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Conner Mantz - 2024 Olympic Marathon Runner & Nike Athlete

Conner Mantz is currently ranked #1 for Marathon in the USA, and recently qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics. His impressive running career began at BYU and has led him to become an elite runner sponsored by Nike. In this episode, Conner shares his experiences and mindset tools that have shaped him into the athlete he is today. Tune in to learn from his insight and experience.

Below is the podcast transcribed with AI. We apologize for any errors and encourage you to visit us on YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Podcasts to watch or listen to the full episode.


[Music] Connor welcome to eth Lane endurance podcast thank you so much for having us


thanks for having me I guess yeah you're in my home but thanks for having me on the podcast so for all of our listeners


we're in Park City right now with Connor um why don't you give us a little introduction to who you are kind of


what's on what's in store for you this year and why you're up here in Park City yeah so I'm Conor rants um ran at BYU


now I run professionally as a track and field and Marathon athlete for Nike um I


qualified for the Olympics in the marathon just barely so I'm doing that


yeah sorry um sorry this is weird just with all the cameras and everything set so I


know it's a little intense all the viewers I'm sorry um but yeah so I I qualified for


the Olympics in the marathon and then me and my wife had been wanting to try an altitude stint for a while and between


my races isn't her school we're like okay this summer is actually the perfect time so once I qualified for the


Olympics we decided to move to Park City to try out training at 7,000 ft it's


crazy has have you noticed a difference at all not yet not yet not yet I I've heard it takes three to four weeks to


get the first adjustment okay and then after that it you know can take up to 90 days to get the full amount but I don't


know so when you say first adjustment what are you looking to see after like 3


to four weeks so so I I don't actually know it would just be an increase in red blood cells so I think I would just um


workouts would just feel a little easier especially like the I know the longer


stuff the longer rate longer races longer workouts


um but I don't know it's it's it's so hard to measure almost similar to like living in Utah going to running


California or Florida something exactly and so like living at Park City and working out in Provo should have a


similar adment MH so I'm interested to see what happens there but um having


only been here for like about 3 weeks we have a while to I I have a while to


actually see any adjustment see what it can do for you exactly and but the one


thing that like is going to be hard to really you know measure is like I I


started doing workouts um like the week I moved up here ah so so it's like okay I'm already


PES will get faster Paces are definitely going to get faster but part of that's going to be because I just started


workouts and every week you're just a little bit more fit that's so crazy yeah so the reason


that I'm so excited to talk to you is that every YouTube video I've ever seen of you every training video like you're


pushing it looks like all gas no breaks like you're pushing as hard as you can like at the end of an interval like


you're throwing up in one video I saw coughing spitting like like where does


this motivation where does this drive come from I guess is kind of where I


want to start yeah I think I just um simply it's just wanting to be great um


wanting to be better than I was yesterday willing to push um and yeah


sometimes I mean it might look like I'm spitting or throwing up usually I try and keep everything under control yeah


um doesn't help that like this past Marathon build I was actually pretty sick for a few weeks just wacky


bacterial infection and I could run but then anytime I stopped I was coughing and yeah even when I was just sitting at


home I'm like in these coughing fits and oh that's awful it was kind of rough um


for sure the build to the trials you the build to the trials okay it it was definitely not my my it was not an ideal


build but um happy to come out and still qualify for the Olympics but it was I know lots of ups


and downs that's crazy I don't know that didn't really answer your question it was kind of like wait like I don't


always finish a work always up yeah um yeah where do you think like you said it


was a desire to be great and to like be better than you were yesterday mhm is


that something you feel like you grew up with cuz you've ran cross country track since high school is that


something that you cultivated there is that something you grew up with where it it definitely probably happened like I


shouldn't say definitely probably that doesn't make any sense um but it was something I think that happened in high school okay um I was a good grunner


before high school even though I wasn't I don't know my my journey to running through running has been kind of odd and


unique um but in high school it was pretty good but I would always get beat


like I I was in the state of Utah at a great time M uh my freshman year I I


came in and I thought it was pretty good but I I missed Winning State by a half second in Cross Country


and it was just the okay now I got to push that much more to win um state next


year and I knew all my my two competitors uh in the state who were like really good cross country Runners


they were both juniors in my freshman year I was like they're going to be pushing just as hard and then the next year I was third they they both beat me


by like 10 seconds so it was like okay like I'm it looks like I'm getting worse but I'm not I'm getting better and then


it was just okay I want to I want to win a State title and I want to win something and so


throughout High School I was doing worse compared to the guys in the state just cu the state of Utah as a whole was


getting better every year but I was also improving my times were improving so I


don't know it was kind of like I just wanted to I don't know win something and it was I just wanted to win a State title I kept being you know second third


fourth um I was probably like in the top eight I don't know eight times 10 times


as a high score but Annoying I didn't want to I didn't win a r didn't win a State title till my junior year so you


could see yourself getting fitter like with your times and right but on paper


with like each Championship race or whatever you weren't quite making right like the comparison to everybody else M


which I mean that there's a lot of lessons there like don't compare yourself like you know it's just about


your own Journey um I don't know it was fun I I enjoyed High School I enjoyed


pushing myself and I don't know I also came from a high school program that was very um I don't know we we were good we


weren't great though um the the coach uh wasn't I don't know he he


wanted to be the wrestling coach um oh okay but he eventually ended up quoting


wrestling as as the guys on the cross country team started doing well and he's like I'll focus on being the track and


cross country coach so just like whatever sport was doing well he was like oh well I think he just wanted to be the


wrestling coach but then it was he was thrown into being the track and cross country coach and so when they started


doing well he was like okay maybe I should give these guys a little more attention MH and um I don't know it was


cool like throughout my time he started like doing more research and how to better Coach athletes toward cross


country so like as my high school time went on like we started doing more um


like running specific workouts where before it was very like I know we do like all right let's do you do 20


push-ups here and then you sprint to this station and then you do some mountain climbers and then you sprint to


this station and then you do some yeah it was like and that was you training for what the 5 that was my freshman year


yeah running High School cross country that's crazy and so it I mean and still


you're winning like in I I mean I wasn't winning but I was I was competing I was close and um I don't know that we we


were doing a lot of running but it was like nothing compared to you know a lot of these schools in Utah like Davis or


American Fork that were you know these big running schools yeah who were doing like really similar workouts to probably


what you did at BYU oh yeah yeah yeah when I hear about the Davis um high school athletes or the American Fork


High School athletes it's like man they were they're pretty much training like college athletes there's a reason they were so successful in high school um but


you know some of us like who just had normal coaches and went to normal schools where you know it's a teacher


that's a coach and they're a teacher first um out of the two they're not you


know I I don't know how to say like they're great but they're not these like coaches that are preparing you to be a


world class athlete they're not sport specific right right and like I I loved


my high school coach he was a great guy and or is a great guy MH but there's um


I don't know it was a little frustrating when i' see these other athletes who run for these other schools go like American


Fork or Davis or I don't know Park City that were just crushing it and it was like I want to be there


eventually I think that also speaks something to who you are as an athlete


and your psyche because like for a lot of people myself included like some things that I've done where it's like oh


you're almost there you're almost there you're almost there that's like easy to give up right but to like for that to


make you like hungrier almost and for that to drive you to want to win speaks to who


you are and probably is like a huge part of what makes you good I think I think I don't know the some people get motivated


by failure some people get motivated by success and so for me it was like I'm so


close like what do I need to change I think had I you know won the state championship my freshman year of high


school and then won you know my sophomore year and those track Seasons I think I would have been a little bit


more I don't know I think I would have been like sweet and I would have backed off but I think the fact that I was I


was so close to a lot of things kind of was motivating like oh I just do you know a couple more miles a week or if I


just run one more interval just a little harder um then I'll get there and I


eventually you know I progressed I got better and I I kind of feel like I'm still getting better I'm still trying to


get there but it's I don't know there's always the better I run the more I'm like oh I'm so close to this next thing


you know yeah and from what I've heard from other


people about you is that you push workouts pretty hard you like to push


the pace you like to like put the work in and maybe that like speaks a little


bit to your high school career in that like you didn't have any formal training of like this is what these are the


workouts cross country Runners do you just knew like I'm just going to work as hard as I can do a few extra miles push


a little harder in this interv right and it's cool oh thank you and like I I do push the pace but it's also


I don't know it's not just a me thing I think there were other guys I was teammates with in college who were very um motivated in the same way um


another athlete from American Fork I don't know if you knew Conor McMillan or if that name even sounds sounds familiar


to me he was he was one of my teammates at BYU and um when he went pro he gave


up he he just graduated in chemical engineering Ing and it was like he could have focused on chemical engineering and


you know gotten a great job but he decided he was going to try and run professionally he went 6 months without


a contract after graduating college which is a decent amount of time that's a long time but um every workout that we


did together he was very like I don't want to just be mediocre like if I'm sacrificing this and um if I'm


sacrificing using a degree I work so hard to get to I know to get


um I'm going to try and be the best I can be and so seeing you know other athletes have a similar mentality to my


mentality of like I'm almost there let's go and hit the next Mark um or let's you


know try and bridge that Gap I think is kind of I don't know it it was motivating it was exciting and okay so


maybe getting into the build of your 2023 build you kind of had a huge end of


2023 I guess you had Chicago and then a couple months later you had the trials I


listened to another podcast where you were kind of talking about your mindset going into the build of


2023 and I'm sure you had a million things you were kind of working on but the thing you said in that was


interesting to me was you wanted to focus on things that you could control in 2023 where did that come from why was


it helpful why did you even think of that yeah um part of it I mean I I work


with a sports psychologist who's pretty good and um just talking is the BYU guy


he was at BYU now he's with the uh the real with real Salt Lake cool um but he


I know we kind of talked about taking responsibility um one thing in the


marathon or for the Olympics was you had to hit the Olympic standard for the United States to get a


spot um it made there was a whole complicated system and and I really wanted to run the world championships


marathon and I had qualified I had the fastest time from the year prior I was pretty excited about it I was like I


can't wait to put a you know USA singlet on yeah um the issue though was that like no one


in the US had hit the Olympic Olympic standard and so there was no guaranteed spots at the


trials and so to try and take responsibility I was like no I'll run the Chicago marathon um the world


champion were in Budapest was going to be really hot and so I was like I don't want to risk my and do a marathon build


where I might have to run a marathon that the winner doesn't even run 20810 and I I don't even think the winner ran


20810 in Budapest in Budapest and so it was like I got to figure out what I can do to you know not guarantee but improve


my chances of making the Olympic team and so I decided to run the Chicago marathon instead and it worked out but


it was kind of like okay I'm going to do what I can to um


make sure I I I have every chance to make the team um fortunately or I don't know fortunately


or unfortunately Clayton and I were the only ones to run the Olympic standard


and that meant there were only two spots had I not had I gone to the World Championships instead then there would


have only been one spot and Clayton and I would have had to compete for it so that would have been would have been tough that would have been tough CU it's


like now I got to go um and and I don't know maybe if if Clayton and I hadn't


trained together maybe he wouldn't have had the confidence to go run two 208 flat but it was just those uh I don't


know it was just trying to take responsibility make sure that I could go and earn a spot and then if I did earn a


spot I could go earn it again at the Olympic trials but the goal was just run


Chicago get under 20810 um and then see how the Olympic


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code stoer at checkout that will get you 10% off okay was that uh kind of focus


on doing all that you can do was that reflected also in your training or mostly just in race strategy no it was


it was in training as well um I mean it's the little things that really add up when you're at the the level that I'm


trying to compete at it's not like there's anybody you know like in high school it was yeah I want to do one more


mile or I want to run one more rep or I want to do Etc like at this level you're


you're really struggling to do one more mile like if you do one more mile you might get hurt and so you or if you go a


little bit too fast in a rep you're going to get injured so you are doing one more Mile and so it's like I'm already doing one every one more I could


now what it went down to like okay what are the little things I can control um a lot of that was diet and sleep and um I


don't know I tried sleeping in an altitude tent that didn't work for me I wasn't getting high quality sleep but it


was like trying to experiment with a bunch of little things you know nothing nothing that made a huge difference um but they all made enough


of a little difference that it kind of added up like another example is I started taking um they're one of my


sponsors but Morton it's a it's a drink company um and I started taking their


their drinks while I was running a lot more in my training now I used them in all my previous marathons but I was like


okay I want to be so practiced with this and have it so down that it's just comes


like second nature when I have like when I'm I don't know 2 miles 3 miles in a marathon it's like yeah I I want to be


craving that and so that was something I I had done to like practice but it was


all little things I don't know that added up so just like pulling in a lot


of like okay I can do this one little thing and hoping that all those little things added up and would take you to


the level you wanted to be at that's very cool um a phrase that I've heard


you and some other BYU guys use a lot too um in racing and then even in


workouts is going to the well yeah do you want to explain like what that means to you so going to the well is you know


when you I don't I I wish I had a better explanation to this but when you like tried it so hard or you worked so hard


that you're you don't recover for a few days oh wow okay um you just I don't know you run really really hard it's


something you don't really want to do in workouts I think I think it's a good thing to do occasionally in workouts cuz


it's a good thing to practice cuz you want to go in a race it's fine to go to the wall you want to go and dig as deep


as you want as you can okay okay um but we'll use it as a like we're not trying


to go in the go to the well in this workout um but it's I I that's that's a


funny phrase now that you say that I'm like what is it actually mean I know I've heard a few of you guys use that and I'm like I wonder what yeah it seems


kind of similar to like the pain cave yeah analogy that a lot of people throw


around right and and you don't want to I don't know overdo any workouts there's like the right amount of work for every


workout is different and it's different for everyone I think that some people um


I don't know I've had a lot of people both teammates and competitors be like oh you're training you know you're


training too intensely you need to you need to ease off on your workouts but then I'll I'll just know I'm like no


there's other people that are working harder than I am in workouts who are beating me um and that's I don't know I


want to I want to bridge that Gap um but when I I I don't but it's a balance yeah


it's a balance I'm tripping over my words trying to explain it you don't want to go to the well every workout you


don't want to be struggling to recover but you want to hit that I don't know that optimized amount of hard work and


recovery so that you can come back I don't know if you do a workout Tuesday you want to be you don't want to go too


hard that you can't work out Thursday and then Thursday you don't want to go too hard that Saturday comes along and you can't do your long run or have a


quality long run so you're kind of using that go to the well pretty strategically


maybe like a couple times a year it sounds like yeah four in workouts a few times a year and in races you try and do


it all the time you want to I mean you want to if coach Ione kind of said this


when I was um a new Pro but he's like you're not going to travel to this if you don't think you can you can compete


it's like we're not going to have you travel halfway across the country to show up to a race and be undercooked or


um overcooked you want to show up and be ready to race and so I think anytime you step on that starting line you want to


give it your all and what does giving it your all look like to you like I think after the


trials there was an interview where you said that like you were hurting during the trials and you chose different


people in your life to run miles for and The Last Mile you ran for your wife is that a strategy you use a lot


or yeah what does giving your all look like right so I feel like those are a couple different questions so talk about


giving your all first um giving it your all I think means you know you finished


that competition hands on your knees you gave everything you could to either place the highest you could or to run


the fastest you could whether that's you even split it to run as fast as you could and you I don't know you finished


as tired as could be or you ran the race as I don't know as objectively fast and


like better than everybody else that you could how however you would place the highest whatever your strategy is you


just like follow it too you executed your strategy okay um but I think


like well let me let me come back um then to your next


question uh you know running for other people that was something that I really I know I tried to work on a few things


like psychologically working with a sports psychologist before the Olympic trials and I I fell short in some areas


and I did well in other areas and one of those was with my sports psychologist we had talked about um we talked about


being gr grateful grateful to compete um my build for the Olympic trials wasn't


wasn't good it was probably my worst Marathon build really um yeah there was just so much that kind of happened


during that build that he's like look a lot of people have sacrificed for you to be there um and he's like you should


find a way to Express gratitude or you know be grateful in your heart for all


the people that have helped and we had we had talked about you know writing down names whether on my phone or in a


notepad or just you know in my mind of like this mile is for someone and so I was just like okay I'll


have 26 miles and um I planned to do that the trials that weekend actually


ended up being very exhausting there was a lot more press interviews that kind of came up like during my time there um a


lot of things I probably should have said no to um for competition sake mhm


but I remembered it during the race and I was like okay like when when the race started to get hard around mile 12 13


and it was like okay like I'm doing this mile for my brother and my sister and my


mom my dad and my in-laws that came and then I saw um there's a part point on


the course about 18 and 1 half 19 miles in I saw a few of my college teammates I'm like all right this mile is for these guys um but then the last smile I


was like okay that last mile is going to be for my wife and I was just like I got to save that like this one is for Kylie


and I don't know it it just helped kind of get those miles along and helped it so I was like okay like everyone has


sacrificed for me to live this dream um and so I was just grateful for all of


them and probably like remembering their sacrifice too like kind of Lights a fire


of like okay like I can do this or they believe in me oh absolutely and you know


I I know my wife's not going to she's not going to be mad at me or or or change how much she loves me no matter


how I do and same with my you know my family members and my friends who came out to watch the race but it just in a


way like it's like yeah you know what she believes in me because you know she's helping me to get sleep she's


helping me out with getting nutrition um she's kind of letting her life sort of revolve around my goals and


not not completely revolve around it but she's making decisions that help benefit me MH um and I think about like my


parents going to races and helping me get to these higher level competitions when I was a sophomore Junior and senior


in high school and so it was just like a a con um a lot of things that contributed to me being


successful and so thinking about that during a race yeah definitely lights a fire and motivates you yeah and


sometimes too like I don't know if you experienced this at all but like I think it's easy to


like doubt yourself when you're hurting like doubt if you can do it so like to


be able to remember your family like cheering your name at Cross Country Events or your


wife staying up late to help you train or whatever probably is like a huge


confidence boost of like okay they believe in me I believe in me too kind


of thing 100% just if somebody else believes you can do it especially like


those close to you it it's so comforting and so just nice having them there yeah


nice to see people out on the course and I to be in that competition but no I


have a huge support group what are some of the doubts that come to your mind more frequently than


others while you're in the pain cave or going to the well in a race I think like


the doubt is how long can I hold this pace or um and I maybe I I watched too


many other athletes but a lot of athletes when they like hit the wall they just look like they're like just


barely jogging and I I don't really have I haven't had I haven't had that experience very


much um only one time that I can think of off the top of my head but it's always like what if I black out what if


I don't finish what if I don't know the like most races it's fine but the Olympic trials was kind of a tougher one


for me because it was I don't know I didn't want to have to wait another four years to make the Olympic team


um and so that was something that was kind of coming in my mind like if I don't make it now like is it really ever going to happen


like I don't know and they did that weird thing where there was only two slots and so you had to like even though


you unlocked the spot you had to I had to go yeah it's so annoying um yeah


that's another thing I wanted to ask you about like when those doubts come in when you're pushing so hard like what


helps you combat that okay what if I push too hard what if I push this injury too much what helps you like almost put


those aside and still push I think you know if it's an injury


I I go back and forth that those ones are very specific but I think for like a


race when I'm really like this is tough I make little goals like inter


in I don't know intermediate goals like so like if my goal is to win a race or


um I change it to top three and if it's top thre is out of um out of touch like top five and so


it's like I have to just adjust just my goals ad just how I'm running um but if I and sometimes like I


don't know I ran the Boulder Boulder last year and I thought I was in fourth place the a group of three had broken


away and I was like okay like my my goal was top three until those three broke away and then it was I want to be fourth


I don't want anyone to catch me and then I see one of those athletes fade about a mile and a half 2 miles later and so I


catch him like sweet I've got my goal of top three I'm already hurting pretty bad but then I see Second Coming closer so


like I can catch second and then when I pass second I'm like oh first is coming back too I could win and you know it it


was a really painful race I'm a little nervous for it next weekend because I'm like that I I think back to that race


and I was like that was so painful I don't want to go through that again your body's like cramping up like please


stop but but it's those little races that like you just I don't know those


little wins that you have mid race of like oh okay like I'm I'm good I'm going to be top three that are like okay like


I can push a little bit more um sometimes it's thinking back to training


okay when when I really struggled in a training session how did I overcome that or previous races when I struggled in a


race I don't know I feel like a lot of the races I've won I've struggled in them um I've had a lot of outs come but


then by the end of the race I win and I'm like oh I don't know how I just did that and so just kind of I don't know


letting that I don't know stack on top those little things stack on top of each other and give me some


confidence so like staying present and just looking toward whatever the next


goal is for you yeah in the race yeah however small staying where my feet are


staying where your feet are is that like a mantra that you do you use mantras often no not really but I've heard


someone say that and I like it so I I've quoted it a lot over the last couple weeks yeah I like that too it's very


interesting um so coming out of the Olympic trials you had a little bit of


an injury you got a little bit of an injury yeah I I had a little muscle injury okay it just didn't make any


sense the doctor was like this doesn't make any sense and I was just like yeah I don't


know I I was trying to figure it out like how it could have happened um but the more I talk to people what we


kind of you know set up set on how I got hurt was I just took a really strong


break after the Olympic trials usually after race I'll I'll just kind of keep training um


even after my marathons I'll like take a few days where I hike instead of run but then I'll get to training pretty quick


and then and after the Olympic trials I was like okay I've had you know a hard track season or I had the Boston


Marathon then a hard track season then the Chicago marathon then the Olympic trials I need a break I just need to


make sure my body's all recovered because that's what everybody says you're supposed to do after a marathon um but I but it was like


snowing outside so I didn't go on any hikes it was freezing it was just like it was miserable weather that next that


next week so I just spent a lot of time inside and I think not moving um didn't do me any favors it's


like shock yeah so the moment I started running again it was like the body was not ready for it and I started doing and


I think I did like one or two workouts M and I was like okay like I want to I want to set some big goals I had some


goals in the back of my mind and races I had kind of pinpointed like this is where I'm going to um go for some big


wins or or compete with some of the best in the world and they didn't work out


because I I don't know I got a little too excited M and I think going from complete no no exercise for a week to


getting really excited just ended up um leading to a muscle injury it's so


annoying it it it is annoying but it's something I don't know every athlete has to learn you know how to recover from


injury and how to go through it and how to make I don't know not make those same mistakes again yeah and I mean it seems


like you dealt with it really well what did you do did you stop running did you


ease back on the running a lot of cross training a lot of a lot of time in the swimming pool swimming pool yeah I couldn't I


couldn't run I couldn't bike it it was it was a muscle injury so I like I couldn't really use it's in one of my


legs and I couldn't I'm not going to go into too much detail about what it was but it was like I couldn't do much


exercise that had anything to do with my legs so I had to put in a a little like


floaty thing in between my legs and then just I don't know swim with my arms and I don't know see I don't know it kind of


had to had to change my mindset of like like let's get fast too let's just stay fit you


know and after a couple of weeks I mean you're back to like fully training now


the injury's good um it was really frustrating it was


really painful but it was like it was such a short amount of time and I think that's how a lot of injuries have been


to me I've um you know knock on wood I've never had to be out more than 8 weeks for from a bone injury or muscle


injury um but it but it was a pretty painful so the cross training six weeks lent you


well it sounds like yeah I I think so I think um it was miserable going through


it but like I had to set kind of like I talked about with races I had to set these intermediate goals of like okay my


goal today is I don't know how far can I swim can I hit 10,000 yards so those


were that was one of my goals for a day and I and I hit it and I was pretty pumped cuz I was like okay like for


somebody that doesn't swim unless they're hurt and I haven't haven't really been hurt that often um 10,000


yards is a lot took me over 2 hours like oh it's probably took me over two and a


half hours yeah it's a long time to be it was a long time to be in a pool um it's very different from running too


like you're not chatting with your training Partners you don't have any type of music or podcast I don't even


know if you do that at all while you're running not unless I'm on a treadmill but swimming in a swimming pool feels like you're on a treadmill you know yes


it's so like blocked in right and so it was pretty miserable but it was like it's okay like I'm just just getting my


workout in and I don't know if I if I stopped to take a break some days it


would just be like it would take me like 5 minutes to start again so I I just tried to avoid any breaks whatsoever


you're like I can't stop and then you come out of it super fit now I I was fit


enough not not super fit I still have a ways to go but um fortunately I have like at least I don't know 12 13 weeks


yeah so with this Marathon build to Paris MH um first of all do you have


some type of kind of like you did in 2023 some type of mental goal that you're like this is


what I'm focusing on for the bill to Paris I I think that I'm I'm changing a


few things not a lot so like again living up at 7,000 ft is one of the few things I'm changing M um I'm trying to


run more Hills cu the course is pretty hilly but I'm not going to change anything too drastic for my my training


for the Chicago marathon or the Olympic trials just don't really want to risk it so I don't have like this this Mantra of


you know keep it control what I can control M because i' I've kind of I don't know I've hit that spot where it's


like okay I'm already in the race now it's I've controlled it I've controlled that like um I've taken responsibility


for that okay now let's let's go out and maybe take a few risks in training like let's maybe push a little harder um


let's do a little more Hills let's do a little more on like I don't


know dirt runs I guess doing more on dirt which I guess is a better thing for


injuries but it's a lot harder kind of wores you out more so I think doing


these I don't know these little little changes is going to hopefully help me you know progress to a higher level and


keep keep me healthy but so kind of will tell there yeah it sounds like it goes


back to the mindset that you may have developed in high school or just through your collegiate career of like go a


little farther do a little bit more yeah I think every year


um especially with I mean I'm a I'm young for a marathoner uh but every year it's like


you want to build on on something one of my teammates in college was um his name


is Rory link letter he actually qualified for the Olympic team for Canada which is pretty cool yeah that's


very cool um and he was always like every year I'm either going to run my workouts faster or I'm going to run more


mileage or I'm going to run farther in my workouts it's like I just need to build one thing every year or one thing


every season so I kind of have to look at it like that okay what am I doing different this year like than last year


what am I going to do to improve even if it's just you know these my new improvements they're going to add up in


a marathon and that's what's like so con saying about Marathon to me is that it's


a sport that your Fitness builds year after year after year after year like into your 30s it's almost like a a wise


man's sport I guess it is it is it can kind of I mean it can kind of be an old man's sport when you look at like eliud


and can say it's just these guys are they they've been running a long time


and they they understand running to to a level that I have years and years to to


figure out but I mean those are the guys I have to compete against so I I need to


I don't know maybe learn a little bit more but yeah yeah I think that's really cool um so in this build to the marathon


you have a couple of races you're going to one next week right so Boulder


Boulder a 10K yeah what is the purpose of a 10K like this in your Marathon


build like what are you hoping to get out of it so the the main thing um is


trying to get used to racing I think there's a like you know when we and I talked with you about going to the


well it's you don't want to do that too much in training especially early in training so I want to practice that I


want to practice you know working as hard as I can Midas um so that's one of the reasons I'm doing Bolder Boulder the other is


the race atmosphere can totally be can throw you off um I felt like that was


one thing I really wanted to work on prior to the Olympic trials but I had an


injury before the Olympic trial so I was only able to race once and even then I was injured before that


race and it was something that was really tough for me because I was I wasn't I don't know I I didn't have


enough times to practice getting nervous before race that when the Olympic trials


came I was overly nervous and so this is one of those things I'm like okay how


can I work on being nervous for a race combating that nervousness going out and


competing kind of keeping everything I don't know keeping a good normal mindset so a little bit of just like


exposure to the pre-race nerves and then also giving yourself an opportunity to


race right is there anything you're going to do with this data like your time on the 10K like will that reflect


in your training like in your training times or everything will stay the same


everything will stay the same I think if I mean if I go and crush it I'll I'll have a little bit more confidence m but


it's like if I if I do or don't the goal is still like I'm doing a lot of or the


goal is still the Olympics it's and I'm not going to go and be like okay I ran


28 40 at Boulder Boulder that means I need to run 8 Miles 8 miles at marathon


pace at 448 now instead of 450 or vice versa it's I don't know in the marathon


you're there's so much going on so you're keeping those work workouts that


you and your coach have already planned right or he's planned and I'll hear about him you're doing yeah okay that


makes sense and I I like not I don't like to think too much about you know what I've done in the past and how


that's going to affect my next workout yeah um if coach says like five flat or 450 or


455 to me it's still all a relative effort it's going to be hard to like exactly split that unless I'm looking at


my watch you know yeah so five or 10 times in the middle of at so when he says like 450 versus like


445 you know that basically saying 445 is just like a little bit harder of an effort yeah okay yeah and you know some


days if the weather's good I'm going to run faster than what coach says if the weather's bad I'm probably going to run


a little slower but I know like it's just that relative effort of when I hear what he


says I'm like okay like that sounds good and and go with it and I think sometimes


um you can get too like precise with things and then realize you know there's


there's a million factors out there that could really change it so just going off the feel of what coach


says that's very interesting um another question before your debut Marathon I think it was 2021


right 2022 2022 okay I saw that you did win uh 20K 20K chance yes will you run a


20K or will you run more race races before Paris or are you going to try to hold back a little bit before the


Olympics there was a few I wanted to do um that little muscle injury kind of uh


kind of killed my killed my chances I don't know I won't run a 20K maybe a


half marathon okay um but I I I don't know I'd have to look at the schedule


like our my agent has like list of like all these races throughout the world so um but I'll run the 10K at Boulder


Boulder and then I'll run the US Olympic trials in the 10,000 meter on the track


um I have to be out there for team processing anyway so I'm like might as well run this race if I'm already out


here like already qualified for it you ran the uh 10,000 meter Olympic trials


in 2020 right yeah and I saw you ran you placed Fifth and eth I don't remember


which events Fifth and the 10,000 eth and the 5,000 fifth is like a so close


again it it was frustrating cuz like I I got shoved with about 100 to go and I wasn't catching the top three yeah but I


was catching the guy in fourth and it like almost went down um but I got up and I was able to like I don't know pass


the sixth and seventh guy um but like it it was pretty devastating


like I I wasn't that like I was 5 Seconds off the third so I was I wasn't close to actually making the team like


it 5 Seconds sounds close espe in 10 especially well in 10,000 5 seconds is


close but it was all like they put those five SEC they put four of those 5 seconds on me in the last like quarter


mile oh okay so it it was just I didn't have that Sprint finish the race just wasn't good


for a runner like me and that was athletes were definitely I mean looking back you can tell those athletes were


just on a different level but at the time it was like dang it you know was so


close like what could I have done differently um and so I I don't know


that that race was a little tough because I'd run that was my fourth 10K I'd done in 36 Days oh whoa and so it


was a lot of racing and I was just I think I was just tired but then I was like I was also fifth so there's a


little part of me that was like maybe I could have made team you know yeah so in


are you competing in the 10,000 meter trials mhm in an attempt to qualify for


the team that that's not my primary goal okay I mean it would be cool yeah um


they they there's two ways to qualify and it's through either world rankings or uh you have to be top three who has


either the world ranking spot or the Olympic standard and I don't have the Olympic standard and my world ranking


isn't isn't great um they started taking cross country competitions and Counting


them toward world ranking for the 10,000 okay um but a lot of that has to do with


these CrossCountry races that are in Europe it's not like us cross country races can really help you that much so


what is what is the difference there why would a Europe race help you more than a I I don't really understand it like I


mean I think it's they just they invite like there's more countries that participate okay it's an arbitrary


system I don't think it's that great so I'm going to the 10,000 in the


US Olympic trials just to compete and kind of get that more I don't know that High Energy race in um I just I don't


know I feel like that's something I can I I've struggled with in the past so I want to get a race where I'm you know


there's a lot of high energy I have to be there for team processing anyway so that's like I might as well go well and


then but it's like I don't want to fly out to a different race you know a weekend later yeah if I'm not if I'm


already going to have to go to Eugene might as well go and race and get that High Energy race in um if I end up top


three and run under 27 like those chances are pretty pretty low MH but I


mean then I'd consider you know competing in the 10,000 but the main goal for me right now is to compete in


the marathon and and do as well as I can there um so I'm not really too worried about


10 it's more out of convenience and like I want more race experience before Paris


that's exactly it so it seems like you might take like those almost


wins pretty hard how do you bounce back after an almost win like you had in high


school or in the Olympic trials in 2021 I think part of it is I really


enjoy training and if I'm like really struggling after


a race like that that'll stay with me for a little bit but if once I get back


into training I get really excited about the next race and so it's it's easy to really be like down on yourself when


you're not training but the moment you start like looking forward to okay how can I improve next time things get


exciting again so almost the little Winds of training keep you motivated yeah like the the


enjoyment of stay of of training like being in the moment and I don't know if I'm on like a an 18m long run and it and


I'm just there with some of the guys I train with like and I'm enjoying that I'm not worried about I'm not thinking


like I really wish I would have made the Olympic team it's I'm enjoying that moment and so sometimes that's that's


where I need to be um mentally after like a race where it didn't go well just get back to training get back to


something that's I'm used to that sounds like it's almost a


subconscious reaction of like okay I'm really disappointed about this but


naturally I'm just more excited about training now or is it something that you consciously have to be like okay I'm


pulling myself to the present I'm pulling myself to training I I think sometimes it's a little conscious but a


lot of the time it is subconscious cuz it's I don't know it's just fun training like I'll I I'll train every day I love


it I I'll race any day I I love it but it's nice when um you know after a bad a


bad race or a bad competition I can go and be like okay I let's just go and go out for a good run and and prepare for


the next thing how does marathon training compare to the other training


distances that you've done I think like do you enjoy it more is it harder it


it's definitely a different type of hard okay um like a lot of workouts start


pretty easy when you're doing marathon training when you're doing track training you know or or cross country


training it's like that first repeat whether you're on the grass or the track if you're doing intervals or that first


mile of like a short Tempo it's brutal the moment you're doing like Marathon


specific stuff you're like oh if I run 4:30 like that's as fast as I need to go


like at like the or I should rephrase that 440 is even the fastest you need to


go on a lot of your marathon training but like if I'm doing 2 Mile intervals for a marathon my first I


don't know my first interval feels pretty easy and that second interval feels pretty easy and then it gets a


little hard but it's a different type of hurt as compared to like when I'm trading for the 5K and I'm doing mile


repeats on the track and it's like okay I got to hit 64s or 65s per lap and


those just exhaust me so it is is still difficult but it's like a moderate kind


of difficult okay it's difficult at the end of the workout like you those early parts of the workout like especially our


8 10 or you know 13 mile marathon pace workouts it's like you start those out


and it's not really difficult until maybe mile three or 4 and even then it's


not it's not oh let me rephrase that it's not difficult until mile 3 or 4 and it's not that difficult even until


you're I don't know till mile like seven or so so until towards the end that's


when you start like kind of hurting feeling the right okay which is what you want in the marathon workouts but it


it's just very different while in track I feel like every workout was just brutal especially like anytime we did


any workouts on the grass in Cross Country it was you start that workout and you're tired by the you know 3


minutes in or you know less and then it's like all right let's just keep doing this as long as we need to


do you feel like your mindset lends itself to this marathon training of like


okay hold back now because I know it's going to hurt later or do you feel like


you had to learn that mindset it's definitely a mindset I've had to learn learn I I really like just pushing the


pace and I'm like I feel great I feel like I could do this for an hour or two hours but then you get to especially in


the marathon you get to mile 18 and it's a whole different ball game mhm um you can feel I don't know I feel like


I could run you know if if I'm completely peaked my


training's gone perfect I think I could run pretty close to like world record marathon pace given I haven't even done


that for a half yet so maybe I'm maybe I'm talking out of my butt but like um I


feel like I could hold that for close to 18 miles but the moment that comes I'm going to be running 7 Minute


miles the rest of the way like I'm going to slow down so much so it's the adjustment of I don't know that being


patient like I could I could hold a lot of different Paces I feel like for 18 miles and feel good


but the marathon those last like those last eight miles really just feels like


a completely different on a completely different sport in a way so is that like


are those eight miles like looming and that's what's making you kind of be patient in the beginning 18 or is it


just like okay I'm looking at my watch I know what my pace is I know what like theoretically I should be at so I'm just


going to like stick to this yeah I think I think it's like I had one bad


experience at Boston I went out really hard um was that 23 Boston or 23 Boston


and I I I don't know I don't know if I was in the fittest shape I'd ever been up to that point well or a fittest shape


I've ever been I just remember workouts were clicking I was feeling really good right before the but right right before


the race M I was like this is like I got to that marathon and I just felt amazing


and I remember through 15 miles feeling so good and being like I think I could win it today and then mile 16 the real


contenders went out and dropped a 423 Mile and I you're like I couldn't I couldn't run that um I probably could


have ran that mile but I I don't know if I would have finished and I just remember every mile after that just got


a little bit harder till I was at 24 and then my vision started to go very fuzzy


and oh my gosh had tunnel vision and then there was a little bit while where everything just kind of went black and I


was able running I was still running I went really I start I was running really slow and then as I I kept slowing down


until my vision came back and then when it came back um and I kept having tunnel vision come in and out when it came back


I was like I I would speed up and then when it would go I'd slow down so I was like I just need to finish and people


are like flying past me as if I'm like I can't even see who's going past me right now that's insane what causes tunnel


vision like that just your effort at the beginning or I think I was just pacing


poorly and I I under fueled it was I there was a variety of things so having


that experience is like okay let's let's Pace it well like from now on just because I


don't I don't want to go out and do that again and you know you train for a marathon you know 14 16 weeks and then


it's like after the marathon it's like well now you have to recover for two weeks or 3 weeks so no more races for a


minute and it I don't know I love racing so much that I don't want to uh miss that or mess up that effort


and miss another experience yeah that's it's crazy because Marathon like so many things can


go wrong you can show up at the start line and you can be the fittest you've ever been but then if a fueling thing


goes wrong or you miss your bottle like I think you missed your bottle in the trials right like something as small as


that can like totally affect the last 8 miles of the race exactly so it's not


always about your Fitness sometimes it's about like your strategy your mental


game right and yeah I mean that's obviously what makes you the best


marathoner in the US right now is that you focus on all those little things in


your day-to-day kind of like you were saying yeah it's easier when you I don't know you you find the little details and


you work on them um the execution of a marathon is


difficult because you do feel so good and you can feel so good for 18 miles and if you run those 18 miles too fast


you're not going to you're going to feel terrible for the last eight um just to be respectful of your


time one last question uh there are a lot of people in the United States right


now whose dream is to go to the Olympics and that's a dream that like only a


select few can ever experience so to those kids right now that are thinking


like oh I want to be in the Olympics one day or to anyone who's trying to achieve like a lofty goal like that what have


you learned from training for the marathon that you would give to them as advice yeah it'll sound pretty cliche um


but just enjoy the journey I I think like what has made me a really


good athlete is that I look forward to every run and maybe not every run but I


look forward to 90% of runs and I enjoy those runs I enjoy you know whether it's


with friends or whether I'm alone um I joke with my wife that the days I really


don't want to run those are the days I actually have to go to work so 10% of the about 10% of the time I actually


feel like I'm working and then 90% of the time I'm just having fun and so you know these lofty goals that kind of I


don't lead us to these great places where we get to I don't know make great relationships with people and we get


to um I don't know test our own limits so I I recommend anybody you know have


dreams have lofty goals go for them and see how you can do because if you don't you I don't know you miss the whole


journey I like that I think that's a perfect note to end on thank you so much


for having us and thank you for like all the insights on Marathon oh thank you


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