Catching Up With Emily Infeld
The 2013 USA Cross Country Championships this weekend has one of the deepest women's fields in recent years. While Olympians Shalane Flanagan, Deena Kastor, Kim Conley and Magdalena Lewy-Boulet lead the list of favorites, one of the quiet favorites in the field is first-year pro Emily Infeld.
The former Georgetown standout recently joined Jerry Schumacher's team in Portland, Oregon, meaning her two training partners are Shalane Flanagan and Kara Goucher. Coming off a five week training stint in Colorado Springs, Infeld now eyes a spot on Team USA for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. We caught up with Infeld this week as she traveled to St. Louis, discussing her transition to being a pro, what it's like to train with Shalane and Kara and what 2013 holds for her.
Scott Bush (SB): The USA Cross Country Championships are this weekend. You've had some great success in the past in cross country, but this is your first time competing in the senior women's race. What are your expectations heading into this weekend's race?
Emily Infeld (EI): I am really excited to be back racing cross country! I haven't raced since July so I am really looking forward to getting back to racing. I have never run 8k before so am feeling nervous but I’ve been doing a lot of strength training, so I feel very fit. I want to put myself in a position to be in the hunt for top six.
SB: You've been out training your group in Colorado Springs the past few weeks. How's your training been going? What's it been like training at altitude?
EI: Training at altitude is definitely an adjustment. This is my first time ever at altitude so I wasn't sure exactly what to expect. The main thing is that breathing is way harder here and I have to consciously focus on how I am feeling overall and not just on how hard it is to breathe during a workout. Altitude also builds on you so I also had to really focus on pacing to make sure I started out more conservative than I would normally during a workout at sea level. I feel like our whole group has put in such great training while here and am excited for everyone to get back to racing!
SB: How has your transition been into the group? At Georgetown, you were the veteran on the team, now you're training with two of the most accomplished distance runners (Shalane and Kara) in U.S. history.
EI: The transition has been great. The group is absolutely phenomenal. I am used to be sort of the mom or older sister of the team but now I am the baby of the group. I was super intimidated coming in as everyone in the group is well established and basically the studs of our sport. Kara and Shalane, as well as the boys, have been beyond nice and supportive through my transition. This group just has the absolute most talented, nicest, and down to earth people.
I feel like I have learned so much since being here. Shalane and Kara are the absolute best people, I feel so lucky that I am able to train with them and learn from them each day. They continue to set the bar higher for American women distance runners and I am constantly inspired by them. It is amazing that they are two of the most humble and caring women, though they have accomplished so much and would have every right to be cocky. It has been so amazing thus far and I'm excited to keep training hard!
SB: What has changed most in your training since turning pro and having Jerry Schumacher as your coach?
EI: A lot of strength! I was pretty low mileage in college (about low 60s average I would guess and I never hit 70), and have increased that slightly. So many of our workouts are strength oriented and about twice as long as what I was used to. I think this is great as I am looking to be focusing a lot on the 5k! Jerry has been so great and really careful with me, just slightly increasing mileage with the increased intensity of my day-to-day runs as well as workouts.
SB: You've been primarily a 1,500m and 5,000m runner the past few seasons. Will those two events remain your primary focus in 2013?
EI: Yes! I love both the 15 and the 5k, but I definitely see myself as more of a 5k runner in the future. I am just going to take this season week by week and listen to Jerry's plan and then we’ll see! He is such a great coach and I trust he has a great plan for me!
SB: Favorite workout?
EI: 200 repeats!
SB: Shoes you train in?
EI: Nike structure
SB: Best bandd?
SB: Favorite part of living in Portland, thus far?
EI: Nike campus and the group I train with
SB: Favorite food?
EI: Chicken Marsala
SB: Best movie?