Friday, January 13, 2012

Road to Houston: 5 Questions with Houston Half competitor and Oregon Duck, Luke Puskedra

The twelfth and final 5 Questions with interview for the "Road to Houston" series is with the University of Oregon's Luke Puskedra. Puskedra won't be running the trials tomorrow, but will be debuting in the Half Marathon on Sunday.

Luke Puskedra has had an excellent college career, and he's not done yet. After finishing in the top ten in Cross Country in three of his four seasons as a Duck, he's gearing up for his final semester in Eugene. He'll change is up this Sunday, where he'll be stepping onto the roads of Houston. Follow him on Twitter here.

5 Questions with Luke Puskedra

1. Writing About Running: You're running the Half-Marathon in Houston on Sunday. What led you to this decision?

Luke Puskedra: My coaches and I sat down and decided that running this race would se me up to contribute to the big team goals we have for the Track and Field team this year. I started my training for Cross Country late because of an injury. Training has been coming along well, so it made sense to take a break in my training after this race.

Puskedra came up big in 2008 to help the Ducks
to the National Championship in Cross Country
2. Writing About Running: How have your workouts changed leading up to this race? and who have you been training with?

Luke Puskedra:  My workouts haven’t changed much. I have always worked best off of more volume in my training, so I only had to change a few key workouts. I stayed in Eugene for a bit longer over the break, to avoid possible weather issues in my hometown, Ogden, Utah. We had a few guys stay in Eugene, so I had a good group of guys to workout with. Believe it or not, I meshed a few workouts with team members who focus primarily on the 5k/10k, all the way to ones that focus on the 800, specifically. That’s the thing that attracted me to Oregon from high school, there is so much talent on the team and all the members are willing to work hard.

3. Writing About Running: Are you planning on running indoors?

Luke Puskedra:  I still have to sit down with the coaches to discuss if running indoors will set me up to be a contributor to the big goals that we have as a team this year in outdoors. It is an exciting time in Eugene right now, with everything going on. Watching the hard work the whole Track and Field team is doing is exciting. Walking to practice everyday, I see the throwers practicing technique and the sprinters moving it along on the track. I’m excited to compete with these guys.

Puskedra is looking to go big outdoors
4. Writing About Running: You had an excellent Cross Country career at Oregon. What are your goals for outdoor?

Luke Puskedra: I feel that I have underachieved on the track compared to results in Cross Country and the workouts I’ve done. I’d like to run fast in the 5000 and 10,000 and win some team titles, whether it be Pac-10’s etc., to finish off my college career.

5. Writing About Running:  What are you hoping to get out of the race Sunday?

Luke Puskedra: I hope just to have fun. I’m doing the race to keep things loose and fresh. I’m going in with no expectations, just hoping to run to my abilities. I know it will be hard and I am excited for the challenge.

Next up will be my picks to make the team, which will publish later this evening.

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