April 18, 2014
13:11 5,000-meter runner Ben True will face 12:46 5,000 runner Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia at the BAA 5k on Saturday.
True was in good spirits on Friday’s media day and showed a good sense of humor as he corrected moderator Marc Davis (yes, the US Olympic steepler from 1996 and 1986 Foot Locker HS champ) when Davis said he was coached by Mark Coogan (Coogan stopped serving as the Saucony sponsored True’s official coach when he started working for New Balance earlier this year). Davis then asked who his coach was and True said he coaches his training partner Sam Chelanga who in turn coaches him.
To outside observers the winter was an excellent one for True. LRC heard from Coogan in the early part of 2014 that True was in excellent shape and perhaps ahead of Sam Chelanga, who had just run 13:05 in a race in Boston versus Galen Rupp. Then True won the US 15k championships on March 15th over Chris Derrick.
However, True said it was a terrible winter training wise.
“I would start off by (saying) that the winter was terrible – so was last Fall,” said True. “This has been the hardest fall and winter of my career so far – just where I haven’t been able to train as I’d wanted to, but that’s forced me to train differently. Whereas before, I had a system wherethere was a lot of speed, now I can’t really touch any of my speed.”
“But you can get the fitness up different ways. That’s one of the reasons why I did the 15k as kind of a test event to see in a race, where the leg speed didn’t have to be that high if my body would still hold up for this coming track season, and I surprised myself and it (the 15k) went very well. This is another test event before I get to the track” said True. Later he revealed a left hamstring issue is what’s been bothering him. “The beauty of a road race – I love road racing – it’s competition at its purest form. There is no clock, there is no splits, it’s just you versus another person and I really enjoy that type of running….All of my focus it to be the first across the line.”
After this weekend’s 5k, where he’ll face one of the world’s very best 5000 runners, True will get ready for the Payton Jordan meet at Stanford where he’ll run the 5000. After that, he’s running the 5000 at Prefontaine.