With the 13:16.26 he ran earlier this year at the Stanford Payton Jordan Invitational, Andrew Bumbalough reached the Olympic “A” standard in the 5,000m. All that stands between him and a trip to London is a top three finish in the Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field, which is scheduled for June 21-July 1 at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Regarding his preparation for the Trials, the Brentwood, Tenn., native and Georgetown University graduate performed a Q & A with USA Track & Field.
Andrew Bumbalough – Olympic Trials Q&A
PR – 13:16.26 (2012)
Follow on Twitter @abumbalough
Current Residence: Portland, Ore.
Hometown and High School: Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy
Give us an update on how you’re feeling and how your training is going.
“My training has been going really well. I joined in with Jerry Schumacher’s group in the fall of 2010 so I am about a year and a half into that training program. It’s a lot different than what I was doing in college. It’s a lot more volume and more intensity than I was used to but now I feel I am fully adjusted. My body has been responding well to the work. I’m not going into every practice exhausted. I’m more in control of all efforts we are doing. Over the last few weeks we have been focusing on more strength and volume and the next weeks we will start to sharpen things up.”
Compare your fitness level now to what it was a year ago at this time.
“It is so much greater this year. I am performing similar in terms of times but I feel I can handle the workouts better. I am recovering so much faster. Jerry is never one to go crush workout after workout. The focus is to have you in control. When you finish the workout you feel like you can do more. I am more on top of my running. I’m not trying to force anything.”
How is your preparation different this season heading into the Olympic Trials?
“It hasn’t been too different. We did structure the year differently. This year I had a brief period in January and February when I was doing some track work indoors. After that we went to Mammoth Lakes and did five weeks of volume. I didn’t touch the track at all for five weeks. I only had two weeks of track workouts before Stanford (Payton Jordan Invitational). I did a lot of strength training through the summer. The focus is on the Olympic Trials. He (Schumacher) will have us as ready as we have to be for that.”
Is there anything specific in your training heading into the Trials that you are choosing to be your focus?
“With American distance running the depth has gotten so much greater. I look at some races from 2008 and it has been crazy how deep it is now. We have to treat the Olympic Trials as if it is the Games because you have to be on your game to make the team. We are going to do all that we can in the next four weeks to get ready. It is so competitive this year. There will be some outstanding and even world class runners that will be left off the team.”
How many different guys do you think can make the team in the 5,000m?
“Currently there are seven guys with the (Olympic) ‘A’ standard. Everyone in that top seven is capable of making the team. Bernard (Lagat) has shown he is a world class medal threat. I think everyone else will be in a similar boat. Galen (Rupp) will be coming off the 10,000m along with a couple other guys that might level the playing field.”
Will concentrating on just the 5,000m at the Trials help you?
“Yes and no. The guys that are going to double back on the 5,000m and 10,000m are strong enough to do that. Galen has proven he can do it.”
You gained good experience in 2011 at the World Outdoor Championships. Will that experience beneficial for you this season?
“I didn’t find out until right before the event that I would be running. My teammate Chris Solinksy made the team but had to have surgery. That was an unbelievable experience. I was very excited to go over there and represent the U.S. To get the opportunity was huge and the experience was huge. I learned if you show up ready to run your race you really don’t have to do anything special. If you perform as well as you can and make the final you have a chance to medal and exceed anyone’s expectations. You just have to run your race and perform.”
Where will we be seeing you compete between now and the Trials?
“I have nothing officially locked down. I will most likely be competing at the Prefontaine Classic. The 5,000m will be a pretty loaded. I will almost for sure be running the international mile at Prefontaine. It’s a very high level race and a good opportunity to get on the track. It’s a chance to sharpen up one last time before the Trials.”
What would a spot on Team USA for the Olympic Games mean for you?
“It would be a lifelong dream come true. That is something that has driven me throughout my career. A lot of athletes will say that, but it’s true. It’s such an amazing event. To say you are part of that group of athletes in amazing. It goes beyond being a track and field athlete; you are part of a movement that brings the world together. Representing the U.S. as a member of that team is something you will never forget. It is incredibly special.”