Runner’s Tribe caught up with the 2019 NCAA 1500m champion, Sinclaire Johnson, as she navigates her way through her first year of life as a pro, and gears up for a shot at the 2020 Olympic Team.



RT: Sinclair it has been a big 6 months since turning pro. Are you enjoying life as a pro as much as college?


Life as a pro hasn’t been much different for me just yet. Since I am still finishing my degree at OSU and being coached by my college coach, not much has changed. I would say the biggest change was having a fall of no racing. I’m sure as I start to travel to races on my own that will be a lot different from college.


RT:  Is the highlight of your running career to date your win at the 2019 NCAA 1500m? 


I would definitely say that is my highlight thus far. It was a very special day where everything came together on the day. That title was something I strived for all year and to have it come to fruition was an indescribable feeling.


RT: What was it like racing against Jessica Hull so often? Was she your fiercest rival at college?


I have a lot of respect for Jessica Hull. If it weren’t for her, I honestly don’t think I would have run as fast as I did this past summer. I knew anytime I competed against her she was going to make me work for the win. I would say she was one of my toughest competitors in college, absolutely.


RT: What is your setup now in regards to your sponsor, coach, training location etc?


My current set up is not much different from last year. I am sponsored by Nike now. So, that would be my biggest change from last year. My coach is still Dave Smith, the head coach at Oklahoma State. And I have also signed with Ricky Simms, who is with Pace Sports Management, as my agent. I am currently still training and living in Stillwater, OK. Which I absolutely love. This has been a special place for me the past 3 years and I will be very sad to leave when the time comes.


RT: You missed out on making the USA world champs team last year by the tiniest of margins. How is your training going towards this years Olympc trials?


Last summer, just narrowly missing out on World Champs was bittersweet. Looking back, I had an unexpected summer and there is nothing that I regret/wished it would have gone better/or changed. I learned about what it takes to race at the next level and I came away with an Olympic standard. My training this year is solely focused on making the Olympic team. Every workout and race my coach and I have decided to implement is geared towards being ready to make the Olympic team!


RT: Is 1500m the target?


As of right now, the 1500m is going to be the main focus. However, I do intend on running some 800 races this season as well.


RT: Favorite session?


My favorite workout is one that is geared towards running mile race pace. We will do a 200-200-400-800 twice with equal jog recovery at mile race pace. This workout is always challenging and a good indicator of how fast I could race a mile.


RT: Miles per week during your winter base phase?


I typically do a lot better off of low mileage. So, I don’t run more than 55 mpw. I have incorporated swimming into my training for the past two years. Instead of a 4-5 mile double I will go for a 40-50 minute swim. This keeps me healthy and I feel that it makes me stronger!


RT: A typical week of training at the moment?


A typical training week for me looks something like this:


Monday: easy run with 3-4x 150m accelerations
Tuesday: 4-6 miles of Tempo/threshold work
Wednesday: Medium long run (roughly 3-4 miles shorter than my long run)
Thursday: easy run and anywhere from 6-8x 200m reps at mile race pace
Friday: Off day (I always take one day off during the week, except race weeks. I have found that this day of no running allows me to recover)
Saturday: A hard workout. 2-3 miles of either mile or 800 race pace work
Sunday: Long run
Sinclaire Johnson beats Jessica Hull to the 2019 NCAA 1500m title