RunBlogRun asks Nine questions...with Emma Coburn


image1.jpegJeff Benjamin and Emma Coburn, 2018 Millrose Games, photo by Jeff Benjamin

The following interview was with Emma Coburn, the 2017 World Champion at the steeplechase, who is in Staten Island to race at the 2019 USATF Indoors.

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

Emma Coburn: I started running because track was the only spring sport that my school offered in middle school. I signed up to be on the 'distance team' because my older brother and sister had signed up for that as well. Had my older brother signed up to be a sprinter, I would have done that. I didn't really know what I was doing and didn't know the growth and opportunities ahead.

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

Emma Coburn: I was a slow developer compared to some of my peers. I played lots of sports and saw myself as a good athlete, but didn't really start focusing on running until the end of my junior year. When I got to college, I had some of the slowest personal bests on the team. But slowly worked my way up and got a little bit faster every year.

RunBlogRun, # 3) Most memorable HS Race?

Emma Coburn: I think my most memorable high school race was the first time I tried the steeple. It was a post season meet in New Mexico called the Great Southwest classic. After my junior year in 2007. I signed up to try the steeple, I didn't even know how many laps it was, and didn't know what to do really, but I did it and won the race and qualified for High School Nationals. Once there, my eventual college coaches saw me and then later recruited me.

Another memorable high school race was not as successful. I was racing a two mile my senior year and was suffering from planter fasciitis and had been dropping out of races. It was a combination of foot pain and also not knowing that it was okay to push through hard moments. In this specific race, I was in pain and wanted to drop out. I walked some in the race, I was trying to talk to my coach and to my dad asking if I could drop out. They both would just tell me to run 200m more meters until I could talk to the other one. I ended up pulling it together, after walking, slowly jogging, jogging backwards even. It was a good lesson because I wasn't being tough, I wanted the excuse to quit, I wanted to be done. I pushed through and remember not to give in.

RunBlogRun, #4) Most memorable College Race?

Emma Coburn: My most memorable college race was probably when I made the 2012 Olympic team. I was still in college at the time and it was a thrill to make the team, win the Olympic Trails, and get to experience all of it with my college teammate who also qualified. It was awesome.

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

Emma Coburn: As a pro, we race a lot less than high schoolers, but the races are all super important. It would be as if you had a regional or state meet every few weeks. We also just specialize in one event and race one event each meet. I remember in high school i would race 4 different events every weekend.

RunBlogRun, #6) What Training philosophy are you following?

Emma Coburn: (not sure how to answer this one. we don't have a specific philosophy)

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

Emma Coburn: I had an injury in the fall, so I have been cross training about once a week and running lighter mileage. Usually, I don't cross train and I run 80 miles a week, but these last few months have been a little different. I lift weights 3 times week, for about 60-75 minutes per session.

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

Emma Coburn: Remember that running is hard, and that not every race or practice is going to go well. Consistency is the most important thing. And don't compare yourself with others. Just be your best self!

RunBlogRun, # 9) Any Staten Island Connections?

Emma Coburn: Sorry none!

The @runblogrun tour of the IAAF World Indoor Tour, aka Le Tour de Larry, is sponsored by USATF and Nike, reminding you that the 2019 USATF Indoor Championships are February 22, 23, and 24 at the Ocean Breeze AC, on Staten Island. To purchase tickets, please use this link:

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