Ben Blankenship is a fine example of someone who actually pursues his dreams. Ben was a fine high school runner at Stillwater HS . Ben was the first Minnesotan to break four minutes for the mile in while at the University of Minnesota. He hurt his sacrum as a junior, and decided to call it quits.
Inspired watching the 2012 Olympics, as a friend competed, Ben began to run again, winning a 5k in 15:10, showing that he was healthy and fit. HIs agent, Steve Haas, convinced the OTC to take him on in 2013 and Ben’s pursuit of the dream began once again.
In 2016, Ben made the Olympic team in the 1,500m, finishing 8th in the final. In 2018, Ben Blankenship used his finely honed skills, to take 5th in the World Indoor Champs 1,500m, in Birmingham, England.
HIs PBs are 3:34.26 at the 1,500m, 3:52.51 in the mile, and 7:38.08 for the 3000m.
Ben Blankenship reminds me of the character, Quentin Cassidy, in John Parker’s iconic novel, Once a Runner: Ben is a man pursuing his dream, and challenging his limits.
We thank Ben Blankenship for writing back to Jeff Benjamin with his thoughts.
Awaiting The Baton In The Relay Exchange Zone – Profiles Of Athletes, Coaches & Legends During The War Against Corona
Profile # 26
Olympian & Top NIKE American Miler Ben Blankenship
By Jeff Benjamin
How is your daily training/coaching regimen going and how challenging has it been for you in this environment?
“Honestly; Not much has changed in my day to day. At this point in the year, we normally meet for two/Three sessions a week. Now everyone is on their own – but with the confirmation that the Olympic Games are pushed back an entire year, training becomes a bit less stressful. Going back to the cross country model and doing a few sessions a week is a little bit easier then preparing for one of the biggest meets of the broader cycle (4 years including the World Champs & olympics). With that being said, the hardest part is getting treatment or any type of work done by medical or physio. Most athletes (including myself) find themselves on a massage table at least once a week. Without any kind of treatment one must be creative and use the tools and skills they have learned because now it all needs to be self-implemented. It’s also a great time to start cleaning things up. Issues you might’ve just simply worked around, you now can improve or possibly fix those issues because we have the time and room to do so.”
What advice can you give to runners, -especially youth, high school, collegiate- who are challenged during this time as well?
” This is an unprecedented time for all athletes and high schoolers might have the biggest challenges due to the current situation. The inability to meet as a group and with coaches obviously makes training difficult, especially for younger athletes who might not be as familiar with running programs. Yet this is also a big opportunity to try to experiment with training cycles and sessions. A great example would be throwing some pick-up’s inside long runs (warm up then maybe 8×30 seconds with 30 seconds rest or make the strides up to a minute). Maybe some more tempos or some track sessions. It all needs to be within reason and should be done in accordance with state and federal health guidelines, but it’s a great opportunity to learn about your body and what works for you.”