“I have faith in myself that on my best day if someone is not having their best day, I might be able to get ’em. And that’s enough to allow me to show up to a start line with some confidence and rest assured that I’m going to give my best and put my best effort out there. And if that puts me in last place, so be it, but I definitely show up feeling and knowing that on my best day I can compete with these guys.”
Stoked to welcome Noah Droddy to the podcast this week! The 27-year-old resident of Boulder, Colo., is among running’s rising stars and one of the sport’s most interesting, likable, and relatable personalities. Since finishing last in the 10,000m final at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials, where he received a swell of media attention for his unique looks and everyman persona, Droddy has established himself as a solid competitor on the roads, finishing second at the 2016 U.S. 10-mile championships, breaking 62 minutes at last year’s New York City Marathon, and debuting in 2:16:26 at last fall’s Chicago Marathon. Earlier this year, he “put some demons to rest” on the track, running a personal best of 28:07 for 10,000m at Stanford’s Payton Jordan Invitational.
In this conversation—a follow-up of sorts to an interview we did 15 months ago—Droddy and I talked about a wide range of topics, including:
— What he learned from his first marathon last fall and how he’ll apply those lessons to his next marathon buildup.
— The importance of taking breaks from training throughout the year and why that’s not a hard thing for him to do. “I don’t cool down [after my last race of the season],” he told me. “I go home, I shower, and it’s over. The last step of the race is the last step that I’m really thinking about.”
— What a typical week of training looks like for him right now.
— How things have changed for him in the last year since signing a contract with Saucony.
— The importance of staying involved in his local running community and connecting with other runners.
— Training with the Roots Running Project and how that’s been a major contributor to his development as an athlete in the past few years.
— His relationship with his coach Richey Hansen and how it’s evolved—along with his training—since he moved to Boulder in 2015.
— Being naive about the marathon and why that excites him at this point of his career.
— How he keeps himself in check when he’s racing against a bunch of guys with personal bests faster than his own.
— Hiking the John Muir Trail for six weeks after college and what was so transformative about that experience.
— The importance of balancing out his running with other interests and what he does to occupy his time when he’s not training and racing.
— Life after competitive running and what he’s doing to set himself up for the future.
— Working closely with his sponsors and giving the brands that support him a return on their investment. “We just need to redefine our roles and just think about ourselves as more than just athletes,” Droddy says. “And really the whole sport would benefit from that.”
— His signature facial hair and the method behind his mustachioed madness. “I try to pull it out for important occasions,” he explained to me.
— The coverage of running in the media, why it’s suffering, and what can be done to make it more exciting and appealing to fans. “I just know that we can do better,” Droddy says. “And it’s pretty obvious a lot of times when I’m watching running coverage that we’re just settling and we’re not really trying to be innovative.”
— What’s exciting him in the sport of running right now.
— A lot more.
Related links, references, and resources:
— Boulder’s Droddy A Blue-Collar Running Star: “Droddy is part of Boulder’s history and talent now,” Michael Sandrock recently wrote for The Boulder Daily Camera. “And despite his success, it is clear that he remains the same humble guy; using the same laptop since 2009, wearing his hair long, drinking beer and espressos, and paying for his entry to the West End 3K.”
— “I don’t want to spend the next three, four years of my career just walking around telling people how I ran 61 minutes in New York,” Droddy told me last April. “I’m looking forward to the next thing. I think that’s the only way to really be successful in this sport — be proud of your achievements, but say, ‘That was one day. Let’s do it a couple more times and get a little faster.'”
— Meet the Mustachioed, Beer-Drinking “Hero” Who Crashed the Trials 10K: “I think people see me and think, ‘That’s not another robot runner. That’s a guy that doesn’t take himself too seriously,'” Droddy told Kit Fox of Runner’s World. “They think, ‘This guy is not some mutant. He is a normal guy.’ And I think I am a normal guy outside of running. I think people can relate to it. It’s how I feel comfortable.”
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This episode of the morning shakeout podcast was edited by John Isaac at BaresRecords.com
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