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WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Andrea Duke

Over the last 13 years, Andrea Duke has run 45 marathons, progressively improving so much that she’s qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials. She emerged on the scene of elite marathoners in February of 2014 when she won the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon with a time of 2:58:07. She’s since lowered her personal best to 2:41:05 with a new coach and is breaking out of her comfort zone onto a new level. In addition to marathon training, she’s also a mom, professor, and business owner living in San Antonio, Texas (so she trains for marathons in her “spare time”)! We love her attitude of persistence, and favorite quote of ” You never lose – you either win or learn.” Her vast improvements came with hard work, including her favorite workout of 1k repeats:

What is your favorite workout?
I’ve been coached by Ben Bruce for over a year now, and he has really taken me outside my comfort zone on workouts.  We do a lot of different types of workouts, but my favorite are 1k workouts (usually on the track) with 200m recovery. I’ve built up from 4-5 when I first started, and now usually have 12 for the workout.
What do you feel it benefits?
For me, I see that workout as speed workouts, as I’m more comfortable with the longer mileage.  But it’s an amazing indicator for my endurance and recovery abilities, as the time between each is minimal.  The 1k workouts are a good challenge for me mentally too, as I have to be mindful of the pace and effort.
When do you like it?
 I LOVE this workout when I’m done, that’s for sure.  I know when I’ve had a good workout when I hate it during, but feel amazing after.
Do you do best with other people running with you during the workout, or is it best done solo?
I have to do this run with a partner – I like to alternate being “rabbit” with my training partner, as we learn how to follow and lead.