Nicole Sifuentes - Q&A - Pre Payton Jordan

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Nicole Sifuentes is a Canadian middle-distance runner who specialises in the 1500m distance. She is originally from Winnipeg, Mantiboa however, attended the Univerisity of Michigan and competed in the NCAA division 1 for the Wolverines. Sifuentes continues to reside in Michigan.

She competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games and finished 19th. She is a four-time national 1500m medalist winning one silver (2010) and three bronze (2007, 2008, 2009).

Sifuentes will be competing in the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in the longer 5000m distance event and will continue to compete leading up to summer as she hopes to represent Canada at the 2013 IAAF World Track and Field Championships that take place in Moscow, Russia.

Personal bests:

800 Metres -  2:01.30         
1500 Metres  -  4:04.74         
One Mile -  4:29.33         
5000 Metres  - 15:27.84   

Christopher Kelsall: What is your schedule looking like for this spring? Are you racing in any National Track League events?

Nicole Sifuentes: Right now I'm in Palo Alto to run the 5000m at the Payton Jordan Invitational on Sunday. After that I have planned the TC Medtronic road mile in Minneapolis, and then to Occidental HP on May 17th. I would like to run the NTL in Toronto this year, but nothing is set in stone after Oxy yet (except of course Canadian champs).

CK: Just the 1500m at Canadian Championships?

NS: That is the plan, yes.

CK: Last spring you had a strong outdoor season running a few personal bests. What do you think contributed to your jumps in performance?

NS: Obviously, it was an Olympic year, and I had my heart set on making the team since 2008, so I was very focused and determined. In addition, I think I under performed in 2011 and was due for a breakthrough. I made changes with my strength training and mobility in late 2010 which I knew, over time,  would make me a better runner. It took some time for me to adjust to the changes in my form, and by the start of 2012 I felt that everything was coming together. I had a solid year with new PBs in 800m, 1500m, and 3000m.

CK: Canada went from having one international-level 800m runner to three with Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith dropping their times in 2012 to join Canadian record holder Diane Cummins. You did the same, but in quiet fashion. With your 2:01.30 do you feel tempted to focus on that distance?

NS: Honestly, no. I actually tried an 800m focus in 2011, and the training didn't work for me. I felt flat off the lower mileage and bombed at Canadian champs, failing to advance to the final in the 800m. I would not go that route again. I learned by trial and error that moderately high mileage is better for me, and training for longer distances actually helps my speed and sharpness. I'm actually really looking forward to the 5000m this weekend and I feel prepared to run significantly faster than my PB of 15:27. But regardless of the result on Sunday, I know that the 5km race experience and the training I did in preparation for it will be beneficial for my 1500m and 800m later this season. I believe I can lower my 800m PB to sub-2:00 but it will always be a secondary event for me.

CK: What happens at Payton Jordan should you run under the Canadian standard for World’s. Would you look to move to that event?

NS: Although I am aiming to run sub 15:18 (worlds A standard), my coach and I have not discussed moving to that event for Nationals. I know my strength from the 5k will help my 1500m, and coming off last year's PB of 4:04, I know I can improve even further. I guess I'm not against that idea, but it honestly hasn't even come up with my coach. I really love the 1500m and consider it my specialty.

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