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TF360: Chris Derrick is Ready to Roll

Published by
RunnerSpace.com/Pro   on Mar 13 2014, 03:48 PM

The Man Who Does It All

By Scott Bush - Click Here for all TF360 Archives

2014 is a fun year for many professional distance runners. It's a chance to try different distance, different surfaces and shoot for some very fast times. That is what makes it such an exciting year for Chris Derrick. The second-year pro took home his second consecutive USA Cross Country title last month and takes a shot at winning his first USA road title at the USA 15 km Championships this Saturday. Of course, Derrick is focused on tearing it up on the track this season, where he'll once again focus his attention on the 5k and 10k distances.

Catching up with Derrick recently, we discussed his upcoming races, the challenges of being a professional athlete, what a "day in the life" of Chris Derrick looks like and much more.

Follow Chris: Twitter

Scott Bush (SB): The track season is well underway, but you kicked off your season with the USA Cross Country Championships, only to come back this weekend and run the USA 15 km Championships. Is this part of a bigger 2014 racing strategy or just the way you're opening up your season?

Chris Derrick (CD): I actually opened up with a cross country race in Edinburgh on January 11th. We sort of planned winter racing with an idea of what we wanted to do later on in the year. Cross country and road races fit well with the type of training we'd like to be doing and they are fun competitive opportunities that hopefully play to my strengths. In particular I enjoy cross country and try to make a point to run it whenever possible.

I think that there's become a sense that cross is somehow a lesser discipline, which is unfortunate because I think a good cross race on a fun course can provide a lot of drama and entertainment for fans, particularly if you can bring together people from different disciplines. I'm hoping that somewhere down the line I can coax some more guys to run USAs or BUPA. I think it would be awesome if we got 80% of the top U.S. guys 3k-marathon to line up in one race.

SB: This weekend in Florida, you'll be going head-to-head with some serious competition. How are you feeling heading into this weekend and how's training been going?

CD: We've been in a bit of a holding pattern since US cross. My mileage has been high but the workouts have been very moderate and general in an effort to give us time to recharge before attacking the outdoor season. I don't feel that I am at my sharpest racing strength, but I'm sure most guys are in that situation at this point in the year.

SB: A road race generally plays out a little different than a track race. How do you plan to approach racing this weekend?

CD: I figure 15k on the roads is pretty long way, so it will probably come down to whoever has the most fitness. I hope that's me.

SB: You easily won the USA Cross Country Championships a few weeks back. What type of boost did winning the race in Boulder give you?

CD: It just confirmed what my training had been telling me; that my fitness was good.

SB: We touched on it a bit before, but 2014 is a different kind of season for professional track and field athletes. With no World Championship team to shoot for, what are the goals for you this season?

CD: I'd like to race competitively in every event I enter. With running a couple cross country races, this road race, the US championships, and hopefully some fast rabbited affairs, I should have a good opportunity to test myself in a variety of conditions and race types. If I stay healthy and things goal well I might run the Brussels 10,000 in September which would be a nice way to end my track season.

SB: You've put up some fast times and are continuing to improve (and stay healthy). Any chance we'll see you take shots at sub-13 and/or sub-27 this season?

CD: Firstly, Scott, I am holding you personally accountable if that parenthetical jinxes me and I end up hurt at some point soon. Just to get that out there.

As to the substance of the question, I am not going to say that I don't have time goals or don't think about time or whatever, because we all know that's bogus. That said, I don't think it's super productive to start thinking about times at this point in the year. Right now I just need to stay healthy and focus on the process of training. If I can do that throughout the racing season and then compete the way I would like to in high level races, I'm sure that I will be able to knock some time off of my PR's.

SB: With the outdoor track season finally here, do you know where you'll open up your track season?

CD: At the moment it looks my first race will be the 5k at Payton Jordan.

SB: You've been a pro athlete for over a year now. What's been the most challenging part of being a professional runner?

CD: Boredom and intellectual decay, mostly. I'm trying to read more books which will hopefully help with both of those.

SB: What does a typical day in the life of Chris Derrick look like?

CD:

7:30am: Wake up

7:32am: Lose the Game

7:38am: Get out of bed

7:40am: Breakfast (oatmeal) + SportsCenter with the boys.

8:12am: Lose the Game

8:20am: Drive to Nike

8:50am: 70 minute run

9:04am: Lose the Game

10:15am: Stretch and Core

10:28am: Lose the Game

11:30am: Shower and head home

11:45am: Lunch + Sports Nation with the boys

12:15pm: Lose the Game

12:30pm: Twitter/ Read/ Netflix/ Sleep/ Lose the Game

4:30pm: Second run

4:32pm: Lose the Game

5:10pm: Stretch, watch whatever sports are on TV with the boys

6:00pm: Start cooking dinner

6:26pm: Lose the Game

7:00pm: Eat Dinner

8:00pm: Watch Sports/ Read/ Twitter/ Lose the Game

10:00pm: Bed

(Editor's Note: Like Chris, we're all losing the game!)

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History for USA 15 km Championships - Official Website
YearResultsVideosNewsPhotosBlogs
2014 1 26 8    
2013 1 31 4 68  
2012 1 24 4 16  
2011 1 40 4 74  
2010 1 37 3 92  
2009 2   4    
2008 1   11    
2007     2    
2006 1   4    
2005 1   3    
2004 1   1    
2003 1   1