Laura Thweat Payton Jordan

Laura Thweatt in the 5k at the Payton Jordan Invite in April. Image courtesy of the Image of Sport

Boulder Track Club’s Laura Thweatt is on a roll. 

It started around September last year with a top 10 at the US 20K, then 4th US Road 5K, a 3rd at the US Road 12K, the 3rd fastest split at the Ekiden Relays in Japan and then a win at the 2013 USATF National Club Cross Country Championships, and she hasn’t look back. Next she led a loaded field in the 1500m to the bell lap at the Mt Sac Relays, then ran a gutsy race for 4th at the Payton Jordan Invitational 5k where she ran a Personal Best of 15:04.

Besides her 5k PR, she has also lowered her mark in four other events over the last year running 4:10 in the 1500m, 4:38 for the mile, 9:01 for 3k and 32:15 for the 10k.

Since graduating from CU in 2011 she has been working with coach Lee Troop a 3 x Olympian for Australia.

“To many, Laura made a huge breakthrough this last month but really it came last September after a disappointing Outdoor National Championship.

“Laura like most athletes, had a burning desire and passion to work as hard as she could but she was lacking the one key area that would help her and that was enjoying the process.”

“After a chat last August where she was struggling with motivation, she changed her outlook and focus and since September the results have spoken for themselves. We set goals of 4:10 or faster for 1500m and 15:10 or faster for 5K and over the last month she has achieved them,” said Troop.

“Since its is an off year with no major championships, our focus is simply to keep having fun and doing things she won’t be doing in 2015-16. The rest of the track season will now be about racing the races as opposed to chasing times and the second half of the year will be back to basics but with a focus on a half marathon.”

Thweatt US Club XC Champs

Back in December when you won XC Champs, you mentioned that you wouldn’t compete in USA Cross in Feb because you wanted to focus on the track. Why was that?

There were a few reasons. My coach, Lee Troop, and I decided to run an indoor track season as opposed to competing at USA Cross country, the biggest being that it was not a world year. The last two years I have had a more cross-country focus, competing at USA’s in February before jumping straight into an outdoor track season at the end of March. Having a non-team year provided us with opportunity to mix up my training and racing and really focus on bringing some speed emphasis back into the picture. In addition to the more speed oriented track training there was also an opportunity to make a world indoor team, which we believed I had a potential shot at making.

Having now completed a good portion of my outdoor season, I would say that beginning my track preparation in January has played a very significant role in regards to the times that I have been able to run so far this year.

Take us through the last four months of your training. Any big changes?

To be perfectly honest my training has not significantly changed or varied from what I have been doing over the last 3 years. Other than beginning track prep three months earlier then we have in previous training cycles, my foundation work has remained the same. It is the consistency and strength work that I have done since 2011 that has allowed me to have the breakthrough in my racing the last six months. I can give you an idea of a typical training week and what that more specifically looks like, but again it is nothing new to what I have been doing.

  • Monday – Recovery run + strength routine
  • Tuesday – AM Workout (either track, hills, or fartlek) and then PM second run
  • Wednesday – Medium distance run
  • Thursday – Either another recovery run + strength or a workout, depending on the block we are in
  • Friday – same as Thursday, either workout or recovery
  • Saturday – Either workout or recovery run
  • Sunday – Long run

We saw you leading a star studded 1500 in March and running a gutsy race at Payton Jordan. What was your thoughts going into those races, did you see yourself leading in each of these?

Going into the outdoor season we knew that I was capable of putting up some quick and competitive times in both the 1500m and 5k after what I had run indoor for mile and 3k. The goal going into both Mt. Sac and Payton was exactly that, to run fast. The strategy was not necessarily to be leading the race but to run aggressive and explosive.

Laura Thweatt with Winner Molly Huddle, 2nd place Shalane Flanagan at the USATF 12K Championships in Alexandria, VA in November 2013.

Winner Molly Huddle, 2nd place Shalane Flanagan and Thweatt at the USATF 12K Championships in Alexandria, VA in November 2013.

Are you where you want to be yet or is more track in the future?

As I was saying earlier, it has truly been an amazing breakthrough year for me. Again, it is not something that happened over night or because I changed my training over the last 4-5 months. Nearly six months into the year I have either hit or surpassed each of my goals and expectations for the 2014 track season. Three years ago I would have had a difficult time believing that I would be capable of achieving what I have, and that I would be standing where I am today. So, I guess to answer your question, I am beyond thrilled to have gotten this far but I would be lying to you if I said that I wasn’t hungry for more. At this point each experience and achievement is just one more step towards each new goal.

Thweatt passed on running the BolderBoulder this year as she was invited to participate in the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene Oregon, this upcoming weekend. This is the first time women will race an American Classic distance at the Prefontaine Classic, and she will be amongst a new wave of the world’s best seeking to run the fastest women’s 2-mile ever on American soil.

 “I could not be more excited for this expereince. All I have to say is, Bring It On :)  “

You can follow the Prefontaine Classic at http://preclassic.runnerspace.com.