CFXC Interviews British Olympian Scott Overall

Today the CFXC team was fortunate enough to do a Skype interview with Scott Overall of Great Britain. Scott placed 5th running 2:10:55 at the Berlin Marathon, qualifying him for the Olympic Games in London. Scott has also represented Great Britain at the World Indoor Games amongst other track and cross country events.

Scott ran for Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has run a 3:58 mile, 7:48 3k, 13:28 5k and a 1:03:21 Half Marathon.

Thanks Scott for taking time out of your training schedule to inspire our team. You've got a new fan club in Chagrin Falls, Ohio!

Here is the story of his marathon:

Interview Script

How did you get started in running?
Athletics is very different here in comparison to the US. I started when I was young, but I ran for a club rather than my school. The main sports in England are Football, Rugby and Cricket... most kids play silly sports like that... running is far less popular here than it is in the US.

What were your PR's while you were ages 15-18?
1:53 in the 800m, 3:51 in the 1500

What made you choose to come to the US for University and why did you choose Butler?
I had a friend that belonged to Butler. I did not visit the University before I committed. At first I hated it, but it turned out well.

How do you mentally prepare for races?
I sit with my coach and talk about targets for the race. It is important to have a plan going into the race.

What do you do to prepare in the days leading up to a race?
For the marathon, I pay close attention to diet. I make sure I am eating plenty of carbohydrates. I don't run too much the week of the event. There is nothing you can do to get more fit at that point, you just get tired. I make sure to be well hydrated.

Do you have a race day routine?
Not really. I make sure I eat at the right time. I do about a 10 minute warmup for the marathon. I make sure that I am not sitting around a hotel room all day because then I am not ready to race.

Who do you look to for inspiration?

I've trained for a long time with Mo Farah. Seeing him do the things that he has done is pretty amazing.

Do you do any other training aside from just running?
I do core and weights twice a week.

Why do you like running?
Well, I think you enjoy things that you are good at. If you don't enjoy something then you should probably not be doing it.

Outside of running, what do you enjoy?
The same stuff as you guys... going out, my girlfriend.

How many pairs of shoes do you have?
5 or 6 pairs of running shoes. I'm sponsored by Adidas.

Have you ever had a low point in your career, if so, how did you recover?

Yes. Two years ago I tore my calf at Indoor Worlds. I felt my calf tear with 400m to go, I finished the race and I couldn't walk for a month. I didn't run for three months. There is always a positive from a negative. At least I was injured then and not now.

What do you eat before a race?
Cereal. Toast. An energy drink and maybe a banana right before the race.

What nutrition advice do you have for recovery?
I like Clif bars or protein bars. Clif shots are good. I prefer protein drinks with a 3:1 protein to carb ratio. Chocolate Milk is good.

When you were our age, did you ever see yourself running a marathon?

No, I was always a 1500m runner.

What was your first marathon like in Berlin, was it quite an intense stage?
It was a flat course. I ran the first 13 miles with a French dude. Then the second half of the race I ran alone. I was in 12th at the half and I finished 5th. Two Kenyans came back to me, so that kept my head in the race. I was not aware of the World Record being set ahead of me. The last 5k was the hardest part. I visualized a 5k loop where I run at home and just clicked off marks in my head.

What do you think about during a race?
Random stuff. For example, in Berlin I saw a friend in the crowd and I had no idea why he was in Berlin. I spent the next K or so wondering what he was doing in Berlin.

Do you have a goal time in the London Marathon?
In the Olympics it's more about position. I think if I can get myself in 2:06-2:08 shape I'll be in a good position.

Are there any tips that you have for us that you wish you had when you were our age?
Don't be lazy. I was lazy when I was young and still a bit lazy at Butler. It's amazing what you can do when you are not lazy. Don't regret not trying your best. Get out there and run. You don't want to be sitting there at home and injured thinking that you wish you were running, so take advantage of every time you can run.

What's your favorite workout?
10x400 @58-59s w 60s rest. This wwas from back when I was at Butler.

Do you work on your running form?
When it comes down to it, it's how you run. You don't want to mess with it. My coaches tell me that when I am fatigued I tilt my head back and overstride, so I pay attention to that. But you can overthink it, you just have to run.

The running community is fairly small, what are some of the things that you've done within the community or who are some remarkable people that you've met?
I've stayed in Flagstaff and run with Bernard Lagat. I trained in Ethiopa and I ate dinner at Tirunesh Dibaba's house.

Do you have any advice for those of us thinking about running in college?
Take a visit. That is a mistake that I made, I didn't visit. Get to know the coach and the training and how it fits with how you've trained in high school. Meet the team becasue the last thing you want to happen is to get stuck with someone like Chagrin Falls coach Chris Smith for four years.

What is most exciting about running in the Olympics?
It's in London. I was born in London. I've run in London my whole life. It's a 3 lap course, so the people will be great. In Berlin the crowd was going crazy every time a German ran by, so I think that's how London will be. The people will be looking for the British vest and they will be loud.

Do you know Prince William and Kate?