Since you’ve been so successful this season, do you feel any extra pressure to medal in next month’s world championships?
The only pressure is coming from myself. I don’t feel pressure from other people or anything like that. I’ve had a goal to earn a medal at Worlds and at the Olympics and that’s stayed constant throughout the season. As far as Worlds, yeah I’ve been winning these races and running well, but World’s is a totally different arena, because it will be three rounds. Getting to the final is half the battle. You have to make sure you are running smart and doing the things you have to do to make it there. Once I make the final, I’ll have to really sit down and come up with a game plan. Right now, it’s all about making the final and executing once I get there. You just never know what can happen, how you feel after all the rounds, and who’s going to show up. It’s just all these factors that I’m going to take one step at a time and not get overwhelmed by them.
As you go into the Olympic cycle for next year is there anything you learned from this year’s racing season that you will plan on applying for the Olympics?
Yeah. Terrence and I have talked briefly about it. For next year it’s all about keeping things the same. Some people tend to do things differently. It’s like, “Why?” I’ll still probably race indoors, because it’s something that I’ve always done and I actually did pretty well this year, so I plan on racing an indoor season and taking a week or so off and then gearing back up again. I think Terrence, more than me, since he’s writing my programs and my weights, is probably connecting the dots about what kind of workouts he’s seen me doing that have yielded the best results. I’m sure we will tweak some things, too. There are always gains to be made as well. I kind of will let him worry about that. I trust him completely and know he will do what’s best for me.
How much interaction do you have with him? Is he supervising your workouts? Or is he writing out your training and then showing up every now and then?
We pretty much have face time every day. Our team meets every morning, whether it’s to run or to work out. He’s actually worked out with me before. He’s gotten himself into pretty good shape this year. He jumps in some of our intervals to help us out. He comes on our runs and if not, he’ll be handing out water bottles if it’s a longer run that day. It’s pretty much every day—on the track and in the gym that he’s there, which is nice.
A lot of people look up to you for inspiration. Because of your recent victories, there is a lot of excitement about you within the running community. How does it feel to have the spotlight on you right now and what kind of advice can you give to your running fans who want to follow in your footsteps and find their own way to break through, performance-wise?
I just think there is no magic answer. There isn’t one workout, or one coach, or one training group that is going to get you your success. I think as long as you are training as hard and as smart as you can and you believe in your abilities, then I think that can take you as far as you think you can go. Don’t limit yourself. Work hard every day. Be patient. At the end of the day, as long as you are doing all the right things, I really think that it will pay off. It’s all about being patient and doing the little things that will keep you going.