Betsy Saina is going to run the TCS NYC Marathon on November 5, 2017. Justin Lagat met with her as she was finishing her last quality workout before her trip to the Big Apple.
Here is the story and interivew by Justin Lagat.
Betsy Saina is excited to see what she can achieve in New York City Marathon on 5th November, by Justin Lagat
Betsy Saina is one athlete who seems to be enjoying everything about her running career and training. She puts her best efforts in every way possible: Practices the philosophy of living high at the high altitudes in Iten and coming down to do speed workouts at the relatively lower altitudes of Eldoret, has male pace setters in her training, posts her training moments on social media, is friendly to the press, encourages and supports upcoming runners and is always very happy to talk and share ideas about running, among others. It is also worth mentioning that she now trains under Coach Patrick Sang who also trains the fastest man over the marathon distance, Eliud Kipchoge.
As she arrived on track last week for a track workout, her friend and role model, Vivian Cheruiyot was winding up her own training with just one more interval to do. Jokingly, Saina asked her to leave that to her so she would include in her own workouts she was about to begin! But, Cheruiyot could only laugh and proceed to finish her workout as she prepares to head out to the Frankfurt marathon later this month.
Sandwiched by four men, Saina did her track workouts. Later on, I was curious to know the number of male pace setters she often trains with and she told me that she has at least four, and that they are more when they are going for the long runs. But, that these pace setters voluntary join her since they benefit from the training as well and this gives her good company and makes her training more fun (she didn’t say less painful!)
Below is her response to some questions regarding her preparations for the New York City Marathon on 5th November.
1. How are your preparations for the New York City Marathon so far with slightly less than a month to train?
Betsy Saina: Well, preparation started 3 months ago. I have trained really well and for this last month it’s kind of a taper month whereby if I go to the track I just try to maintain what I have done, nothing much to add now! It has been amazing 3 months of training!
2. What will be your aim in New York?
Betsy Saina: My aim in New York will be to race my own race and see what happens. Everyone has trained and I don’t know what other people have done. I will put together my own plan and go after it! We have lots of experienced athletes and I am excited to see what I can do on my side.
3. What happened to you in Tokyo Marathon early this year in your marathon debut?
Betsy Saina: I picked an Achilles’ tendon injury 3 weeks to the race, but decided to run anyway! But now, I am glad to be healthy.
4. Are you scared of the distance given that you are yet to complete your first marathon?
Betsy Saina: I am not scared, but a little bit nervous, which is always normal for a starter! But I am as well excited to see what I have in store! After the buildup I am not that much afraid, training has been so smooth I had no rush since I had plenty of time to get ready
5. Do you at times wish to go back and continue running the 10,000m track, or you are off to the roads for good?
Betsy Saina: Everything has its own time for now I am officially leaving the track and movibg to road races . I love being on the road to be honest
6. How do you find road running and the marathon in general compared to track and cross country running?
Betsy Saina: Roads need more mileage compared to the track. Road races are less stressful even though in marathon build up some days are a little bit scary with the volume of mileage to put in, but it has been fun training under coach Patrick sang.
7. How long would you advise one to train and run shorter distances before moving up to the marathon?
Betsy Saina: It’s a different scenario to different individuals. It depends with people’s bodies and their abilities. Some can make an early move to the roads while some have to wait longer.