Emma Coburn has been running and interacting on social media for a long time. As Coburn prepares for her next event — the Prefontaine Classic, which is one of the biggest track and field events held on United States soil — Coburn is looking forward to competing and performing her best.
Coburn picked up running in the sixth grade, after seeing her older siblings give it a try around that age. It was those first steps that made Coburn fall in love with the sport. As she got older and continued to improve, Coburn moved on to compete in the Olympics. Her dream came true and Coburn got the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Games, where the middle-distance runner set an American record of 9:07.63 in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Coburn is also a World Silver medalist and nine-time U.S. Champ.
“There aren’t any other track meets in the U.S. that can rival the exciting atmosphere that we get at track meets in Europe,” Coburn said. “Track is a big deal there and it’s fun to get to have that same lively experience here in the U.S.,” Coburn said. “The Pre Classic is the best international track meet on U.S. soil. The best athletes from around the world, Olympic medalists, world record holders, and World Champions, are all competing. It’s the best of the best.”
Preparing for any intense track event, Coburn sticks to a strict training regime week-to-week to help her stay on target, (and a rest day that still involves running almost 10 miles).
“In a typical week, I run 90 miles with three ‘workout days’ consisting of a long run or a workout on the track,” Coburn said. “Then I have three days a week in the gym lifting weights. The rest of the time is just a lot of easy miles, often an easy day is eight-to-10 miles in the morning and four miles in the afternoon.”
It’s important to know that this is not Coburn’s first time at a Diamond League race. The runner has been on the circuit for almost 12 years. As more and more athletes join and social media becomes more mainstream, Coburn said that media has been the biggest change she has seen.
“I think the biggest shift now is the added focus on media — social media, photographers, and telling athlete stories,” Coburn said. “The competition has always been top tier.”
Coburn has a large social media presence of her own with 529,000 followers on Instagram. On her platform, Coburn shares pictures and videos of her personal life, running workouts, and weight training. Social media has helped the runner meet new friends, and connect with colleagues as well as her fans and supporters.
“One great thing about social media is that it has really helped forge so many great friendships through it,” Coburn said. “A lot of the women I train with now, I first interacted with on social media years before they became teammates and we became friends that way first.”
Fans and followers can watch Coburn compete against countless other track athletes from around the world at the Prefontaine Classic on NBC Live from May 27-28.
**This is a story created in collaboration with the Prefontaine Classic**
Photo credit: Courtesy of TrackTown USA