Running in Sunny California with Jordan Hasay

One of the most successful female prep distance runners of all time, California's Jordan Hasay continues to build her legendary status. This season Hasay won an epic 3200m dual over Christine Babcock at the Arcadia Invitational, while coming back earlier this month to run a strong 4:17.46 1500m race against professional competition at the Stanford Invitational. With her season now kicking into full swing, Hasay talks with us about breaking 10 minutes for 3200 at state this weekend, her goals the rest of the season, her surfing habits and much more.

An Interview with Jordan Hasay (MS): It looks like you're ready to go heading into the California State Championships this weekend [in the 3200m run]. Any specific time you are looking for?

Jordan Hasay (JH): Well, the main goal is to win the race. But if the conditions are right and the pace is fast enough, this race could be a good opportunity to break 10 minutes.

MS: You ran 4:17.46 for 1500m earlier this month at the Stanford Invitational against professional competition. How did the race play out for you? What did you learn from it?

JH: Stanford was an interesting race for me. It was an honor to be in the same race as all of the best women in the country. It ended up being a great experience for me. I was in last place for most of the race, which is certainly something that I am unfamiliar with! But, it was a good chance for me to just sit back, relax, and let the race play out. I ran very close to my PR which I was very happy with since it was still the middle of the season.

MS: You've had a fairly low-key season so far with few races. What was the reasoning behind setting up this type of schedule?

JH: The main goal this year is to make the World Junior Team in the 1500m. So my coach and I have planned all season to peak for the end of June at the national meet. Also, I plan to run the Olympic Trials in July. Since we want to peak for these races, we've just been conservative for most of the season.

MS: What are your goals heading into the rest of the season? Obviously the Olympic Trials have to be weighing on your mind a bit?

JH: After the state meet I will run the 800m at the Golden West Invitational. Then, as I mentioned above, I will run Junior Nationals in Ohio at the end of June. Hopefully I will qualify for the World Juniors in Poland. Then, I also plan to run the 1500m at the Trials in order to gain more racing experience.

MS: With one more year left in high school, what are your long term goals both for next year and beyond?

JH: I still can't believe that I am going to be a senior next year. My coach and I haven't really talked about goals for next year yet. We'll probably end up focusing on Footlocker XC Nationals and Junior XC Nationals again. Then for track we'll just see how everything goes. After high school, I would like to keep running and hopefully aim for the 2012 Olympics.

MS: What does a week in the life of Jordan Hasay's training look like?

JH: I usually do hard workouts twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays. In the early season I also did a long run (about 10 miles) on Sundays. The rest of the week I do recovery runs of about six miles. I like to do a double day (shorter runs both in a.m. and p.m., for example, 3 miles in a.m. and 3 in p.m.) after a hard workout. My total mileage is normally around 45. I also swim 2-3 times a week and do various strength exercises (sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups) three times a week. You've been a national caliber runner for quite a while now. How has your training advanced in order to make sure you keep improving?

JH: Well, I'd have to attribute this to my coach, Armando Siqueiros. Ever since I was a freshman he has always focused on long term goals. I am very luck that he has been patient and cautious with my development. I have not had any major injuries yet and thus have continued to become stronger each season. I also run fairly low mileage, which also allows me to slowly improve and remain strong each season. Finally, I really love what I do which makes it easy to stay focused. My biggest problem is not overtraining!

MS: With so many fine races, you've had the opportunity to race in some pretty exciting competitions. What's it been like traveling around the world, running against some great athletes and learning a little bit about other cultures?

JH: It's been very exciting! I had such a great experience last summer at the World Youth Championships in the Czech Republic. All of the coaches and athletes were so nice and it was fun to meet athletes from different countries. Getting to wear the USA uniform was an incredible feeling and a huge honor.

MS: It seems like everyone knows who you are and they know you're a great runner, but few know where you've come from. When did you first start running? Were you good right from the start?

JH: In the fourth grade my PE teacher noticed that I was beating all of the boys during PE class! So the school let me join the junior high team and I ended up beating all of the seventh and eighth graders. I think my fastest mile that year was 6:16. I had always enjoyed running. I also competed in other sports when I was younger such as basketball, volleyball and swimming. I continued to run during the spring for my elementary school and play basketball during the fall. I started training seriously at the end of the seventh grade. This is when I and joined a local club team, the San Luis Distance Club. I ended up running the Junior Olympics that summer and winning both the 1500m and 3000m and setting national records in both events. So this was when we started to notice that I could be competitive on the national scene.

MS: Earlier this season you ran stride for stride with Christine Babcock at the Arcadia Invitational. You don't get competition that close very often it seems. What was that race like for you?

JH: Arcadia was an intense race! It was great to have Christine there running with me and leading for many parts of the race. She is a terrific athlete and I was glad that we were able to push each other. Running down the homestretch, the crowd was so loud that all the noise turned into a big blur and I felt like my head was going to explode (and my legs for that matter!). I think we were both really tired at the finish!

MS: I know it's still a ways off, but any thoughts on colleges yet?

JH: Right now, I am still keeping all of my options open.

MS: I've heard you like to surf. Any truth to this? What are the waves like where you live?

JH: Yes, I do enjoy surfing! My brother is the main surfer in our family, but I try to get out there on the weekends when I have time. We live two minutes away from the beach and my brother and I have been surfing since we were 5-6 years old. The waves are decent here but the water is freezing!

Quick Six

MS: What shoes do you train in?

JH: Nike Air Equalon

MS: Favorite athlete?

JH: Deena Kastor

MS: Favorite breakfast food?

JH: Granola with raisins and milk

MS: Favorite racing experience?

JH: This is a tough one; I have a lot of favorite races. But I think if I had to choose it would be racing in the World Youth Championships against athletes for all over the world.

MS: If you could travel anywhere where would you go?

JH: To England to visit my grandparents.

MS: Favorite catch-phrase?

JH: "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift." - Pre