July 19th, 2018

Catching up with Jacob Thomson

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Conor Revell

Staff Writer

Catching up with Jacob Thomson
Jacob Thomson / photo provided by Jacob Thomson

Former Holy Cross runner Jacob Thomson set records consistently at the high school level, was a successful NCAA runner, and now has signed a pro contract. LCSN Editor Conor Revell caught up with the former Cougar for a question and answer session.

1) What type of running will you be doing at the professional level and how far will you normally run? 

My focus for the next few years will mainly be running fast on the track. The main goals are hitting the IAAF World Qualifying standards and then making US World and Olympic teams in either the 5k or 10k. I will be competing in track races ranging from the mile to the 10k and everywhere in between. These races will take place all around the United States as well as the European circuit, which I am competing on currently. I will also be competing in road races across the country for the Boston Athletic Association. The races are typically longer than track races and will range anywhere from 5k to 10 miles. 

2) What was your college experience like at NC State and then UK? 

My two years at NC State allowed me to gain experience that has been vital to my success at Kentucky. Once I transferred to Kentucky I was able to lead a team that wasn’t known as a distance powerhouse and help turn it into one of the top distance programs in the SEC. 

Throughout college I learned about what it really meant to compete at the top level. The NCAA is a completely international stage with runners from all over the world fighting for conference titles and All-American trophies. I believe that my NCAA experience will help be transition into the professional scene, as I will be competing with runners from across the globe.

3) What’s a normal day for you when it comes to training? 

Every day begins with waking up and immediately heading to the coffee maker. Once I get some breakfast down I’ll head to the track and meet with the team. Our day changes a lot depending on if we have a normal distance run, track interval workout, long run, or recovery day. 

A typical week includes 3 normal days, 2 track workouts, 1 long run, and 1 recovery day. For normal days I’ll run anywhere from 8-10 miles in the morning session that is usually accompanied with a 4-5 mile evening run on my own. Track workouts consist of a different intervals run at specific paces on the track. These are the hard sessions that really prepare you for race day. And long runs can range anywhere from 14-18 miles depending on where I am in the training cycle and time of the year. 

On recovery days I like to run on my own and keep the pace very easy for a 5-6 mile run. I try to take one recovery day every week to let my body repair itself and to get ready for the following week of training.  Along with this I will have some type of “extra” work 4-5 days a week. This includes 2 days in the weight room per week, form drills, strides and short sprints, hurdle drills, core workouts, hip strengthening sessions, rehab with our athletic trainers, ice baths, sports therapy massages, and chiropractic appointments. 

4) What made you sign with Boston Athletic Association High Performance Running and Adidas Running? 

After the NCAA Championships ended this spring, I immediately started meeting with agents and coaches. I was lucky enough to find a great agent who wanted to represent me. Flynn Sports Management is the premier agency for distance runners in the United States. They represent many Olympians and World Championship qualifiers and have great ties with shoe companies and training groups around the world. Once I signed with Flynn Sports Management they began to seek out contracts on my behalf. The B.A.A. wanted to have me up for a visit right after the US Championships. I was a little weary at first, having never lived in the northeast Boston sounded pretty intimidating. 

Once I took my visit to B.A.A. I knew it was going to be a perfect fit. They had just hired a new coach, Ricardo Santos, and we hit it off really well. The B.A.A. is also supported by adidas, and adidas has made it very clear that they are committed to having a successful high performance team in Boston. Boston itself was amazing. I was worried it would be more like New York City, but there are parks and trails around every corner giving the B.A.A. many great training locations. After seeing all the B.A.A., adidas, and Boston had to offer, I was sure that it was the right place for me to continue my career as a professional. 

5) What’s the biggest thing you have taken from Holy Cross now that it has been five years since you graduated?

The biggest thing I have taken away from Holy Cross is the value of community. In my sport in particular, many people think that it is purely an individual conquest; but that could not be further from the truth. You cannot possibly succeed without a great supporting cast around you. To get to the top of track and field it requires coaches, agents, teammates, athletic trainers, friends and family that support you and many others all working together towards a common goal. You also have to be selfless to your teammates and training partners because in order to elevate yourself, you have to help elevate those around you.  

Holy Cross instilled this lesson into me many years ago and it has paid great dividends. The community at Holy Cross is very supportive and everyone in that school goes above and beyond for one another. I was privileged to have the opportunity to attend Holy Cross and I hope to one day be able to give back to the community there a fraction of what they’ve given to me. 

6) Where will you be running next?

I appreciate the continued support from LCSN and the opportunity to tell a little bit about my story into the professional world of track and field. My next race will be Saturday (7/21) in Heusden, Belgium for 5000m. After that race I will return to the US and race the Sir Walter Mile in Raleigh, NC on Friday, August 3rd, attempting to break the 4-minute mile barrier for the first time. 

The best way to follow my schedule and running adventures is through social media. I can be found on Instagram and Twitter @jtcougars8, as well as on Facebook.


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