Riley Masters, a Bangor (ME) High and University of Oklahoma graduate, is a professional runner sponsored by Nike who owns personal bests of 3:36.49 in the 1500m and 3:56.75 in the full mile. In 2015, he ran a PB of 13:17.97 in the 5K. Below is a conversation recirculated from a FloTrack interview with Masters in 2015.
Finding Success While Having A Training Partner
Success with a training partner who has a similar ability level -- or where you're at a similar level -- how do you make that happen? How do two people or a small group train together and everybody benefits?
"I think you need to set your ego aside and understand that both of you want to be better. By helping the other person and carrying them along, it's going to make you better in the long run. I think it works vice versa as well."
So you're with Garrett Heath, and the two of you are training together, what particularly happens for you to make it work?
"I think Garrett and I . . . have a good bond back and forth, we're strong friends, and I think the fact that I want Garrett to run well as much as he wants me to run well and use each other, I think that's what makes both of us run to the best of our abilities. Today we were doing 200's and I pulled up on Garrett's shoulder not to race him or anything; it was more just to let him know I was there, and we kinda laughed about it at the end. So I think having thick skin makes it easier in those types of situations."
There has to be a flexibility and breathing room given by both sides?
"Exactly, I think you can't react to when someone's having a good day and they take it too you; you've got to laugh it off and have fun with each other."
Managing Fatigue When Increasing Mileage
When you're increasing mileage, what's your cue to settle in or take a down week? What happens when you're training hard and you become fatigued?
"I think what I start to do too much that's when I start to see a decrease in efficiency in my supplemental activities, you know the 5 percent extra that you do to be better. When I start to see a decrease in that, that's when I know I'm starting to do a little too much with the volume and I have to back it off a little bit.
"We'll go and do drills twice a week and sometimes I'll see on my drills I'll be a little lethargic and a little slow moving through those and I won't be able to do them effectively. I think that's when you need to realize that you're doing a little too much with the volume. It could be a chance that you need to adjust but you might also need to take a step back."
The Importance Of Going To Bed Early
Obviously, rest is important -- talk about your strategy when it comes to rest?
"So Ben Franklin once said, 'Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.' I find that to be incredibly true in running; you would have thought that Ben Franklin was a runner. I'm in bed every night by 10 o'clock not necessarily asleep I think your body needs time to decide when it's ready to go to sleep. I think being in bed and letting your body rest and being consistent with that rest is very important to the feeling you get the next day."