From Strength Comes Speed


The Shelby Houlihan Speed Show passed through Lausanne last week as the 25-year-old once again showed she’s one of the best closers in the business with a 3:57.34 win—and personal best—at the most recent Diamond League meet in Switzerland. It was the second-fastest time in the world this year and fourth-fastest 1500m ever run by an American woman. Houlihan hit the NOS coming off the final turn to put away a stacked field that included world-beaters Caster Semenya, Laura Muir, Sifan Hassan, and Gudaf Tsegay. So where does she get her incredible closing speed? It comes from strength, she told Cathal Dennehy in this feature for Spikes magazine, echoing a statement I heard many a time from my own college coach, Karen Boen of Stonehill College.

“I’ve always had the speed,” Houlihan explained, “but I was never aerobically strong enough to use any of that speed at the end of races.”