Hailing from Sydney, Oliver (Olli) Hoare, is one of Australia’s top 1500m hopefuls. The 2018 outdoor NCAA 1500m champion, Ollie knows how to win. Now with well known coach (and Olympian) Dathan Ritzenhein guiding Olli’s progress, and a sponsorship deal with ON in the bag, Ollie’s career seems to be breaking out. With new PB’s during 2020 (outlined later), Ollie is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to be the best middle runner possible….
RT: Olli, pretty sweet start to your pro career mate, clocking a 3:34.64 1500m and a 3:53.35 mile. Nice work. What led to the breakthroughs?
OH: Well since before the NCAA indoor champs myself and my coach Mick Byrne were getting in some high quality training with good volume and strength coming off the XC season. We both knew a breakthrough race was inevitable. However, I was planning on coming back to Sydney, Australia to compete at the Olympic trials, that were being held right after the indoor NCAA championships. Then COVID hit. After cancelling my flights home to see family and go to the trials and with no more NCAAS overall, I continued training with Mick waiting for an opportunity.
Then ON and Dathan Ritzenhein came into the picture and my professional career was the new avenue to get some races under my belt and to prove to myself that improvements have been in the works for months. Going up to altitude in Boulder, Colorado, I trained under Ritz and continued to improve and be ready for a race. Then opportunities came along and I took advantage of them. Running the Olympic A standard in my first race as a pro, and a win. Unable to get to Europe I worked with what I had and was able to race some good races in LA and South Carolina, to get results in and then take time to re-evaluate for the 2021 season.
RT: Tell us as much about your sponsorship with ON running as possible. Can you live off it, how are their shoes (I am guessing they have spikes right?), how long is the contract, and who landed you the deal?
OH: I signed with Flynnsports agency and we were able to get a fantastic opportunity with On Running and the professional group they wanted to start in the US. The shoes have been the best I have run and raced in since high school. As a Under Armour school, the apparel was fantastic but the shoes gave me blisters and lacked support. On Spikes I have, but they are not on the market as of yet. On is producing a variety of high performance shoes and spikes that they hope will rival Nike and stand alone as a brand dedicated to aiding high performance. They will be released soon so stay tuned! I am very lucky and supported very well in the United States by On to set up the life and structure in Boulder Colorado that’s comfortable. It lets me focus on my goals and means I am able to fully concentrate on training and getting the most out of my coach and my group. I will be working with them for many years to come.
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RT: Training wise. Let’s say 5 weeks out from your season opener. Can you outline a typical week of training?
OH: A typical week with Dathan would be two gym/lift sessions a week with two treatments from a physio or chiropractor.
Training would be around 95 miles a week average. Moving toward 105.
Doubles would be every day other than middle of the week Wednesday which would be a medium long run (MLR). Double example would be a 10 mile am run, and a 5 mile pm run. MLR would be 13-15 miles. All runs end with drill work and strides.
Workouts would be twice a week. One focussing on more strength and endurance work (thresholds, fartlek, repeats), other would be speed and power (hills, track work, turf work).
Long run would rage from 15 miles up to 18 miles, possibly 20 miles. This would start at a moderate pace and then increase. We usually travel higher up into the mountains to gain more altitude elevation around 8,000 to 9,000 feet.
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RT: Must have been a big call to stay in America and not return to Australia to train with one of the leading groups here. Why did you make this decision and are you planning on staying there for good?
OH: With Covid hitting, opportunities didn’t really exist in Australia. From my college achievements and my hard work in America, it paid off and I was able to get contracts to stay in the United States. I would be funded and paid as a professional athlete with many other benefits. The offers and opportunities I got in the US were greater than the ones I could of received back home at the time. I am planning to stay for as long as I want or need to. I have high aspirations and goals. My team, coach and I mirror those goals overall. Dathan, being a 3x American Olympian and former 5k record holder, has the experience and idea of what it takes to make it. I love my country and I miss home a lot so I am looking forward to being home now, sorting out my visa situation and hope in the future, opportunities can arise for me to be at home more or even stay.
RT: Right, so you are currently back in Sydney for VISA reasons, and thus had to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel? How did that go and what sort of stuff did you do training wise from the hotel room?
I flew back to Sydney on the 24th of October. It was hard enough getting a flight in as two previous flights I booked got cancelled. The latter was just before I was about to board. I was able to get on a flight that night and then was taken from the plane straight to the hotel. Haven’t been outside yet since being back and have been confined to my hotel room in the city. I am currently on day 9 of 14 and I was fortunate enough to get some aid from NSWIS. They gave me a bike and some lifting equipment so I can keep my fitness up while I am still in here. I wake up at 4:30am every morning to get the time zone right to get ready for what we call “prison training” with my coach Dathan back in Colorado and my teammate George Beamish from NZL, who is also in quarantine there and getting the same visa. Just circuit training to keep the heart rate up for an hour and then we would get on the bike in the later part of the day for workouts or long rides. So far it’s been manageable but I’m keen to get out, see my family and go for a run and a few surfs while I’m home.
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No excuses ever! There’s a reason why @ollihoare ran so well this summer. He wants to be the best and is willing to do whatever it takes. He’s healthy and fit but still needed to go back to Australia to finish his visa to be able to come back to Boulder. That means he is in the middle of 14 days in a hotel room solo in quarantine. He literally wakes up at 4:30am every morning to do an hour of crazy prison style workouts with me via FaceTime. Then he gets on the bike in his room for 1-2 hour every afternoon. No excuses ever. You can’t coach desire! If you want to be great, you’ll find a way! #OAC #onathleticsclub
RT: What exactly do you need to achieve to get on that Olympic team for 1500m? Obviously, it is going to be tough as nails; Ramsden, Gregson and McSweyn – can run.
OH: The field is deep and stronger than it has been many years before. Credit to Nic Bideau and his group for their performances and what they have achieved. It will be a tough team to make and I look forward to competing and running fast against boys like Matt, Ryan and Stewart. It brings up the quality and standard to have depth like this in our country and hopefully that will resonate on the world stage. Run the A Olympic standard (again), rank top 3 Australian in the world and be competitive overall in every race. That’s the plan for me to make the team as I am sure it is for those boys also.