Eight Questions with Jacob Thomson, America's newest sub four-minute miler

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IMG_7115.jpgJeff Benjamin with Jacob Thomson, photo by Jeff Benjamin

Jacob Thomson ran his first sub 4 minute at the Sub 4 at the Sir Walter Miler event on August 3, 2018 at Meredith College. His 3:57.07 mile was a huge PB fo him and fulfilled his dream of a sub four minute mile. Jeff Benjamin provided Jacob with 8 questions covering a multiple series of topics. Jacob answered the questions well and the interrview is fun. We look forward to seeing Jacob Thomson racing in 2018.

There's a new Sub-4 Mile in town!

At last week's Sir Walter Mile, BAA Runner Jacob Thomson joined the club, as he clocked a 3:57.07!!

Here are 8 Quick Questions For Thomson, who decided to end his season after also finishing collegiately at the University of Kentucky.

RunBlogRun, 1) How did you get into the Sport?

Jacob Thomson: Running was more or less something that I was forced into at a young age. My mom made me run for the grade school cross country team starting when I was in 4th grade. At the time I had much more interest in other sports and competed in baseball and basketball along with cross country and track until I got to high school. I had (or still have) quite the temper, growing up, so mom wouldn't let me play football, as she was afraid I wouldn't take too kindly to being tackled and that I'd pick a fight with someone. I didn't like running much until 8th grade. It was freshman year when I started to get pretty good and win some races. From there I haven't looked back.

RunBlogRun, 2) Did you consider yourself a slow or fast developer?

Jacob Thomson: I would say I was a pretty quick developer. Like I said, I started in grade school but wasn't a full time runner until high school. Once I started to actually train and not just show up for races my times quickly dropped. Once I ran a 4:20 mile as a freshman in high school and started to win races, I started to enjoy running a lot more and my times quickly started to drop.

RunBlogRun, 3) Most memorable HS Race?

Jacob Thomson: Looking back at high school I recall two of my most memorable races. The first one would be winning the Trinity Invite at Tom Sawyer Park. This race was special because it drew national competition and was right in my backyard. Jacob Burcham and I faced off here and I ended up breaking the course record and winning the race, which gave me a lot of confidence heading into Foot Locker Nationals that year.

The second race I recall is a race I actually didn't win. The Eastern Relays mile my senior year of high school drew in Brock Baker, Burcham, and several other sub 4:10 high school milers. Brock ended up winning the race but we fought hard to the line and both ran 4:06. This race was also in my home city at the University of Louisville, so it was cool to break the state record (at the time) and do it close to home with a bunch of family and friends present.

RunBlogRun, 4) Most memorable College Race?

Jacob Thomson: My most memorable college race was probably winning the SEC 5,000 title that indoor season. My first year in the conference, I won two SEC titles but then Alabama landed a bunch of Kenyan JUCO transfers that started to dominate the conference. I was always battling with these guys, but seemed to always come up a bit short. They are great competitors so to be able to finally defeat all three of them in the same race to win a conference title was special to me. Although they did come back strong at the outdoor conference meet to go 1-2-3 in the 10,000 (I was 4th), and 1-3-4 in the 5,000 (I was 2nd).

RunBlogRun, 5) How's it different being a pro athlete from Collegiate?

Jacob Thomson: I haven't quite gotten into the full routine of being a professional athlete yet. I'll move to Boston here in a few weeks to join the Boston Athletic Association. But I can say it is nice to not have to worry about school. Not having to rush out of rehab or weight sessions to scurry down to class will be a relief. I imagine I'll have some more spare time for the little things that make a difference at this level, along with some extra time to play with my dog.

RunBlogRun, 6) What Training philosophy are you following?

Jacob Thomson: Throughout my 5 years of college I trained under 3 different coaches. (Rollie Geiger, 2 years, NC State; Sean Graham, 2 years, Kentucky; Hakon DeVries, 1 year, Kentucky). I would say I am an athlete who thrives off of strength training. 10x1K on 60 seconds rest is probably my favorite session. But this year Hakon challenged me to take the gloves off a bit more in practice and run more intense workouts. This method really helped me develop my mile and 3K racing abilities. I was able to PR in every distance I raced this year from the 1500 through the 10K. But generally I run around 90-100 miles a week when I'm not racing with a solid long run, one threshold type workout and one harder interval workout.

RunBlogRun, 7) Do you incorporate any cross training and/or Weight training?

Jacob Thomson: I do not do any cross training. I know several people who use it and it works for them but it just isn't my thing. I have been very consistent and durable over my career so I'd much rather be out running than in a pool or on a bike. I did use the AlterG treadmill a few times whenever my mileage gets over 100. At that point I'm doubling about 4 times a week so I would use the AlterG for my secondary runs. As far as weight training, we lifted twice a week with our strength coach, Steve Wood, at Kentucky. Coach Wood was specific to the cross country and track teams at Kentucky so he was able to give us great weight room routines that were specific to our event. This is something that I believe really helped me these past few seasons.

RunBlogRun, 8)What advice can you give to young Runners?

Jacob Thomson: Consistency! It is as simple as that. What I believe makes someone a successful runner is listening to their coach and trying to never miss a beat. Staying healthy, working hard, and stacking day after day turns into season after season and year after year of quality training. There is nothing sexy about distance running, its just a lot a miles and a lot of early mornings that all cumulate to your performance on race day.

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