Runner's Web Interview with Tania Jones
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1. When and where did you start competing in running?
I grew up in Oyama, British Columbia in the Okanagan Valley - a 45 min drive north of Kelowna.
My first competitive season was cross-country during my Grade 7 year. I won the Elementary School District (Central Okanagan) Championship.
2. At what age do you consider you became a "serious" runner?
When I entered high school of my Grade 8 year I was 13 and was one of only 5 individuals on the school cross-country team. I had a very successful season. The following spring, the Kelowna Track & Field Club was started and I began formal scheduled training. Don Bertoia (medalist at the PanAm Games 800m in 1967) coached the middle distance running group.
3. Who has had the greatest influence on your running career to date?
My husband, Colin Fidler. He has encouraged me to imagine bigger goals and has helped create an environment which fosters success.
4.Could you describe a "typical" training week in terms of mileage and workouts?
one long run of up to 20 miles
2 workouts on the track or road usually one of shorter intervals (800m to 2 km) and the other with longer intervals (1 to 3 km)
1 tempo run in a longer run
easy days of 6-7 miles between workouts
easy morning runs as req’d to get in the mileage
5. What are your goals, medium and long term in running?
Medium: Road racing prior to preparation for my second marathon including events in the GMC series, a 10k in Montreal and a Half-marathon in Toronto. A marathon in January with the goal to run the standard for the Olympic team
Long term: Balance family and running post Olympics
6. What do you consider your best race and why?
5000m - When it goes well, it has gone extremely well. The first few years I found that the 5k came very naturally.
7. Can you see yourself becoming a coach after you stop competing?
I see myself acting in an administrative capacity. I wish to support junior development programs through development of local track clubs. These organizations create opportunities for kids to experience track and field.
8. What do you consider your favorite race, track or road and why?
I have a passion for the 5000m on the track. I have only run a couple well. The excitement of executing a good 5k is second to none. I have been pursuing the perfect 5000m race for years now. There is a challenge to getting fit for the 5k which is not found in the 1500 or the longer distances. To run a 5k well is a mystery I have worked hard to solve and wish I had more time to tackle.
9. You recently ran your first marathon, in the National Capital Marathon.
What are your feelings about the race and how will you approach your next one?
Disappointment. I was perfectly prepared mentally on the day. The training leading up to the race had been good but not optimal. I went in understanding my fitness level and what was needed to optimize my fitness level.
It is not clear if the dehydration and subsequent hypothermia are a reflection of my inexperience or physiological limitations of my body which I need to address.
I have little to critique about the 6 month preparation block leading up to the race. I was focused and implemented the plan as best I could. The only limiting factor was that my body did have some difficulty adjusting to the heavy mileage. I anticipate that the next preparation phase with high mileage will be easier to handle.
I will adjust some dietary factors and work on the pre-race carbo loading and water loading.
10. How difficult do you find it pursuing a career in the work place and running at the level you compete at?
I find the 5k training manageable. It is a sparse lifestyle, in which my life is dominated by running and work. There is some time left over for regeneration.
Training for the marathon pushed the limits of reality. For the first time, I can say that my life was no longer balanced. It is a very intense, focused period of time..
11. If you could go back in time in your running career, what would you do differently?
I would have created a five year plan to become the top runner in the 5000m in Canada. At the moment, I have the experience to create that plan but it would have been difficult at the age of 24 to have done so without the right advisors.
I would have tried living a less balanced life by placing more emphasis on my running career at certain times during the five year plan.
12. What are your Personal Best times at: 1500M-, 3000M-, 5000M-, 10K-, Other-.
13. Any other comments you would like to make....
I have enjoyed running in Ottawa. It is a beautiful city with miles of safe running space and it has a supportive and active running community.