Posted on Oct 29

Kim Conley Takes Aim at a Loaded Field in NYC

Kim Conley Takes Aim at a Loaded Field in NYC

With all of the attention aimed at Sunday's ING New York City Marathon featuring 48,000 runners that will completely shut down the city, Team New Balance runner Kim Conley looks to wrap up her racing before the marathon even goes off. That's right, Saturday, in New York City, there is another elite racing event where you'll find some of the best runners in the world. The event? 5,000 meters in the final stretch of the marathon course called "The Dash to the Finish Line 5K." Kim will toe the line with American Olympic medalist Shalane Flanagan, Team USA Olympian Molly Huddle, and Kenya's Sally Kipyego, just to name a few. To give you an idea, this race will have eleven Olympians coming off of London, three Olympic medalists, thirteen women with PRs under 15:30, sixteen men with PRs under 13:30, twelve current and former National Champions (USA), and eighteen former NCAA Champions... so yeah, the field will be fast. We caught up with Kim to talk about racing, her tips for new runners, and how a Guinness Float + Britney Spears may be all that your training needs. Follow our Q & A below...

@NBRunning: Tell us a little bit about where you are in your training and racing schedule at this point in the year.

@KimConley: After the track season ended, I took some planned time off which ended up being about 10 days in early August. The recovery time is such an important thing when you’re racing as much as we do. Anyway, I decided to race in three big November races and basically create a mini fall racing season. This has made training more fun and its helped break up an otherwise long stretch of training as we head indoors. Looking at New York and the timing of Saturday’s race, I’m right at eight weeks of training. I wouldn't want to race any earlier in a [training] cycle than that.

@NBRunning: What is your 5000m (5K) PR and what would you like to see on the clock as a finishing time in NYC?

@KimConley: I’m not too concerned with my time in such a loaded field. My best is 15:40. The thing with road racing is that all roads are different and each section of 5000m could have different things to offer. With New York, I’ve never run this race and the profile could run fast or slow. I’m feeling good but also understand that it’s early in the cycle of racing.

@NBRunning: It’s hard not to look around in a race like this and size up your competition. Who are some women you’ll be looking out for this weekend in a field you’re calling “loaded.”

@KimConley: Molly Huddle (2012 Olympian for Team US & 6th place finish at the World Championships in Moscow in August 2013) and (American Olympic Medalist) Shalane Flanagan have both gone 14:44, not to mention Sally who took silver in London will be there (Kenya’s Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego won a silver medal in the Women’s 10,000m in a time of 30:26:37). And it’s not just them… there’s a whole slew of Americans who have run well on both international and national scene that will be in this race.

@NBRunning: Change of gears. Talk about your diet: How do you change your diet when you’re in training or when you’re racing? What are some of your tricks to fueling your engine?

@KimConley: I don’t really change my diet for races or the week of a race. I try to maintain a healthy diet year round whether I’m in training or in the middle of a busy racing cycle. For me this means meat once or twice a day, whole grains, 3-4 servings of fruit, 3-4 servings of veggies; it’s really just the basics that we learned a long time ago.

@NBRunning: Do you have any weaknesses when it comes to diet? Sweet-tooth? Do you ever drink beer?

@KimConley: It’s funny you mention beer. I do like beer, but actually have an end-of-season tradition that I’ve been doing for years called a “Guinness Float,” and I have it as soon as the season is over.

@NBRunning: Now we’re talking! Where did this start?

@KimConley: In my senior year at UC Davis San Diego our coach made us all fill out goal sheets with a rewards section. He explained that it was anything, not always food, and we’d let ourselves have it if and when we hit our goals. I thought about it and couldn’t decide so I wrote down “beer or a milkshake.” I gave him the clipboard and I walked away… the coach said to me “or both together?” When I asked what he was talking about, he explained, and I was then introduced to the Guinness Float and I’ve been doing it since. I mean, hitting goals and getting a beer float? It just makes sense I think.

@NBRunning: Sounds like a pretty good community. What about Team New Balance runners? Do you train with any of them regularly?

@NBRunning: A huge piece of “Runnovation” at New Balance is about the social running scene and we’re telling the stories of groups that run together as a way to stay motivated. As a former Olympian, what is your take on training with others around you?

@KimConley: Running with other people can make a huge difference and it can make the hard workouts really good. The odd thing about a lot of elites is that the “hard” workouts are not the hardest workouts. For me it’s exciting to do a really intense and very hard workout. The hardest workout is the hour-long run the next day that you just have to do as a recovery - those are hard to get excited for especially when you’re on your own. Those boring workouts are best shared with my teammates. Right now I’m lucky to be here at UC Davis surrounded by a team of 30 men and women who all can be my training partner for different workouts. I really like training with a group of men and women who have such a useful range of speeds.

@NBRunning: What are you going to be racing in on Saturday in New York City?

@KimConley: The RC 1600 . I’ve been in them for a while and love them.

@NBRunning: What do you tell new runners who are hesitant about the sport and don’t know where to begin?

@KimConley: One of the most common mistakes with new runners is pacing in a race. The nerves or excitement is there and they start out pushing themselves so hard from the beginning. Lots of elite-level workouts and training sessions start off chill; even some races do as well. New runners need to know that it’s OK to run slow, feel good, and wait until the last 5-10 min to start pushing it to the finish.

@NBRunning: Do you ever run with music?

@KimConley: I never run with music… mostly because I’m with other people and I think that’s weird and maybe rude. Also I like feeling in tune with my body. Even if I’m alone I like hearing the footfall and breath. It’s key for new runners to hear these things and go on at least SOME runs without music. On the other hand, if music gets you out the door, I’m all for it.

@NBRunning: Last question here … if you were a prize fighter and you were going into a big fight, what would your one song be that you came into the ring playing for all to hear and to fire you up?

@KimConley: Man, I really don’t want to tell you this one. The song that I’ve been playing over and over is actually by Brittney Spears and it’s called “Circus.” Now I’m really hoping this doesn’t make it into the final cut.

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