Our guest today is Emma Bates – a professional distance runner and marathon specialist. Emma is a 12-time All-American, NCAA Champion in the 10,000 Meters, and a 2018 US Champion in the marathon. She’s run 15:32.46 for the 5,000-meters, 71 minutes for the half marathon, and 2:25:27 for the full marathon.
In this episode, Emma and Matt discuss what it’s like becoming a professional runner, Emma’s decision to move back to Idaho, and the path to creating the Idaho Distance Project. The two also talked about the dynamics at play between a coach and an athlete, how Emma maintains running 120 miles a week, and how she prepares for races.
2:15 – Becoming a Professional Runner. “I think it was when I won the title in college that I could do this professionally. This started a new path where I wasn’t just challenging myself but actually making a career.”
7:00 – Moving Back to Boise. “I wasn’t actually planning on running professionally anymore, we just liked living out here in the mountains.”
11:00 – The Idaho Distance Project. “I have done everything down to the 5k and up to the marathon, so it’s just distance, I guess. I don’t think we’ll have any 800m runners knocking on our door anytime soon.”
16:30 – Coaching Dynamics. “My coach, who is also my husband, knows that if he yells at me to go faster or if he tells me to push it, I’m going to just fall apart. I do not respond well that way. He’s very calm in his coaching, which I respond really well to.”
20:00 – Maintaining 120 Miles a Week. “People think I’m crazy but I don’t really like to drink water when I run.”
30:00 – Preparing for Races. “Before the Chicago Marathon of last year in October, I started not drinking alcohol 6 weeks before the race. It was more to see that I could do it, but then I realized how good I felt.”