This Thursday, June 22nd, marks the start of the four-day adrenaline rush that is the USATF Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Each event will see the best in the nation pitted against each other in a spectacular series of races, jumps, throws, and vaults that will leave the thousands of spectators in awe. Individuals outside the world of track and field might wonder what inspires such fevered competition, and the answer is much more than simply the pride and monetary prize that comes with a national title. In each event, the top three individuals* will be offered a spot on the US national team for the IAAF Outdoor World Championships this August in London.** Much like being selected for an Olympic team, representing one’s country at the World Championships is one of the highest aspirations for a track and field athlete.
In January we had the opportunity to meet with members of the NorCal Distance Project, an elite group of female distance runners who live and train in Sacramento, as they prepared for the 2017 season. For these athletes, the upcoming Outdoor Championships are the focal point of the year, and it just so happens that the track at Sacramento State is their home turf. While the audience for the meet will come from across the US, there is a special benefit to being on one’s home track in such a high-pressure environment. With that in mind, we wish the best of luck to all competitors, but we’ll be on the lookout for some surprising performances from the hometown heroes: Kim Conley, Kate Grace, and Lianne Farber (our condolences to Leah O’Connor who qualified but had to scratch).
During the course of our visit in Sacramento members of the NorCal team shared their thoughts on the importance of self-belief as well as their strategies for peaking. It was a privilege to receive their insights, and, because we like you so much, we have included videos of those conversations below for your enrichment and enjoyment. To take it one step further, the footage was taken in the same facility where the meet is being held. It’s almost like we planned it…
*In the case of the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 relays, more than three individuals will be selected from individual events to represent the US
**Providing that they have met the necessary IAAF qualifying mark for that event
Believe In Yourself
Peaking for Race Day
Will has been running competitively since high school, and is currently running with the HOKA Aggies, a post-collegiate club here on the central coast of California. With a preference for the humorous and the verbose, he enjoys playing the wordsmith almost as much as his daily runs.