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Back To The Edge: Exclusive Interview With Adam Goucher

  • By Mario Fraioli
  • Published Sep. 15, 2011
  • Updated Sep. 15, 2011 at 4:20 PM UTC

Interview With Adam Goucher, Page 3

In 2006 Goucher won his second national cross country title at the 4K distance, re-assertinghimself as one of the top distance runners in the U.S. Photo: PhotoRun.net

In the last few years you’ve been riddled by a number of injuries, including surgery on your foot in late 2007, I believe. But for the last year or so you’ve been relatively healthy. What has your training been like the last 12 months and what have you had to change given your injury history?

I think that for me the thing that was the biggest difference was that I backed off the intensity of my workouts. Really, for all intents and purposes, I was basically done with running (last year). I had come to my end with running. I had all but announced it to the world. I wasn’t having fun with it. I didn’t enjoy it anymore. I didn’t like it. When Kara had Colt—it’d be almost a year ago now—my goal was like “Hey, you know what, for our family, for what I can do, if I can help her out, get her ready and prepare, bounce back from the pregnancy, get ready for Boston, get ready to run fast on the track, that gives me something to do and helps her and helps our family.” So, for me, that was my goal: I’m going to help her train now. So what I started to do is start running with her on almost an everyday basis. Not everyday, but almost. I was putting in the miles because she’s running 100 to 120 miles a week and I’m running basically a majority of that with her. It’s just the intensity was so much lower than what I would normally run if I were training for myself. And I think what it did was allow my body just to kind of put in the miles and not get beat down, and so my body was able to recover. And basically because of that I was able to start working into my own workouts and my own running and then I started getting excited and thought “well things are going pretty good, maybe I should start running something else and get back out there.”

When did that switch flip for you?

It was probably right when Kara ran Boston I was thinking that I could probably get back into it. I was hoping to get back into it. Things were going well so it was just a matter of time for me to start working into my own workouts. What I did learn at this point was, and I’d been told this time and time again by other runners out there who have been at the top level, is that as they get older they just can’t handle the intensity–the day in and day out working out basically. So what I needed to do was just take more days. Instead of going hard every other day I’ll go hard every third day. I just allowed myself to have those recovery days. I needed more time to recover and that’s been working for me.

You haven’t been sponsored, or training with a group, to my knowledge, since you last raced a year-and-a-half ago. Aside from doing Kara’s workouts when she was getting ready for Boston, how have you been getting ready for your own races as they get closer? Are you doing everything on your own or is someone helping you out?

Actually right now I’m working with Chris Cook, who is a great advisor and really been there for me and is essentially my coach. He kind of coaches the Bowerman Athletic Group at Nike and he’s got a lot of good ideas and he’s just good. He’s good at what he does so it’s been good to bounce ideas off of him. And he’s come out and timed me and he’s been there supporting me so it’s been great having somebody there.

And yeah, I haven’t been sponsored, I haven’t had that sponsorship but I’ve still been within a group environment because of Kara. I’m still around other runners and I’ve been able to jump in with other people, some of Jerry’s (Schumacher’s) guys here and there. And, you know, some of the Bowerman Athletic Guys, they’ve been great letting me come in and work out with them here and there. It’s been good.

Do you feel like seeing Kara come back so well over the last year, along with just being in that environment where you’re still around other runners, to be motivating for you?

Definitely. It’s been motivating. It’s helped me realize that “yeah, this is still something I think I can do”. But I think the biggest motivation, honestly, for me, aside from seeing Kara running well and the hope that I can do something again, was spending the last year and a half writing the book. It forced me to kind of reflect on my career, who I was as a person, what I wanted out of life and it allowed me to find the joy in running again because like I said, I really didn’t like it. I even had my days when I was pacing Kara where it was just “I don’t like this” you know? I think it was a combination of being with her still and being able to stick in that enviroment and just the process of writing the book and reflecting on my career and my life and what I wanted out of it. It got me excited and it made me realize there’s expectations out there, there’s people that may laugh or ridicule me for trying to do what I’m doing, but in the end this is really for me right now. This is to see what I can do.  And that’s what most important right now is to see what I can do and still try to achieve dreams and goals I’ve been working toward through the years.

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Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli is a senior editor at Competitor magazine. A cross-country All-American at Stonehill College in 2003, he now coaches the Prado Women's Racing Team in San Diego and was the men's marathon coach for Costa Rica's 2012 Olympic team. His first book, The Official Rock 'n' Roll Guide To Marathon & Half-Marathon Training (VeloPress, 2013) is available in bookstores, running shops and online.

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