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Kara Goucher: Coming Off An Incredible 2006, She's Training At A New Level and Has Some Big Goals
LetsRun.com talked with American distance star Kara Goucher on Feb. 1, 2007 via cell-phone after she had just finished working out at the Nike world headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
Kara will be competing this weekend in the US Cross Country Championships in her Boulder, CO where she starred for the Colorado Buffaloes as a collegian, winning 3 NCAA titles (two track, one xc). She enters 2007 on the heels of a stellar 2006 season. In 2006, she made the world team in the now abolished short-course xc, and then set prs outdoors at 1,500 (4:05.14), 3k (8:41.42 for 3rd at the World Cup), 5k (15:08.13) and 10k (31:17.12). Her 10k performance last year makes her the second-fastest American ever behind Deena Drossin's American record of 30:52.32.3
LRC: Thanks for talking with us, since I just made you sit through 25 minutes of me talking to Adam (LetsRun.com interviewed Kara's husband, Adam, just prior to her interview), I promise I'll try to be a little quicker. Before we talk about 2007, let's talk a bit about 2006. Looking at the stats and PRs at 1,500, 5k, 10k, it seems like a really good year for you. But what did you think of it?
LRC: What do you view as the highlight of the year?
Kara Goucher: I don't know (pause). I mean I pr'd at every distance from 1500 to 10k. Maybe the US championships. That's kind of where it all came together finally and I finally made that step up of to being really competitive and started to realize that things were coming around for me. I guess that would be the highlight - getting beat by Lauren Fleshman (laughs), but only Lauren beat me that day so it was a good day.
LRC: Looking at 2007? What's your focus. Do you have a particular event you are going to focus on? What's your primary goal?
LRC: What will you try to run at the world champs?
LRC: Looking at US Cross Nationals next week, how is your training going? How do you feel going into that?
LRC: Who do you view as the favorite for the race?
I think the race is just as competitive as the men's. It's going to be tight.
LRC: What did you think of Shalane Flanagan's 8:33?
She's come back from so much so I was psyched to see her run so fast. It's really motivating because I know that Shalane just did something that was awesome. I mean she was right on (Meseret) Defar. How cool is that?
It's just really motivating to realize that as US athletes we can step it up and really compete with anyone. She really proved that.
(Editor's Note: We were there to watch Flanagan's run and it was very, very cool indeed. Defar was in the midst of a world-record attempt (and would actually break it a week later in Stuttgart). We jumped to our feet when Flanagan tried to pass Defar.)
LRC: I know Adam has a bunch of people to train with out in Oregon. Is there anyone for you to train with?
LRC: You said you are running more than ever. What is your mileage at these days?
Last year, I added up all my miles from world cross until the end of the year and I averaged exactly 60 miles a week. But this year, with races and then high mileage weeks, I'm hoping it's going to be more like 75.
LRC: What about cross training? Do you do anything to supplement your running?
I guess I'm kind of different than most people because I just want to stay healthy.
LRC: How often do you train on that anti-gravity treadmill?
LRC: I know you and Adam have gone to altitude to do some workouts? Where do you go to do that?
We've been going there quite a bit just to feel the pain at altitude because it's definitely going to factor into the race.
LRC: Don't you think it will help that you and Adam went to Colorado and are kind of used to the altitude?
I mean when I was in college, we hosted the Big 12 cross country championships one year I was just so confident. I was like, 'I don't care how fit these people are as they won't be able to keep up with me at the altitude.' "
We don't have that (total confidence) now. We've been away for over two years now but we've done everything we could possible do to prepare.
The good news is we've trained at altitude quite a bit in our lives and we have done some racing there so we know there are certain things you might do at a sea level race that you wouldn't do in an altitude race. We know those things. I'm certainly glad I went to school in Colorado (laughs). I definitely feel more prepared.
LRC: Well it certainly seems to me that you are well prepared. You had an aweome year last year and are training way more this year. Good luck next week to both of you guys.
Note: When we talked to Kara Goucher, we also talked with her husband Adam. We encourage you to read our profile of Adam Goucher. We also asked Kara who would win the Superbowl. We didn't get her picks in time to put it up on our Elite Runners Super Bowl prediction contest but she did correct predict Indy. Her predicted score was 31-24 (clearly she's not a gambler as the line was Indy by 7).'); // -->