Ben True has medal hopes for Beijing, by Chris Chavez

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Ben True leading adidas GP, photo by Kevin Morris/KevinMorris.com

Ben True is the epitome of the solitary runner training by himself. He does that much of the time in the state of New Hampshire. With his coach, Tim Broe, a man who has been on the same path as True, Ben has found a like minded soul who tempers True's idealism with solid racing tactics. 

Ben True is a medal contender. A VO2 Max that rivals cross country skiers, because that is what he was: cross country skier and cross country runner. 

This is Chris Chavez piece on Ben True from the week of July 20. 


American Ben True hit the IAAF qualifying standard of 13:23 and officially punched his ticket for next month's World Championships in Beijing. True finished third in the field with a 13:06.15 performance. Dejen Gebremeskel won the race in 13:05.38.

True finished second in the 5,000-meter at the U.S.A. Track and Field Outdoor Championships last month and also qualified in the men's 10,000-meter run. True has decided to only run the 5,000-meter race in China and now the focus shifts on preparing for the World Championship.


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Ben True in third, adidas GP 5000m, photo by Kevin Morris/KevinMorris.com

At the Adidas Grand Prix in New York City, True was victorious with a season's best of 13:29.48. In April, he ran 13:22 on the roads of Boston during the B.A.A. 5K. 13:27 is what it took to medal at the 2013 World Championship final and True has had his own share of success in beating top African runners. 

"I definitely think I have a shot at medaling whether things play out for me," True said.

True entered the race in Heusden very tired after tweeting, "Woof. It's been one of those weeks." He was having trouble adjusting his sleep schedule and in his last workout before the race, he ran one interval before stepping off the track. 

"The last few weeks of training have been horrible for me," True admitted, "I think the double at USAs in the heat really took a lot out of me. I came out here just telling myself to get the standard out of the way. Mentally I was so drained that getting up and racing today was a big effort."

When coach Mark Coogan took a new job with New Balance and training partner Sam Chelanga left for a training group in Tuscon, True was left without a coach and trained primarily by himself in 2014. A major change for the 2015 campaign was returning to coach Tim Broe. 

"It's great working with Tim again," True said. "He's definitely a great motivator and has experience at the world level. He knows what it takes to close hard and it's been fun working with him again."

True will return home to New Hampshire to train alone once again. Sometimes it can get difficult and other times, it works best for him. In the week before his race in Heusden, True was working on a set of intervals where the time was descending down. He wanted to start the workout at a standard 4:15 mile, but ended up running 4:25 going lactic and sprinting towards the end. Workouts like those are still helpful as True is the only athlete that knows his body best. 

"Training alone. That's all I know basically," True laughed. "There's times when it's hard and there's times again when it's best fort me."

Eventually True will head to Japan to join the Team USA training camp, but will also spend some time with his wife, Sarah. She finished fourth at the World Triathlon Series stop in Hamburg, where she finished fourth overall. 

"She's going to be home while I'm in China," True said. "I'm flying home tomorrow. She's flying to Spain tomorrow. She'll go to Rio to do her Olympic qualifying race and then we'll overlap at home for two weeks before I head off for China."


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Ben True winning the adidas GP 5000m, becoming first American male to win Diamond League 5000 meters EVER, photo by Kevin Morris/KevinMorris.com

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