From the Tufts 10k/US Championships: Tara Erdmann

Hanging around after the Tufts 10k For Women/US 10k Road Championships on Monday, the music and announcements were loud. So loud, that when The Level had a chance to speak with Tara Erdmann, a video interview probably wouldn’t have come out. Luckily for us, Tara is as cool as she is fast and she agreed to an interview over email.

Tara in hot pursuit of Chelsea near the end of the Tufts 10k (courtesy of Tom Derderian).

Here’s a quick Q&A with Tara Erdmann after her second place finish in Boston on Monday.

It was pretty close between you and Chelsea. How did the race play out over the last mile?

The race plan from the very beginning was to be patient and stay in the front pack for the first 5 miles and then from there I was able to take the lead and push the pace if my body was feeling good. With only a mile left I decided to press the pace and see if I could get anyone to go with me. I knew I was feeling good and wasn’t hurting yet, so I wanted to test the others and see if they would pick up the pace with me. When I took the lead and started to make a move, Chelsea was the only one to follow. For the next mile, we went back and forth taking the lead and were pretty much stride for stride leading into the final 400. I was pretty confident in my kick going into the race, but she (Chelsea) ended up getting a few steps on me.

You’ve had some very good races in New England recently, with a 5th place finish in the 5k championships last month and how a 2nd place showing in the 10k. How successful do you think the last few months have been for you?

The 5k Championships were a good start to my season after months of training, but the main focus was the 10k championships. I was very nervous going into the 5k and it was my first pro road race along with being one of my first races since the Olympic Trials in June, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The 5k helped to prepare me for the 10k because it settled my nerves and I was able to get to the starting line with less nerves and more excitement for the race. The 10k was a solid way to end my season and I was able to bring all the training over the past few months together and have a good showing in Boston.

This was a nice way to close out the season for you. Have you thought much about what you want to do next after a little bit of rest?

I haven’t thought much about what I want to do on my break, as I am mostly just looking forward to having a break. I have been back in Tucson since Boston and enjoying time with family and friends. I am more of a home body, so when I have my breaks I don’t really like to travel, but would rather enjoy being lazy and hanging out with friends who are still living in Tucson.

How long have you been training with Alberto Salazar and what differences are you seeing in your races (both in the way you feel and the results)?

I have been training with Alberto since the end of June after the Olympic Trials ended. The biggest differences I have noticed has been in workouts. I have not raced a lot since the end of the Trials, so most of my confidence has come from the workouts we have done and the speed that I have been working on. When I hit some of my key workouts leading up to a race, not only does that give me confidence going into a race, but it’s also proof on paper about where my fitness level is at.

What did you take away from your Trials experience? Was there disappointment in not making the team? Or was it more a feeling of confidence knowing that you could place high in a field that competitive? Either way, I imagine it has to be quite a motivational force for you.

Experience, is exactly what I took away. I did not have any expectations going into the race, but I knew if I ran my own paces and put myself in the race from the beginning that I would have a good result. The paces my coach (at the time, Scott Guerrero) and I had talked about would give me a PR and we knew that running as close as possible to 32:00 flat would put me in a good finish position. I wasn’t disappointed that I didn’t make the team, but finishing 6th in the 10k made me realize that I can run with anyone in the US.

To see more of Tara (and the rest of our US 10k Championships coverage) click here. Thanks again to Tara for spending a few minutes On The Level. We hope she enjoys her break and comes out of it rested and ready to roll.

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