I recently had the opportunity to interview Desi Linden, an American long-distance runner, who represented the United States in the 2012 London Olympics women’s marathon. She also finished 4th at the 2015 Boston Marathon, just a few week ago, in 2:25:39, which is the fastest time for an American woman. Impressive, right? My friends at Brooks coordinated our interview since Desi is one of their sponsored athletes. I am so incredibly grateful for the opportunity, and I hope you enjoy reading it!
When/how did you get into running?
I started playing sports when I was 5, soccer and softball. I was too small for soccer and too hyper for softball. I was perfect for the 1500-meter run.
What’s your favorite distance to run and why?
The Marathon. It’s such a journey, from all the training that goes into getting ready for race day, to the race itself. You learn so much about yourself in the process.
What was your favorite part about running the Boston Marathon?
Right on Hereford, left on Boylston. You can’t beat the crowds in Boston. They are phenomenal, and no matter how you are feeling on that last stretch, the crowds cheer you in like you are winning the darn thing, it’s pretty special.
If you could change one thing, what would you have done differently at Boston?
I would have won instead of getting 4th!
Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
I always write a race plan, literally pen and paper write it out. I think having a plan on paper holds you accountable, when you have a moment of crisis during the race or doubts start creeping in, you mentally go back to what you wrote down and remind yourself to just focus on the next part of the race plan, it’s a great mental tool.
What’s your favorite post-race meal (or treat)?
Cheeseburgers and beers, baby!
What’s the best piece of running advice you’ve ever received?
Enjoy the process.
What’s a typical training day look like for you?
6:30 a.m. Coffee.
7:30/8 a.m. 12-14 mile easy run or workout.
10:30 a.m. Coffee and breakfast.
10:50 a.m. Coffee.
Miscellaneous (Physical therapy, yoga, massage, probably just a nap)
4:30 p.m. 4 mile easy run
6 p.m. Dinner
10 p.m. Bed
What’s your favorite and least favorite workout?
Favorite – Two by six miles at five seconds faster than race pace. It’s at that point in training where I’ve become calloused to being tired and just feel strong. If I hit this workout I walk away with a ton of confidence. Plus, there are only two of them
Least favorite – Five by two miles at 10 seconds faster than race pace. There are five of them, that’s a lot of work.
What’s the best part about being a Brooks-sponsored athlete?