Final Surge Podcast Episode 86: Tim Broe

In Episode 86 of the Final Surge Podcast we talk to 2004 U.S. Olympian Tim Broe. Tim is also the coach of the new Saucony Freedom Track Club, a Boston-based running team helping talented runners progress to world-champion status in pursuit of their Olympic dreams. We talk to Tim about all of this and more.

Welcome to Episode 86 of the Final Surge Podcast with our guest Olympian turned coach, Tim Broe. If you were a running fan in the early 2000's you probably remember Tim as one of the few bright spots in the US Distance running scene. Tim is now a professional coach with the Saucony Freedom Track Club. We talk to Tim about his early days in running, his Olympic experience and the devastating injury that ended his career too early. We then talk about his latest experience with the Freedom Track Club. If you enjoy this episode please rate us on iTunes and follow us on Twitter @FinalSurge.

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How did you get your start in athletics?

  • Started running in middle school, got dragged into it
  • As a 7th grader ran 5:45 and kept improving
  • Won a state title as a junior in high school

Ran under legendary Michigan coach Ron Warhurst as a professional right?

  • Ran at Alabama, they offered me a scholarship
  • 12-time All American, but didn't take it serious enough until last year
  • After senior year worked at a local shoe store and trained by himself
  • After coming in 4th in the steeple in the Trials became more motivated
  • Kevin Sullivan a Michigan runner and coach put him in touch with Ron
  • Moved to Michigan to train with him

What was that like, what makes him such a great coach?

  • He lives it 24-7
  • First time met Ron had me put on spikes and do 20x400 with every 5th one at 59
  • Nailed it and next day did a 2-hour run
  • Ron took me after hearing that
  • He very much determines workouts by how you feel that day

2004 you made US Olympic team in the 5k, what was it like running for your country in the biggest show in running?

  • Won trials, but didn't have a qualifying time
  • Had to run 13:21, went to London and ran 13:18
  • Felt stressed out and didn't have a chance to enjoy it as much as should
  • Did opening ceremonies and the whole two weeks

You mentioned had to go get a qualifying time after your Olympic Trials win. Running in the early 2000’s wasn’t exactly the high point in American distance running. You were one of the few bright spots during this time. Was it something that you paid attention to while it was happening?

  • Most high school programs in the 90's did not do much volume, everything was short intervals
  • Did not figure it out until senior year in college
  • The difference now is coaches have their athletes do a lot more tempo, LT, CV pacing for more volume

Talk about how your career came to an end after the high

  • Foot injury, bones were fused together
  • Had to have bone removed and it lead to a lot more issues
  • At Olympics had a broken foot and torn plantar
  • Just added up quickly

How did you make your transition into coaching?

  • That is all I knew
  • Was at home and visiting old high school coach
  • Started helping with boys team in 2007 and ended up taking over
  • Worked with a non-profit group of professionals

You coach the Freedom Track Club. How did that start?

  • Started coaching Ben True who was a Saucony Athlete
  • Saucony approached him about creating a team

When you start with Wesley high school athletes, what type of program are you trying to bring to them to develop younger runners?

  • Started with performance increase enjoyment, but found kids don't care as much as they do just belonging to a team
  • One kid had early success which helped develop the team size
  • Be a good teammate and work hard
  • Do everything right and the times will come

How different was it coaching a team with 11 kids vs 78?

  • The message was the same, approach was a little different
  • The program had no expectations
  • They are driven, usually have to pull them back

I've heard your runners you coach and you talk about taking control of the race, what does that mean for you?

  • At some point, if you are a competitor you need to make your mark and take a lead
  • Focus on racing and not times and times will come

What advice do you have for someone who maybe isn’t at the level to compete near the front and maybe focusing on just setting a PR. What advice do you have for your kids who are not going for a win, but are a number 6 runner on your team?

  • Win your battles
  • As race unfolds will be with a few kids, that is your battle for win, for a title
  • In a big workout may have them do a workout then run a flat out 400 at the end to build confidence at end of a race

Last fall you had a big signing with Molly Seidel to the Freedom Track Club. I saw she got sick before Payton Jordon, how is her training going?

  • Cleaned up form stuff
  • Been working hard in weight room
  • Training at 85% level, still building a base on her before hit it hard
  • Will run 10k next week to get a qualifier for USA's

Ben True raced the Pre 2-mile race this past week, how did his race go?

  • Ben moved on from team last year
  • He moved to Hanover and the coaching was just too far so parted ways

How will the team develop over the next 2-3 years?

  • We don't have the budget of a Nike, but we are developing a good program
  • Will add a few more after NCAA Nationals this summer

The Final Surge... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Men of Oregon
Current trainers you are wearing? - Kinvara
Favorite race? - Billy Mills 10k and favorite to run was 3k
Favorite meal or recovery drink? - Donuts and chocolate milk
Your favorite workout - The Michigan

How to Connect with Tim:
Email Tim


Team Final Surge

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