Anyone racing a marathon this season should take some notes from one of the top pro’s in the sport: Kim Smith. You might wonder how you can relate to a 105 pound, 2:25 marathon runner (thats 5:30/mile pace for 26.2miles!), but Kim has useful advice that can apply runners of all abilities...so listen up. Plus find out some of Kim's unusual and surprising traits.
We can all learn from people who are the best at something: They come closer to the ideal, they have been consistently successful, and as the saying goes, “success leaves clues” (for the rest of us to learn from). Below are some clues to why Kim Smith, the THREE time Olympian, has run the fastest half-marathon on U.S. soil ever and will contend for the NYC Marathon title this Fall.
Sport psychology defines mental toughness as 'an athlete's ability to be consistent'. Well, you won’t find anyone more consistent than Kim Smith. She kindly shared some digestible and usable tips on training, nutrition, rest and race preparation. Can you guess what Kim’s #1 essential training tool is? It's certainly not some expensive gadget you need to run out and buy: It's her training partners! And less is more for this speedster- Kim recommends that you forget the fluff, be consistent, take your easy days easy (so you can push hard on workout days), and don't be distracted by everything you read on the internet. Kim warns that in this era of information overload, sticking to you and your coach's training philosophy is the best protocol... and just because someone else is doing something different, doesn't mean it's right for you!
Sage Advice from Kim Smith on Training for Marathons
Kim Smith Versus Average Woman
BONUS INFO: Random Acts of Kimberley
(as observed by her friends)
- Eats more than anyone we know- she can eat an entire platter of meat.
- Has a twin brother who never runs.
- Has super healing powers.
- Is a worrier. (Forget positive thinking around this champ!). Defensive pessimist perhaps?
- Loves to sing (well tries to sing) Little Wayne lyrics. Has also been known to sing Pearl Jam in Karaoke.
- Rarely gets massages.
- Never takes ice baths.
- Never goes to the gym.
- Never skips a run.
- Is extremely competitive in board games.
- Is the Providence College Cross-Country volunteer assistant. The women's team is currently ranked #1!
- Isn't a great sleeper.
- Avoids running on trails.
- Holds 10 New Zealand records (!!!)
- Her proudest accomplishment to date is winning a slogan contest in high school. "Eat beef and lamb. Be an iron-man." Her future is in copywriting.
- Last but no way least, Kim can do a ridiculously freaky bat-wing party trick with her shoulder blades.
Kim lives and trains in Providence. Kim’s beloved training partners include her husband, Pat Tarpy and fellow “Run Providence” elite runners, including Olympians Molly Huddle, Amy Hastings, and Alistair Cragg. Her training partners also include Irish Champion Mary Cullen, Katie DiCamillo and Kurt Benninger. Kim is coached by the “Guru” Ray Treacy of Providence College. She is sponsored by New Balance.
Make sure to follow @KimSmithNZ as she looks to defend her BAA half-marathon crown on October 13th.