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Olympian Kim Conley Compares the 5K and the 10K

Yahoo Contributor Network

Like many runners, Olympic distance runner Kim Conley has different feelings when it comes to running the 5,000-meters and the 10,000-meters.

Conley said that, when comparing the two events, the 5,000 feels harder. She suspects that's because she's better at the race and has perfected it more, she said.

Conley ran the 5,000 at the 2012 London Olympic Games and failed to qualify for the final. Because she ran the race in London, coupled with her inability to qualify for the medal heat, Conley said she has strong feelings about the distance.

"Right now, just because I had success with the 5,000 this year, I just have a little special place in my heart for the 5,000," Conley said during an interview with "Also, going to London and not making the final, it left me very hungry and kind of with something to prove in the 5,000."

Kim Conley Will Run the 10,000 More in the Future

Although Conley said she has a lot she still wants to accomplish at the distance, she knows her future is likely in the 10,000.

After all, distance runners have a tendency to move to longer races as they get older, and Conley knows she will be no exception. Not only would the California native be following the traditional path for distance runners, but she also knows she has room to improve in the 10,000.

"The 10,000 -- I haven't quite figured it out yet," Conley said during the interview. "It just slowly comes on, and you slowly get tired. I don't walk off the track with the 10,000 at this point feeling … the way I do in a 5,000."

Incorporating Speed Training into Workouts

In order to be successful in the 5,000 now and the 10,000 in the future, Conley knows she needs to add more speed work into her training regimen. That's why the 26-year-old has focused on running faster around the relatively flat UC-Davis campus area. In addition, she's worked more speed days into her training program.

Even so, speed training isn't at the top of her priority list, she said. That's because Conley believes her aerobic base to be more important than the speed she carries.

"I think it's most important to be as aerobic as possible when you get to the end of that race, but to be competitive in those races you do have to have a (kick). So we're incorporating speed," Conley said during the interview. "We're sprinkling it in I guess throughout training, just to continue to work on it, so that I'm developed to a point to be there at the end of the race."

She added: "In London I was blasted in the last 600 of that prelim race and so we want to work on that speed. But still I think the top priority is to develop aerobically and be strong enough to be able to access that gear when I need to at the end of those races."

Read more from this author

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Sandra Johnson is a longtime Olympic fan. While working for the United States Olympic Committee and living in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Johnson had the opportunity to immerse herself in the Olympic Movement. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46

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