JM: What’s the next step in your running career?

RB: The next step to my career is to qualify for the Olympic Games and make the Olympic final. The second half is a big goal, but the further you set your limit, the more you accomplish! This year I was two seconds from the standard for Rio and I am sure if I stay focused on training I can do it.

JM: Do you have any advice for runners who dream of running at such a high level?

RB: My advice for those who want to run on this level is to keep working hard. Consistency in training is the key to success. The endless miles you put in, those early morning workouts, the weight room sessions all add up to the end goal of reaching your potential. There will be ups and downs along the journey, but as long as you keep passion and work ethic alive, nothing can stop you.

JM: Walk us through your race.

RB: As ready as I was I didn’t have the best race with my technique or overall time. I got out at a good pace and my body felt great, but as I approached my first water jump I had a spill. Although I was able to recover, I fell short of running my best time, but I hung in there and focused on the race and getting through it in one piece.

JM: How did you feel about your performance?

RB: Sad to say I wasn’t pleased with my race, but you have to take the good with the bad and figure out what you can do to make the next race better!

JM: What was it like to race on such a big platform?

RB: I feel like I worked my whole career to compete on such a big platform. It was great to gain that experience and that exposure and it definitely motivates you to give the best performance, as if it is your last. Everyone there meant business and it was a feeling and atmosphere that bigger than words can describe.

JM: What did you say to yourself at the start line?

RB: On the start line, I always do the sign of the cross and remind myself that the race is going to hurt, but it’s also just about executing the paces I train at day in and day out.

JM: What race qualified you for the 2015 IAAF World Champions in Beijing, and what was your training like leading up to that point?

RB: The race that qualified me was the Adidas Grand Prix held in NYC which is a Diamond League competition. In Diamond League competitions they get the best of the best from each event, and it was a great opportunity to get pulled to a fast time. Although I missed the automatic qualifying time for worlds by 2 seconds, my World Ranking qualified me to compete in Beijing. In preparation, I did a lot more speed as the weeks progressed and lowered my mileage to make sure I was sharp and rested when for the first rounds. I focused on all the little things, like eating and sleeping well.


Coach Rolanda Bell

Coach Rolanda Bell began running in high school. As a standout New York State runner, she went on to earn a full scholarship to The University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. In 2009 Coach Bell ran the third leg in a 4×1500 meter relay at Penn Relays that set the World Record at the time. In 2015 she represented Panama in the 3,000 meter Steeplechase at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing. She currently holds the country’s record in the event.

Coach Rolanda Bell competed at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing. She represented Panama in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Coach Jose Miranda (JM) interviewed Coach Rolanda Bell (RB) below for insight on her training, race-day performance, hopes for the future, and advice for other runners.

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