A runner with a goal! That’s Caleb Ault.
The last few years, Caleb, who competes in the full range of Arkansas Grand Prix events, has come to the Go! Mile with a very specific goal. In 2013 he dramatically changed his training in the weeks leading up to the race, to attempt a sub 5:20 mile. He barely missed that goal, but is back to not just beat 5:20, but to attack the 5 minute barrier.
Go! Mile: Caleb, tell us about what kind of races you compete in throughout the year?
Caleb Ault: Thanks to the Arkansas Grand Prix and the AURA Trail series I am able to compete in a lot of local races with multiple distances from the Mile to UltraMarathons. I also competed in a triathalon last year and plan on racing a couple more this year. What race distances are your favorites? I really enjoy racing the longer distance races. I would have to say the marathon would probably be my favorite distance, mainly due to the challenge it holds each time, but here recently I have earned a new respect for the shorter distance races, seeing how the training needed to improve is twice as hard as the training I was doing for longer distance races, and now are presenting new challenges.
G!M: So how did last year’s Go! Mile work out for you?
CA: It actually went perfect! I couldn’t of asked for a better time or race. I ran it without a watch and just went on “feel”. The third quarter was definitely the hardest. I didn’t really know exactly what my time was at the half and then my head got in the way. There were a lot of conversations going through my mind that third quarter. What time did you run, and what could you have done differently to have got just that little more you needed? I ran a 5:20.5, so I missed my goal by a fraction of a second. I think the largest challenge was a mental challenge. I think if I wouldn’t of allowed my head to get in the way that 3rd quarter and would of just pushed a little harder instead of letting up I would have beaten the goal I had set.
G!M: Why does the Go! Mile make you want to have such a specific goal?
CA: I never had the opportunity to race the mile in high school or college, so now I get that chance. Everyone always wants to know what your fastest mile is, and until my first Go! Mile in 2012 I had no idea how fast I could run a mile. So, each year I have been wanting to get faster, and if you don’t set a specific goal you don’t know what to train for. My first year, I had no clue what my goal should have been, but I knew I had to at least get under 6min and I ended up running a 5:40. I had no idea I was able to run that fast and since that race I have been setting faster goal times to push myself to become a better runner. And what is you plan/goal for this year? Some may say it’s not possible or unrealistic, but my goal is to break a 5min mile. Come to find out it is very challenging goal and may be easier said than done , and It may just take more time and training to get there. As long as I am faster than I was last year I’ll be happy.
G!M: The Go! Mile has someone calling split times at 1/4 mile, and a race time clock at 1/2mile. Do you pay attention to them, or are you just running on ‘feel’?
CA: Last year I just ran by “feel” this year I plan to pay more attention to the split times.
G!M: So have you been doing some special, secret training to get ready for this year?
CA: Actually, I have been doing mile specific workouts a least once a week. What are you doing different? Running Faster!… No…, but really, I am training at faster paces and I started training a few weeks earlier than I did last year. I also recently reduced my weekend runs from 18-20 miles down to 10-12 miles
G!M: You’ll be lining up against some great runners at the start line, some maybe even have sub 4 speed on the road. How will you feel about that, and will it affect your race in any way?
CA: I think running is one of the best sports because of that reason. Running is one of the only sports where amateur/recreational athletes get to compete on the same course with the elite and professional athletes. I just stand in amazement, because I realize how hard it is and how much training it takes to go that fast. I am hoping that it does affect my race! If the pace is going sub 4 I will feel slow at my goal 5min pace and may be able to push that much harder and manage to hit it. We will see! Can’t wait to see what happens.
Check out more information on the Go! Mile in this Arkansas Matters interview: