Since graduating from Oklahoma last year, you have joined up with the Brooks Beasts out in Seattle. How is training going out there?
The training is going well. During the fall I did the majority of my running alone but managed to lay a great base and set myself up for a strong track season. With the recent addition of a few athletes, I am excited to start putting in some quality workouts. Having access to resources like chiropractors, alter-g treadmills, massage and weight room facilities, it has made this experience even better. Brooks has done a wonderful job making sure all of our needs are taken care of.
With Brooks being based in Seattle as well, how closely aligned is the group and the company? Is there a lot of day-to-day interaction?
The group and the company are very closely aligned. We are consistently speaking with appeal and footwear designers; we provide feedback on the products. Occasionally I will even run with people from the office on recovery days. Having a close relationship with the company is great. We are exposed to what is going on in the office and the people in the office are exposed to us. We are able to form relationships with the employees and work together.
So can we expect a shoe with your name on it soon?
Brooks is doing some cool things to promote each athlete individually. I can't say there is any shoe designed coming out with my name on them, but you might see some other products that are unique to each athlete debuting soon.
Of all the great Brooks shoes out there, what are you training in most and what do you like about them? Shoe nerds need to know!
I have been doing the majority of my training in the Defyance 7. As a neutral-stride runner I think it works well for me. And I would be lying if I didn't say it looks badass. It comes in Seattle Seahawk colors and looks sweet.
With indoor season just ending and outdoors starting up, what are some of your goals looking towards this coming year?
I have matured as an athlete over the last couple years but I don't think I have showed my true potential yet. My goal for the coming year is to use the indoor season to set myself up for a very strong outdoor campaign. I want to end the year ranked in the top 5 in the US in the 1500. I believe that goal will set me up well leading into the World Championship year.
What are you going to have to do differently or more of the same, to get to that next level?
I have been happy with my improvement curve over the last 2 years. Obviously staying healthy and consistent with my training will keep me on the right track. Working closely with Coach Mackey on my form and getting stronger will certainly help.
Do you find lining up in a race as a professional much different than when you were in college since it's now your livelihood?
Honestly, I haven’t noticed much of a difference. I am the same runner I was in college; I am simply wearing a different jersey. I got to where I am now by focusing on competing and training as well as I can; I don't see any reason to change that mindset.
Well we wish you continued success! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, and if you're ever in New Jersey we hope you'll stop by--Good luck this year!
No problem at all. Happy Running!