Craig Engels is a member of the Nike Oregon Project, coached by Peter Julian and Alberto Salazar. On Jan. 12, Craig won the UW Preview 3000m in a big PB of 7:50.79. Craig won the 1000m at the Dr. Norb Sander Invite, in 2:18.98 on Jan. 26. On Feb. 9, at the NYRR Millrose, Craig took fifth in the Millrose miler in 3:54.18.
Thanks to Craig for answering 9 questions from Jeff Benjamin.
RunBlogRun, # 1. How Did You Get Involved In The Sport?
Craig Engels: “I got into track and field my sophomore year of high school. I started with high jump and realized I was never going to be good, so I started jogging with the distance guys. I started running full time my junior year when I got kicked off the soccer team for behavioral issues and never looked back.”
RunBlogRun, # 2. Did you Consider Yourself a fast or slow developer?
Craig Engels: “I would say I was a super fast developer. I had an extremely good coach who knew what I needed (someone to hold me accountable). I went from 2:08 to 1:49 and 4:44 to 4:03 in 2 years. I would still be hiding on the bus during practice and running at 6 minute mile if it weren’t for the coach I had.”
RunBlogRun, #3. Most Memorable High School Moment?
Craig Engels: “Probably Penn Relays. The 4 guys who were closest on the team went up to Penn Relays to run a fast 4×800 but we bombed that morning. I had the individual mile later that afternoon and went in with absolutely no expectations. I just remember getting the gold watch and seeing how excited the team was. It was also one of the few times we went to an overnight meet and that’s always the best time of your life in high school.”
RunBlogRun, # 4. Most Memorable College Moment?
Craig Engels: “I have positive ones and negative ones, but the most positive memory is easily the DMR when Ole Miss won the national title in College Station.”
RunBlogRun, # 5. How is it different being a Pro?
Craig Engels: “A lot more free time and a lot more freedom.”
RunBlogRun, # 6. What Training Philosophy Do You Follow?
Craig Engels: “Listen to my coach and trust everything he says.”
RunBlogRun, # 7. Do you do any kind of cross-training and/or weight training?
Craig Engels: “The whole Fall we train like 5k or cross country guys. At Ole Miss we did the same, mostly because I had to run cross country, but we would always train hard. I do a bit of weightlifting now, which helps injury prevention and gives us better form.”
RunBlogRun, # 8. What advice can you give to young runners?
Craig Engels: “The biggest piece of advice I can give is to not go for time. You should go into every race looking to win or be in contention to win, and the times will come. You can chase records and fast times after championship season.”
RunBlogRun: 9. Any Staten Island Connections?
Craig Engels: No, but I do love the show Jersey Shore and a couple of the characters are from there!
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