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Fast Kate Grace on Growing Up Fit, Staple Workouts, and Courage

Kate Grace is one of the most dominant middle distance runners in the country. Her nickname – Fast Kate – tells you what type of runner she is!

Fast Kate Grace

Photo by David Bracetty

Kate was born into a family that prioritized fitness. Her mother, Kathy Smith, was a famous 80’s aerobics instructor and her weekends were filled with hikes and adventures.

That proved advantageous as she started running cross country and track in high school. Soon, Kate started amassing multiple accomplishments:

  • Multiple-time league champion
  • 3x California southern division 800m champion
  • 3rd – state meet 800m (PR of 2:10)
  • 1st – CA state division 4 cross country championship

Fast Kate went on to Yale, setting four school records, winning six Ivy League championships, and qualifying for All-America honors four times in cross country.

After signing with Oiselle as a sponsor in 2012, she signed a contract with Nike in 2017. Her professional career is littered with various titles, podium finishes, and awards:

  • Winner, 2016 US Olympic Trials 800m
  • American & North American record holder – 4x1500m (16:55.33)
  • 2nd – 2017 US Outdoor Track and Field Champions 1500m
  • 800m PR: 1:58.28
  • 1500m PR: 4:03.59
  • Mile PR: 4:22.93

But Kate Grace isn’t just a fast runner with a wealth of championships and accolades to her name. She’s a runner just like you and me, facing the same pre-race anxiety and performance fears.

She joins us on the Strength Running Podcast today to talk about her running career, upbringing, training, and the mindset shifts that have made it all possible.

Kate Grace: Courage Over Comfort

Kate Grace

Borrowing an idea from our mutual friend Nicole Antoinette, Kate has decided to choose courage over comfort when it comes to showing up and racing.

When it comes to getting the most from our bodies, all of us have some trepidation about the discomfort of racing. It can be unpleasant and downright painful. But deciding to “go all in” and embrace that fear is the only way we can reach our potential.

It’s not an easy choice. Comfort is far easier: the comfort of sleeping in, not signing up for that big race, or not pushing hard during the final mile.

But comfort can be the invisibility cloak that masks failure. After all, if we’re only operating at 85%, are we really thriving?

Today’s conversation with Kate Grace covers many areas of training and mastering your inner psychology:

  • How she handles workout anxiety and pre-race jitters
  • What she does to stay in control of her thoughts during demanding speed workouts
  • How she talks to herself in fearful situations (like standing on the starting line of a major championship)

Subscribe to the Strength Running Podcast in iTunesSpotify, or Stitcher.

Show Links & Resources:

Kate is currently gearing up for a big outdoor track season. Follow her on Instagram and give her a shout – she’d appreciate it!

Thanks Inside Tracker

This episode would not have been possible without Inside Tracker, who is offering a 10% discount on any of their tests with code strengthrunning.

They test over 40 biomarkers, like various stress hormones, to determine if you’re training too hard, too little, or have any physiological weaknesses that can be remedied by either diet, exercise, or lifestyle changes.

In other words, you learn about problems that have actionable solutions.

After getting your results, they communicate what you can do to lift or lower your results into the optimal range. For any runner who wants every advantage, to see what they’re truly capable of achieving, I highly recommend Inside Tracker. I’ve personally used their ‘Ultimate Package’ tier and loved the process and results.

Don’t forget to use code strengthrunning to save 10% on any test (including their affordable DIY and Essentials)!

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