Skylyn Webb is an American track and field athlete representing Saucony. Skylyn is from Delta, Colorado and went to school at Fort Lewis College on a basketball scholarship before transitioning to track and field her junior year. After graduating from Fort Lewis in 3 years, she finished out her NCAA eligibility at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs while earning her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology. While at UCCS, Skylyn was a 4-time All-American and a 3-time National Champion at Division 2 in the 800 meters. Skylyn then signed a contract with Saucony and moved to Boston to train with the Freedom Track Club; she recently qualified for the Olympic Trials.
How does it feel for running and racing to finally be back to normalcy?
I was so eager for races to come back and it feels like they kind of came rushing back all at once! Which is great, this is how we make our living as professional runners and it is what we love to do! At first, racing was really daunting just because it had been suspended for so long. It definitely took a few races to get back into the swing of things mentally and remember how to mentally manage everything that comes with racing. Now that I am back into the flow of it, I am having so much fun racing and competing and I am eager for each new race.
What was one of the things you missed during the year of Covid restrictions?
Aside from seeing friends and family, I really missed live music! I love going to see my favorite bands play whenever possible.
What was one of the biggest training hurdles during this period and how did you deal with it?
For me, the biggest hurdle was the absence of a race to serve as motivation. Usually, I have my next race in mind when I am training and it helps me have something concrete to focus on improving for. During Covid, it was difficult to know which phase of training to be in because it was unclear when racing would return and this made it harder to stay determined. I really just had to take one day and one workout at a time and tell myself that I could make big improvements in my strength during that time period. I learned even more so to love the process and I think I grew as an athlete from that. My teammates also helped.
What was your experience like in this year's Olympic Trials?
The trials were my main goal for such a long time, I was really happy just to be there. Unfortunately, my feet got tangled up in the pack about 200 meters into my race and I stumbled pretty badly and went quite a ways inside the rail. By the time I recovered, the pack was long gone and so were my chances of advancing to the next round. But, being in that environment and getting to compete at Hayward Field with the highest level athletes in the US was amazing even though it didn't go as I was hoping. I definitely learned some lessons that I will use in the future!
What was the most special moment you took away from the Olympic Trials?
Looking up from the starting line and waving to my whole family in the stands was a really special moment. Their support was essential in making it to that point and to dealing with my disappointment after the race. I am so grateful to be so loved and supported by them no matter how I perform.
What lesson did you learn at the Olympic Trials that you will take with you for future competitions?
Don't get pinned on the rail! I cut in too quickly instead of being patient and picking a good spot in the pack. This was what led to my fall and I'll definitely remember this in future races. I think every time I compete in a major track meet it is also a really good lesson in managing nerves and the mental aspect of racing, so hopefully I gained some experience in that area as well.
If you could change one thing about the sport, what would it be?
I think women in the sport have significantly different expectations when it comes to social media presence. I really don't like social media and I want to be a runner, not an influencer. Unfortunately, in order to have a sponsorship, this is somewhat expected. For women especially, the social media aspect seems to focus heavily on appearance and I think this can potentially create unhealthy standards and other problems for us as athletes and those who follow us. Social media can also be a force for good and I hope that is something athletes and sponsors try to capitalize on in the future.
When it comes to running, what would you say is your biggest strength and weakness?
My biggest strength is my self-accountability. I know what I am capable of in every workout and race and I hold myself to that without ever sugar-coating anything or letting myself off easy. However, this can simultaneously be my biggest weakness. I have to be mindful of the line between holding myself accountable and getting the best out of myself without being way too self-critical.
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
I was running in Boulder once and I ran past a frat house that was outside playing beer pong. They yelled at me to come shoot a celeb shot and tossed me the ball, I stopped really quick and hit a bounce shot and then kept running as they were all freaking out.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
I think my biggest pet peeve is negativity or a big deal being made out of small things.
What's your biggest fear?
A 9-5 office job!
In your free time when you’re not running, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I spend most of my free time with my dog Rex. He's a big shepherd mix and he's very active, so we love to hike and explore new places together. I also enjoy reading, writing, curating Spotify playlists, and making jewelry. And I take a lot of naps. I think it counts as a hobby at this point!
What's it like being a part of the Saucony team?
I knew I wanted to join the Saucony team right when I met them. We are a small team but it's exactly the energy I need. We are all extremely competitive and work incredibly hard but we also know how to balance having fun and keeping things light in the midst of such difficult training. Working out, running, and going on training trips with a group creates a really close bond and these guys are like my family at this point!
Who would you say is the funniest teammate?
All of my teammates are funny in their own way and the combination of all of our personalities creates a really funny dynamic. We are a unique and somewhat eccentric group of individuals and the run conversation topics are truly unlimited. I have had to stop running at times because I am laughing too hard.
Who is someone you look up to in the sport?
I really look up to Molly Huddle. I have been a fan of hers since I was really young and I recently got to meet her and go on some runs with her! She is an incredible athlete but also does so much for the sport and for women in the sport especially. It's really inspiring to me to see how much of a positive influence our sport can have.
What's next for you?
I'll be racing a lot this summer, the schedule is still up in the air but there are a lot of options. This summer I really just want to race as much as possible and gain a ton of experience! I'm hoping for some PR's in the 800 and 1500. In the fall I'll go back into base training to prep for next season.
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