Wednesday, January 31, 2024

US Olympic Marathon Trials Preview with Hoka NAZ Elite Athlete Lauren Hagans

Article by Benjamin David

Olympic Trials Preview with Hoka NAZ Elite Athlete Lauren Hagans

Photo Credit: Pedro Gomes 

Less than two weeks before the trials, I reached out to Lauren Hagans to see how she’s feeling, how training has gone and what she expects to happen on race day, February 3. While the women’s race will be supremely competitive, she is one of the many athletes with a real chance of making the team, as her teammate Aliphine Tuliamuk did four years ago in Atlanta.

Lauren is relatively new to the Hoka NAZ Elite squad. She joined in January of 2020, though she was unable to race for the team extensively due to the pandemic that started just weeks later. Lauren came into the sport via the 800 and 1500, where she found early success. She ran personal bests of 2:02.97 and 4:09.86 respectively not long after graduating from Baylor. She then moved up to the 3,000 and 5,000, finding success there as well. She ran the 5,000 at both the 2016 and 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials. She came onto many people’s radar screens in more recent years. She garnered attention across the running community when, in June of this past year, she won the Grandma’s Marathon in a time of 2:25:55. It was the fourth fastest American debut ever.

She told me that she feels “excited and healthily nervous, and ready to compete.” 

One of her clear advantages is being surrounded by veterans, such as Stephanie Bruce, Kellyn Taylor, as well as Tuliamuk. I asked her if their influence has made a difference: 

“I’ve taken little bits and pieces from everyone, even the male marathoners, but I think the best piece of advice I’ve been given has come from Kellyn Taylor, to just ride the highs and lows. If/when you have a bad patch working through it until you come out of it, and when you’re in a good groove to lock in and ride that wave as long as possible.”

She noted that she entered this build-up with “some minor injury” which prompted her to get a bit of a late start but, ever since, has produced some of her best marathon-specific workouts. She says she could be in PR shape “but it was hard-fought.” Like a more seasoned runner, she has leaned into consistency while avoiding flashy workouts or a significant mileage increases. Two runs that jump off the page are an 18-mile easy run followed by 4 miles at tempo as well as a 14-mile tempo run.

A major point of discussion has been the potential for challenging conditions in Orlando. Many groups are doing a lot of acclimation work, long periods in Florida, time in the sauna, treadmill sessions under heat lamps and the like. I asked Lauren what the NAZ Elite squad has done for the possibility of heat and humidity the morning of the race: “We have been heat training using a hot yoga tent over a treadmill and a sauna protocol.”

As a gear review website, I couldn’t help but ask what her shoe rotation looks like and what she’ll be racing in on February 3. “Oh man, I probably wear every shoe in HOKA’s lineup , but my favorites are the Mach 5, Mach X and the Clifton 9. I love the Rocket X2 for racing and that’s what I’ll be wearing on February 3 in Orlando. I’ve also gotten to try some new shoes that haven’t been released yet but are coming out soon, and they’ve been awesome so keep an eye out for new Hoka releases!”

It would not be a surprise to see her competing at the front late into the race. She has the talent, the drive and the support to impress. We’ll all be watching on February 3 as she aims to claim her place as a 2024 Olympian and one of America’s best.  

Please read my 2024 US Marathon Trials User's Guide article where I give brief overviews and odds for over 70 men and women who will be toeing the line in Orlando HERE

Ben is the Senior Rabbi of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel of Elkins Park, PA. A cancer survivor, he has run 21 marathons. He holds PRs of 3:15 for the marathon and 1:30 for the half. At 46, he still enjoys pushing himself and combining his running with supporting a variety of causes. Follow him on Instagram: @RabbiBPD or Twitter: @BDinPA

RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links on our pages. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! 

RoadTrailRun Official Store Custom Fractel Caps and Bucket Hats
Cap:$39                                                             Bucket:$49
Limited Release! SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns

Men's and Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE


Find all RoadTrailRun reviews at our index page HERE 
Google "roadtrailrun Shoe Name" and you can be quite sure to find just about any run shoe over the last 10 years

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by Following RoadTrailRun News Feed

Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook:  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun


Anonymous said...

Is part of the article missing? This didn't feel like a preview, moreso a short bio

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Also please check out Ben's User Guide to the Trials where he covers 70 men and women toeing the line in Orlando with odds here:
Sam, Editor