Headsweats-sponsored athlete Jared Bassett prepares for the 2016 Olympic Track and Field Trials.
Written by Jared Bassett
As I began my post collegiate career with the U.S. track and field Championships and started to work towards the 2016 Olympic trials I had to make sure I made a list of smaller goals or tasks I needed to do a long the way. 2016 is a long ways out and I think it is important to come up with ways to keep yourself motivated each season. I feel it is easy to lose sight of why you are training everyday if you don’t.
The first mini-goal I have on the list above all else is to stay healthy! All of the hard work and training that you put in means nothing if you cannot stay healthy and be injury free. This involves doing all of the little things like foam rolling, stretching and icing after runs and hard workouts. It takes up time but it is what it takes when you are training at a high level. Nutrition plays a huge part in staying healthy. If you are not getting proper nutrition into your body, you are going to be more susceptible to injury as well. If your body can’t fully recover from the punishment you have administered, it will not heal and will most likely breakdown eventually. If you can stay healthy than you have a better chance of maintaining a higher level of training and fitness year round, which brings me to the next mini-goal on my list: maintaining a high level of fitness from year to year. As you train from year to year, your fitness carries over to the next and allows you build off of where you left off the previous year. So over time that level of fitness and performance builds on itself and allows you to improve. I have seen this take place during my college career. I went from being and 8:58 steeplechaser my sophomore year to an 8:36 steeplechaser my senior year. Those years all consisted of consistent training. So I plan to do that same thing leading up to 2016 just at a higher level and hopefully seeing another big improvement in my steeplechase time.
Between now and the trials I just plan on racing on the roads in the fall to build strength and race each spring on the track focusing on bringing my steeple time down and achieving an Olympic “A” or “B” standard a year before the trials. When I’m not racing, I will be logging a lot of miles, doing track workouts, along with doing strength training at least twice a week to work on balance, coordination, and overall core strength, which are very important when it comes to the steeplechase. They are little things, but they add up overtime and can really become beneficial down the road. So in conclusion I think the theme you can take from this is consistency over time. Athletes don’t become great overnight, they all have to put in the work for years before they begin to reach their full potential. That’s what I feel I am doing right now and I am very excited for this time in my running career and I can’t wait for 2016!