Catching Up With Andrew Bumbalough / by Scott Bush

Portland Runner Already Eyeing 2015

2014 was a rollercoaster year for Bowerman Track Club pro Andrew Bumbalough. The 5,000m standout ran a 3,000m PR indoors and just missed eclipsing his 5k best outdoors. He also finished runner-up over 5,000m at the USA Outdoor Championships - all coming after a drama filled indoor campaign, where he was unjustly disqualified.

With time to reflect on the season, we caught up with Bumbalough this week, discussing his season, the evolution of the Bowerman Track Club and much, much more.

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Portland Track (PT): Lets reflect back a little bit first. You had a good 2014 season, nearly besting your 5k PR and setting an indoor 3k PR. What are your thoughts on your most recent season?

Andrew Bumbalough (AB): The 2014 season had some great moments and some disappointments. Going in to the season I really had my eyes on setting a 5000m personal best. Unfortunately, that never came to fruition. The best chance was at Payton Jordan with a handful of Americans (several of my BTC teammates) running under 13:10. I had a nagging hip/glute injury that really set me back and kept from being in peak form in early May. That said, I am very happy with the way I ran early in the year running 7:37 for 3k and then finishing 2nd place at USAs in the 5k.

PT: It was a strange year with no World Champs or Olympics team to compete for a spot on. How did you approach the season differently, if at all, to a more traditional championship year?

AB: I approached the season very similar to the way I would in a championship year. I did get to race a little more often which was nice but the same basic philosophies still applied with a large amount of base mileage early followed by some sharpening on the track.


PT: You've tested the waters in the 10k a bit. Do you see yourself shifting more towards that event as national team competitions approach?

AB: My heart is still very much in the 5000m. It is my favorite event on the track. That said, we will keep an eye on the longer events and see what makes sense as USA/Olympic teams become the focus.

PT: In what ways have you grown as an athlete over the past year or two?

AB: This is the first year in my career that I haven't PRed in my primary event. I think it was hard to accept as the season was closing and I knew I wasn't going to break 13:10 for 5k but at the same time it has given me a more patient approach which will hopefully pay off in the next few years of my career.

PT: The Bowerman Track Club seems to be going through a shift, with a few of the older guys shifting directions and a few younger guys joining the mix. Are the group dynamics still similar to when you first joined or have the changed a bit?

AB: Obviously, with new faces coming in and old ones departing, the group has gone through natural changes. Admittedly, it is strange being one of the "older" guys in the group now. I learned a lot from the likes of Simon Bairu, Chris Solinsky, and Matt Tegenkamp in my first year or two out in Portland - and I will miss that. However, the new guys bring a lot of fresh energy and excitement that I can build off of to keep me focused and motivated going forward. 

PT: It's the "off-season." Are you back training again and if so what does that look like at this time of the year?

AB: I took a nice long break this year. My last 2 months of the season were long and didn't go very well from a results standpoint. I spent a lot of time away from home. I took a longer break than normal this year, went to Greece with my wife, and feel pretty recharged and ready to take on 2015. I had my first workout last week and am building the mileage slowly. I hope to be at full volume in the next week or two and will slowly ramp up the workout intensity and volume from there.

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PT: The NYC Marathon just wrapped up, so we have to you see yourself ever moving up to the marathon?

AB: At some point I would definitely like to give it a go. I have no idea what the time line looks on that but I definitely have to give it a shot!

PT: Final question...Away from the track, what do you like to do in your free time? Any fun hobbies?

AB: I love live music. Three weeks ago I drove down to Eugene by myself to see the band Phish (I went solo because no one I know in Portland is crazy enough to make the 4 hr roundtrip in a day, haha). I also enjoy the outdoors a great deal. I try to go rock climbing whenever it makes sense. Finally, I really value the time I get to spend with my wife - even if its just hanging out in downtown Portland where we live!