SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Kelly Ryan (KR) of the cross country/track team talked with Santa Clara Broncos (SCB) about some of her favorite places to race and how she pushes toward her goals.
SCB: You are a senior this year and have run in your fair share of locations. What is your favorite racing venue and why?
KR: Although I love racing on our home course, I'd have to say that one of my favorite racing venues was when we traveled to Willamette University in Oregon. I liked this course because it didn't repeat itself so we weren't running around in circles the whole time. Also, the last 300 meters finished on a track and that's always really epic in my opinion. However, I will give a shout out to Pepperdine for having the course with the most beautiful view. You could see the ocean the whole time!
SCB: Prior to the season starting, how was the Santa Cruz trip?
KR: Santa Cruz was an awesome trip because we got to bond with our new freshman teammates and also just hang out with each other after having three months apart. We ran a hard tempo workout that went really well and everyone looked like they were in great shape from the summer and had really put the work in. Besides running, it's really fun because we just get to go to the beach all day and just relax before school starts and the season get really hectic.
SCB: What percentage of competitive running is physical? What percentage is mental? Is there anything else involved?
KR: Many people don't realize how big of a mental component that running has to it. I would say that definitely more the 50 percent of running is mental. There is obviously a huge physical component because you have to train your body to perform as hard as it can for as long as it can. However, if the right mental attitude isn't present then things can absolutely fall apart during a workout or a race. There is also more to the physical component the just running and putting in miles. We do a lot of little things like weights, drills, core, and mobility circuits to make sure that our bodies are strong and ready to work out and race hard.
SCB: What are your goals for this year?
KR: A main goal for me this year is to get my 6k time down by as much as possible. I would be really happy with breaking 21:30, which would be a personal record (PR) by 20 seconds. Besides improving my time, another goal of mine is to be one of the top scorers for our team.
SCB: How are you working to achieve these?
KR: A big thing that I am working on this season is my mentality during workouts and races. I have noticed that little things like someone's breathing or a part of the course messing up my stride breaks my focus and I have trouble getting it back. Having all your focus on your goals or staying with the pack during a race is when you race your best. I need to remember this and also stay calm and relaxed if things aren't going perfectly during a race. A final thing that I am working on, and have been working on since my freshman year, is challenging myself when I feel good during a workout or race. I feel like I have gotten better at this since I started at Santa Clara but there is still a lot of work to be done. Pushing myself near the end of a race, when I don't think I have anything left, is what is going to get me that PR.