photo courtesy: Track and Field Photo
Welcome back to 5 Questions, where we pick the brains of people from all areas of the running scene. Today, we were lucky enough to catch up with NCAA 1500 meter champion, Mac Fleet. Follow him on Twitter @macfleet1 and Instagram
5 Questions with Mac Fleet
1. Daily Relay: Congrats on your NCAA 1500 title. You closed in 52.22. How did your training prepare you for that kind of finish? How much of it was the hometown crowd?
Mac Fleet: First off, thank you. It was quite an amazing experience being able to win an NCAA title at Hayward. My training begins with Coach Andy Powell, with him developing me back into form from early September. We knew it would be a long process, but the big picture was always trying to win NCAA’s at home. As most championship races go, with a strong pull from 400-600 meters out, we focused on being able to be comfortable and relaxed when your body starts to tire and the pace picks up.
The Hayward crowd is always special. It’s the most knowledgable crowd in the nation and the loudest. It’s an unbelievable feeling to come off the final turn and hear that roar.
2. Daily Relay: You were the runner-up in the Indoor Mile in 2010 before injury sidelined you. What were those few years like of being on the injured list?
Mac Fleet: I had a string of injuries, first being a navicular stress fracture that I ran on for multiple years. (Don’t do that). The second being my plantar. There were stints where I would get back into good shape, but everything would fall back to pieces. Those two years were very tough. Watching my friends and teammates workout every day, while I was rehabbing, was hard. The thought of letting the sport go and moving onto something different in my life was constantly on my mind last year.
3. Daily Relay: Unfortunately, injuries are part of distance running. What kind of advice can you give those that have gone through a long period of injury?
My advice would just simply be never stop trying to get better. There are great doctors and therapists everywhere with wide ranges of techniques and you never know what your body is going to respond to. Keeping a positive attitude is crucial. If you mentally give up from injury, your body will too.
4. Daily Relay: Oregon has always had a proud history of distance runners. What has your experience been like in Eugene thus far?
Mac Fleet: It’s been absolutely amazing. The running community is like nothing else here in the US. I have some of the best teammates and friends to train with every day. The support staff is top notch. I really couldn’t imagine myself in a better place as an athlete.
5. Daily Relay: What was your takeaway from USA’s? What are your plans this summer?
Mac Fleet: This past weekend at USA’s was tough. Being in 2nd with 80 meters to go and not having an extra gear to finish was very hard. I am glad that I raced to win, and executed Powell’s race strategy near perfectly, I just couldn’t finish that day. I will be racing in Vancouver on the 1st and will head over to Europe for a few races. I believe I’m mentally and physically ready for some great 1500′s. I’m excited to see how fast I can push myself.
If you enjoy 5 Questions, check out the archive of previous interviews over at Writing About Running