Last week we wrote about the amazing progress Brandon Harvey made in the 1600m working with Run SMART coach Malindi Elmore. This week we interviewed him about that progress and his upcoming transition to college.
RS: First off congrats on an amazing season. Malindi is an amazing coach but we’re still amazed at the transformation you made this year into an elite miler. 4:33 down to 4:13 is great progress in four years, but in one year?!?! We want to know more and share with our audience.
RS: When did you start running and why?
Brandon: I started running cross country as a 7th grader in middle school when I was 13, but didn’t start track until my sophomore year because I played soccer. I started running because two of my older brothers ran cross country and unlike other sports, running gives you a very tangible way to compare athletes. If your PR is better than theirs then you are better than them, no questions asked. I liked that and wanted to be tangibly better than them.
Brandon: I liked the structure with Malindi. I always knew all the workouts I was doing that week and when they were. Also I never had real, tailored workouts for me before Malindi so that was really cool. Also the fact that she took my suggestions and used them made me happy. There was one specific time that I said I thought that I needed to do more sprint-oriented training because I felt like I hadn’t sprinted in forever. Malindi promptly threw in some workouts that had hard sprints that got me used to sprinting again and improved my speed.
Brandon: The biggest thing I learned from Malindi was that staying healthy is the main goal. If you’re healthy then you can race, workout, and improve steadily. If you miss half a season because of a big injury then you have a large setback that is hard to recover from.
Brandon: Staying healthy. I have found that, for the most part, when I’m in a real race I can run a personal best. So now that I’ve been able to string together a couple of healthy seasons my PRs have dropped significantly. Malindi has been the biggest reason for my health obviously as my healthy seasons started right after beginning to work with her.
Brandon: The easy answer is none. I love racing but I despise workouts! If I had to pick a favorite though it would probably be 1k repeats. I remember a specific set during cross country season where I would do 1k repeats divided into three sections of effort. If I remember right it was just 3 repeats like this: 1st- fast, faster, fastest; 2nd- faster, fast, fastest; and 3rd- fastest, faster, fast. I may have butchered that I’m not sure! I just liked the change in speed over a distance that was easily transferable to the 5k and it just really got me in a racing mood. Least favorite workouts: Tempos.
Brandon: My PRs are 5k (cross country) – 15:37.00, 3200m – 9:34.69, 1600m – 4:13.79 or 4:13.15 (conversion of 4:14.63 full mile), 800m – 2:00.50 (I do have a 1:59 4×800 split though, but that of course cannot be verified).
Brandon: I’ll be running at the University of Mississippi! Hotty Toddy!
Brandon: I hope to be a sub-4 minute miler as well as an all-american in college. I would be extremely lucky and blessed if I could someday become a professional runner, but I also already consider myself lucky and blessed to be able to lengthen my running career for my college days at an SEC school.
Brandon: Like many runners, my favorite runner of all time is Steve Prefontaine. His thoughts on running changed the way that I looked at running and his racing style left no excuses. I wish I could be a front runner like him and take no prisoners, but I can’t do that yet. Hopefully someday I will be able to because I do believe it is the most honest way to race and I really like that.
Brandon: My favorite brand of running shoes is Nike. Luckily for me, I’m going to run at a Nike sponsored school. I train in the Nike Zoom Structure. I’ve tried many types of shoes over the years and Nike’s keep me injury free, and the Structures keep me healthier than other models.