Brannon Kidder: Joining the Lancaster Elite

Brannon Kidder 


Junior, Lancaster


Personal Bests


  • 1600 Meter Run  4:12.37
  • Three Mile Run   16:24.16
  • 5000 Meter Run  16:20.20
  • 800 Meter Run    1:51.09
  • One Mile Run      4:15.72


Lancaster over the years has produced some of the State's most memorable middle-distance and distance runners.  Bill Beaty, Clark Haley, John Zishka and Doug Conroy to mention a few.  Now, Brannon Kidder, a Junior, can be counted among the Lancaster elite.  Last Spring as a sophmore he finished 3rd in the D1 1,600 in a time of 4:15.86.  He recently won the State Indoor 800m in a time of 1:54.04 and through Regionals he has posted the States fastest times in the 800 - 1:51.09 and in the 1.600 - 4:12.37.  What can we expect from Brannon at State in the 1,600 and the 800?  OHRunners inteviewed Brannon about his career, his running background and training methods as he prepares for the upcoming State meet this weekend.  He's ready to go and has his sights set on winning both the 1,600 and the 800, as well as going under 1:50 in the 800.  Humbly , he "hopes to do as well as he can" in recognizing that "there are many very good mid-distance/distance runners in Ohio this year."


OHRunners:  Brannon, as a Junior, you have the State's leading D1 outdoor times in the 1,600, 4:12.37 and the 800, 1:51.09.  You were 3rd in last year’s D1 State 1,600 in 4:15.86 as a Sophomore and won this years’ OATCCC Indoor Championships in the 800 with a time of 1:54.04.  What are your expectations as we head to State?


Brannon:  I hope to do as well as I can there.


OHRunners:  Depending on your results this year, do you have your sights on any post season races?


Brannon:  I will most likely run in a post season race.


OHRunners:  When did you first start running?  Did you participate in other sports? Do you participate in any others now?


Brannon:   I started running track in 7th grade. I have played football, soccer and basketball. I ran my first year of cross country this past fall and plan to run again next season.


OHRunners:  So, would you say the your first year of XC was pretty much a learning experience? As you know, each race is different, including the 5,000 in XC.     Why hadn't you run XC before your Junior year?  When did you decide that you should be running XC?  


Brannon:  Yea, it was definitely a learning experience. I hadn't run XC until my junior year because I played football in the fall until then. I had been going back and forth with myself for a couple years but I finally decided last year at the State Meet that I needed to run XC.


OHRunners:  We didn't see you at State last fall.  I believe that you were 17th in Regionals as an individual with a time of 16:34.3.  Were you healthy in XC season or did you just struggle with the distance last Fall?  Or, do you just prefer the shorter, middle distances to the 5,000m?  


Brannon:  I was healthy so I guess you could say I just struggled.  Before last XC season I would have said that I prefered the shorter races, but I have run a lot of miles since then and feel much more confident with the 5000.


OHRunners:  Do you enjoy running on the track more than XC?


Brannon:  Not necessarily. They both have their benefits. 


OHRunners:  What are those benefits?   


Brannon:  Well, I really enjoy training in the summer.  It's a lot more time to just hang around with guys and there is more time for base training. I like the track distances and the meets are a lot of fun with a lot going on.


OHRunners:  After State last year, did you take any time off?  Did you run in any post-season races? I.e. New Balance Nationals, Midwest Meet of Champions?


Brannon:   Yes, I took 2 weeks off after the state meet. I didn’t run any post season races.


OHRunners:  What is your summer training schedule?  Do you run any 5 or 10 K's?  


Brannon:  We start with some base miles then start doing workouts gradually.  It is similar to track, but the work outs are meant for the longer race. We run some 5 k's as a team throughout the summer.


OHRunners:  What is your typical mileage per week? 


Brannon:  I believe it’s around 65 miles.


OHRunners:  After XC season, did you take a short break before getting ready to run the Indoor season?  


Brannon:  Yes, 1 week.


OHRunners:  How do you train for the indoor season?  You are concentrating on the 1,600 and the 800 and both require speed work, especially after the base (endurance and strength) of Fall XC.  Do you do this indoors or outdoors?  What type of transition workouts do you do?


Brannon:  All of our running is outside. Threshold runs are kind of a transition workout.


OHRunners:  What pace are your threshold runs and at what distance? 


Brannon:  We do a couple different kinds. The first kind is a little over 4 miles and around 5:30 pace. The other kind is an out and back run.  We go out about 4 miles at an easy pace and come back around 5:30.


OHRunners:  Going into the outdoor season, you were obviously in good shape based upon your strong 1:54.04 800 indoors.  What type of workouts were you doing immediately following the Indoor State meet?  Did you go straight to interval type workouts on the track or stay with some over distance at first?


Brannon:  We had started interval work outs, but slower and with less repeats, that gradually get faster during the year.


OHRunners:  Take me through a typical week of running for you?  Monday - Friday with a race on Saturdays?  I.e what is your Monday workout, Tuesday, etc.  Do you rest on Sundays or take an easy long run?


Brannon:  Monday: intervals (1600s, 800s)  Typically 4x1600 about 5 flat before tapering. 3x800 around 2:18 before tapering.  Tuesday: dual meet  Wednesday: threshold runs at similar paces to what I mentioned already.   Thursday: mixed intervals (1600s, 800s, 400s).  2x1600 at 5 flat, 2x800 at 2:16 and 4x400.  I think something like 64,63,62, 61.  Friday: Light jog, stretching  Saturday: meet  Sunday: long run (>10miles).


OHRunners:  Do you prefer the 800 or the 1600?  Which is your favorite?  Which are you more comfortable with?  Why?.


Brannon:  I don't really have a preference. My favorite is usually the one that I have run a pr in most recently. I am probably equally comfortable with both because I'm not sure which is my better race.


OHRunners:  What is your 400 speed?


Brannon:  I normally run around a 49 in the 4x4.


OHRunners:   When you run the 800 and the 1,600, pace is very important.  In the 800, what is a comfortable 400 pace for you?  In the 1,600, what are you shooting at in regards to 1st 400, half and 3/4's?  In non-competitive races, are you comfortable running your own pace?   In competitive races, what are your strategies?  Would you prefer to lead or stay in contact until the last lap, last 300 or 200?  I know that strategies depend a lot on the competition and the pace of a race.  If the pace is slow, it can favor the sprinters, and the race becomes more of a strategic race.  If the pace is fast, legs are tired and  the race becomes a matter of who can hang on the longest.  Which type of race do your prefer?  A slower, more strategic race, where position and kick can determine the finish, or a fast pace where strength and determined effort more define the finish? 


Brannon:  In the 800 it varies depending on the race, but on average around a 56 on the first lap.  In the 1600 I will usually run around 62 on the first lap  The other laps are somewhat determined by the competition and I have normally just stay with the lead pack.   In competitive races,  I just try to make sure I'm still in the race after the 1200.  I used to favor the slower, kicker type race, but I'm not so sure anymore as I have run some the other way more recently.   


OHRunners:  Take me through your strategies in an 800 and in a 1,600, start through finish?  


Brannon:  In both races I try to be in or near the lead with 400 to go and then just run as hard as I can.


OHRunners:  Visualization is an important mental tool of almost all athletes.  Do you visualize your races?    In a race, it's great when the pace and the race go as expected and one can control the race. How good are you act reacting to the changes that can occur during a race.  I.e, the pace is faster than expected, the pace is slower, you become boxed in.  How good do you believe that you are at sensing what is going on in a race and reacting?


Brannon:  Yes, I kind of have a race in my head before I even warm up. I feel I can react to changes during the race pretty well.


OHRunners:   Who do you view as your main competition in the 1,600 and the 800 this year?   


Brannon:  I don’t know who will be the main competition. There are many very good mid-distance/distance runners in Ohio this year.


OHRunners:  Thank you Brannon.  We will see you this weekend.