side of it.

In earlier years of college I had always pushed 100-110 miles a week but could never sustain it longer than 4-6 weeks without ending up with some sort of injury and downtime.  When Martin came in he brought be back down to 70-80 miles for an entire cross country season.  Then that winter he let me get up to 80-90 miles.  Then pushing 100 miles for a week or two in the spring.  Then through the summer and next fall 100+.  I really just needed that base building phase where I gave my body a chance to adapt to the training before piling on more and overloading it.

Just quickly as this is an irresistible stat, is it true around about this time in 2012, Tinman’s Reed Fischer (1st American at the 2019 Houston half marathon in a sizzling 62:07) and you ran 8:40 odd in an enthrawling duel at an indoor 3k meet? It’s amazing to think how far you both have come over the past 7 years, I mean Reed now runs near on close to that pace for 21kms!

Hahahaha yes, what an enthralling duel that was.  I’ve loved watching Reed and seeing his progression as a runner.  I guess he is a similar runner to me and really epitomizes the idea that you are not limited by your talent.  It’s amazing to see the things you are capable of when you can string together weeks, and months, and years of consistent training without any interruptions.  From his freshman year at Drake on to his races now, he’s probably looking at 6-7 years of perfectly consistent and progressive training, and as the Tinman like to say, I’m sure he will just keep that ball rolling.  I’m excited to see what he can do when he makes that move up to the marathon.

Was it Martin Smith who was the first person to make you think, hang on, maybe I’m a marathoner and should consider stepping up?

Yes, for sure.  I can honestly say I wouldn’t still be running if it weren’t for him.  I can’t thank him enough for everything he did for me.  My last year of college, after a disappointing cross country season where I didn’t even make our top 7, I remember him sitting me down for at least 4 hours and telling me about this grand plan he had.  I was going to skip track and start training for a marathon.

He had me on this very old school plan through the winter.  120 miles every week, all singles.  20 miles every Sunday.  Every Tuesday 10 x mile on the indoor track.  And a progression run on Fridays.  And that’s exactly what I did.  I had over 20 weeks in a row that winter/spring at 120+ miles a week, nearly every mile alone on some Iowa Gravel road except for that Tuesday mile workout where Martin would be there with a stopwatch.  It was the most mileage I had ever done and the most consistent I’d ever been in training, and I think that period was really the key transformation for me in developing that strength for the marathon.

I’m really not sure how he knew I’d be a marathoner, or why he came up with that plan.  It really didn’t serve him at all to have me leave the team and race a marathon when his paycheck is tied to the team’s track performances.  My best guess would be he saw a bit of his younger self in me.  He was a marathon runner himself back in the day, a similar kind of runner that had the passion and the drive and the dreams but not the talent.  I guess he wanted to make sure I gave it a shot to climb that mountain and see what I was capable of.

Ok, so post college you made the move to train in Flagstaff with the Run Flagstaff pro team with Nick Aranciaga. Tell us about this experience?

Well to be clear, there were no training groups eyeing me after college.  I had a 10k PR of 30:36 and a 5k PR of 14:57.  So in May of 2015 when I graduated, Team Run Flag was not interested in adding me to the roster—and rightly so.  Before my final year of college Coach Smith urged me and a couple other runners to spend the summer training in Flagstaff and I really fell in love with the trails and the mountains and the all-in approach to training adopted by all the residents.  So after graduating and wanting to continue to train, it was a no brainer that that was the place I wanted to be.

It’s amazing to show up to a long run on a Sunday at some dirt road out of town, and have there be 100+ other runners there ready to crush 20+ miles.  Some of my best Flagstaff memories have been trying to keep up and getting dropped in long run’s by the likes of KiyaDandena, Jim Walmsley, Scott Fauble, and all the other elites in Flagstaff.  It really puts you in your place and shows you the training you need to put in to be successful.

I had gotten very lucky during that time as well that I was able to get a computer programming job with a startup based out of Montreal that allowed me to work remotely, so that paid the bills and allowed me to give training a shot out in Flagstaff.

So I got out to Flagstaff, didn’t really know many people, but the amazing thing about the culture there is everyone is open and available to sharing information and letting you jump into workouts and really showing you the way.  And nobody showcases that more than Flagstaff’s godfather Nick Arciniaga.   As amazing of a runner he is with a 2:11 PR in the marathon, it’s even more amazing to see how dedicated he is to help others succeed.  He’s become a really good friend and mentor to me over the years and played an integral role to my success so far.

A lot of US collegiate runners don’t keep competing post collegiately.  Did this ever cross your mind? At this point did you show any sign or believe you could be a 2:13 marathoner?

Yeah I guess like I said earlier, if it wasn’t for Coach Smith and the way he believed in me, I don’t think I would have kept running after college.  With a 10k PR of 30:36, I’m probably getting lapped 3 times by the top US runners.  So there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity for me right away.

My big goal at that point was to run the trials standard, which was 2:18 at the time, but I wasn’t sure even if I was capable of that.  I just thought, if I don’t give this a shot now I’ll never know.  Back to that metaphor that seems to drive it all, I had to look and see what was on the other side of that mountain.

Which takes us to your 2:22 marathon debut at the 2015 Chicago marathon later that year.

After I ran my first marathon in Chicago of 2:22 I had mixed feedback from my friends and family.  My friends and family from college and back home sent me texts saying that it was amazing and so impressive!  And my friends from Flagstaff asked me “What happened out there?”… “Rough Race?”

I guess that shows you the standards in Flagstaff and how adopting those standards allows you to believe there’s more you can get out of yourself.  The texts of “What happened out there” showed that there were a lot of people out there that believed I was capable of more.

So, your next marathon was the 2016 Houston marathon where you ran a 4 minute PR and achieved the 2016 Olympic Trials qualifier! What do you attribute to this huge improvement in your second marathon?

Building up to Chicago I didn’t have a whole lot of structure in training.  It was more a process of just jumping into other peoples workouts when it made sense and trying to keep up on long runs with the group on Sundays.  After Chicago I got a lot of guidance from Nick and Kiya and really worked out a more structured plan to make sure I was ready for Houston.  So, maybe it was the adjustment in training or just the experience of knowing what was coming in the marathon but by the time Houston came around, I was a much stronger runner and capable of racing all the way though the 26.2 and pushing through that wall.

You then ran an amazing 36th place just 4 weeks later in 2:24 at the 2016 US Olympic marathon trials in LA! That is an amazing recovery and performance!?

Gotta credit my Flagstaff friends for that one too.  With only 4 weeks between the two races I wanted to just train through and hold on to that fitness, but they said, take 2 weeks off and recover from this marathon, that’s the important thing.  So basically, in those 4 weeks I didn’t run for 2, then ran maybe 1-2 workouts in the last 2 weeks before the trials, and just gave it a go!

I had no clue how it would go considering the buildupand the heat on the day (it was about 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit for the race and there was no shade on the entire course).  Going into it I had plans of trying to run another PR but a buddy of mine, Matt Hensley, talked to me the day before the race and really urged me to adjust significantly for the heat.  He said to run 5:30s for the first half and just let everyone ahead of me make their mistakes.  So I did just that.  I think I was sitting in 150that the half way mark out of a field of about 200.  I was so far back the cheers I was hearing from people were “Hey man, at least you’re at the Olympic Trials!”.

But then an amazing thing happened at half way.  People started to come back.  I began running past people stopped walking on the course, people stopped at aid stations, runners struggling to run 8 minute pace.  It was the most carnage I had never witnessed in a race.  And I ran past what felt like 500 people.  It was an incredible feeling.  I ended up 36th place on the day but honestly, if it weren’t for that race plan, I’m not sure I would have finished in those conditions.

Perhaps what attracted me to your story was not only the incredible chunks of time you have continued toshave off your already respectable marathon time but the frequency at which you race over the distance. It is certainly Yuki Kawauchi’esque!

You have continued to show a good ability to recover after marathons, how do you do this? You are quite a muscly runner, do you feel this helps?

Lol, I can only hope to someday be compare to Yuki.  He’s a legend!  But yes, I think having a little muscle on me does help.  I also think it’s easy to get into the trap of wanting to get back to training fast after a marathon but really, you need more recovery time than you think.  I always take 2 weeks no matter what and I think that has really benefited me.  And I’ve noticed the fitness comes back very quick once you’re fully recovered.

Over the next 4 months after the 2016 marathon trials you ran another two strong marathon performances (2:20 for 3rd at Pittsburgh winning a decent purse of $8,500 and then another 2:20 at Grandmas marathon for 10th) and a fast half marathon (67:07 for 6th at the De Moines Dame to Dam).

As good as your recovery is, do you feel this has meant you could have gone faster already on some of your previous marathon attempts if you had say raced marathons more sparingly and spread them out more? I’m interested on your thoughts here, as I personally think marathon frequency seems to be quite an individualised thing depending on the robustness of the athlete?

Yep, I think it was a bit immature of me after the time to think I could run so many races back to back.  That was a great race for me at Pittsburgh, I had a huge negative split, I think it was something like 72-68 for the first/second halves.  And because that was a tough course, I thought I could do a whole lot better time wise on a faster course like Grandma’s.  But with only 6 weeks between the two I think I rushed back to training and wasn’t 100 percent for Grandma’s.  If I could go back I would have just taken the time to recover and wait until the Fall to run another marathon.

You then started 2017 with a bang running a 65:57 in January for second at the Arizona Rock and roll half marathon.

Following this up a month or two later by becoming the 2017 US 50km Champion with a 2:48 (2:21 marathon split) in Caumsett State Park New York.

What prompted you to try an Ultra at this point? Was it Jim Walmsley’s influence from Flag? It looked lonely out there and windy? Do you have any aspirations of ever giving Josh Cox’s 50k US record of 2:43:35 a shake?

Actually, this was motivated by Nick.  I had never heard of it until he brought up that he wanted to go out to Caumsett and give Josh Cox’s record a go, so I told him I’d come with him and go for it as well!  As it turned out, he got injured along the way and didn’t end up running it but I still did.  That was a ton of fun, it was about 17 degrees at the start of the race and I ran the whole thing in full length tights and a jacket.

I think the most valuable part of doing that race was it changed my whole approach to the marathon.  After running 31 miles, 26.2 didn’t seem so long anymore.  It really made me feel like I could race the whole 26.2 rather than just survive it in my marathons after that.  I’d love to give the 50k another go some time soon and get that record!

Just 3 months later after this amazing 50km result you ran another 2 minute PR; a 2:16:52 marathon for 4th at the 2017 Pittsburgh marathon. Another huge improvement!?

After coming back to Flagstaff after the 50k I sat down with Nick and we wrote up a training plan building up to Pittsburgh.  It focused on a lot of quality long runs of 20-25 miles and marathon-based sessions of 10-16 miles of fartlek, intervals, or steady states on the famous Lake Mary Road.  Those couple months between the 50k and Pittsburgh were the most best and most consistent months of training I’d ever put in up to that point, and Nick ran every step of every workout with me, which really had my confidence high that I was ready to run something great at Pittsburgh.

After doing the long distance thing with your partner Katy you decided in 2017 to move to Minnesota to be closer to her. You joined Chris Lundstrom’s (Lundo) team USA Minnesota. Tell us about this move, what is it like to be apart of this post collegiate team? And Lundo (a pretty esteemed runner himself), what’s he like?

Lundo is great, a very laid back and introspective kind of guy.  He has a PhD in Kinesiology but was also a very good marathon runner himself so his approach to training has a great mix of science and empirical evidence from his own experimentation.   It’s been a really great fit for me.  I think I relate to Lundo is much of the same ways I related to Coach Smith.  Lundo wasn’t the most talented guy back in his running days but he was the kind of guy who would run 140 miles a week, consistently year round, and pushed himself (often to his own peril) to be better and accomplish everything he was capable of.  With that experience I think he really understands me as an athlete and knows when to hold me back or let me get after it.  With Lundo I’ve pushed my mileage and workouts higher than they’ve ever been before but with the way he’s progressed me into them, I never feel like I’m overreaching or overtraining.

Do you still work full time from home as a computer programmer. Do like this balance? How do you fit training in?

Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been lucky enough to have my programming job with my Montreal based startupsince graduating college.  It’s been great for complementing training and giving me something else to put my mind on between training sessions.  I don’t think the 100 percent focus on running is a good approach as it puts a little too much pressure on it.  I like having something else to focus a little brain power on.

You followed your 2:16:52 PR from the 2017 Houston marathon with a 2:19 several months later at a hot Grandmas marathon. Later that year in December, you DNF’d at the California International Marathon with a muscle strain.

Yeah that race was a big disappointment.  I really thought I was ready to do something special on that day.  Training had gone amazing up until then.  I figured it was in 2:14 shape or so.  About 3 days before the race I felt a bit of a twinge in my calf but really didn’t think much of it, figured I’d start the race and wouldn’t even feel it.  About 3 miles into the race I was right in the front pack running 5:05s and I took one step and felt a pop in my calf.  Unlike anything I’d experienced before, just couldn’t push off of that foot.  Ended up limping my way to mile 19 before dropping out.

Lundo (coach- Chris Lundstrom) picked me up in his car, I could barely walk, and I remember not even a minute into the drive he said… “Lets run Houston in 6 weeks”.  He knew exactly what I needed to hear in that moment.  Rather than sit there in disappointment he turned my focus on the positive.  What can we do with this situation.  Heal up the calf and race another marathon.

Bang! So then, in the 2018 Houston marathon in January the following year you ran another fantastic PR, running 2:16:39 for 7th!?

Houston was really cool after the CIM experience went bad.  It took 2 weeks after CIM before I as back running again, so we had 4 weeks to get a bit of training in and see if I could get back to the shape I was in before CIM.  It was really cool to have that vindication after being so low just 6 weeks before.

Which brings us to your incredible love affair with the Houston marathon! 3 runs and 3 whopping PRs! Just last month at the 2019 Houston marathon you not only broke 2:15 but you ran 2:13:29 for 9th place! How the hell did you take another healthy 3 minutes off your PB? What did you do different here?

Seriously! Houston has always been good to me.  It’s a great race and course to run a fast time.  In the marathon a million things can go wrong from race to race so it was great to finally have a day where everything went perfect – from the training leading up to the weather on the day to the execution of the race.  In training I had been having better workouts than I ever had before, gotten up to 130 miles a week, and had some really good 10-16 mile fartleks and steady states.

Some of my biggest confidence boosting workouts along the way were a 10 mile tempo in 49:59, 12 miles of 3 at marathon pace, 1 at half marathon pace averaging 5:02/mile, and a 17 mile fartlek of 3 minutes on, 2 minutes float where I averaged 5:15 for the whole things.  Everything just went really perfect overall.

Hey, and Katy made her debut in the woman’s race and also came 9th in 2:33, what a day you guys had! What are her goals now? What do you feel she could do in the future?

Man, Katy has so much potential at the marathon it’s really exciting.  I think she’s just started to scratch the surface there.  She really had no goals going in, just wanted to have a positive experience on her first one.  She ran a huge negative split, going out in 78 minutes and closing in 75 minutes.  She never hit a wall, wasn’t even really sore the next day.  I don’t think she even tried that hard out there! Hahaha.  It was really good to give her that positive experience at the distance and now she’ll have a little more confidence going into the next one to take it out a bit quicker and go for a fast time.

So in summary, over the past 4 years you have run 12 marathons and steadily just continued to improve. I’m sure your training has changed a lot during this time. When you are in peak marathon training, what does a typical training week look like for you from Monday to Sunday? How has this changed?

Honestly my training hasn’t changed a whole lot.  Its really quite simple training for a marathon.  You’ve got your long runs, 20+ miles.  I like to do a couple overdistance runs in a buildup of 24 miles or 27 miles just to make sure my legs can handle the pounding.  I like the long run to be a bit faster effort, not racing or anything, but I’ll usually end up under 6 minute miles by the second half or so.  Then there’s the marathon specific workouts, the long fartleks, the long steady states of 10-16 miles at marathon pace, and long interval workouts like 3 x 3 mile or something.  I think the key for me is a float rest where I maintain a moderate pace (sub 6 minute pace) rather than a pure jogging rest between intervals or standing rest.

What workouts do you feel really have made you improve as a marathoner over the years?

My favorite type of workout hands down, it an hour – 90 minute fartlek, something like 1 on, 1 float or 2 on, 1 float or 3 on, 2 float where the on’s are something like 4:45-4:55 pace and the offs are somewhere like 5:15-5:30 pace.  You end up getting in a long effort of near marathon pace but I think it teaches your body to be able to handle the surges of a race and makes an even pacing effort feel a whole lot easier.  Above all else, it teaches your body to recover at the float pace—if my body can recover at 5:15 pace, I don’t really have to worry about blowing up so bad!  These types of workouts are a huge staple in my training.

Tyler, in a similar vein, what’s the secret to constant improvement as a runner?

It’s like I said with Reed.  Putting in that consistent training week after week, month after month, year after year.  If you can manage to stay healthy for a long-periodof time and keep building on training little by little, it’s amazing what you are capable of. I know I’ve surprised myself already and I’d like to think I still have a ways to grow!

With the benefit of hindsight and the ability to reflect on your career so far, what’s the best advice you’d give your younger self?

I wish I would have learned to be patient at a younger age, maybe I would have had a bit more success in college and maybe I’d be at a better place now already.  It’s not about any one week or any one workouts, its really about piling up the consistent training and never overreaching or trying to do something your body isn’t ready to handle.

Alright, uber tough question, I want your honest opinion here. To be successful in the marathon, do you feel you have to be completely and utterly genetically gifted or do you believe with good training, consistency and a great deal of time and patience a lesser runner can mould themself into the runner they aspire to be?

I really don’t believe in talent.  I know I’ve used thatword a couple times in the above questions because I think it’s a concept people can understand.  But my definition of talent is a bit different.  I think it’s a manifestation of the work a person has put in up to this point.  You may look at Galen Rupp and think, he’s a talented individual, but in all honestly, he’s put in 20+ years now of perfect, consistent training, where he’s never overdone it, and never pushed himself beyond his limits.  Now he’s just reaping the benefits.  Personally, I know the incredible effects just 4-5 years of perfect, consistent training can yield, so I can only imagine where you, or I, or any runner could be after putting in the kind of work Galen has.

Ok, mate, at just 26 years of age, where to now for Tyler Jermann? What does the future hold?

I love running, I love training, I think it will always be something that is a part of my life.  I heard a Drake lyric the other day that resonated with me, he said “It’s been this way since the beginning.  I’ve just been playin’, I didn’t even notice I was winning”.  Not to say Drake understands the plight of the distance running but I like the idea of that.  If you commit yourself to the process and love what you do everyday the results come on their own.  So, I don’t know specifically what I am capable of.  If you asked me this 3 years ago I wouldn’t think I could run 2:13 so who knows.  All I can do is keep putting in the training, and keep building up and improving, and someday maybe I’ll get to see over that mountain.

Tyler, as we wrap up, any people/sponsors you’d like to thank?

I don’t think of anything I’ve accomplished as self-made.  I’ve really been so lucky to have incredible people in my life to support and guide me every step of the way.  There’s too many people to thank and I hope I’ve given them their proper credit along the way.  My dad has always been my biggest fan along the way and really believed I was capable of more.  My wife and my coach put up with my frustrations when things aren’t quite going my way and help push me in the right directions.  And my sponsor Under Armour has really kept their belief in me when things weren’t going so well and I can’t thank them enough for that.

Tyler, thanks so much for just being so generous withyour time and helping give back to this sport we all love so much. I’m sure so many readers will glean just so much from this interview with you.

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