Over the last few weeks you've had a chance to read about Nick and Joy and learn about their training styles, running history, and much more. You've had a chance to read a little advice and see why they train the way they do. Now, it's time to meet Jamie Vest.
How long have you been running?
I began running the typical mile run in elementary and started running on the cross country team in 7th grade and track in 8th grade. I took off a few years after college but have been running most of the time since then.
Tell us about your running history:
My first running experience was the mile run we had to do each year in elementary for PE. The PE coach put a list of the fastest times on her bulletin board each Spring. As I got older I wanted to be on that list and at the top of it. The PE coach was also the cross country and track coach. She asked me to join the team in junior high, so I did. I played basketball at the same time so I only went to a few meets. As my freshman year of high school began, I still didn't know a lot about running. I just ran. For a very small school I was a decent runner and did well at most of the meets. I had no clue how "good" I was and was very surprised when I won first in Class 1 at the state meet. I still focused a lot of my time on basketball but that changed as I matured and realized running was where I excelled. I finished my high school running career with four cross country state championships and four 3200m state championships and a desire to see how fast I could really be in college.
I went to Missouri State University to run cross country and track. Running in college was the best and most difficult thing I have done. My life revolved around running. I enjoyed the challenge of running with women who were my pace or faster every day. It made me a better runner. We pushed each other daily to be better and work harder but we supported each other as well. It was one of the best times of my life. My junior year I surprised myself (and my coach too) with a trip to the NCAA National championships track meet in the 3000m steeplechase. After college I took a few years off. I began running again when Nick asked me to run with him in the mornings while Joy was away at law school. I did get a few runs with Joy too when she was home. Nick got me back in to shape and Joy asked me to run the OKC half that year. From that point on I was hooked. I ran several half marathons over the next few years, and in 2013 trained for my first marathon. In 2015 I found a long run training partner who pushed me to my fastest half and full thus far.
What is your training style?
I like to push my body as hard as I can on each run no matter what I am doing. The biggest change in my training last year that proved to be beneficial was running my long runs about 30-45 seconds faster. I also like doing my runs and workouts on hills. I know I am getting more of a benefit out of it. Again, this year doing long runs on hills paid off.
What is your favorite workout?
My favorite workout is 1000m repeats or mile (1600m) repeats. I have slow twitch muscles so I like to do as many as I can at a set pace. It's a challenge to me to keep goal pace over several repeats.
What is your favorite race distance?
I enjoy anything over a 10k. I enjoy long distances.
What is a piece (or two) of advice you would give to someone new to speed work?
It won't be easy and will take time, but if you persevere it will pay off. My first year of college I didn't know a lot about workouts/speed work. I was a freshman in the back of the pack. Over time, I eventually made it in the front pack.
I would also suggest finding someone who is faster than you and stay as close to them as possible. Keep your eyes on them at every workout and tell yourself "I am going to stay with them". Eventually you will.
What do you like to eat before a race?
The day before I like to eat pasta. The week before a marathon I eat more carbs than a person should eat in a month! The morning of the race I eat a bagel with peanut butter, a banana, and sip on Gatorade.
Do you crosstrain?
I am currently not crosstraining much. For me, working on the farm is like crosstraining. When it is warmer I ride my bike. I also like to do ab workouts. I wish I had more time to crosstrain.
We hope this three part series has been insightful to you. We hope it's provided you with a better understanding of your coaches, and perhaps it allows you to see why workouts are conducted in the way they are. Maybe it has allowed you to see why each coach focuses on certain aspects of the group, or why each coach has a different forte at practice.
Please know you're always welcome to come to use with questions. See you tomorrow!
Who Picks the Topics?
Each week, we notice different things. We try to incorporate the questions we are receiving or the training issues we are noticing into our post(s) for the week. If there is something you'd like us to cover, let us know!