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Inside the head; Welty goes the distance

October 22, 2010

Imagine running to Galesburg every day during the week, about 80 miles. Then on the weekend having an eight K (5 mile) race where you push yourself as hard as possible to get your personal record (PR). If it sounds impossible to you, know that it is not; in fact junior Jon Welty and fellow runners peak at this level.

“We have a mileage progression, where we increase the miles we run every week. Then we have a taperage, where we decrease in miles. The most I ran in a week was 80 miles and then we tapered down about five percent to get ready for the end of the season.”

When asked if all this running catches up to him during the season, Welty said, “During high mileage weeks you can tell your body is getting tired. In fact, a few weeks ago I ran a little slower just because of fatigue. But after a little rest your body gets stronger and then you put up your best times.”

To prepare for a race, Welty’s warm-up is what most people might consider a work out. “We warm up for about an hour before the race. We then have a two mile warm up run. We have some stretches and then some sprints. Then we have a few minutes of down time to get down to resting heart rate and I use the time to get mentally focused on my race plan like what points I will make a move, and the other points I will run pace at.”

Running for long periods of time gives you lots of time to think and talk, so Welty never gets bored.

“During training, we never run alone so we talk and have fun during practice. And when we have a workout we have goals to keep us running strong.”

Welty does not have a strict plan, instead it changes when other runners are around him.

“When people come up on me, I start turning over my legs faster and pump my arms. And I am definitely thinking about picking up my pace. And when I am coming up on someone I try to draft off them until I get close enough then I get around them quickly.”

As Welty comes up to the finish line he changes tactics.

“I try to push myself as hard as I can and even if I am feeling great or terrible I have to go out there and try my hardest. We run through the course so I never gas out too soon before the finish, but when I finish I am exhausted.”

When compared to other sports, cross country is unique for many reasons.

Welty explained, “It is kind of a unique sport; it even differs from track because this is just one event but in track you can train and compete in so many different events.” He also added that, “It’s something that’s unique and different because not everyone can do it. It makes you appreciate being able to run hard for a long period of time.”

Another thing Welty cites as a key difference than other sports is that you can win, even if you lose the race.

“Running a ‘PR’ is the greatest win you can get because you know you ran the race to the best of abilities and you gave it your all.”

Welty’s ‘PR’ is 25:55 and thinks he will break that a few more times this season.

“25:00 to about 25:20 will usually be good enough to get you to the DIII National Championships and that is what I am striving for by the end of this season.”

Co-Sports Editor

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