This Saturday, February 29th, Trails and Tarmac coaches, Camelia Mayfield and Rachel Drake will be competing in the Olympic Trials Marathon.  Along with 509 other women, they will have the opportunity to qualify for an Olympic Team and represent team USA in Tokyo.

A 2016 Trials qualifier himself, Coach David Laney asked both Camelia and Rachel a few questions about the transition from trail to road and eventually back to trail again.


2020 Camelia Mayfield for GU Energy Labs Photo Myke Hermsmeyer @mykehphoto

DL: What’s one thing you learned during this training block?

CM: I’ve been obsessed with a new recipe I found for “golden coconut lentils.” It takes about 30 minutes to make, and has awesome ingredients for recovery- Tumeric, ginger, garlic, curry, coconut milk, and of course lentils. This has been in my current meal prep rotation for this training cycle. I add some honey when it’s almost done cooking for some extra balance of savory and sweet flavors.

DL: How did you switch gears after Javelina 100, to get into road marathon fitness?

CM: Javelina is a pretty flat trail race, so my coach and I focused on a lot of marathon-type longer workouts leading into Javelina. Then, it was just a matter of recovering from the 100 mile race at the end of October, which realistically took more than a month to feel comfortable doing workouts and long runs again. Starting in January I began doing more pace-specific training including road and track workouts at marathon pace or faster.

2020 Camelia Mayfield for GU Energy Labs Photo Myke Hermsmeyer @mykehphoto

DL: Did you do most of the training for the Olympic Trials alone or did you train with a group?

CM: Usually I can be pretty limited with my schedule to meet up with other people for training runs and workouts, but training for this marathon has been really fun. I know a good group of other women who qualified, so it’s been a lot easier to coordinate workouts. I would say I do about half my workouts with other people and the other half solo.

To learn more about Camelia’s running and adventures, she can be found on Instagram and Strava


DL: Whats one thing you learned during this training block?

RD: Perfect training doesn’t mean hitting splits or doing exactly what was prescribed. If you can find a way to have fun with whatever it is you’re doing on that particular day, then that day is perfect. My favorite example of this is when we drove out to Hagg Lake for our marathon simulation day, I had some experiments going on in the lab and needed to go tend to them before and after the workout. Normally this might throw me off or add additional stress, but being surrounded by my friends made me forget all about these other responsibilities and be present. Before the workout, my friend Jessie was saying, “I’m just going to be over here in my swan paddle boat, chilling” – I loved this silly relaxed mindset and decided to envision myself in a unicorn floatie, and our pal Sarah said she’d be in a pineapple floatie. Before we knew it, we were clicking off some pretty fast miles, feeling relaxed and having fun.

DL: It seems like your transition from trail racing to road fitness has been really smooth, have you done anything specific to facilitate this?

RD: Trail running gave me a great aerobic base to build from, this build has been more about honing in on speed and getting to a point where I’m feeling smooth on the road. Having competed in multiple ultra distance races, a road marathon and less than 3 hours of racing doesn’t feel quite so daunting. Additionally, there has been a lot of hype and discussion about how much climbing there is in the course in Atlanta but as a trail runner this isn’t as big of a deal since I’m used to a lot more vertical gain in trail races.

DL: How do you feel this road training block will benefit trail racing?

RD: I think a lot of these Olympic Trials training buddies are going to hop into some trail races this year! That is going to continue be a real big life enhancer for me. Aside from that, I think knowing what kinds of paces I’m capable of running will give me confidence during trail races. I remember accidentally clipping off a pretty fast mile during a downhill at the Moab Trail Marathon a few years ago and being worried that it was too fast, but now having spent some time learning more about what I’m capable of I won’t be worried about that when it happens in the future. During this block, I’ve also been doing strength work once a week (led by my husband & fellow Trails and Tarmac coach Tyler Green) and central stability exercises 4 times a week and that has made me feel a lot stronger and more structurally sound, which is a great habit and has me feeling healthy leading into training for trail races.

To learn more about Rachel’s running and adventures, she can be found on Instagram and Strava


To lean more about the Trails and Tarmac team, check out our coaches page