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Ed Eyestone Interview

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UtahRunning.com:  Well, hello, everyone. We’re excited to have a great interview today with Ed Eyestone. Ed is an incredible runner and coach with strong ties to the Utah Running community. Ed’s a coach at BYU and an all-around running expert. We’re excited to have him tell you a little bit about himself, share some of his experiences, and maybe give us some tips on how you can improve your own time. Thanks for joining us, Ed.

Ed Eyestone:  Thanks. Good to be here.

UtahRunning.com:  Well, maybe if we could just start out with having you tell us a little about your running background. How you got started and some highlights of your career.

Ed:  Well, I got started way back in junior high school. I actually played little league baseball. I played a lot of baseball and was hoping to play on the junior high and high school baseball teams. Like happens to a lot of people who end up being good runners, I ended up getting cut from the junior high baseball team. So, as a result of not being able to continue playing the sport that I loved, in the spring of the year, I realized for the first time that there was actually another sport going on, and that was track and field. So, I went and spoke with the junior high track coach the next day, Noel Zabriski , my Spanish teacher. I asked him about tryouts for the track team. He said, you know what, if I came out every day and I did the things that he told me to do, and just tried my hardest, then I could be on the track team and there would be no cuts on the track team. I liked that and knew I wasn’t going to necessarily be the fastest guy in the world, but I knew I could try as hard as anybody.

So, that was my initiation, back as a 7th‑grader at T.H. Bell Junior High. From then, I just continued with the sport. The great thing about running is that the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. I found that over the course of my 7th, 8th, and 9th‑grade years, that as I dedicated myself and tried to do the workouts, the harder I worked, the better I became and the more improvement that I saw. I really liked that about the sport. That’s just how I got started and progressed from there to junior high school and on.

UtahRunning.com:  So, you competed there at BYU and after your college career, you became a professional runner. How was that transition from those college events to some of the highlights during your post‑collegiate career?

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Cory Johnson UtahRunning.com Interview

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UtahRunning.com:  Well, hello, everybody. This is Ken Richardson with UtahRunning.com. We appreciate you listening to this interview that we’ve got today. We’re really excited to interview a renaissance man, Cory Johnson. He owns Old School Body Shop, he’s into ultra‑running, he’s great at metal artwork, and he also is an auctioneer. So he is a jack of all trades, but today our interview is going to focus on that ultra‑running piece, and he’s going to tell us a little bit about himself and will hopefully be able to share some tips with you out there in the UtahRunning.com community.

So, Cory, tell us a little bit about your running background.

Cory Johnson:  Well, as far as my background, I’m going to maybe just gracefully hit on high school. I was a sprinter back in high school and went to state a couple years in a row in various events. After graduation from that, I kind of went into a slump of 18 years and never had any activity as far as physical activity. Then I guess you would say I woke up one day to sort of a midlife crisis, so to speak, and got into running. I actually did a 100‑miler before I’d ever run even a marathon. But I kind of jumped into that whole trail‑running thing approximately about eight years ago, and it just kind of went from there.

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Brad Anderson Interview

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Ken: Hello everybody, we’ve got Brad Anderson on the line and we’re really excited to interview him. He’s one of our first interviews for this year and we were trying to look for a story about a runner in Utah that would inspire you and motivate you as you look forward to 2012 and setting your goals and working toward those goals in 2012. We feel that Brad is a great story and it’s inspiring to us. We hope that you will be inspired as well. Brad, thanks for doing the interview with us.

Brad: Good to be here.

Ken: Maybe to start out, could you give the utahrunning.com community a bit of background about how you started with running, and maybe some of the highlights from your high school career?

Brad: My dad was a runner and really as long as I can remember I wanted to be a runner. I thought it was cool. We’d go to some of his races and I was just kind of faster than a lot of kids my age. I’m drawn to it.

My first race was either a quarter-mile or half-mile road race in Liberty, Utah. I won it and I was hooked from then on. Growing up, I was never pushed to train. I’d do some 5Ks here and there and kind of kept winning my age group. I thought that was cool.

Then when I got into high school a funny thing happened. All the other kids catch up to you but I was regional champ my freshman year and placed in state. I was a 2A runner. Working through that I won some more regional titles. Kind of a highlight for me was my first state title my junior year. It had been a goal for such a long time so I actually won my first state title. That was probably one of my biggest highlight because of the hard work and all my goals had paid off. That’s a brief rundown of my running career when I was younger.

Ken: Which event did you win the state title?

Brad: I won the half mile and the mile. My first was the mile. My second was two miles. I should have won that one too but you know how it goes.

Ken: You started out having some great experiences with running, some fun experiences in high school and won a couple of state titles it sounds like, mile and you were in an accident. Would you mind sharing about that experience with us?

Brad: I was coming into my senior year. Over the summer I’d gotten faster than I’d ever been. One of my main goals was to take state in cross country. My two previous seasons I was sick at state and didn’t finish very well. My goal was to take state. I was faster than ever and really excited.

About a week into school my senior year there was a football game. After it they had movies at the seminary building so I was hanging out there. Some people hit me up about going down to Ogden to a Taco Maker. I wasn’t going to go but a girl — girls in general had a hold on me, if you will. I go down and get me a taco, so I said sure. I went to get in one car but there wasn’t enough room to buckle so I got into a different car.

Next thing I remember I woke up in the hospital but essentially going down Weaver Canyon we overcorrected right by the power station. The car rolled and kind of rolled down the driveway there at the power station. They said my head hit the road at 75 miles an hour and also hit a pole.

Things weren’t that great. They didn’t think I would be alive for my parents to make it to the hospital. That first night I wasn’t supposed to live through the night. The next few days they didn’t think I was going to live after that. Who knows maybe a coma.

All the news my parents got was not good. I’d never be able to live on my own again, things like that. Then after a week or so in there things kind of turned around for me. Instead of nothing happening, things started to go in the right direction.

My injuries were traumatic brain injury, which there is no cure for a brain injury. You just deal with it and your brain will learn how to do things again. After a few weeks I woke up from the coma. All the muscle in my left side had lost its memory so I couldn’t talk, couldn’t eat, couldn’t walk, and couldn’t move my left arm at all.

At that time I was moved to the University of Utah where I had to learn to walk again. My biggest question every day to therapist was will I run again. They’d say we don’t know. At the time I didn’t realize how serious my injuries were. I remember first thinking I’ll be out in time for state cross country, I’ll take state. I was like I’ll take state and set state records in track.

As time went on I sort of learned that maybe I wasn’t going to be out in time because it was more serious. But my goal was to run again. The longer things went on the more I realized I might not run again. I was optimistic but I made up my mind that if I wasn’t going to run again it was not because of anything I did, like I didn’t work hard enough in physical therapy or didn’t try again. I was realistic about it. I knew the injuries I had but I decided I wanted to run again and was going to do anything I could to do it.

Ken: You were pretty determined. At what point did the doctors start to give you a bit of hope that the road back to running again was a possibility?

Brad: It was always we don’t know. Every day I’d ask my therapist and one day she said probably not. That was when it kind of sunk in to me that this is pretty bad. Other than the optimistic hope of you do what you can, but I never from my recollection never had “you know, you may run again.” In my medical records too, it was talking to the family that I needed to kind of understand that I may not run again.

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by on Jan.19, 2012, under Expert Answers, Interviews

Paul Petersen Interview

UtahRunning.com:       Hello everyone this is UtahRunning.com Richardson with utahrunning.com.  And thanks for listening in.  We think you’ll enjoy today’s interview and we’re looking forward to helping you get to know Paul Peterson a little bit better.  Over the past few years, Paul has consistently been one of the most successful marathoners in Utah.  He lives and trains near Logan but he recently traveled to Boston where he was the third fastest American and ran a great time of 2:17.  Paul, thanks for joining us today.

Paul:                My pleasure, thank you.

UtahRunning.com:       We really appreciate you sharing with us some of your thoughts.  I’d like to maybe just start with your background.  Could you just tell me a bit about your background, and some of your experiences with running?

Paul:                Yeah, I think I started competing in sixth grade.  I took up track for something to go along with soccer, like many of us did.  And I got into middle distance, then distance since I seemed a little bit better at that. And I did it all through junior high and on into high school. Then I started running cross country as well in junior and high school.  This was back in Indiana where I grew up.

At the high school level I was a good runner, but not spectacular.  I ran 2:06 for 800, about 4:40, 4:41 for the 1600, about 10:15 for the two mile and  around 16:20 for the 5K, solid times, but my claim to fame is I’ve never qualified for a high school state meet.

I did go on to run in college at a Division III school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, called Calvin College.  I walked onto that team and was able to keep developing there.  I had really good coaching there, was coached by Ryan Beemer a three-time Olympian, and Olympic bronze medalist in the steeplechase in 1984.  The coaches there were really quite excellent and I had really good teammates.

I ran the fourth or fifth guy there for most of my time.  I developed into a sub-four minute 1500 meter runner, and went under 15 minutes and under 31 minutes for the 10K by a little bit.  I had a decent college career, was All-American once in cross country.  And probably my highlight in college was actually experiencing a national championship, team championship.  My senior year in cross country our team took the national meet, so that was probably the favorite part of my college running.

UtahRunning.com:       I’m sure that would be a highlight of the college career.

Paul:                Yeah, that’s probably what I miss most about college is the whole team aspect.  You get out of college and you compete running as an individual of course, with all these great races.  There’s a wonderful variety of different types of races; adventure races, relays, marathons, 5Ks.  If you can think of it, it’s probably a race.  But that team aspect is so fun and brings out the best in people  I think, which is probably why relay races are very popular.

UtahRunning.com:       You mentioned your development through high school and college.  I think for me, that team aspect is definitely part of the development.  I’m sure it’s probably been a little harder since you’ve graduated.  I’d like to hear more about your experience leading up to Boston and preparing for Boston, obviously doing a lot of training by yourself.  Tell me about your training in preparation for Boston and some of the types of workouts you would do.

Paul:                I think that will tie into this continuing the story of post-collegiately I got out and decided to take to marathoning because it seemed the thing to do.  I did better in the longer distances. except I trained for the marathon, I trained mostly by myself.  I trained mostly like a 10K runner would train except with a long run thrown in there.  I think many of us have been in the same boat, where we get out of school and we’re kind of lost.  There’s no coaching and there may not be a good runner group to run with.  Even the motivation can wane without having those teammates there.

I spun my wheels for literally a few years, and ran good times in the marathon but I thought I was kind of underperforming for what my previous times were.  So I started out running in the 2:40s.  My first couple of marathons were in the 2:40 and a couple here and there in the 2:30s.  It wasn’t until the ninth marathon where I finally nailed one down and got under 2:30.

The training I picked up around 2005 and then picked up some more techniques in ’07, leading up to the trials, and then I kept manipulating those training methods and evolving them for my own use as I learned what works and what doesn’t.

Boston, you talk about a training cycle; when we think of a training cycle we think of the six months leading up to a marathon, or four months leading up to a marathon.  Really, this was eight or nine years leading up to Boston, learning how to run a marathon and learning how to train for a marathon.

What I did before Boston I’ve been doing quite a bit of for the last two and a half years or three years.  A lot of it is simply getting the consistency, making sure I get in a solid six days a week.  I usually do a six-day cycle, and multiple runs a day.  I double pretty much all my easy days when I’m doing heavy training anyway.  I’m hitting top mileage in upper 90s, low 100s.  I peaked at 98 before Boston but before the Indianapolis race I did last year, I hit 107 for my high.  I’ll get into upper 90s, low 100s for a lot of these races.

It’s consistency, volumes, getting those doubles in, and then it’s hitting the workouts.  The key to marathon racing, and what I was doing before Boston was marathon-specific training.  Again, I’m not training like a 10K runner, I’m not training like a cross country runner.  I’m not even training like a half marathon runner.  I’m doing things specific for the marathon.

Beyond just the mileage, the things basically entail doing big workouts and by big workouts I mean a session of speed work.  The whole workout lasts between 90 and 120 minutes.  Big workouts alternated with very easy days and then a weeUtahRunning.comd long run.  For me I incorporated a workout within the long run as well.

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by on Jun.09, 2011, under Expert Answers, Interviews

Mike Spence Interview (Full Transcript)

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Ken: Hello everybody, this is Ken Richardson with UtahRunning.com. I’ve got Mike Spence on the line. He’s an elite athlete who calls Utah home. Mike competed at Princeton University where the steeplechase was his main event, and he came here to Utah to train with Hall of Fame Coach Chick Hislop. How are you doing Mike?

Mike: Good Ken.

Ken: Thanks for taking the time today to talk with us and all of the fans out at Utah Running.com. I just have a few questions to ask you and hopefully I’ll get some great answers from you and insight for everybody who visits UtahRunning.com.

Over the last few years your focus has kind of switched from the steeplechase to the marathon. What prompted that switch? What inspired the decision to change to marathons?

Mike: I’ve always been a guy, a distance runner who favored the longer endurance events over speed events. It’s been a long time coming. Throughout my career, I’ve had people saying you should try the 10K when I was in college. Or you should try the marathon when I was out of college.

The steeplechase has always been my passion for track and field. I’ve always believed that’s what you should follow, not necessarily what you’re best suited at. Hopefully those two things go coincide but for me it was that the steeplechase was where my passions were. That’s what brought me out here to Utah.

Following those passions has led to everything else. I came out here to train with Coach Hislop and that was a big decision for me. I’d never been to Utah before then except a family vacation when I was a little kid. That was a big career change for me but after a few years of steeplechasing, 6 years.

In 2008, after the Olympic trials it became apparent that it was going to take a real jump to make the A standard in the steeplechase, the Olympic A standard. The marathon standard, by comparison, is something I feel confident that I can hit. That’s the goal now, to train for 2012, that A standard is everything. If you have it you go, if you don’t have it you don’t have a chance of going really.

I think that it’s time for me to move up. I had a talk with Coach Hislop last fall, the fall of 2009, and he actually revealed to me at the time he’d been thinking the marathon might be a good switch for me for some time, but that it was a decision I myself had to make. He never prompted me to do it until I came to him on my own and said I wanted to give it a try. I actually thought he might be disappointed that I might be leaving the steeplechase, but he thought it was time to try the longer distance. That’s why I made the move.

Ken: I know he loves the steeplechase too, so I’m interested to see how the marathon goes for you. You actually recently ran the Duluth marathon. What made you choose that particular marathon as your debut marathon?

Mike: First of all it’s funny that you call it the Duluth marathon because it’s actually Grandma’s Marathon; there’s no such thing as the Duluth marathon, but I called it Grandma’s to start with and I got so many jokes about being in a race called Grandma’s Marathon that I started calling it the Duluth marathon too, just so people knew that it was an actual race in an actual city.

Grandma’s Marathon is one of the top races in the country. It’s probably the fourth or fifth most competitive marathon in the nation from top to bottom, after the big three, and then Twin Cities is up there with it. It’s a highly competitive field. All the best marathoners in the U.S. would run there at some point in their careers.

That was a big draw. I really wanted to run a fast, competitive race. The other thing is it worked with our timing. I needed a race that was in the springtime and it was a bit late. It was June and I was kind of hoping for something a little earlier but June enabled me to hit a couple other U.S. Championship races that were being held in the spring. It just hit the calendar pretty well.

Also, I like Minnesota. It’s nice. My wife and I have a friend who has a place up there in Duluth so we had contacts there. It’s one that Kristi my wife wanted to run for a long time. In fact, she was scheduled to run it last year but she had to pull out at the last minute due to an injury. We felt like it was kind of taking care of some unfinished business by getting up there to the race and it seemed to fit this year.

Ken: It’s kind of a timing thing but also a draw because it’s a major marathon with a deep field.

Mike: Yeah, and it’s a beautiful course too. It runs right along Lake Superior. It’s a flat course. Everything seemed pretty good. The only concern we had was it’s in June so June in Minnesota, you never know what you’re going to get as far as weather, and Coach Hislop was a little concerned about that. Previous years there have been a couple of times when it’s been in the 70’s at race time and that’s not what you want. Historically it could be 30 degrees up there, be snowing in June in Minnesota, but it might be 80 degrees too.

Ken: I’ve got a slew of questions to throw at you and maybe you could tell me a bit about them. Maybe you could tell me about your training leading up to the marathon, maybe your weekly mileage, the types of workouts, what was your longest run, just some details that would help out some people listening to us today.

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by on Oct.12, 2010, under Expert Answers, Interviews

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