Quest for Gold: Stephanie Bruce Looking Strong for US Marathon Team in Tokyo 2020

Quest for Gold: Stephanie Bruce

Stephanie Bruce is one of the most popular American distance runners competing on the circuit. She has used her platform to build up women, inspire others and uplift U.S. distance running as a whole. And it doesn’t hurt that she’s having one of the best years of her professional career. 

Top American finisher

She finished as the top American (33rd overall) at the 2019 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, she chopped 27 seconds off of her 5000m PR to achieve the IAAF World Championships standard (she ran 15:17), she won the U.S. half marathon title and she finished in the top 10 in both the 5000m and 10,000m at the U.S. Track and Field Championships.

Breakthrough performances

Bruce’s 2018 season also included breakthrough performances, particularly in the marathon. She finished 10th in London, 11th in New York and then ended the year with a personal best, 2:29:20, and a second-place finish at the U.S. Marathon Championships.

A triumphant return

Bruce gained fans in 2016 when she made a triumphant return to competitive racing after having two children just 15 months apart (Riley and Hudson). She openly shared her postpartum journey on social media, and a picture of her stomach went viral (she experienced diastasis recti, or separation of the abdominal muscles).

Inspirational mom

Over the last three years, she has inspired moms everywhere to run with more confidence. When she’s not putting in her own miles and chasing her boys, she coaches runners of all abilities, and she is one of the co-founders of Picky Bars. 


Questions Steph is asked:

3:05 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite workout? 

4:00 How did the Chicago Marathon go for you?

5:58 What finishing time were you hoping for?

6:48 What happened towards the last 5k and how did you respond through the finish?

8:37 How does pushing yourself just to the edge in training prepare you for tough races?

9:36 How does being paced as an elite differ from being paced as a non-elite?

11:32 What pace range was he leading?

12:09 What records have you accomplished?

13:20 How beneficial is being relaxed when racing?

14:03 What has changed with how you’re approaching competitions?

15:40 How do you feel headed into the 2020 Olympic Trials?

17:03 Do the shoes Hoka gives you differ from off-the-shelf models?

18:52 What shoes do you use and why?

20:02 How have living and training at altitude, and training in a group, benefitted your performance?

22:03 What does it really take to become a professional runner?

23:50 How do you stay motivated?

25:13 What happened at mile 22 in Chicago when you had an ‘accident’ mid-race?

27:26 What’s going to happen between now and the Olympic Trials in February 2020?

28:52 What is it like coming back to running after having 2 kids?

30:12 What did you do during, and between, your pregnancies and what other nutritional considerations do you have?

31:22 Do you get your iron tested regularly?

31:57 Have you ever had low levels and had to make dietary changes to correct them?

32:46 How do you manage eating as a family?

34:04 How do Elites prep for a race at an event that’s different from non-elite racers?

34:31 Is there drug testing pre-race?

35:16 Can you be tested at, literally, any time at all?

36:00 How does qualifying for the Olympic Trials work; are there different standards?

37:00 Are there corrals at the trials?

37:13 How many women are running at the trials?

37:36 Have you been to the trials before?

38:03 What does the course for the trials look like and what do you need to be prepared for?

39:10 What is your message for us as it relates to your own tenacity and choices that you have made in your life and how we might apply this to our own lives and future running?

42:49 Final Kick Round:

  1. What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?
  2. Favorite book(s), video or resource? 
  3. Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?


“Sometimes we can just get in our own heads about what we need to do in training. Sometimes if you just say, ‘Let me just go race and who cares how I feel and who cares where I’m at in training.’ If you’re fit, you’re fit.”

“What’s really cool about some shoe companies right now, I don’t feel like I need anything different and anything so engineered as to what maybe other shoe companies are doing because I don’t want to take away from what I’m actually capable of.”

“What’s happening in America is you’re having all these training groups all over and people are just elevating each other’s performances because of the power of the group.”

“When you PR, you can never be upset.”

“Running has always been such a gift to me and something I get to do.”


Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast: 

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page


Hoka NAZ Elite

Hoka One One Shoes and More

Hoka Clifton 6

Hoka Rincon

Hoka Carbon Rocket

Hoka Carbon X

Hoka Cavu

Hoka Hupana

Hoka Mach

Buffalo Park Running Trail Flaggstaff AZ

Book: Range by David Epstein

Book: Run the Mile You’re In by Ryan Hall

Book: 26 Marathons by Meb Keflezgi

Lauren Fleschman

Follow Steph on:

Steph’s Homepage

Running With The Bruces

Steph’s YouTube Channel





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