As a professional runner, 30-year-old Lauren Paquette qualified for the 2008 and 2016 Olympic Trials. While in high school, Lauren participated in many sports and was encouraged by her father, who was a professional pole vaulter. As a walk-on to the cross-country team at Baylor University, she set a multitude of records and gained All-American status by her senior year. Lauren is still competing, focusing on the 5,000 meter distance.
Husband—Max Paquette (my coach), 2 dogs—Baylor and Nimbus
Professional distance runner for Brooks Running and Breakaway, sport psychology consultant on staff for the SPAHCC (Sport Performance and Health Consulting Center) at the University of Memphis, and I also work at Breakaway Running part-time.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO TRACK AND FIELD?
When I was 17, I joined the cross-country and track team in high school. My coach had me run at a meet for a girl who was sick. He had heard I was fast because I used to out-sprint the boys in Mini-Olympics during field days.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST RACES?
I won the professional women’s 5k at the Mt. Sac Relays in 2016 in 15:20. I qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials, but didn’t compete due to injury. I competed in the 2016 Olympic Trials (5,000 meter race), the Prefontaine Classic, and other international races.
HOW DID IT FEEL TO COMPETE IN THE TRIALS?
It’s an honor. Win or lose, walking out onto Hayward Field is awe-inspiring and the atmosphere is electric.
“My biggest goals next year will be to break 15:00 for 5,000 meters and to represent the USA at the 2017 World Championships in London.”
WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR MAJOR INJURIES?
This past year was the first year in about four years that I was healthy. I had a long string of injuries that were hard to overcome. Last year, I had a stress fracture in my fibula. During a race in my sophomore year of college, I was tripped and literally broke my face. I needed 8-hour reconstructive surgery to repair my facial structures and preserve my vision in my left eye.
WHAT ARE YOUR UPCOMING GOALS AND RACES?
I am racing the Brooks Twilight meet as a part of the Breakaway Race team on September 3rd, and racing the US 5k Champs in Providence, Rhode Island on September 18th. My biggest goals next year will be to break 15:00 for 5,000 meters and to represent the USA at the 2017 World Championships in London.
TYPICAL DAILY WORKOUT:
I do different things on different days. Typical 5k workouts would be fartleks, tempos, 4xmile repeats, or 16x400m repeats.
DO YOU CROSS-TRAIN?
I do core work, mobility drills, running mechanics drills, weights, ElliptiGO workouts, and neural stimulation workouts.
“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.”
WHAT DOES LIFE AFTER PROFESSIONAL RUNNING LOOK LIKE?
I’ll let you know when I get there.
TIPS FOR NEW RUNNERS:
Grab a running buddy or come to a group run! Breakaway Running has tons of group runs every week that assists runners of every level. Also, if something hurts—back off and be smart, don’t push through. Better to take a few days off from running than a few weeks or months.