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It's Marathon Project Week at The XC. Be sure to follow all of our special coverage of Sunday's big race in Arizona, which will feature some of  North America's best marathoners, including those attempting to qualify for next summer's Olympic Games. We'll be releasing daily podcasts featuring interviews with athletes competing in The Marathon Project, plus we'll be doing an instant reactions podcast immediately following the race. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for in-depth coverage delivered right to your inbox, and our Sunday Long Read.

Our guest today is Kinsey Middleton, the 2018 Canadian marathon champion who trains out of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. This weekend, she hopes to better her PB of 2:32:09 and earn a spot on Team Canada at the 2021 Tokyo Games.

The team will be hard to crack for the 28-year-old, as four Canadian women already have Olympic standard. But Middleton is a proven performer. Just two years ago, she surprised everyone - and maybe even herself - by winning her first-ever Canadian marathon title. Since then, however, there have been ups and downs: she PB'd in the half marathon earlier this year, but then she got shoulder surgery and had to spend most of the summer in recovery mode.

Despite that, Middleton now appears to be in the best shape of her life, and has flirted with 2:26 marathon pace in recent workouts. Here, she talks about recovering from surgery, rushing through a marathon build, and why she thinks Canadian women are running faster than ever.

Subscribe to The XC Podcast here for more on The Marathon Project all this week:

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