Hard work pays off in the long run

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What inspires a person to take the challenge and run long distances?

Is it the drive to compete? The satisfaction of accomplishing a personal goal? Or can it even be a persons way to relax?

No matter what the reason is for running, if an athlete fails to work hard they will fail to get results, according to track team members.

“I try to run at least ten miles a day, whether that be two runs a day or just one long run, at least sixty miles a week,” said sophomore Ray Garcia, a Delta College track team member who specializes in distance events.

Being a distance runner takes an incredible amount of dedication, sacrifice and hard work, said Garcia.

When watching a race one people tend to admire the speed, grace and perceived natural ability, but what is hidden from most eyes is the hard work being put in every single day.

The real question is what fuels this fire?

For Garcia, competition is the burning desire.

“(It’s) competition among teammates and athletes from other schools, I work to be better than the faster runners that I have grown to know,” he said.

If competition is a main factor how do students who redshirt, a technique used to lengthen an athlete’s eligibility time by suspending their participation, keep up the motivation to work hard every day?

“It’s tough red shirting and staying focused on your goals because some days it’s easy to skip a workout and make excuses because your not competing, you always have to look at the bigger picture and remember what your trying to accomplish, not only for you but for your teammates and coaches,” said Alex Chavez, a red shirt freshman whose goal for next season is to break two minutes in the eight-hundred meter run.

Another important part of a runner’s preparation is diet.

Running long distances requires energy. Energy is increased which means a lot of carbs, proteins and plenty of fluids.

“During my training I do my best to cut sweets out of my diet, like soda or candy. I’m drinking water constantly,” said Chavez. “I do my best to eat multiple fruits and veggies along with carbs, which are a big part of my diet.” Both Chavez and Garcia run with a purpose to be the best they can be.

“The greatest feeling for me is finishing a late night run while I look up and see the moon and stars,” said Chavez. “I can feel myself improving and that’s what I live for.”