KNIGHTS’ TRIBUNE SERIES: SOPHOMORE TRACK AND FIELD RUNNER TJ GARLAND

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TJ Garland, Guest Writer

I am a sophomore distance runner and varsity track athlete. I have been in track and field since fifth grade, starting at St. Raymond School. The preseason of a distance runner is a long and brutal process before we are able to compete at a high level. Our preseason occurs over winter, and we usually go for six to ten miles every day of the week. Incorporated into these are tempo workouts, pick ups and strides almost every other day. Pick-ups and tempo runs involve us going long distances at very fast speeds, sometimes as fast as a 5:45 mile pace. Strides are what we do usually on long run days to get some speed work in. Along with this we have many warm-up stretches, post-run stretches, ab workouts and weightlifting workouts. We are usually still at school from 5-6 p.m.

 

Going into this season, my goals were to make new personal records and go down to state with the team. In the previous season, I had learned a lot about myself. My favorite part was seeing the Wanner Invite Gauntlet Mile, and I just knew that I wanted to be in it and be a part of it the next year. If this season is lost, an eighth of my high school career as a runner is gone. I lose the opportunity to compete at my full potential and never even get a shot at some of my goals I had set for this season. What I find to be the worst part of all this is what it means for the seniors on the team. They put four years of hard work and dedication into the program. For some, this is their last time being on a team. 

 

Additionally, for athletes that want to compete in college, this was a time for them to show colleges what they can do, and if the season does not come, they then lose that opportunity. Despite this, I, along with the rest of the track team, am staying very hopeful for the season and do still plan to compete in the state meet come June.