Sam Prakel is one of those amazing milers that one sees in North America. Sam, a graduate from the University of Oregon, has PBs  of 1:46.39 (2022), at 800m, 3:34.63 (2023) at 1,500m, and 3:50.94 mile (2019). Already this year, Sam, who has been training in Seattle under his former college coach, Andy Powell, is focusing on the 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials (June 21-30, 2024). 

Here is Jeff Benjamin’s second column on the tough road to Paris. 

RunBlogRun, 1) How is your training coming along?

Sam Prakel: My training is coming along nicely. I’ve been working out with the University of Washington team in Seattle for my entire buildup. After doing a lot of mileage and longer workouts for most of the spring, we’re finally doing some faster intervals on the track and tuning up for some upcoming races.

RunBlogRun, 2) What are your scheduled races prior to the Olympic Trials?

Sam Prakel: I am running the LA Grand Prix 1500m on 5/18 (6th place, 3:35.2), the Edwin Moses Legends Classic on May 31 (first place, 3:35.73), and the Portland Track Festival 1500m on 6/9.

Sam Prakel with the author, Jeff Benjamin, photo by Jeff Benjamin

RunBlogRun, 3) Is there anything you’ve changed in your training for the Olympic year?

Sam Prakel: The biggest changes I’ve made in my training this year have been doing more hill workouts in my buildup and taking more off days to absorb training.

RunBlogRun, 4) Who comprises your support system, and why are they important?

Sam Prakel:  My support system starts with my wife, Katie. She’s always there for me and keeps me accountable for all the little things. My coach, Andy Powell, also plays a crucial role by individualizing my training and pushing me to be my best. My training partners at UW are also great. I see them nearly every day, and it’s super nice having a big group for workouts. My agent, Stephen Haas, and everybody at Total Sports help with the logistical side of the sport and allow me to focus on training and racing and not have to worry about much else. Finally, my family and friends always encourage me and help me continue striving for greatness.

RunBlogRun, 5) Any advice you’d like to give out there, especially to young runners?

Sam Prakel: I always say to focus on yourself and those around you. Don’t get distracted by what other people online are doing or saying. Do what’s best for you and help elevate your teammates, and success will follow.