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Catching up with Brooks Beast Katie Mackey

The countdown to Rio is here!

T-minus 72 days until the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games!

Honestly, I can’t believe it’s time for another Olympic Games. Has it really been four years since London?! It feels like yesterday that I was cheering on Kara Goucher and Shalane Flanagan during the marathon or watching Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte battle it out in the pool. I’m looking forward to a new round of inspiration stories and defining moments this August.

I recently had the opportunity to interview 2016 Olympic hopeful Katie Mackey. Katie is a Brooks Beast who is coached by her husband and loves the outdoors. Despite having yet to make an individual world team, 2016 is Katie Mackey’s year to shine. Consistent improvement at high profile races including a 2014 Silver Medal at the 2014 World Relays and a 2015 Diamond League win in Stockholm in the 3,000 meter run and a number of national and international accolades has made Katie a recognized athlete in races from 1,500-5,000 meters and an athlete to watch at the trials.

With the Olympic trials just around the corner, what are you doing differently to prepare for this event?

Nothing! As the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” I’ve built a really strong base with Danny over the last couple years as my coach, and with the Beasts team here in Seattle, and I trust that it’s the best possible situation for me. I feel like sometimes athletes get into trouble in Olympic years by getting worked up and changing everything, but the top performers are consistent year after year because they’ve found a system that works well for them and they are willing to put in the work.

What is your “A” goal for the trials?

To represent Team USA in the 5000m in Rio! And win! (Winning is always the “A” goal;) )

What’s your favorite speed workout?

One workout that gives me a lot of confidence in 10 x 400-meter repeats at goal 1500-meter run pace or slightly faster with one minute rest. It’s one of the hardest workouts I do all year, but if I nail it I know that I’m ready to roll!

Being a professional athlete that is also coached by your husband, your life must revolve around running 24/7. How to you prevent yourself from being burnt out?

Don’t revolve my life 24/7 around running! Ok, that’s obvious, but how do I do this? Lots of communication, trial and error. The first year that Danny was coaching me, we sucked at boundaries and it was exhausting. It was also a lot harder because he was only coaching me (the Beasts didn’t exist yet) so there was a lot of gray area. With the team, it’s a ton easier because at practice we can be athlete/coach and at home husband/wife. It’s so hard not to talk about work, because it just comes up in conversation all the time, but now I am more aware of it and always preface a work question with- “can I ask you a work question right now?” and I have to respect if Danny says no and vice versa. We try to have regular coach/athlete meetings just like he does with all the other Beasts, and on the weekend sometimes we’ll say, “ok today no running talk today.” Being intentional with little things like that goes a long way.

What’s your favorite thing to do on your rest day?

Go out to Lake Washington or the Puget Sound and swim or lay around in the sun because that’s all I have energy for. In the off season I love hiking, camping and kayaking.

Thank you, Katie! Can’t wait to cheer you on at the trials in July!

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