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Catching Up With Jenny Simpson

Published by
RunnerSpace.com/Pro   on Oct 1 2013, 03:56 PM

It's been a wild 2013 season for U.S. middle distance star Jenny Simpson. Switching coaches after a disappointing 2012 Olympic Games, Simpson reunited with her former college coach Mark Wetmore and quickly jumped back on the path to being a challenger for a world title. Focusing on the 1,500m most of the season, Simpson charged into the season with a domating performance at the Drake Relays, then came back to win the 5,000m at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Having won gold at the last IAAF World Championships, Simpson automatically qualified for the 1,500m in Moscow. Running strong and confident, Simpson came away with a silver medal, accomplishing her season long goal of coming back to the U.S. with a medal. Wrapping up her season, Simpson trumped strong competition at the Fifth Avenue Mile, winning by an austounding four seconds.

We caught up with Simpson this week, discussing her season, her successes and what lies ahead.

Scott Bush (SB): You put on quite a show in NYC at the Fifth Avenue Mile. Having a chance to reflect on the race, is that how you saw the race unfolding?

Jenny Simpson (JS): I knew from my last few weeks of great training that I was still in shape and would be able to make it a fast race. At the end of my season with all I had been through, I thought my best chance of winning was to make it as simple as possible. Just run hard. I had some formidable competition on the line though, so I knew there was a chance of someone or a small group going with me.

SB: It has to feel good to end your season with a win, right?

JS: Of course! After my last race, it's a long haul of training before I get to race on the track again. During that time it is nice to be reflecting on something fun and victorious rather than being fueled by disappointment. Every athlete is encouraged and motivated differently and for me, having the memory of a good final race is great motivation.

SB: 2013 was quite the year for you. Winning a World Championship medal, a U.S. title and establishing yourself once again as one of the very best runners in the world. Do you feel you met all of your goals you set early on in the year?

JS: Yes. I had one goal. Come home with a medal.

SB: There is so much talent and depth in U.S. women's 1,500m running. What does it mean to you to be leading the charge?

JS: My individual career is important but on a greater scale, I think this stretch of American middle-distance and distance success has the potential of being remembered as a great era of our sport. For that reason, I'm so grateful to be doing what I love, at a high level, at a time that I think it significant beyond my personal goals. Plus, racing with such stiff and competent opponents challenges me and forces me to train smarter and race harder.

SB: What changed in your training this season, especially reuniting with Mark Wetmore?

JS: I was very highly focused this season on just a few races and did a lot of advance planning. The life of a pro track and field athlete can be chaotic with all of the travel and races not being confirmed until just a few weeks or days before the race. There's a big learning curve to mitigating the craziness and the stress throughout the racing season. I'm getting better and more efficient at just the logistics of my job.

SB: So what does 2014 hold in store for you being a non-World & Olympic year?

JS: I'm not exactly sure what I want to focus on exactly. Going after some PRs will certainly be a part of it as well as distances I don't usually get to focus on. Whatever I land on though, it will comprise of goals that I think are fun and I care a lot about. World Champs is always going to be a number one priority on the track and so this is my one out of four years to prioritize something different.

SB: Living and training at altitude, do you ever feel you're at a disadvantage when it comes to getting in speed training and sharpening up for your biggest events?

JS: I think you're at a disadvantage if you're not happy. No matter where you are you can say one specific place is lacking some specific quality. It's most important to believe in your coaching and love where you train. So in those two areas, I feel like I've always had a huge advantage!

SB: Okay, now that your season is officially over, what does the off season look like for you?

JS: For at least two weeks I'm going to be a lazy bum. No running, no lifting, no workouts. The crazy thing is, I love it! I make my husband crazy because near the end I can hardly sleep because I'm so rested. Haha! I shut everything down and just let my body rest. I still eat healthy though, hydrate, and stretch.

My first run back is always 4 miles easy two or three weeks later and I always say, it's my hardest run of the year! I always feel so terrible, out of shape, and slow, then wake up sore the next morning! But it's a great humbling reminder of all of the hard work it takes to get to the point I left off at the end of the season.

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2 comment(s)  
Scott Bush

DistancePreps.com, on , said:

I'm a homer Scott but that was a great read any way you cut it !

DB


Haha, thank you! Jenny always gives great answers.
DrBob
I'm a homer Scott but that was a great read any way you cut it !

DB
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