RBR Interview: Kim Smith, NZ record holder, 3k-Marathon, by Larry Eder

Kim Smith, 2010 Virgin London Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net.

Kim Smith is the New Zealand record holder at 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000
meters outdoor. In 2010, Kim added Kiwi records at the half marathon and
marathon. Her first marathon, a miscue after having only trained for a few weeks
after injuries and sickness, was NY in 2009.

Fully prepared, Kim Smith ran a strong race at the 2010 Virgin London Marathon,
running a fine 2:25:21 for eighth place! Afterwards, Kim Smith told RBR, she was
"happy but tired." from the race. Pretty normal reaction.

We caught up with Kim last week, and thanks to the wonders of the I-pod, sent her questions, to which she quickly responded. Here is that interview:

Start of 2010 Virgin London Marathon (note Kim Smith is ninth from left, in black), photo by PhotoRun.net.

RBR, 1. Tell us about your first running experience?

Kim Smith: In primary school,  once a year,  there was a cross-country race for the 8, 9 and 10 year olds so I ran my first cross country race when I was 8, I guess. I remember beating all the girls by a long way and most of the boys except for a handful of them. So I think that was when I found out that running was something I was good at.

RBR, 2. You were raised in New Zealand, what is running like there?

Kim Smith: I love New Zealand so I'm a little biased, but I think it's one of the best places in the world to run. The climate is pretty great for training as it's so moderate and it really is a beautiful country.
RBR, 3. You are coached by Ray Treacy, tell us about that?

Kim Smith: I've been coached by Ray since 2002. I've improved so much under his coaching. He knows me so well now so he knows what makes me run well, how much I can handle,  and how much I can race so it works really well. A lot of college coaches don't want to coach post collegiately but Ray really loves coaching. His job is coaching at the college so that takes up most of his time but I don't need a coach to be at my workouts all the time or travel to races with me so it works well.

Smith_Kim-H-NCAAXC04.JPGKim Smith, NCAA XC, 2004, photo by PhotoRun.net. 
RBR, 4. What is the difference in your training now that you are pro?

Kim Smith: Not a whole lot really. I think being consistent in training and not getting injured makes you improve. I'm doing more miles now and longer workouts but have worked up to this very gradually. I still pretty much do the same stuff I did in college though. I obviously have more time now to rest which is nice but it's also a lot more stressful as it's your full time job to run  so you think about it more. 
RBR, 5. Your first marathon experience was really tough, what happened?

Kim Smith: I didn't have a whole lot of time to train for New York after Beijing  and kept getting sick in the build up. I'm not sure why, I think I must have been tired. Trying  to train for a marathon on top of that was just too hard on my body or something. I ended up getting sick again  a couple of days before the marathon. Ray told me not to even try to run but it's hard to not try after training for it. I felt terrible from the start so it put me off the marathon for a while.
RBR, 6. You have raced well in World Cross and you have had some incredible races on the track,as you have Kiwi records at 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000 m, is that correct?

Kim Smith: Yes and after this year I have the half marathon and marathon also. I don't like cross country running very much but have raced decently at it. Cross country just hurts too much.

Smith_KimFH-MayorXC05.JPG Kim Smith, Boston Mayor's Cup XC, 2005, photo by PhotoRun.net.

RBR, 7. Tell us about the 10,000 meter run in Osaka?

Kim Smith: It was disappointing,  as I was in a race for the bronze and ended up fifth.  But,  it did show me I could compete with the best and gave me a different mindset for future races.
Kim Smith, 2010 Virgin London Marathon, photo by

RBR, 8. Okay, you had a superb race in London this year, tell us about that?

Kim Smith: I was happy with the race, I think it was a solid first one out (I don't really count New York) Its now given me more confidence for the distance. I was so afraid of the marathon I was scared to push it too much. Now I know I can run the distance I hope next time to run faster and race to win.  

RBR, 9. What did you learn between last year and this year?

Kim Smith: I just tried to rest more and stay healthy.

RBR, 10. What was the biggest mistake you made running in college?

Kim Smith: I don't think I made too many mistakes in college. I kind of had a dream college running experience while at Providence. When I first came to Providence I didn't think I would be winning and breaking records so it was such a fun time. I definitely didn't take running as seriously and probably went out a bit much but that's what college is for!
RBR, 11. What would you tell high school girls in the states about moving up to college?

Kim Smith: Not to worry too much if you aren't running as well as you want as a freshman. It takes time to get used to a new coach and new environment. Just relax and have fun with it.

Kim Smith vs. Shalane Flanagan, Rome GL 2007,
photo by PhotoRun.net.

RBR, 12. What is your favorite workout?

Kim Smith: Workouts are hard so I don't like any but When truing for a 10km I like doing 3 by 3 km cause if I can do 3 in close to 9 minutes I know I'm ready to go.

RBR, 13. Okay, you know what the follow up is? your least favorite workout?

Kim Smith: I really hate doing long run tempo runs for the marathon. I find them mentally very hard. My boyfriend did a few with me and after a a mile I would tell him I had to stop. He would yell at me to stop being a wimp and then I'd be fine. 

RBR, 14. Do you train with anyone?

Kim Smith: I run a lot of my regular runs with the girls in my training group. My workouts were mostly done by myself for the marathon. We are all getting ready for such different things. I hope to do some workouts with the other girls next month before getting into marathon training again.
RBR, 15. Where will we see you race this summer?

Kim Smith: I'm not sure yet but I think I'm going to do a fall marathon. Straight after London I couldn't wait to do another one. I will do some short summer road races and probably a half marathon somewhere.
RBR, 16. What is your favorite distance to race?

Kim Smith: I really enjoy the half marathon, it's not as intense as the 10,000 or as painful and hard as a marathon. It took me a long time to like road running.  Now, I really like it and am enjoying running on the surface.

RBR, 17. Do you have a favorite race that showed what you can really do?

Kim Smith: At the 2004 indoor NCAA championships I won the 3000 and 5000 and broke both the NCAA records. After that everything changed and I started to believe I could be good at this.

RBR, 18. What do you love about our sport?

Kim Smith: I like that it is such an individual sport. If you run well, it's because of what you did, and if you don't, it's your fault. You don't have anyone else to rely on or blame but yourself.

Kim Smith passes Bai Xie, 2010 Virgin London Marathon, photo by PhotoRun.net.

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