I’ve got NICK SYMMONDS here (well, on the blog) today!! Nick is part of the Brooks’ Beast team. He is a 2013, World Championship silver medalist in the 800 meters along with running a 1:42.95 (800m) in the London Olympic games in 2012. In July I will be going to Eugene, Oregon to watch the US Olympic Team Trials for the Rio Olympics. I can’t wait to see Nick Symmonds compete and rock it there! I had some questions for him and he answered so enjoy:)
Q: Has your training for Rio been healthy, injury free or are you battling an injury?
A: I had a torn left calf in February, but am 100% healthy now.
Q: Having entered your 1st Olympics in 2008, how are you different physically and mentally now? How has your experience in 2 Olympics and World Championships shaped (influenced) you?
A: I now know what it takes to medal. IN 2008 making the team was everything and the Games themselves were icing on the cake. Not so anymore. I compete now specifically to try and win medals.
Q: Tell me a little bit about Run Gum and how this awesome idea came to be!
A: I love the way energy drinks make me feel mentally and physically, but I hate what they do to my stomach. Using my degree in biochemistry I figured we could take the active ingredients of an energy drink, infuse them into chewing gum, and have a product that provided energy faster, cleaner, with nothing in the stomach to slow you down.
Q: What does your typical pre-race fuel look like?
A: I usually race at night so I like to have a sandwich and popcorn about 5 hours before race time. I have a pack of Run Gum 1 hour before race time.
Q: What are some of your go to mantras?
A: Winning relieves pain.
Q: What are some of your favorite Brooks pieces? What shoes do you race in?
A: I train in the Ravennas. I love Brooks’ sleeveless tees. I race in the 3 ELMN8s.
Q: Can you give us a little peak into what a day of workouts looks like for you?
A: A day of workouts is long! At the Beasts’ level, we focus on getting the little things right, including the big things, so for a hard workout day on the track, for example, we spend a decent amount of time on warming up, doing dynamic exercises and drills and strides before we actually begin the workout. After that and the cool down are done, we often hit the gym. I’m a believer in strength training and it has worked for me well, so I spend time weight lifting after running, too. This doesn’t begin to take into account the hours spend on recovery rolling out, getting massages, etc.
Q: If you could offer any advice to a runner wanting to increase their speed—> what would it be?
A: Lift weights!
Q: Having run in arguably the fastest 800 meter race ever (London Olympics), how is that experience influencing your training and strategy for Rio? Going into the Rio Olympics with a PR of 1:42.9 in London, what are your expectations now?
A: I am certain that Rio will not be as fast as London. I don’t need to be in 1:42 shape to win a medal in Rio. I know what it takes to medal, I just need to execute properly.
Q: What is something that you do to improve your mental game? Do you practice visualizations? How do you prepare yourself mentally leading up to a race?
A: I am good at shutting my mind off. I don’t waste energy thinking about the race until I am 90 minutes out.
Thanks so much Nick and GOOD LUCK FROM ALL OF US!!!!!
Our Tuesday is off to a good start. I started off the morning first thing with 8 miles @ 8:34 average with a side of extremely tired legs… that tempo yesterday took it out of them. I guess that means I should be doing more tempo runs. A post run kiss from the Brookers was sure nice.
Brooke told me her feet were sore (hmmmm I wonder who she hears that from) so she rolled them out while wearing shoes… I’m going to have to try that out.
I then took her on a special day date just the two of us because it had been quite some time since our last date.
She had quite the stories to tell me about life.
4 random things for this afternoon:
*A reader sent this on over to me and I am this close to jumping in the car and driving 30 minutes to go get some from TJ’s. I will have this in my possession soon—> it sounds amazing!
*You have probably seen this video already but her laugh makes me soooooo happy!
*LOVING this lightweight running tank—> $13! Boom.
*Megan D and Candice always have the best internet finds:
There is always room for second dessert.
*It sure is.
The Utah Valley Half Marathon is filling up quick… COME JOIN US in a few weeks to run my absolute favorite canyon in the world. (17 days until race day!!!!)
Do you take caffeine before a race?
What Olympic sport(s) are you looking forward to watching the most the summer?
Have any races in June? Which one(s)?
Ever had any calf injuries?
Love summer Olympics!!! Track and Field, gymnastics, swimming, diving, etc. Love them. When I was little we would play Olympics and come up with our own routines.
I’m going to the OT in Eugene, too! I lived in Eugene when I was little so headed back to Tracktown with my brother and mom. I grew up going to track meets at Hayward Field. It makes me all goose bumpy to think about it!
Brooke=adorable with her foot rolling.
Sarah @ SarahRuns26
Ok, I’m noticing on the ‘love is an open door’ pic that bananas are in the fridge. Is that a thing? I just saw that my aunt keeps her bananas in the fridge too and I think it’s super weird. I have no interest in a cold banana to begin with (cold stuff hurts my teeth) but don’t they turn black?? I’m so confused!
I LOVE track and field and marathon, gymnastics and swimming. I’m super excited for the Games! and I love Nick and that he stands up for what he believes in. Can’t wait to see how he does this summer!
The Hungry Runner Girl
I’ve never seen the bananas in the fridge until this picture too. I don’t think it is a thing either:)
yep. You lose me on that one. I like cold things and would prefer a cold banana but no. No bananas in the fridge. Weird.
I don’t have any races in June; my entire summer (starting June 1) is spent solely on training for cross country (this will be my senior year!)
Last year I had super tight calves to the point where it hurt to run or stop running; it was awful! I kept training so I wouldn’t fall behind in cross country and just suffered through a bunch of really miserable runs. Hopefully that won’t happen again this year!
Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
I swear Brooke’s smiles just keep getting cuter. Makes my day to see a little one’s happy face! I’ve never injured my calf before, but I have had plenty of other injuries. Crossing my fingers I never have a calf one.
Laura @ This Runner's Recipes
I love the summer Olympics, especially track and the marathon!
My calves are super tight so I have to stretch them, strengthen them, and foam roll them a lot.
I always have a cup of coffee before a race. I drink coffee every day, but I do think it helps with performance on race day. Studies show that it reduces perceived exertion and helps you run faster!
Rachel @ Vet Tech Runner
I do not take caffeine before a race, but I definitely get a huge coffee after a race!!
I love watching gymnastics and volleyball!
I am running a race called the Lazy Lobster 10 Miler in Wareham, MA, which is on Cape Cod.
I haven’t had any calf injuries, knock on wood, but I feel like I’ve had everything else!
I’ve got the Utah Valley full. My 74-year-old mom will be doing her fourth UV half! :)
I love watching running (duh) gymnastics and swimming olympics.
Sally @ sweat out the small stuff
If my run is in the morning I have my usual coffee but I don’t take caffeine specifically for running improvement.
I love the summer olympics. Swimming gymnastics and running are my top 3 favorites
I absolutely love the summer Olympics! Especially T&F! I will also be in Eugene for the entire 10 days! Be sure to follow Oiselle on Twitter or Instagram and come join us for a meet up run! Also, the butte to butte 5k/10k will be huge!!! Sign up and run an amazing race!
I’ve been wanting to see that video and it keeps escaping me! Thanks for posting it! It is the little things for sure…:)
Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona
I’m looking forward to women’s soccer the most! With the World Cup last summer I think teams are in really great shape. There’s going to be some intense games! Since I live in Canada I’m cheering on Christine Sinclair and the rest of the Canadian team.
I love watching gymnastics and swimming. I’ll be watching running as well!
I’m keeping June race free with one possible exception. There’s a 5 and 10k on Father’s Day that benefits testicular cancer, which is what my husband had. I may do that. I figure that gives me a month off from running so a shorter race that I don’t run all out should be okay.
I like my caffeine in tea form before running.
So excited for just about all of the Olympic events this summer! I overdose on all events that are shown :)
No true calf injuries, just shin splints and generally tight calves for me.
No races in June but my marathon is July 3, so I will be wrapping up my training! I usually drink tea or coffee before longer morning runs.
Quick question from a marathon newbie: do aches and pains just start to pop up during training? Is that normal? I’m following a RW training plan and taking rest days and rolling and stretching, but it seems like there’s something new every few weeks. Hence I am not feeling very strong in my training right now… :S Any advice would be appreciated!!
Usually I love track and field but this year I can’t wait for swimming. (The boy has been swimming over a year now so I am way more educated on strokes, times, and technique….can’t wait to watch the “Really good swimmers” now. ;-)
Tedi @ Running With Infertility
Summer Olympics are definitely my favorite. I usually love watching swimming. I haven’t ever really watched track and field, but I think I definitely will this year.
Colleen @ CSmith Run
I’m running the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon in June!!
I have the Hillbilly Half marathon on June 4 just outside Nashville. I have run this since its inaugural year, it was formerly called the Franklin half marathon……………..the name change came after a video went viral of some locals dressing up and playing music on the course. I am not a fan of the name change, I just hope the race isn’t cheesy now. I loved the simple country race it was, nervous for what they could try to do to it.
No real injuries thank goodness, just sore knees from time to time. And I use Huma gels, and the ones with caffeine do seem to boost my energy the best.
I love watching women’s gymnastics! Ever since the glory days of the 1996 Atlanta Games dream team I have been hooked!
I live in Eugene! Running here is amazing…there are so, so many trails along the river as well as in parks, etc. I’d love for you to share your runs in Eugene on the blog, they’re guaranteed to be great!
Also…you should sign up for the Butte to Butte if you’re in town on the 4th…the 10k especially is a big deal here and it’s a ton of fun with a lot of community support!
Andrea, the routes in Eugene are great, aren’t they?! Plus, you see so many other runners (from what I remember!) Maybe I’ll bump into there!
You’re coming to Eugene! So exciting! I live in the Eugene area. It’s a beautiful place to run. If you need a running and donut eating buddy, let me know. ;)
Only one race for me in June. My daughters and I are signed up to be Girls on the Run 5k running buddies. It’s such a happy and fun experience.
I like the boost caffeine gives, but I’ve learned my tummy does not appreciate it as much during long runs.
I tore my left calf at mile 22 during my first marathon. Not wanting to DNF, I limped to finish line but missed my BQ by 8 minutes. I BQ’ed the following year with 7 months of no running and lots of PT. I’ve learned to listen now when my body talks to me. :o)
Emily is Single
YOURE GOINGTO EUGENE!!! ??? I literally just got back yesterday!! I graduated with my masters from UO last year and went back for the law schools graduation this year! (I have a mediation degree). I ran the eugene marathon 5k the last two years, which finishes on Hayward field- super fun. I did more running in Oregon than anywhere else, including my 14 races in 2014 goal! There’s so much good food there- be sure to go to agate alley, it’s much better than overpriced McMennimens and right next door to the field and not as busy. (And lots of salads.) there’s so many good places to go!!!!
I have the Covered Bridge Half in Vermont coming up on June 5. It’s a great race. As soon as that’s done, I will start training for my first full!
I find if I increase my mileage by anything more than teensy increments per week, I get calf strains.
Great article. He is one of my favorite runners. Can’t wait to hear how he does in the summer!!
Caitlyn @ Candid Cerebrations
For once, I am going to answer every question. I loved that interview, thanks for sharing.
I love black coffee before a race. I drink so much of it all the time it has no negative effects on my stomach but I only drink a small cup before running. But what is this run gum and where can we get it?
I am really torn about whether I will support this summer’s Olympics. I think it should be postponed or moved due to the Zika outbreak.
I have a few fun races but nothing competitive in June because I’m doing the 9+1 for the NYC Marathon, I’m most looking forward to the Muckfest 5k to support research for multiple sclerosis with my friend who is currently diagnosed.
I have never had a calf injury but I sometimes get calf cramping and that’s the worst. I couldn’t imagine actually having an injury, I’m practically in tears imagining it
I am SO looking forward to the Olympics! Summer is my favorite probably because I like more of the sports but I lived in Australia during the 2000 Olympics and it left a huge impression on me as a kid. I got to walk on the track in the stadium just after it opened the year before and tour the aquatic center. So my favorites are… gymnastics, track and field, swimming and diving, and beach volleyball.
Rachel @ Simply Rachel Nicole
What an awesome interview. I really need to do better with strength training ha!
I love Nick’s mantra! That is such a powerful one!