Defending IAU 100k World Champ Amy Sproston has finished eighth at the past two Western States 100’s. In the following interview, Amy talks about taking on the heat while living in Oregon, how she got her quads ready for this year’s race, and how well she thinks she can do at Western States.
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Amy Sproston Pre-2013 Western States 100 Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Amy Sproston before the 2013 Western States 100. How are you doing, Amy?
Amy Sproston: Good.
iRF: You’ve had a good year since last Western States.
Sproston: Yeah, I’ve had a good year overall.
iRF: You’ve had a bunch of international wins and you’re feeling fit this year, right?
Sproston: I’m feeling fit, maybe a little over-tapered, but that probably will be good.
iRF: On a day like tomorrow where it’s going to be hot, it’s hard to be over-tapered. You’re going to be fresher than everybody else.
Sproston: Yeah, hopefully so.
iRF: In the past, you’ve always said you really like the heat.
Sproston: I do love heat. The only problem is I live in Oregon.
iRF: You live in Oregon. That was going to be my question.
Sproston: I’ve lived in really hot places like the Paraguayan Chaco where it gets to 120F, and I really love that “sitting in a hot car” feeling but when you live in Oregon, you just feel that a lot sooner.
iRF: So when you descend into El Dorado Canyon you’re going to feel that “hot car” feeling without being used to it.
Sproston:Yes, but I’ve been sitting in a hot sauna, so hopefully the 200F in the sauna will make it feel not so bad at 100F.
iRF: You’ve been prepping for it specifically. How has your training gone in the past couple of months? Have you been mostly in the States training?
Sproston: Yes, I had the 100k in Japan, but I haven’t traveled since I did that race in Turkey at the end of April—a 50-miler. That went really well the week after Sonoma, and I recovered really quickly. Training was going really well into Japan and after Japan.
iRF: The last two years you’ve been eighthhere. You can do a heck of a lot better than eighth. Have you figured out the quad situation?
Sproston: The quads seem a little… yeah, I don’t know what happened to me last year. I think it was a combination of the cold and really pounding those early downhills and that maybe I’ll go a little more cautiously on a couple of those early descents. Hopefully they’ll hold up.
iRF: Have you done much different in your training or have you focused on it?
Sproston: I try to do long downhills and there are a lot of opportunities for long downhills in Oregon and I definitely incorporate them. Hopefully… I haven’t done anything… like I’m not doing squats or other things that I should be doing, but I have been doing a lot of downhill training.
iRF: You have been eighth. What do you think you can move up? How many places?
Sproston: I’d really like to be somewhere in the top five. It’s hard to say time-wise tomorrow with the heat. Times are really going to go out the window compared to last year. I’d love to be top three. I’d love to be up there, but I’d be happy top 10 and I’d really like to be top five.
iRF: Definitely looking at the top five. With Ellie out of here, it’s really wide open for anybody to have a shot at that win, right?
Sproston: Yes, it’s really sad that we don’t have Ellie here. It does really open it up for anyone’s race.
iRF: Does it make you want to be more aggressive and take a chance at going for the win or on a hot day or do you just run your own race?
Sproston: I guess I’ll see how I feel. If I’m having a great day, I’d love to win Western States. With the heat, it’s really managing and running my own race and seeing how that does.
iRF: Who do you think is your top competition out there tomorrow?
Sproston: There are a lot of great women runners who have a lot of experience here. I think Meghan (Arbogast) does a lot of really specific training and is in good form. Cassie (Scallon) has been running really well this year. Aliza (Lapierre) is always really strong, of course; Rory (Bosio), of course. There are a lot of strong women out there. It’s exciting.
iRF: Do you think people who have run this course in the past and have that experience will be even more valuable on a day like tomorrow?
Sproston: The last couple of years it hasn’t been very hot; it will be a different race in the heat. Sometimes I like to go into races not knowing the course, but I think it depends in terms of if you like knowing what’s coming up or not.
iRF: Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
Sproston: Ignorance is bliss.
iRF: Best of luck out there, Amy. Have fun!
Sproston: Thanks. Good luck to you, too.