Sophomore Running distance and Senior Sprinter

Written by on January 17, 2022

There’s an enormous difference between running distance and being a sprinter on a track team. Both face different hardships, different training, and even different environments. I brought in one of both, with even a different age range mixed in. Austin Hess is a standout sophomore distance runner, and a standout senior Nigel Davis that competes in the sprints.
Distance training takes a ton of milage and being able to build up endurance instead of focusing on speed. Austin Hess said in our interview that “I feel like they help me get faster because it’s all endurance-based and when you get up to my races in the 3 kilometers and 10 kilometers it’s all endurance, so my workouts are just specialized for that”. He also has different ways he warms up and gets prepared for his meets, “I prepare for meets by taking an ibuprofen PM and going to bed at like 8 or 9 and then; I like to look at my heat, so I know who I want to be racing against and on meet day I just like to listen to music and picture how I want the race to go”.
Every runner has different ways to prepare for a meet. Nigel Davis’s training is based on speed instead of endurance, “Sprints practice kind starts the same way every day with a full warmup we do the same exact thing we would do if it was a meet day because we want our bodies ready to handle the workload. Honestly practice days, especially speed days, are run with the same intensity as meet day. In track I feel it’s important to go out there and push your body to its limits because in order to perform during meets your body must be used to the strain. Track is honestly every other team’s punishment or conditioning, and a lot of people just look at it as that. But in track, in order to get faster you must practice the little things, not just running till you’re tired So in practice we focus on running form. Foot placement, wasted movements, staying relaxed and a lot of other things.” said Nigel Davis. He also has different warm up strategies than Austin does, “For races at meets I tend to get into my head a lot and because the margins for error are so slim and I really want to perform well on the track. Personally, I tend to get nervous and anxious before meets so the day of the meet and before I race, I work on slowing down my breathing and calming down. I do this because my juco coach once told me that when you’re nervous your heart rate goes up and your heart rate can and should only go up so much during athletic competition and that strain on your heart should be coming from physical activity. So, to me getting too nervous to the point my heart is beating faster is kind of a waste of energy.”
Both fight different battles in the track Montra with Austin in distance and Nigel in the sprints.

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