My name is Brendan Colwell, class of 2021, runner for Penns Valley Area High School. I’ve been introduced, but if you haven’t seen it or heard of me, I’ll give you a quick overlook of my results. My PRs are 4:18, 9:16, and 15:29 in the mile, two mile, and 5k respectively. I placed 2nd at the PIAA XC meet as a junior and placed 11th at Foot Locker Regionals missing nationals by 1 spot. That is what I’ve done in terms of racing and performances. I’d be lying if I said this was all done by me and myself though. I train with the best coach in the world, Chris Catton. He has coached high schoolers to 4:02 1600’s, 8:49 in the 3200, and 14:37 in the 5k.
This past summer I started training with Coach Catton and I have made such huge jumps in everything. Long runs, tempos, races, PRs, mental health, physical health, all of these have made me a better runner. I want to talk about the importance of summer training though now that I’ve changed over the past 3 seasons so drastically. Freshman year I biked like 80 miles a week on top of running about 30 mpw at like 7:30 pace and ended up running a PR of 16:38. As a sophomore I ran about 45 miles per week and ended up running a PR of 16:14. Then I trained with Coach Catton this past summer and dropped about 45 seconds off of every course I ran on ending with a PR of 15:29, placing 11th at regionals and 2nd in the state. So how did I get there?
Consistency. That is the biggest factor in determining so many outcomes in your development. If you’re not consistently running, you are more prone to being injured, not getting the results you want, and losing big time on the amount of training you can put in. Catton and I had only been working together for about 2 weeks and he had already taught me this. I started to run 7 days a week for about 2 weeks and then take a day off, and that led to a 30 day in a row streak of running and then taking a day off. When you are consistently running, you are gaining largely on your opponents. The next question is how do I stay motivated to run during the summer?
Simple answer, do you want to be great? That is all up to you. If your goal is to break 20 minutes in the 5k, it will take some work, not everyone has massive talent levels, but with hard work and consistency, you will achieve that goal. Your motivation has to come from within, if it doesn’t, you need to rethink why you are doing it. Why it is that you wake up early in the summer to run a tempo run instead of staying up late playing games with your friends. Running takes dedication and motivation. Both of which need to come from within your mind. If you find it, you have struck gold and your summer training will be crazier than you could’ve ever thought possible.