At the recent NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Australia’s Izzi Batt-Doyle was a serious contender over 10,000m.  The fulfilment of a long term goal to reach the podium, Izzi ended her college career on a high.  We caught up with Izzi as her college days draw to an end to discuss her life as a Huskie and what the future has in store…

RT: Izzi, congrats on making it onto the podium at the recent NCAA Outdoor Championships for the 10,000m. I know it’s been a long-term goal of yours. How were the few months leading into the championships in terms of training and college commitments?

IBD: Thank you! It was a huge dream of mine to get on the podium this year, it was an amazing way to finish my collegiate career. When I ran my first NCAA outdoor championships in 2017 and placed 12th I said I wanted to come back for my final season and get top-3 so I’m really happy I was able to get it done! This season has been so much fun, this fifth year was a YOLO season for me and so I really went after every opportunity I had. I quickly adjusted to a new coach (Maurica Powell) when I came back to UW in January and I was lucky to have a lighter class load this year just finishing up research and writing my honours thesis. I had a little more flexibility and was able to take naps, spend extra time in the weight room, get to chiro and massage appointments, and really be absorbed in the running lifestyle. I managed to have some early success making indoor nationals in the 5km, and then running a big personal best and school record in the first week of the outdoor season at Stanford Invite in March. It’s a long season racing from January to June pretty much every second weekend if not more, so I was really happy to be able to put the pieces together for the most important race of the season on June 6. I think that staying mentally fresh and excited is just as important as keeping your body together. I had fun every single day and I believe that played a big role in my success.


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Two years ago I ran my first NCAA championships and placed 12th in the 10k. I was happy but I told my parents that day I wanted to come back the next year and get top 3. It took a little longer with a redshirt year in between but I did it!!?Finishing up my collegiate career with my first ever podium finish is a dream come true. It’s been a crazy 5 years from Australia to New York to Seattle with broken bones and bumps in between – but I wouldn’t trade my experience for anything. It’s bittersweet to be done with my time in the NCAA, but I can’t wait to see what’s next… ??‍♀️ overwhelmed with all the love and support, thank you for all of the messages! ? #AllAmerican #GoDawgs #TGB #5thYear ? @bencrawfordphoto

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RT: The move to Seattle to become a Husky certainly seems to have worked out for you. What is it about Washington that suits you?

IBD: It wasn’t always perfect, I struggled a lot when I first came in. When I transferred to Washington I had a number of injuries and went through periods of time where people would have said going to the US for college had ruined any potential I had. I think going through these different experiences, good and bad, have made me the athlete that I am today and has really helped me to appreciate the success I’ve now had. This last season I came back with a new attitude and a willingness to do everything I needed to do put myself in a position to be successful. I was just really grateful to have one last collegiate track season and to work with Maurica Powell. I owe a lot of the success I had this season to Maurica and Andy Powell, they came to Washington a year ago and have created an amazing team culture which has been so cool to be a part of. They make you want to work hard and they also create an environment where we would have fun every single day no matter what we were doing. I was lucky to have amazing teammates around me everyday to train and live alongside who made my experience at Washington so special.

RT: Where are you at in terms of your psychology education?

IBD: I’ve just graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in Psychology with a minor in Nutrition. In Australia this equates to doing an Undergraduate Psychology degree with Honours. I did my honours thesis on a Brief Mindfulness in the College Classroom, and mindfulness became something that I have incorporated into my running and my every-day life. To practice as a psychologist in Australia, I would have to do a 2-year masters in clinical psychology. That degree is pretty full on, so I’m planning to focus on running for at least the next year before I consider committing to returning to full-time study.

RT: Where to from here in terms of coaching, training, living etc?

IBD: I’m still working that out. I brought all of my belongings back to Adelaide after graduation to get ready to head of to Italy for the World University Games. I’ve really just focused on getting myself ready for that race and haven’t really locked down any plans after that yet. I will definitely be in Australia in December to race the national 10,000m champs and then the domestic season through to nationals in March next year. I expect to spend a bit of time over in the states as well. Wherever I am, I’m excited to be fully committing to running.

RT: Currently right now in Australia there are numerous athletes considering whether or not to give the NCAA system a crack. What pearls of wisdom do you have for these athletes?

IBD: I say if you have the opportunity to take a scholarship to study in America and compete in the NCAA, you should do it. Yes, it may slow down your academic career by going through the American college system, but you will learn so much as a person and athlete that is worth so much more than rushing through uni to get a job. Make sure you find a school that fits both your academic and athletic pursuits, e.g. they have the undergraduate degree of your choice and a program with a history of success in your event/sport. I would encourage people to visit and get to know the coaches if you can. It’s important that you have a good relationship with your coach because they will play a huge role in your life! Also, it’s great to be in a place that you actually like too. Running and study will take up most of your time, but hopefully you’ll find the time to explore other interests outside of that bubble that will enrich your life.

RT: During your time as a Huskie how much of a say did Adam Didyk from Team Tempo have in your training program?  Did you touch base with him regularly or was it all under the control of your college coach?


IBD: Adam has been an amazing coach and mentor to me since I first started working with him at the end of 2015 when I was transferring from St. John’s (NY) to Washington and was back in Australia for a couple of months. Adam wrote my training in the lead up to going into Washington in 2016, and then while I was back in Adelaide for a couple of months in 2017 preparing for the World University Games. Last year our head coach stepped down at the end of the track season, and from June to December of 2018 Adam wrote my training while I was in Seattle and then Back in Adelaide from August. I came off that training block very fit for City to Bay in September, but sadly suffered an injury in October so missed out on Zatopek. This last season I was totally under the reigns of my college coach Maurica Powell, but I did touch base with Adam often before and after races for general support and guidance.

2016 IAAF Melbourne World Challenge: Photo by Jarrod Partridge

RT: What changed with your training between say your 12th in the NCAA 10,000 in 2017 and your bronze this year?

IBD: I’ve always been able to put in the hard work, but I’ve often tried to juggle too many things at once and didn’t prioritize recovery in the past. Now I see recovery as part of my training. Making sure I get enough sleep, planning my food around training, staying in good shoes, rolling and using the Normatec recovery boots, making good decisions in my social life, and making sure I prioritize massage treatment and doing yoga at least once a week but at times up to 4 times a week to help recovery. This season I listened to Maurica, took recovery days off when I was told and finished most of my workouts feeling like I could do another hard rep (and asking for another one!). In this this time I’ve also just managed to have a couple of good blocks of training where I was injury free and able to build mileage. In addition, my mental state has changed a lot in the last two years. I’ve built mindfulness into my training, racing, and day-to-day life. Instead of getting nervous for hard workouts or races, I am excited for the opportunity. I’ve built a lot of confidence and have a lot more belief in myself and my abilities than I did two years ago. Two years ago I couldn’t believe I’d made it to nationals, this year only half way through the Pac12 10,000m race I was already telling myself I was the Pac12 Champion.


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First run of 2019 ??‍♀️?‍♀️?‍♂️?‍♂️

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RT: Favourite sessions?

IBD: My favourite sessions are k repeats and tempos. A regular session Maurica had me doing throughout the season was “tempo” k’s. We would do between 8-12 repeats and usually between 3:20-3:10 pace. I’d have 200m/1minute jogging rest between. The week before my 10km PB at Stanford I did 12x 1km on the track averaging around 3:17, with the last one at 3:07. This session is familiar and makes me feel really strong and ready! I love doing tempos, one staple was a 6-mile tempo (just over two loops of the Green Lake loop in Seattle) at 5:45/mile pace. I also love long runs, especially when I get to grind down the pace for the second half.


RT: Next major goal?

IBD: My next major goal will be the Zatopek 10km in December and getting as close to the qualifying time as possible. I like to have a big goal with smaller goals incorporated. So for my first 10km of this season it was first: get the regional qualifier, second: break 33 minutes for the first time, third: get the UW school record by running under 32:52, fourth: break 32:30, fifth: WC qualifier 31:50. I managed to tick off 4/5 of those goals so that was a good feeling and I will continue to use that kind of goal structure so it’s not a fail or succeed.

RT: Izzi, awesome to have you back on RT.

IBD: Thanks so much!