By: Nina Corso, Student Intern
Alyssa decided to join the Railroad team and immediately felt like she belonged. “I love the sense of community even though we are separated by distance,” she explains. Before joining Railroad, Alyssa explained to Coach Hayden that she is a working mom of two children and did not have much flexibility in her schedule to workout. Hayden worked with her to write training especially for her that was adapted to Alyss'as busy life. The training Alyssa endured was more intense than her previous training but, also, more efficient and effective. So, she continued to train hard and trusted Hayden’s coaching.
Photo by Brian Knox Photography
Incredibly, for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, Alyssa self-coached herself to an Olympic Trial qualifying marathon time of 2:41. However, she was determined to accomplish more. To qualify again, she'd have to. The 2024 qualifying time was moved all the way down to 2:37.
“I knew I wanted to shoot for another Olympic qualifying time this fall,” Alyssa explains, but it was more difficult this year to qualify as the marathon time required was faster. She was on her goal, but she did not know how to further improve by herself and needed help. After one of her races, Hayden noticed Alyssa’s potential and her location near his college town of Greenville, SC and reached out to her. They hopped on a call together and talked for about two hours. It was then that Alyssa realized, “this is the guy that’s going to get me to my goal.”
On the day of her race, Alyssa was “scared, nervous, and anxious, but was excited,” and was eager to see how her trading would allow her to perform. “You work hard for months and months and it all comes down to one day,” Alyssa says and, on that particular day, she felt great—both physically and mentally. Her legs were strong and her mind was sharp as she carried herself smoothly for 26.2 miles. Alyssa crossed the finish line with a five minute personal best and yet another Olympic Trials qualification of 2:36:29, joining teammate Anna West as Railroad's first Olympic Trials qualifiers.
Alyssa is continuing to put her best foot forward and is now training for the U.S. Olympic Trials, which will be hosted on February 3rd, 2024. “I feel like there’s room for me to PR again,” she says. Alyssa feels that her training has the possibility to take her even further in her marathon running and she is overall excited to see what she can do at the Trials. “Who knows! Hopefully I have another PR!”
If you're interested, Alyssa’s unique marathon training plan is available for personal purchase here on the Railroad Athletics website.