Sean McGorty finished in the top three of both the 10,000m and 5,000m at the 2023 USATF Outdoor Champs. Immediately afterward, he jumped on a plane and ran a PB and Budapest qualifier over 5,000m. Senior writer Jeff Benjamin caught up with Sean and sent him five questions. Sean McGorty is a very gutty athlete who keeps himself in the thick of the battle so that he can use his super finish. 

Thanks to Sean McGorty for his answers, and best wishes from RunBlogRun and our readers for your run in Budapest! 

RunBlogRun, # 1) How’d you feel about your performance last week in the 5k, and how relieved are you that you got the standard?

Sean McGorty:  With the quick turnaround after the USA Championships and the last-minute decision to race at Heusden, I was very pleased with how I was able to execute the 5k. I felt like I did a decent job balancing competing against the field while also being aware of the time since that was the main focus of the race. I was ecstatic to achieve my new personal best, next year’s World and Olympic standards. There certainly was also a big sense of relief!

RunBlogRun, # 2) Are you going to try and enter a 10k as well to try and qualify for Worlds in that event?

Sean McGorty:  I talked with my coach after Heusden, and we didn’t think it was best for my body to try and compete in a high-level 10k so quickly after running three races in ten days. I can still potentially compete in the 10k at Worlds based on my world ranking if there are a few scratches, so at this point, I think we are just going to wait and see what happens.

RunBlogRun, # 3) What’s different – training both physically & mentally – between 2022 & 2023?

Sean McGorty: Heading into the beginning of this season in the Fall of 2022, I’d reflected on the previous year and knew there were small tweaks I wanted to make to my training. The biggest change was an increase in mileage. Beyond that, I think I just benefited from consistent work and being another year removed from my most recent surgery in 2021. I got a sacral stress injury in February, but when I was building back throughout the spring, I was able to rely on the training I’d put in during the fall and winter. Similarly, from a mental standpoint, I continued to benefit from consistently working with my sports psychologist.

Sean McGorty, USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships held at Hayward Field, University of Oregon, July 6-10, 2023, photo by Kevin Morris

RunBlogRun, # 4) Who’s coaching you, and who’s your support staff? – You can include your family!

Sean McGorty:  I currently run for the Nike Bowerman Track Club and am coached by Jerry Schumacher. We have two assistant coaches on our staff, Chris Solinksy and Shalane Flanagan, as well as a team physical therapist, Colleen Little. I’m blessed to have incredibly supportive family, friends, and teammates to round out my support staff.

RunBlogRun, # 5) Going forward to Budapest – how are you physically and mentally preparing?

Sean McGorty:  From now until Budapest, I will be training up at altitude in St. Moritz, Switzerland. I have full trust in Jerry to have me prepared to compete at my best in Budapest, so I will just focus on executing the workouts he assigns while complementing the workouts with the appropriate mileage. Mentally, I’ll continue communicating with my sports psychologist to ensure I am in the proper headspace for training and racing later in August.

RunBlogRun, # 6) What kind of advice would you like to give to young T&F athletes out there?

Sean McGorty:  Bring energy to what you are passionate about on a daily basis. Consistency is going to be your best friend. If you can maximize the number of days you’re doing what is best for you on that day, you will be setting yourself up for future success.