Chanman's Blog

Shannon Rowbury’s schedule

Posted in Runner/Coach Profile,USA Track & FIeld by Andy Chan on January 20, 2010

I get many questions about Shannon Rowbury so I thought I would give a general overview of what she does. This is not an inside look at Shannon’s life or training, just kind of the nuts and bolts of what she does.

Shannon is a professional athlete, sponsored by Nike. Her full-time job is to train to be an elite runner. That means more than just running once a day. Training includes a lot of ancillary work like drills, stretching, strength and core work as well as recovery modalities like ice baths, massages, and seeing appropriate medical personnel. Getting enough sleep and eating the right foods are also part of her daily schedule. Her coach is John Cook, who lives in Sarasota, Florida, and has successfully coached top athletes.

There are international outdoor track & field championships three out of every four years: Olympics every four years (2008, 2012, etc) and World Championships in odd number years (2009, 2011, 2013). So 2010 is an “off” year, with no championship meet to focus on. I read this quote from Shannon, about the coming 2010 season, “It’ll be fun getting to peak for what I’m hoping will be a fast race, as opposed to this past year when my peaks were at U.S. Championships and World Championships. They were tactical, not quick.” 

Between January and April, Shannon and her coach do a variety of things to prepare for the season. Included among the things that are possible: 1) racing indoors or on the roads, 2) going to Mexico for altitude training, 3) meeting up at a training camp somewhere with other elite athletes, 4) Coach Cook coming out to the Bay Area to oversee some of Shannon’s training in person, 5) training here in the Bay Area.

Recently Shannon has been part of a new group of runners who have banded together as the Bay Area Track Club ( It’s a group of elite Bay Area runners who have formed a group to pool resources to enhance their own training, while also working to promote Bay Area running. I don’t know if I can do the club justice in my explanation so if you are interested, be sure to check out their website.  

May through June is usually the beginning of the competitive outdoor season for Shannon. That usually means some domestic races (sometimes local, like at Stanford or Cal) to get ready for the USA Championships in June. When there is an international championship later in the summer, the USA Championships serve as the qualifying meet for TEAM USA, so in those years, Shannon definitely has to bring her A-game to the USA Championships to make the team.

Then it’s off to Europe for a series of races in Europe. The international athletics season (what we call outdoor track & field) for someone at Shannon’s level runs from June through September. Most of the high powered meets are in Europe, although with the new Diamond League ( now in place, the US will host two big international meets in the summer of 2010 (the Adidas Grand Prix in New York on June 12 and the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene on July 3). 

Shannon usually returns to the Bay Area in the fall, where she takes a short break from training and then begins her base phase of training in preparation for the next year. And then the cycle begins again.


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