Q: Hello Will, thanks for joining us for a chat today! Please tell our Community Hub members a little bit about yourself.
A: Hello! I’m Will and I’ve worked on the Community Management team for just under 3 years now. I’m originally from Illinois but have also lived in Southern California and now live and train in Colorado. Before joining Strava I was a college cross country and track coach.
Q: How did you get into running, and what was the key decision factor for you to start running on a professional level?
A: My parents always encouraged me to have an active lifestyle since I was little so I was always spending time outside and pretty well did any sport offered at our small school growing up. Believe it or not the Presidential Fitness test was what really got me interested in running fast. (Is that even something they do in schools anymore?) We had a record for 4th graders in the mile and I figured I could beat that, then in 5th grade we were able to join track and I’ve been racing since.
I wouldn’t really say that there was a decision that led to running at a professional level as much as an unwillingness to stop. Thankfully, I think that a lot of success in the sport can be traced to training consistently and being passionate about continued development. Running with the Roots Running Project has been incredible because there are so many talented individuals on the team. If you are willing to work hard, there are always others in the group to work out with. There’s truly something irreplaceable about the community and camaraderie of a team.
Q: If you have to identify one thing that keeps you motivated and on track with your plans, what would that be?
A: I’ve always struggled with training and running workouts solo. I’ve found that being a part of a training group keeps me motivated, accountable, and gives perspective to improvement over time.
Q: You have PR'd your Marathon time recently and qualified for the 2024 Olympic qualifiers - congratulations on these amazing achievements! Tell us a little bit about the preparation and dedication that went into this.
A: Thanks! As I said earlier, consistency goes a long way in improvement over time. I’ve been running since 2003, and training seriously since 2007. But there are also a lot of sacrifices to your day to day lifestyle as well. I love running a lot of mileage but that means structuring your day around when you are going to run, especially if you are going to double. Less glamorous is getting proper sleep and going to bed super early, often around 8.
Q: What is your favorite Strava feature and how do you utilize it in your running routine?
A: I love using Routes to plan out where I want to go, especially when traveling or when cycling or hiking. I love exploring and the features keep getting better and better in the Maps tab. More broadly I enjoy that Strava allows me to stay in touch with people I’ve met through running over the years and the ability to look back on my training over time.
Q: How do you deal with challenges along the way and some tough moments? Do you have a favorite motivational speaker or a quote?
A: There are always challenges when you are trying to compete at a high level and you end up putting a lot of pressure and expectations on yourself. I lean on my teammates when I’m struggling and they’re awesome at helping to put things into perspective.
One of my favorite running books is Best Efforts: World Class Runners and Races by Kenny Moore. Kenny Moore is a legendary runner himself and interviews a ton of big names in the sport from the 1960’s and 70’s. It’s a fantastic read, I really should return the copy I borrowed and buy my own…
Will, thanks so much for chatting with us today and good luck with the Olympic qualifier!
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