Courtney Frerichs on Long-Term Success: Gymnastics, Strength Training, and Teammates

Last August, we witnessed the most electrifying track race in history at the World Championships: the women’s 3,000m Steeplechase:

Before this race, no American woman had ever won a medal in the steeple at the World Championships.

Emma Coburn and Courtney Frerichs changed that with an historic 1-2 finish, decimating a field that included the current World Record holder and Olympic Champion.

This was also the first time any Americans had taken home both gold and silver at the World Champions or the Olympics in a race longer than 400m since the 1912 Olympics.

Both Emma and Courtney also ran faster than the existing American Record.

NBC Sports called the race “shocking.”

Sports Illustrated described Courtney’s effort “certainly one of the biggest surprises of the world championships.”

And ESPN boldly proclaimed that this was one of the best races in the history of running.

I’ll paraphrase ESPN:

Before this race, Courtney’ fastest steeplechase time was 9:19. She beat that time by an enormous 15 seconds to win silver in 9:03.77. That’s like scoring a hat trick in a World Cup soccer game after totaling only three goals all season.

No American had won a world title in steeplechase since 1952. No U.S. women had ever finished 1-2 in any world championship distance race. Track nerds — why isn’t there such a thing as a football nerd? — are calling this the most thrilling race of the 2017 World Championships, and one of the greatest moments in American distance running history.

You sports fans can just call it amazing. Like a football game where — nah, forget that. After a race like this, nobody cares about football.

A 15-second improvement? Over a race that’s less than two miles long? INSANITY!

That kind of PR puts Courtney in the record books. She’s now the 8th fastest woman to ever run the steeplechase.

Today you’re going to hear directly from Courtney about this historic race.

Courtney Frerichs: “This feels like a dream”

Courtney Frerichs is on the podcast to talk more about the race, her background as a gymnast, and the role her team has in her success.

We’re discussing a lot:

  • How her gymnastics skills impact her running
  • The transformative advice she got when she just started running
  • What it viscerally felt like to cross the finish line as the 2nd fastest in the world
  • The role her team and coach has in supporting her training and dreams
  • The type of strength training that helps her stay healthy and perform well

This interview is just an excerpt from the full conversation available exclusively to Team Strength Running members.

In this program, you hear from a new guest expert every month. In the past members have received exclusive interviews with runners like Amelia Boone, Travis Macy, and Pete Magill.

Sign up here and I’ll let you know when we open registration to new members!

Listen to our episode with Courtney Frerichs on iTunes or on the Stitcher platform if you use an Android phone.

Courtney is a runner that burst onto the running scene quickly – just a few years out of college. And she didn’t even start running full-time until her senior year of high school.

As you listen to this episode, ask yourself:

  • How did Courtney make running fun, virtually guaranteeing that it would become a lifelong habit?
  • What other exercises, movements, and drills help keep her running strong and injury-free?
  • How does Courtney use other runners, mentors, and coaches to keep improving? Is she a Lone Wolf?

Please give Courtney a shout on Instagram or Twitter – she’d love to connect!

And for those runners who love diving deep into the training and mindset of pro runners, I have two important resources for you:

  1. The Little Black Book of Prevention & Recovery (free – features advice from 9 elites)
  2. Team Strength Running (every month we feature a new pro runner, scientist, coach, or author to help you refine your running skills, technique, and knowledge)
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