David Flynn Flies in Mammoth Lakes

Oct 20, 2020

David Flynn is an elite runner for Ireland and Olympic Hopeful in the steeplechase. David, or “Flynn” as most runners affectionately call him, is back to Mammoth Lakes for his third altitude training stint, this time training at the Mammoth Lakes Crib facilities, as he prepares for the important 2016 track season. We caught up with him about his goals, training, and tips for other athletes looking to step up their game in the idyllic altitude setting of Mammoth Lakes.

What keeps bringing you back to Mammoth Lakes to train?

Mammoth Lakes has a special place in my heart. I keep coming back to Mammoth Lakes because it is such an amazing mountain town with inspiring people—as a result it has a special place in my heart that keeps calling me back. The altitude is set up perfect for my training as I can sleep at 8000 ft. and train at lower elevations via a short drive down the highway to Round Valley (5000 ft.).

How has the Mammoth Lakes Crib enhanced your stay and training this time around?

Staying in the Mammoth Lakes Crib has had a huge impact on my training and recovery this time round. Being located beside beautiful running trails and the Snowcreek Athletic Club has made my training routine much easier.

What is your favorite run in Mammoth Lakes?

I enjoy going up to 9000 ft. to run at Lake Mary on easy days because it is so beautiful up there. I also love recovery days because the team always chats away about different things going on in their lives and we enjoy each other’s company.

What is your favorite workout?

I have fallen in love with weekly tempo runs down in Round Valley. During the fall I was determined to beat my 6 mile tempo time from the previous week, which kept me highly motivated. It is a great loop and always gets me excited to see my progression.

As a specific track runner, how helpful is it to have access to an all-weather track at 7,000 feet? How often do you workout on the track and how do you feel this prepares you for racing at sea level?

Having access to a track at 7000 ft. is indescribable. It brings so many positive traits to your running and has you prepared and confident when coming down to a track at sea level. When a workout on that track is getting tough and I see the mountains in the distance I find I am inspired and willing to go the extra mile to get the most out of myself.

You’re coached by Andrew Kastor year-round and train with the Mammoth Track Club during your visits. What are some of the biggest things you’ve learned from this coach and training environment?

Andrew has been my coach officially since November and I began seeking his advice since last September. Being coached by Andrew is a constant learning experience because he is a fountain of knowledge and a great motivator. Andrew reminds me to always look at the “bigger picture” of my running career, which includes building up a larger aerobic base and gearing towards the 2020 Olympics in the marathon. Through my training with the Mammoth Track Club I have learned that it takes a very unique elite athlete to fit into this group. You have to be passionate about what you do and care about your teammates–this is more of a family than a club and we ride through the good times and bad together. I wouldn’t want to be with any other group in the world.

What piece of advice, training style or attitude do you take with you from Mammoth Lakes (the group and environment up here) when you travel home or to a race?

I usually take home a poem from Deena Kastor with me and have that embedded in my memory. On a more practical level, when I get into the latter stages of a race I think, “Big lungs!” as there’s plenty of air to get in and push on from there. I have adapted my racing style take back to really get after it and race with confidence because I know I’m in really good shape when I come down from altitude and believe in the hard work I have put in up there.

What races do you have coming up and what are your goals for the 2016 season?

My next race will be the European Clubs Track and Field Championships in Portugal on May 26th. I am hoping to run a good steeplechase there, and after that I will do a few races to sharpen up. The final goal is to travel European racing circuit chasing a qualifier for the European championships in July and prepare for the Olympic Trials in Ireland.

What advice would you give a runner looking to do an altitude training stint to improve their running?

Give yourself two weeks to adjust to the altitude. Listening to your body is very important to have a successful altitude camp. Also, make sure you are eating a nutritious diet to maximize your training recovery. Follow Flynn’s running journey: Twitter: @livingthatdlife Instagram: @david.flynn.925 Blog: http://davidathlete.blog.com/2016/03/10/84/

Author: Morgan Hope (Sjogren) Gonzalez Ask Mo what she wanted to do when she grew up and you’ll understand why she pinches herself in gratitude everyday. Dream it, see it, be it. Working from home or on a mountain top in sweaty workout gear or pajama ensembles that rival Hunter S. Thompson, she channels her creative and analytical juices as Vice President for SMACK! Media, an active lifestyle focused Marketing/PR firm. Morgan fulfills her passion for running and adventure in the thin air of 8,000 feet where she can pursue her love of sport while searching her soul, and the backcountry, to bring out the best in herself. Follow her @running_bum_  

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