Sinclaire Johnson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana where she lived for a mere 6 weeks before moving to Florida. She grew up in Longwood, Florida with her mom, dad, and younger brother. Sinclaire didn’t find her niche for running until trying out for the high school cross country team the summer going into her freshman year. By the time she graduated from Lake Brantley High School, she was a 2 time state champion in the 1600 meters and a 3 time state champion in the 800 meters. Sinclaire chose to take her talents to a middle distance powerhouse that is Oklahoma State University. During her junior year she was a 2 time 1st team All-American, 2 time Big 12 Champion, and a NCAA National Champion in the 1500 meters. That quickly changed the course of her career and she decided to forego her remaining eligibility and sign a professional contract with Nike. Sinclaire now lives in Portland, Oregon where she trains with the Nike Bowerman Track Club.
After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue competing?
I definitely haven’t even come close to all that I want to accomplish in this sport, so that is what drives me to continue competing. I have tangible goals like becoming an Olympian. I also have intangible goals of having a long and dominant career with running.
How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?
These days happen more than I’d like to admit because I get enjoyment out of competing. The day to day training is sometimes hard mentally for me. The thing that gets me out the door most days is my teammates. Knowing I have 3 to 4 other women to share conversations and miles with puts some pep in my step!
What are your goals for the upcoming year?
My main and really only goal for this year is to make the 1500 meter Olympic team. It’s been a goal of mine for quite some time now and my sole focus for this year!
How have things been going now that races are happening again as we slowly get back to normal?
It has truly been so nice to have opportunities to compete this year. Given the year we had last year, I am thankful to be competing and competing against other athletes. I feel like the main thing I need to work on this year is race experience and I definitely think I have touched on that so far this year. I am trying to work on tactics that way I am prepared for whatever kind of race there will be at the Olympic Trials.
How did you stay prepared with the uncertainty with everything going on and preparing for transitioning into professional running?
Last year was really hard, I’m not going to lie. With it being my first year of professional running, it made the transition a little harder because I felt like I lacked purpose in what I was doing and direction as well. I think last year was a lot of going through the motions. I went to practice and did some time trials. I think having another year of training under my belt is never a bad thing. It was just more of a mental grind. Luckily, I had a good group of people in my corner while I was training in Stillwater, Oklahoma and that made the mundane work more bearable!
What made you choose to run the 800 and 1500?
I love running fast. I love racing. If it were up to me, I would just do speed workouts! I really like the 1500 because it combines the speed and racing aspect. It’s fast enough where one has to be pretty quick to be successful and it’s a distance where racing and tactics is really crucial.
What was one of the biggest hurdles to overcome while balancing track and school at Oklahoma State University?
Honestly, I managed my time really well. I have always been a pretty disciplined person and good at time management. I didn’t have any issues with the track/school balance. I also like staying busy and between my workload in the classroom and on the track, I kept myself very occupied.
What does your weight training consist of and which exercise do you feel helps your running the most?
A lot of weight training we do now is to help prevent injuries. So, we focus on our stability muscles and core mainly. We do a lot of higher rep, but lower weight training. We really aren’t trying to build muscle, but more strengthening weaknesses so that our body can handle the training we do. I feel like a lot of the core exercises we do helps our running. And I don’t mean crunches or sit ups. I am really talking about hip stability exercises. We do a lot of work with loop bands for stabilization of hips/glutes.
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
Just a month or so ago, I was warming up for a race in Phoenix. The area outside of the track was a little sketchy. As I was finishing my warm up, there was a man clearly high off of something that came charging at me with his arm back as if he was going to throw something at me. I started worrying a little bit because I had no idea what was in his hand. As he released the object, I quickly realized it was just a hamburger wrapper. My heart rate had never skyrocketed so fast before! I was with two other women, thank goodness.
Being a born Floridian, do you prefer running in the heat and humidity or the cold?
Heat and humidity all day every day! Yeah, humidity sucks but I would prefer that over cold and frigid temps. I feel like my muscles never truly warm up when I am running in the cold and I always feel so stiff!
What's your biggest pet peeve?
When people shame/judge others for not having the same opinion on things as they do.
What's your biggest fear?
That I won’t be satisfied with my accomplishments at the end of my career. I struggle to just be satisfied with results. I always want more.
What's it like to be a part of The Bowerman Track Club?
It’s a lot of fun! It’s a bunch of really talented and hardworking people that also like to have fun. We all have such different personalities, but we all bond on the love for the sport and our similar goals that it’s a good cohesive group. I feel fortunate that I get to train with the people I do day in and day out.
Who would you say is the funniest teammate?
I think Marielle Hall is the funniest teammate in my opinion. She will never be the loudest person in the room, but is really good at cracking witty jokes and making us all laugh.
Do you like ice baths?
I am not a fan of ice baths. I do like icing as a recovery tool! I ice almost every night, especially if I am dealing with a little niggle.
In your free time when you’re not running, what hobby’s do you enjoy?
As crazy as it might sound, there really isn’t much free time in our days. Most of my days are spent running and lifting in the morning to then eating a quick lunch because I usually have PT or a massage in the afternoon. All the little in between stuff we do when we aren’t running takes up more time than people would assume. However, in my downtime from running I have grown
up loving to hike. I’m a people person, so just being around friends is always enjoyable.
What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?
Find people to keep you accountable!
When it comes to running, what would you say is your biggest strength and weakness?
My biggest strength in running is probably my speed because that is something you can’t really coach or teach. You really either have it or you don’t. My biggest weakness right now is that I am pretty fragile, so I can’t run that much. Running more miles only builds your aerobic system and at the moment I am kind of limited in how much running I can do while staying healthy.
Who is someone you look up to in the sport?
My teammate, Shelby Houlihan. She is fierce on and off the track. She is really well composed and has this humble confidence about her. She’s also really fast too.
Who is one of your favorite athletes to train with and why?
I really like training with Vanessa Fraser because she always keeps practice fun and light while still working her butt off. I like to approach practice and training this way, so it’s really nice to have someone who also does!
What's next for you?
Back to long workouts and higher mileage for a little bit before heading to Park City, Utah where our team altitude trains in the spring/summer.
Click the links below to keep up with Sinclaire Johnson