Jess Barnard, member of Oiselle’s Little Wing training group, has had quite the journey to professional running. She’s a Long Beach State Alumni who found success in the Steeplechase during her junior year, but did not immediately decide to continue running competitively after college. After competing for the Philippines after graduation while working as an assistant coach at UCLA, Jess decided to make the move to Bend, OR this year to train under Lauren Fleshman as her coach.
How does she prepare for the endurance and strength necessary to run a speedy 3k Steeplechase? A timeless classic workout, hard mile repeats with great recovery.
What is your favorite motivational quote?
One of my newest favorite quotes is from my coach Lauren Fleshman. She says, “When you recognize that failing doesn’t make you a failure, you give yourself permission to try all sorts of things.”
What is your favorite hard workout?
Mile. Repeats. With short rest.
What do you feel it benefits?
Mostly my confidence. I am very comfortable with short and fast… tempo runs and longer intervals I struggle with. Nailing a mile repeats workout makes me feel like a serious badass. And obviously helps me improve my aerobic capacity so I can start struggling less with long workouts and become a distance running machine!
When do you like it? (Before, during, the last half, not until it’s over, etc.)
The last rep. No matter how trashed I feel, no matter how mentally exhausted I am… I can always find that last rep. Plus, the excitement in knowing that it’s your last rep helps a little bit, too.
Do you do best with other people running with you during the workout, or is it best done solo?
Most definitely with a training partner or group. Just the sound of someone else’s footsteps on the dirt next to me is comforting. You feed off of that person’s energy and they can feed off you — you work together. When you have that training partner who you sync up with and can count on… man, that’s gold!
Do you recommend other runners try it?
Of course! Mile repeats are a staple workout and I think they are a great way to gauge your fitness. I always like to start a little more conservative and work my way down.
What do you do for recovery after this workout and before your next?
A nice easy cool down then fuel right away.. usually with a Picky Bar and a banana. Lauren has incorporated jasyoga.com sessions into my schedule and I’ve noticed a big difference in my recovery time. I love that her sessions are quick and designed for runners & athletes. I also spend a lot of time at Recharge Sport in Bend which is an athletic recovery lounge — it’s as glorious as it sounds! They have everything: NormaTec Boots, GameReady, sauna, hot & cold tubs, and of course a couple R8 rollers (and more!). Nice to have one at home also, I usually give the legs another quick rollout just before bed.