Monday, May 17, 2010 exclusive - Patrick Smyth talks Healthy Kidney 10k

Congrats to your 29:03:00 and 12th place at the Healthy Kidney 10k last Saturday. What is more important for you in a big race like this - The actual time or the overall place? 
Definitely the place. In road racing, particularly on a course like Central Park, you can pretty much through all track fitness/pbs out the window, it comes down to competing well on that day. People were saying that you lose about 40sec to the hills on the course (Central Park), but thats all speculation and irrelevant when it comes down to racing.

As Central Park is not known for pancake flat courses did you prepare especially for that race? 
I actually did. I stepped away from track specific workouts for the 2 weeks leading up to the race and focused on some threshold specific intervals on hilly terrain. I also had a 24x100m hill session in there to just get used to that sort of terrain.

Why did you choose to run the Healthy Kidney 10k?
Its arguably one of the deepest road 10k fields in the US and I wanted to compete against the best in the world. The people at the New York Road Runners are also the absolute gold standard for directors/organizers out there and you know they are always going to put on a great event and treat the elites very well. I love taking part in their events.

Your season started pretty impressive. What is the plan for the rest of the season? Goals?
After a very successful fall and winter of racing, I've struggled a bit my last few races and I am really just looking forward to going into a 5weeks training block right now in order to get my body, mind, spirit right. I will be racing the 10,000m at the US Track Championships on June 24. I am confident about my chances there and will no doubt be gunning for the win. After that probably the Peachtree road 10k in Atlanta and then some much needed down time as I've been racing week in and week out since September.

You are racing all distances as far as the half marathon. Any plans on going the full 42k and if yes, where and when?
Yes, the marathon is definitely in my long term plans. As for when I plan on tackling on, probably not for a couple years at least. I still have a lot of unfinished business at the shorter distances.

You are competing on all sorts of surfaces. What do you prefer most. Cross, Road or Track? 
This year I've really taking a liking to the roads, but feel it is still toss up between cross and the track. Love them both.

You are with Team USA Minnesota. The likes of Jason Lehmkuhle and Matt Gabrielson must be a huge motivation, inspiration and help for you. Do you train with those guys a lot? Would you ring them up for advice on races or training etc?
I train with the quite a bit, and both are definitely a huge source of knowledge and motivation. On runs or cool downs I'll fire quite a few questions their way on a number of topics - training, racings, business side of things etc - and they are both really good about giving honest straight forward answers.

You are contracted to Nike. Tell us what shoes you would use for your training routines. How many miles would you get out of a shoe?
I am training mostly in the Pegusus now as they no longer make the Elites that I had been training in. Its a great shoe - well cushioned, very neutral - and good for about 450miles if alternated well. I work out and race in either the new Victory XCs if im on the track or the LunarRacers if im on the roads. Both are fantastic shoes!

Is there a special routine on how you prepare your racing shoes? How often would you wear them before a race?
I will typically try to get in about 3-4 long workouts in any shoe before I race in them. As for routine, I just try and make sure I remember to pack them!

What is the best shoe you have ever worn and why?
The Pegasus is growing on me quickly. I wore the adidas Boston religiously all through college and have been searching for an equivalent and I think the Pegusus may be all that and then some.

Where are you based and who do you train with on a daily basis?
I am based out of Minneapolis, MN, and train with Jason, Matt, Antonio Vega and Josh Moen on a regular basis. For the next 5weeks, however, I will be doing a stint at altitude in Park City Utah which is a mere 20min drive from my home of Salt Lake and a great training locale as its nearly 7000ft with lots of trails and a great track.

What would be your weekly training schedule before a big 10k like the Healthy Kidney 10k?
Monday: hard hilly session of 6x1200 off 1minute on cross country - like footing.
Tuesday: Two Easy runs
Wednesday: 12x200 off 1minute
Thursday: two easy runs
Friday: 45min and light strides
Sat: Race

How long are your long runs and how fast would you run them?
15-20 miles and run anywhere from 7min pace to 5:40min (if i have sub threshold for 2nd half)

America is in a new distance running boom. Which performances in the last year were especially outstanding for you and why?
Ritzenheins: 12:56 AR plus Solinsky and Rupp both dipping under old 10,000AR. Those guys raised the bar for all other americans and made it very clear what kind of fitness it is gonna take to nab a World Champs or Olympic birth in the years to come.

Are you into one of the typical US Sports? If yes please tell us the team?
I follow the Utah Jazz who just got eliminated in the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs. Jerry Sloan (longest tenured coach in American professional sports) is a big idol of mine. He has a system that gets a lot out of the guys in it and he has no time for big arrogant super stars!

Are you back in Central Park to beat Gebre next year ;-) ?
Yes, would love to get back there and get in the top 5 next year. Definitely a goal of mine now. says thanks to Patrick for taking the time to answer all the questions. Rock on in 2010!