The Road To Atlanta - Catching Up With Galen Rupp

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As I walked around today, chatting with media, at the US Olympic Trials presser, a key observer aked me about Galen Rupp, "how good of shape is he in?" I noted that anyone who can run 61.30 or so for a half marathon is in fine shape. This 2020 Trials will take 2:10 to make the men's team. Galen would not be here if he could not compete. Jeff Benjamin asked Galen many questions and he answered them, thanks to agent Ricky Simms.

image0-5.jpegJeff Benjamin speaks with Galen Rupp, photo by Jeff Benjamin

image1-2.jpegGalen Rupp, Rio 2016, taken by Jeff Benjamin on the course!

The Road To Atlanta - Catching Up With Galen Rupp

By Jeff Benjamin

1)How's your body feeling post half-marathon leading up to Atlanta?

"Everything is feeling great. I was very pleased with how the race went in Meza. I had a lot of miles in my legs and tried to treat it like a hard workout and not go too deep into the tank. After my injury at the Chicago marathon I really wanted to get a race in before the Trials and the good thing was that my legs felt good which gives me a lot of confidence going into Atlanta. I am so grateful to be feeling healthy again and like my old self."

2) As you get older, do you notice any differences in your recoveries from your races/workouts and do you address them any differently than say 5 years ago?

"I have spoken to a few people who have told me to listen more to my body and not push hard every day as I get older. My natural instinct is to work as hard as I can and try to squeeze the most out of every day, but I know Mike (Atwood) wants me to train smart as well as train hard. Rest is just as important as hard training, as the quality of your hard days depends on how recovered you are from the last workout."

3)Is weight training and the anti-gravity underwater running still a huge component of your training regimen?

"Yes, I try to run the majority of my miles on the ground and supplement it with around 20 miles on the underwater treadmill each week. It gives the legs a break and allows me to do more volume. I changed some things in my strength program after my injury in 2019 and it seems to be working well. I obviously don't need the same power I had when I was running on the track and had to sprint, so the priority has been doing things to continue to help with my efficiency and also continuing to strengthen the leg that I had surgery on. "

4) Is there anything uniquely different to in your training under your new coach that you've never done before?

"To be honest one of the big reasons I wanted to work with Mike is that his training philosophy is similar to what I have done throughout my career. There are certainly a lot of elements that have remained consistent, but he is very open about what he wants me to do and after being in the same program for so many years it is sometimes good to change it up a little. There isn't anything uniquely different, the overall volume is similar but I have done some different workouts compared to before my previous marathons. It has been challenging at times, but doing new things that make you uncomfortable is how you grow and get better. I had a great half marathon and am looking forward to putting all the training to work heading into the Olympic Trials."

5) As per the trials race, I've always seemed to assume that you've never concerned yourself with your competitors in a race but rather you are concerned about how YOU are doing in that particular race - is that a fair assessment?

"I am certainly aware of, and respect the opposition and know everyone wants one of those three places on the US team for the Olympic Games. I can only control what I do on the 29th Feb and I need to be prepared for a fast race, a slow race, a race with surges etc. The course has a lot more hills than some of the big city marathons which is something we had to include in my training. But at the end of the day you have to have confidence in yourself and your preparation, and shouldn't be basing your entire race off of others."

6) What are the chances we might see you in the 5000 or 10,000 at the track trials in June?

"At this stage I want to focus on the marathon only for the Olympic Games but I might jump in a few track races in the summer. It isn't easy to train for 5k, 10k and marathon but for now the aim is to make the team and then we will see how things are going and decide on shorter races closer to the time."

7) Finally - What keeps you motivated & inspired to keep on going?

"What keeps me motivated and inspired is the pursuit of excellence. I have always strived for excellence in everything that I do to become the best athlete I can be, and have tried to constantly be evolving and improving. I still feel like I have lots of room to keep growing in the marathon and more big races ahead."

GREAT Thx To Ricky Simms For Arranging This interview!

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