· What does a typical week of workouts look like for you?
Usually we do two hard workouts a week on Tuesdays and Fridays to incorporate some sort of race-specific speedwork, tempo threshold running and aerobic training. Every Sunday, we do a long run of 90 minutes to two hours. These used to be my least favorite of the workouts, but now I kind of look forward to them! One of the most important parts of the week is the recovery run, we do these on Mondays and Wednesdays. On these days I run as slow as I need to, and they help keep me from grinding myself into the ground over a long period of intense training. On Thursdays, we have a longer moderate run and circuit to prepare us for Friday’s session.
· How long have you been running for and when did you realize that you had so much potential as a runner?
My dad has always been a runner, and he started saving me a mile at the end of his long runs as far back as I can remember. I loved it! So, I decided to race in a meet that my elementary school put on, and I got my butt kicked by all the kids that were in soccer. But I really enjoyed competing, and I wasn’t too far behind them- I even won the long jump! Junior high is when I first realized that not only did I enjoy running, but it was fun to work towards goals, be part of a team and win races!
· Do you have any tips for new runners?
Keep it fun! But also remember, anything worth doing is hard, and you will fail sometimes. Failure is a friend and not an enemy though, because you learn and come back stronger than you were before.
· I’d love to hear about your favorite race memory!
My favorite race memory has to be racing in the Olympic Stadium at the London Diamond League in 2013. The tickets were sold out and there were 67,000 people in the stands! I’ve never been on the track in a stadium with so much energy. It was very surreal, the only thing I could think was “this must be how NFL players feel!” They even had flames that came out of the ground the last 100 meters of every race! And to cap it all off, I met Usain Bolt and he smiled at me, which was pretty cool.
· What are some of your favorite mantras that you use during a race or hard work out?
Usually I repeat something that my coach says to me about a particular training session or race that gives me confidence. If all else fails, I just tell myself “you are tough!”
· What nutrition tips do you have for runners?
Nutrition is one of the most important tools an athlete has to aid in proper recovery and injury prevention. I always try to think about getting the most “bang for my buck” from my food: for example, an apple and generous tablespoon of peanut butter is about 250-300 calories while a bagel is about the same amount of calories but lacks the vitamins and minerals that the apple contains. So if the majority of your calories come from fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and healthy whole grains like quinoa, you are giving your body the proper building blocks to rebuild itself. The 30-minute window following a run or hard workout is also very important for runners, and taking a recovery drink like Endurox with simple carbohydrates and protein can replenish your body’s stores quickly so you recover faster and feel better the next day.
· What is your favorite shoe to run in?
It depends on the day and training session! My go to is the Ghost, I do the majority of my training in this shoe because it’s just the right amount of neutral cushioning that my foot needs, but it is still a fairly lightweight shoe. For tempo runs the new Launch 2 is hands down the best shoe I have ever worked out in, they are light but give my feet and lower legs enough cushion so that they don’t get super beat up. I race and do speed work in the ELMN8’s- they are firm and keep me on my toes feeling bouncy!
· What race distance is your favorite and are there any new race distances that you are wanting to do soon?
My true love is the mile. In my mind, it’s the perfect balance of speed, strength and tactics! I’ve raced the 5K before, but I guess it still feels like a fairly new and unexplored event to me after I was able to have a big breakthrough last year. I don’t think I’ll go any longer than that for the time being.
· Any tips or tricks that you can share with us on how to increase our speed?
Mechanically, focus on your arms. If you relax your fists (watch sprinters, they never have their hands in fists!) and pump your arms you can actually get a lot of power, and it can help your rhythm when your legs are fatigued at the end of a race. For training, try incorporating more strides, circuits or plyometrics into your routine a few times a week after runs. Strength=Speed. I know that has helped me a lot!
Thanks for sharing with us Katie!!!!