By Rico Chow, '12
Among with the Bronco baseball, golf, rowing, tennis, softball, and track teams, all are training hard in preparation to the up-coming 2012 spring season. Most fans only see their favorite athletes while it's season, but SCU student-athletes work even harder in the off-season. A junior long- and short-distant runner, Hayley Ney, has been training and working-out everyday for the past two quarters to build-up the base to win the next race. Let's peek and see what her off-season training is like.
SCU: You had impressive records in high school including seven-time state champion (three times in the 4x400m relay, twice in the 1500m and 3000m), setting the high school record with the 4x400m relay (4:02.90) and 1500m (4:40.80), leading the team to win the 3A state track championship and not to mention playing four years of varsity basketball at the same time. What were some of the difficulties in adjusting to collegiate level cross country and track team?
HN: The biggest adjustment in running on a collegiate team was the increase in miles per week. In high school, I was a short-distance girl and ran 20-25 miles per week in practice. In college, the minimum that freshmen run is around 45 miles per week.
SCU: Can you describe what your typical off-season training is like?
HN: Off-season training is all about building the base to get ready for the next season. Before summer and winter off seasons begin, we take about two weeks off. Then we slowly start to build up to our peak mileage. My peak mileage is between 70-80 miles per week. This involves two long runs in addition to running twice a day, 2-3 days a week.
SCU: What is your hobby? What do you like to do when you are not running?
HN: I play Temple Run, a video game. The treasure hunter runs away with a stolen treasure... It's a lot like cross country but in your phone. I play too much… My high score is 5 million points.
SCU: What are some of your goals in the coming season? What would you like to accomplish in the next two years?
HN: I'd like to run a PR. It's been a long time coming. I PRed in the fall during cross country so I'd like to keep the ball rolling into track season.
SCU: When you are in a competition, do you hear cheers from the fans and have time to enjoy the scenery or do you only see the track?
HN: It definitely depends on the race! During short-distant race like the 800m and 1500m races, I listen to very little. You're so focused on how fast you're going and how much it hurts that it's hard to hear people cheering for you. During the longer races, like the 5000m, I'm thinking about all sorts of things. Running 12.5 laps will give you a long time to think about everything. It's much easier to hear coaches and fans.
SCU: What would you say the major difference in running short-distant and long-distant tracks? How do you prepare and warm-up differently?
HN: The biggest difference between the long-distance and short-distance races is the training you do to prepare for them. Both of them deserve a good base of training during the off-season, but once we start training harder, the two groups do different things. The short-distance runners (800m-1500m) run shorter and faster trainings to work on our speed. While the long-distance runners run longer distance at a slower pace. The warm ups before races are more or less the same. We typically do 15-20 minute jog followed by drills and strides.
SCU: After running and competing in many different places, where is your favorite place to run? Can you please describe the location?
HN: In California my favorite place to run is Huddart Park in Woodside. It is a beautiful park back in the woods. My favorite place at my home in Portland is the run from the Portland Zoo up to Pittock Mansion. The run weaves through the woods and then shoots up to the highest point in the city, where you can oversee all of downtown Portland. It is beautiful.
SCU: Any comments for the fans?
HN: Everyone should come see us run! We have many races during the season at San Francisco State University, which is relatively close to our campus. And it is a gorgeous track!