23 Dec Stateside – Tom Anderson

How would you assess your first semester at Butler?
I think it’s been a learning curve! Just to settle in to university in America and get used to the racing system over there, I have enjoyed every minute of it though. Its a big move and some people can struggle with it, everyone at Butler made me feel welcome and having other Brits there (Tom Curr, Harry Ellis, Ross Clarke, Matt Proctor plus on the girls side Katie Clark and Kirsty Legg) definitely helped, they played a huge part in allowing me to settle quickly. I think the semester was a success, slotting into training and learning through racing. Ultimately, we failed in our goal to make the national meet but I think we’ve learned enough to nail it next year. Winning the A10 with both teams making Butler history was a special moment, and was even better as my parents were there to see it!
How does training at Butler compare to how you trained back in the UK?
It is quite different. I was coached by my Dad before heading over to the USA so I was used to some tough sessions so in that respect it was just like training at home except you have the other lads around you pushing you on. Having all the team there makes a huge difference because you work together and everyone trains better, sometimes there’s a competitive edge which makes it more fun! The main difference is that my mileage has gone up by quite a bit, going from around 50 miles to 70-75 miles per week through August. I enjoy more mileage though, especially with company. The early morning starts were a bit of a shock to the system at first, training at 6.30am when I first arrived was difficult especially with jet lag! The facilities are great though, the training room with ice baths and hot tub, the full time athletic trainers who can patch you up and also the laundry lady who is a life saver! Haha.
What would be a typical training week?
The structure of my training week changed a lot. I’d tend to do 3 sessions per week at home but at Butler we’ll do 2 sessions and a more intense long run on a Sunday. A typical week would look something like:
Monday: Rest OR 40 mins Easy Run + Core
Tuesday AM: Tempo Session on the Canal path 6/8 miles through. PM: Easy Jog
Wednesday AM: 70 mins Run + Core
Thursday AM: 60 mins Run
Friday AM or PM: Session of Km, 1 mile or 2 mile Repeats. PM: Easy Jog
Saturday AM: Captain’s Practice Easy Recovery Jog, 60 mins + Core
Sunday: Long Run around 1 hour 45 mins
I really like how the week is structured at Butler, it is a lot of mileage to compared to what I’m used to but it seems to be working so far, I think! I love the running at Butler, there are some good routes, we tend to drive to a forest for our Sunday long run which varies the week even more. Our Coach, Matt Roe, is great too, he looks after you on a personal level as well as the team, so some people end up doing slightly different sessions depending on how they’re feeling, and I think that’s important.
What is your favourite session at Butler?
I think the guys on the team will know the answer to this! Its any session at a place called ‘the Church’. Its a short drive from Butler, we go in the vans and I love it! Its like a man-made cross country course which is quite hilly. So anything around that loop is my favourite. We’ve done two mile reps, one mile reps and 800m reps and I’ve never really had a bad one! I love a good 3 x 2 mile session around there.
What have you learnt from being at Butler?
So much, I think mainly I’ve learnt how much dedication it takes to get to the next level and how good you have to be in order to even go All-American at Cross Country. If you have a bad race over there you’ll get dealt with and that would impact on your team mates. The competition is so deep and other people with a lot more talent are working harder, so its been a real kick up the back-side. I’ve also learnt the importance of running as a team, we don’t really do it in the UK but having your team mates around you in a race is a huge help!
How did you find the conditions at the Euro trials and how did you find the jet lag?
The conditions were interesting, I normally quite enjoy mud but I’d spent all winter racing on golf courses! The jet lag was difficult to deal with, I got an overnight flight but unfortunately was sat next to a school party of children which ended my hopes of any sleep. I couldn’t sleep until about 2.30am the night before the race, but I guess it effects some people more than others. The main issue, however, was that I suffered a sinus infection the week of Regionals but I still raced on antibiotics, I think this probably finished me off in hindsight. I would have loved to have gone to Liverpool and ran really well, as I believed I could but unfortunately I learned my lesson the hard way!
What are your expectations for 2013 and will you be running indoors?
Yeah, I just want to run really solidly indoors and then run well outdoors. It’ll be interesting running indoors as I’ve never done it before so I’m really looking forward to that. I’m excited to travel to some of the bigger races in the summer and hopefully run a good 5k. I plan to make the Regional meet for outdoors and then try my best to make the Nationals, it’ll be tough but hopefully I’ve got a good 5k in me next year!