In our RT Snap Q&A series, we’ve had the privilege of interviewing some of the world’s best runners, delving into their extraordinary journeys, celebrating their achievements, and exploring the unwavering dedication that defines their careers.

Jack Anstey

  • Born on April 8, 1997. He’s a Professional Track and Field athlete.
  • Australian and Oceanian Records holder in the indoor 1000m.
  • Second fastest indoor Mile by an Australian with a time of 3:51.51.
  • NCAA Division 1 First Team All-American while at Illinois State University (graduated in 2021).
  • Represented Australia at the 2022 World Indoor Championships and the 2023 World Road Running Championships.
  • Became the 68th Australian male to run under 4 minutes for the full mile with a time of 3:59.66 in Iowa, USA, in February 2019.
  • One of only 12 Australians to achieve sub-4-minute mile indoors.
  • Currently trains in Flagstaff, AZ, and is sponsored by Under Armour.
Photo:© Jack Anstey IG(@jackanstey)

RT: You hold the Australian and Oceanian Records in the indoor 1000m and have achieved remarkable times in the Mile and 1500m events. How do you prepare differently for each distance, both mentally and physically?

Jack: Generally I try to prepare for all races the same way which is to go in open minded and try to back my instincts. I think my best results have come when I’ve just trusted my instincts and avoided overthinking. I think when you’re able to trust that you will make the right decisions in races, you have the ability to surprise yourself and not put in limits on what’s possible. As soon as I begin to prepare to run certain splits or be near a certain competitor, that’s normally when things start to go south for me. At the end of the day, it’s a pretty simple sport so I try to keep it that way.

RT: Flagstaff, AZ, is known for its high-altitude training benefits. How has training at altitude influenced your performance and training routines?

Jack: I think altitude has been really important for my development. I didn’t start running until 17 or 18 and it was mostly in the shorter distances and my college program in the United States had a real emphasis on speed development. Between the late start and my college experience, I feel like I never really developed the aerobic engine until I moved up to Flagstaff. A couple of years of higher volume with a focus on threshold work has really helped me develop into a well rounded athlete and lower my PBs across the board.

 

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RT: Achieving the milestone of running under 4 minutes for the full mile is a remarkable feat. Can you describe the emotions and challenges you faced leading up to that achievement?

Jack: Breaking 4 will always be a special memory to me. I’ve been lucky enough to do it a lot since and run a lot faster but there is nothing like the first time you get to experience it! It’s been a few years now but I just remember celebrating with my college teammates and being so relieved to check it off the bucket list.

RT: What are some of the key lessons you’ve learned from your coaches and mentors throughout your career, both at the collegiate level and in your professional career?

Jack: I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredible coaches. I’ve had 3 coaches in my career and feel like they’ve all been fantastic in terms of what they’ve brought to the table. Each had very different approaches but I’m a firm believer that there is more than one way to skin a cat so I’ve enjoyed tinkering with different methods over the years. I’ve also been lucky in that all my coaches have been great when it comes to the mental side of the sport. Some of the best advice I’ve received was coming back from one of my first injuries. I was frustrated that I wasn’t where I wanted to be and with the fitness I had lost due to the injury. I pulled out of one of my first sessions back and was quite annoyed with myself. My coach sat next to me and all he said was, “you can’t get it all back in one day mate”. It was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment and helped me a lot moving forward.

RT: Looking ahead, what are your goals for the next few years in terms of personal achievements and milestones in your career?

Jack: I feel like I’m still fairly young and still have some good years ahead of me. As long as I am continuing to improve and have fun with it, I would like to keep pushing on for a few more years. Representing Australia is always special so I would like to get a few more opportunities to experience that.