We just watched second heat of the 1,500m heats, as Ben Blankeshihp finished #3 in 3:37.13, and moved to next round. This interview was done by Jeff Benjamin a few weeks ago, and we think that you would enjoy it.
RunBlogRun, 1)How did you get into the Sport?
Ben Blankenship: “The sport more or less found me. I wasn’t athletic in the traditional sense and was never truly interested in team sports. As I began running in early high school/junior high, I saw such easy progression. The more I ran and worked out, the better I got (I should say that this philosophy doesn’t quite hold true for me anymore!). As a kid who just wanted to be better than the rest, it was rewarding to find something I was good at and run with it.”
RunBlogRun, 2) Did you consider yourself a slow or fast developer?
Ben Blankenship: “That’s a tough question, and one with multiple answers. I was pretty quick to rise to the top in my school but it took me a few tries to get racing right. It’s much easier today to compare yourself to the rest of the world (what with results and standings available online at the click of a button), but back then I was only concerned about the other athletes on the starting line with me – this still stands true to this day. Given that I still think I have plenty of room for growth and improvement, I guess I’d say I’m a slow developer.”
RunBlogRun, 3) Most memorable High School Race?
Ben Blankenship: “Would need to dust off the archives but one that quickly comes to my memory is a high school 3200. I would need to look up all the details because I’m sure my memory of it is more impressive than the reality of it. However; it was my first race back from injury where I missed the cross country state meet. I was lining up with the best distance boys in Minnesota. I remember slowly winding up each lap and slowly breaking away at a mile to go. Any more detail than that and I’d be making it up, but let’s just say I ran fast and it felt good!”
RunBlogRun, 4) Your Most memorable Race as A Pro?
Ben Blankenship : “As an athlete that has seen almost every side of this sport, I try to go into everything now with the mentality of making the most out of each competitive experience. I still have extremely high expectations of myself but I always remind myself that each day running at this level is a gift. I guess my most memorable race this year/training cycle would be Club Cross. It was something different and something that pushed me to grow as an athlete.”
RunBlogRun, 5) How is it different being a pro athlete from a collegiate one?
Ben Blankenship : “The daily responsibilities to get your shit done as a professional athlete all rest with you. Running, recovery, nutrition – the more fully you are able to take care of yourself, the better you’ll be.”
RunBlogRun, 6) What Training philosophy are you following & Who’s Coaching You? Also – Any Shoutouts To your training partners/support staff?
Ben Blankenship : “Mark Rowland is my coach, Nike OTC Elite is my team. I could go on and on about everyone who supports me & all the people who I work with throughout the year but suffice it to say that I have a lot of people in my corner who keep the wheels on the track.”
RunBlogRun, 7) Do you incorporate any cross training and/or Weight training?
Ben Blankenship : “I believe in keeping it simple, especially for relatively un-athletic individuals like myself. Obviously injuries are different, but when healthy I tend to think that body weight exercises (and some time spent bench pressing) are about all you need.”
RunBlogRun, 8) How Are Your Preparations Going At This Point?
Ben Blankenship : “Hopefully well. It isn’t always easy to gauge where your fitness is at, but my team and I have put in good work so that I can be as prepared as possible.”
RunBlogRun, 9) What advice can you give to young Runners??
Ben Blankenship : “Have fun and enjoy it. Running is simple, and it normally works out best if you don’t take it too seriously.”