Quick Questions with Meghan Peyton
Provided by USATF
Meghan Peyton (Richfield, Minn.) enters the .US National Road Racing Championships in sixth place in the USARC standings. During the 2013 USARC series, she won the 20km Road Championships and finished ninth at the 10km, while crossing the line seventh at the 5km and ninth at the Marathon Championships.
USATF: What does it mean to you to have USATF and .US put on a championship road race event?
PEYTON: “I think it’s an awesome and unique opportunity. It brings more visibility to the sport to have a series championship and a culminating event. It also brings support to us with the great prize money and awesome competition because everyone there has qualified to be there and compete.”
USATF: What sticks out to you as a benefit of having elite athletes compete with running enthusiasts?
PEYTON: “The meshing of everyday runner and elite runner, it’s just a special and great opportunity for us to get out there and perform at our best. With this, we also have the opportunity to inspire others to run and take their health into their own hands. It’s always fun to influence somebody in a positive way. This race gives us that opportunity.”
USATF: How excited are you for the opportunity to start a new tradition with the .US Championships in Old Town Alexandria?
PEYTON: “I’m really looking forward to the race and hope to have a huge turnout, both from participants and fans, as well as support from the community as a whole. The race brings attention to Alexandria and hopefully local runners will come out and participate.”
USATF: Your focus in 2013 was your first marathon. How did you train for the .US Championships?
PEYTON: “After the marathon, I just continued to train because I knew I had some good strengths built up. In the last six weeks, I’ve been focusing more on speed training and competing in local XC races that are 6k. I just wanted to put myself in that shorter-race mentality and remind my legs what it is to run faster than marathon pace.”
USATF: How do you balance coaching at Augsburg (College; Minneapolis, Minn,) with your training?
PEYTON: “It really comes down to prioritization. Both coaching and competing are very important to me. When I look at my day and my week, I try to see when I might have to wake up early to get in my long run so I can also get in a practice with my team. My athletes are so awesome. They’re always asking me about my races. Having them involved is an inspiration to me and it makes me a better runner and a better coach. To run at this level, you have to be dedicated and I think the balance is good for me.”
USATF: You ran a new personal best (1:09:57) to win the USA 20K Championships in September. How does that help with your mentality and momentum heading into .US and the 2014 season?
PEYTON: “I really think this is a good momentum shift. I struggled in 2012 for a number of reasons, including having low iron, and it was a long process to recover mentally and physically from that. Missing that golden opportunity in 2012 to compete in the Olympics, which to any elite runner is a huge event, was so hard. Winning the 20k, finishing my first marathon, these are all steps in the right direction. It’s baby steps towards my goal and most people aren’t going to achieve their dreams overnight. I just have to remember to work hard, put in the training and it will pay off.”