Sinclaire Johnson Weighs In on Her Quest to Beat Laura Muir, Expectations, and Why She Left Bowerman Track Club

February 10, 2023

A little over a year ago, Sinclaire Johnson, the NCAA 1500m champion in 2019, was a pro runner struggling for relevance.  In 2021, in her first (post covid) year as a pro, she only ran 4:05.91 and got 12th at the Olympic Trials, although she did go sub 2:00 in the 800 for the first time.

That prompted a switch to Pete Julian’s Nike Union Athletics Club at the end of 2021, and in 2022 she earned some of the pro success she was yearning for. She sent sub 4:00 (3:58.85) and was the USATF national champion at 1500.

2023 brings new expectations and heightened pressure. First, she faces a big test versus Laura Muir in the women’s Wanamaker Mile on Saturday.

Below, we have some highlights of our chat with Laura before Millrose, plus the full video.

Article continues below player.

On competing at Millrose after her successful 2022:

“I just feel like last year was just a lot of validation for where I already thought I was. So I’m just going in with a lot more confidence and definitely just my goals have shifted and I go into these races wanting to win instead of just, you know, hoping to compete. So, it’s pretty exciting…The goal is to win, just as simple as that.

On why she left Bowerman Track Club:

“It wasn’t a hard decision just in the fact that I was very unhappy there. I didn’t feel like my concerns were really being heard.  I just felt like the training was not going to be sustainable for me. So in that way, it was like the easiest decision and then trying to figure something else out for myself… Obviously, the conversation, telling someone you’re going to leave is not easy by any regards.”
On how her needs weren’t being met
“I just wanted to train a little bit more specific to myself and not just be thrown into what Shelby [Houlihan] was doing at the time or what Gabriela [Stafford] was doing at the time.
I didn’t want to do, just watered down workouts of what they were doing. And so when I came with concerns that this wasn’t working out for me, basically I was just met with, ‘Well, you know, the program’s not going to change and so you either get on board or, you don’t’ so [I decided to leave].'”
On how her training at Bowerman wasn’t meeting her needs:
“I don’t think any of my true, my tempo workouts that I would do with him were truly tempo pace for me. I think I was definitely overworking in that department.  The volume of workouts was, was a lot.
I didn’t really jump up a whole lot of mileage when I went to the Jerry [Schumacher] but it was that the amount of miles that were more intense really, really increased. So about … half to three quarters of my miles were all workout miles and days in between were very short. “
How did Jerry Schumacher receive her decision:
“He heard me out, but he was very confident in the way that he approached his training and he felt like that was what works for him and his athletes and so he wasn’t going to change.
He made a good argument for me to stay. He didn’t want me to leave and I also appreciated that a whole lot.
I think he really tried to understand why I was leaving and I think, you know, at the end of the day it was a decision already made [in my mind].”
On the training with Union Athletics:

“With Bowerman it was solely strength and I didn’t do any speed. And now with Pete [Julian] it’s more balanced. I do a lot of strength work, but I also filter in a lot of speed work too.  I wouldn’t say it’s more speed based. I would just say it’s just more appropriately balanced.”

On Shelby Houlihan’s doping suspension:
“It was really unfortunate. I don’t really have much more to say than that. It wasn’t a reason why I left. I’m very good friends with Shelby and it’s really unfortunate what happened to her.”

For complete Millrose games coverage including race previews, go to the homepage or here: 2023 Millrose Games Coverage.

Want More? Join The Supporters Club Today
Support independent journalism and get:
  • Exclusive Access to VIP Supporters Club Content
  • Bonus Podcasts Every Friday
  • Free Shirt (Annual Subscribers)
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Enhanced Message Boards