Robbie Reid, a senior from Los Altos, Calif. has been very involved here at Santa Clara University and now enters his last year on the Bronco's track team. He has had an excellent start to the season placing third in the 800m at the Cal State Stanislaus meet as well as fifth overall at the UC Davis Aggies Open with a time of 1:54:02. SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCU) spoke with Reid (RR) about his experiences and what he has enjoyed most or taken away from his time as a distance runner.
By Kaitlin Fuelling '13
SCU: As a senior, how has this season been different than other years? Have you created goals you would like to see yourself or your team to achieve this season?
RR: Even though I'm a senior and this is my last track season in which I'm eligible to compete for SCU, I haven't really approached the season any differently. I pretty much follow the same training regimen I did as a freshman, although I have gradually increased my mileage since then. I guess you could say over the last three years I have personally learned what works best for me training-wise and I have looked to incorporate those pieces more into my training program than before.
My overall goals haven't really changed much over my SCU Track career either. Since my freshman year my main goal has been to qualify for the NCAA Regional Meet. Based on my training and how I've developed as a runner over the past few years, I personally feel that I've put myself in a great position to realize that ultimate goal of qualifying for the Regional Meet this season.
SCU: What do you consider to be a "good" or "successful" race?
RR: Both track and field and cross country are very result-driven sports. Success is mainly defined by your finishing place and time. Therefore, in my mind I'd describe a good or successful race as one where I run a personal best. It is pretty much impossible to run a personal best every race though, so early on in the season I consider it a good race if I'm able to achieve a certain objective i.e. work on speed/turnover or focus more so on closing hard over the last 100 meters etc. Mainly I consider it a success if I'm able to accomplish the types of things that will eventually allow me to reach my peak at the right time later in the season when I want to be running my fastest.
SCU: What is your favorite race to participate in?
RR: I tend to consider myself more of a miler, but to be honest I don't really have a preference. I mainly just enjoying competing and running to the best of my ability. As long as I'm racing and running well I'm happy.
SCU: Do you have any pre-race superstitions or strategies?
RR: No, I do not really have any pre-race superstitions. My strategy tends to slightly differ based on the type of race, but I usually try to stay as controlled and relaxed as possible while keeping myself in a good position near the front and then I look to work my way up the second part of the race and hopefully get the win.
SCU: When/why did you start running/racing? Have you raced in any races outside of college? Do you see yourself running in such races post-college?
RR: I started running competitively in middle school (7th grade). For the most part it was to make sure I kept in shape for club and school soccer. As it turned out I was decently good at running. I enjoyed it and in the later years of high school when running collegiately became a possibility, I decided to focus more so on running and drop the other sports I competed in.
I have raced in one half-marathon outside of school. I redshirted this previous cross country season, and was able to compete in the San Jose Rock N' Roll Half-Marathon this past October. I finished ninth overall (in 69:19) and won my age division (18-24 years old). Overall the race was a great experience, and I definitely look forward to racing more half-marathons and eventually a few marathons in the future as well as competing on the track post-collegiately too.
SCU: Is there anything you would have liked to participate in or accomplish at Santa Clara that cross country and track may not have allowed you to do?
RR: I wouldn't go as far to say I wasn't allowed to do anything in particular because of running, but I realize that being a student-athlete comes with making certain sacrifices, and when I came to SCU I arrived knowing full well that I made a specific commitment to run all four years. With that being said, if I hadn't been running these past four years I probably would have liked to experience the study abroad program. In the end though I feel that my running experience throughout college has been well worth the sacrifices I've made.
SCU: How do you prepare for the track season? What do you do in the off-season?
RR: Track and cross country really go hand in hand. Therefore, what we do throughout the cross country season definitely helps prepare and lead us into the track season. Other than cross country, our preparation for the track season usually consists of three different "phases": the base phase, hill phase and finally the interval/track phase. The base phase consists of gradually building up mileage and developing aerobic strength. The hill phase is usually a month long period where we incorporate hill workouts into the training program. And finally, the interval/track phase is when we finally get back onto the track and do interval/speed work.
To be honest there really isn't much of an off-season between the two seasons (i.e. the off-season for track is cross country, and vice versa). I guess technically there is usually a period of a few weeks that we do take off in between seasons to recharge our batteries and get ready to start back up training. Since this is really the only time during the year I'm not training, I mainly just try to relax and take it as easy as possible.
SCU: Because running can be very stressful on the legs, how have you been able to stay healthy?
RR: I'd say luck and genetics have played some role in my ability to stay healthy. I'm pretty compact and my legs don't take as much of a pounding as some of the other guys on the team, but it also helps that I came from a high school program in which I was very undertrained in terms of the amount of mileage I was running. I was also fortunate in the sense that the jump in mileage from high school to college didn't really affect me as much as some of the other guys. For the most part though I would say I've been able to stay healthy because I have been able to develop an inner sense that I feel has helped me to become fairly in tune with my body so I know when to take it easy, or when I can go for it and push it.
SCU: Do you have any advice for younger athletes looking to play a collegiate sport?
RR: I would tell younger athletes two main points. First, do everything necessary to keep yourself healthy and second, be as consistent as possible. When I was growing up I was always told if you have your health you have everything. I still very much believe in that statement and I would attribute the success I have enjoyed in my running career to my ability to stay healthy. Going off of that point, I believe consistency greatly relies on staying healthy. You need to be healthy to be able to perform any sort of activity consistently. Consistency is a huge factor in how we develop and grow as people and how we eventually are able to realize and reach our true potential.
SCU: What would be something you benefited from or could take away from your experience as a student-athlete here at Santa Clara University?
RR: I would say one of the most important things I have taken away from my experience as a student-athlete at SCU is developing efficient time management skills. Student-athletes have many commitments on a day to day basis and it is a constant struggle trying to balance all those obligations while still making sure to enjoy my college experience as long as I am able to.
The Broncos head down to Southern California this weekend to compete at Mt. San Antonio College.