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April 30, 2011

Amy Hastings - A Rookie Marathon Star

Written by Dena Evans

Amy Hastings was the 2006 NCAA indoor champion in the 5000 meters and a multiple time All-American in the distances while at Arizona State.  A Leavenworth, Kansas native, Hastings has been doing her post-collegiate training with Terrence Mahon and the Mammoth Track Club up in the Sierras.  Following in the footsteps of present and former Mammoth teammates who have enjoyed great success in the marathon at the highest level (Deena Kastor, Meb Keflezighi, Ryan Hall to name a few), Hastings made an outstanding marathon debut in March, earning sensational runner-up honors at the Los Angeles Marathon.  Recovering well, Hastings took a few minutes to share some of her experiences with us.

DE: Have you always wanted to do a marathon, or is this something you have recently decided to do?

AH:  I have always wanted to do one – the longest distances always came easier to me.  In high school, I thought I would run 10k in college, and in college, I thought I would be a marathoner. It took me a while to be mentally ready though.  I didn’t realize quite the amount of work that goes into the marathon.


DE:  The course in Los Angeles was quite rainy and wet, but you were aggressive and fearless.  Did training in the mountains help you feel confident about the adverse conditions?

AH:  You definitely have to be tough up in Mammoth.  Even in the most perfect conditions, our training is so intense, so you have to be ready. I felt very prepared

DE: What is one thing you look forward to replicating in your next marathon and something you hope to learn from and avoid next time around?

AH: I feel like I put myself out there and I’m a very proud of myself for that, but I don’t always want to race like that.  I want to be comfortable no matter where I am racing.  Something we are working on is looking to try and lead, come from behind and kick, push from a ways out, etc.  I don’t know how future races will go, but I want to be prepared for whatever could happen each time out.

DE: Have you decided whether or not you will run another marathon in 2011, and if not, what challenges lie ahead before Houston in 2012?

AH:  Next marathon is going to be the Olympic Trials.  I’m going to do a couple road races, Bloomsday and Boulder Boulder [after this interview, Hastings ended up being 10th place / 2nd US at Bloomsday].  I will also run a track 5k in Oregon, planning to run the 5k at nationals.  Hopefully I will go to Europe if things are going well, and run some more track races.  The priority is definitely the [Olympic Marathon] trials, so whatever makes sense leading in to that.

DE: This month, we are talking to our members about how to navigate the challenges of complicated race day logistics – standing out in the cold, races where the weather changes throughout, bathroom stops, etc.  Although it is a bit easier for the pros, what are some steps you take to ensure you are well organized on race morning and to avoid needless starting line stress?

AH:  I make about a million lists.  I write out everything.  I have a million little sticky notes.  I still have my LA Marathon list and it has “tie shoes (but not too tight)”, “last chance to to go the bathroom” and all of that stuff.  I still am completely nervous, but I am definitely a checklist person. My coach helps me at dinner the night before, writing everything down. He actually came up with the list idea.

DE: Did you pay much attention to changing your nutrition pre-race and or training nutrition when training for the longer distance?  If so, what did you tweak?

AH:  My diet before was high in protein and fats, so my diet was changed to include much more complex carbohydrates.  I eat a lot more vegetables now, which at first was really hard.  They don’t taste quite as good!  But, I have gotten used to it and have much more energy.  I include whey protein and some other things, like GU packets 15 min before every long run and a GU/ sports drink mix every 20 min during my long run.

DE: So, now that you have put out such an exciting time in the marathon, do you consider yourself a marathoner and will that govern your racing schedule moving forward?

AH:  Yes, it definitely will.  I think the marathon will definitely be my main event from here on out, but I have some unfinished business in the 5k and 10k on the track.  I would consider myself to be a distance runner who runs 5k through the marathon.

Last modified on September 23, 2011
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

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