This week, I was very excited to see USA Track & Field post its qualifying standards for the USA outdoor championships in Sacramento, CA on June 26-29. Based on my personal bests, I still have quite a ways to go before being accepted into the meet. But after moving to Track Town and seeing how successful my fall and winter training went for me, I think that it’s perfectly reasonable to set my sights on hitting one (or maybe two) of the qualifying marks.
My plan is to concentrate on the 1500, and possibly run a 3k and/or 5k at some point during the outdoor season. This year, the qualifying marks that I’m focusing on are 3:39.00 (for the 1500) and 13:32.00 (for the 5k). Both would be quite an accomplishment for me, especially as a first year post-collegiate athlete. However, if I take a look back at my natural progression over the last 6 years or so, I think that these time goals are logical and realistic.
Most runners in my shoes – guys right on the cusp of making a USA national championship – might be a little disappointed to see that USATF’s qualifying marks this year are among the toughest of all-time. However, I see it as an awesome opportunity. This year will be one of the deepest and most competitive years for USA distance running as a whole, so it would be amazing to be a part of that caliber national championship meet. The top runners in the United States keep raising that bar, so I guess the guys in my shoes – the ones who would simply be honored to toe the line next to those top guys – need to accept that challenge and train harder than we’ve ever trained before. It’s a new year, with new challenges and new opportunities. Spring is right around the corner. The outdoor season is about to get underway. I can’t wait!!
Hope to see you at USATF Outdoor Nationals in Sacramento!
Thanks for reading!