Alumni Focus: Sam Schroeder
Discuss the transition from high school competition to competing at the college level. What adjustments have you had to make in order to be as successful as possible?
I have competed through club running throughout college (undergrad and grad) so practices are no longer mandatory. There are organized practice times, but I can't always make it so setting aside time every day to go run was a big adjustment. I had to make sure to stay on top of everything else since running wasn't built into my day like it used to be. Sometimes that meant 5 am runs and other times it was 9 pm runs. Working with my schedule and prioritizing running (since I still wanted to compete and PR) was important. And keep your easy days really easy. If you think you're going too slow don't speed up.
Tell us about your training regimen by giving a general overview of what goes into getting prepared for your next big event.
Workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays, long runs on Saturday or Sunday, and easy days the rest of the time. I sometimes have to move things around, but the general structure stays the same.
What athletic-based goals do you hope to accomplish during this upcoming year?
I have one last cross-country season in the fall so I'm hoping to get a few more PRs and a good performance at nationals to represent George Washington well.
How has your training and schedule changed because of the current pandemic?
As frustrating as it was to cut my track season short this has been a great opportunity for me to take a break, manage some nagging injuries, and get back into running feeling good and healthy. Right now, I'm slowly building mileage but when summer rolls around it should be typical summer training, just like any other year.
Do you have any advice that you can offer an incoming freshman on how to best deal with the higher level of competition they'll encounter at the college level? Also, what tips can you provide regarding the balance between training commitments and academic demands?
Keep your training consistent and focus on yourself. There's going to be faster runners or runners who seem to be improving at a quicker rate than you are. Trust your training and the PRs will come. Don't forget to cut yourself some slack, though. If you aren't enjoying running, it's a lot harder to improve.
Anything else you would like to add?
Don't rule out club running. Lots of great people, lots of opportunities to race, and still a very competitive environment. If you're going to a big school but don't have an opportunity to compete at the division I level club, it is a really solid alternative.
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