Alumni Focus: Joseph Fahnbulleh

Alumni Focus: Joseph Fahnbulleh

Joseph Fahnbulleh is a 2019 graduate of Hopkins High School. He now runs track and field at the University of Florida. 

High school PRs: 100m (10.23) 200m (20.67) 400m (51.06) 

College Indoor PRs: 60m (6.78) 200m (20.85) 

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?

Transitioning from high school to college was not that different. You're wearing a jersey and running your events. The only thing is different is a different jersey color, and your team. For me to be successful, I had to be on an eating regiment, ensuring I get 9 hours plus a night, and every practice, I put my all into it.

Tell us about your training regimen by giving a general overview of what goes into getting prepared for your next big event.

My training regiment in practice consists of lots of block starts and explosive drills for short sprints, for long sprints they include 500s, 400s, and repeated 250s to get the base we need. During meet days, we warm up very thoroughly by doing a minimum of 3 block starts and 3 strides.

Running during the workout is only a small part of the training. The things you do outside the track also plays a significant factor in how you are on track. Another important contributor is your mental state. Every day I am in Florida, I push myself to the limits and have an open mind. I want to be the best, so my teammates and I train like we are the best.

What athletic-based goals do you hope to accomplish during this upcoming year?

My goal for this upcoming season is again to go 100% in practice every day. Also, make it to SECs and Nationals. The specific times I am going for is 6.6 in the 60m, 20.5 in the 200m, 32.4 in the 300m, and 45 second split in the 4x4.

How has your training and schedule changed because of the current pandemic?

The only change in my training schedule is lifting. We would always lift after practice. I do bodyweight exercises on my own after my workouts.

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?

My advice for the incoming freshman is to don't doubt yourself. You belong there. Absorb every new thing you can regarding track, learn, and be fully committed. Ask for advice, and hold your teammates accountable. Live up to the standard of your program and represent it the best way you can. You will encounter a whole new world of competition, and it can be a little nerve-racking but trust in your training. At the end of the day, it's a regular track meet.

Being on a schedule, you hold yourself to is helpful. It is hard to balance school and track, especially at meets, setting reminders when homework assignments are due, and checking your portal daily. Check-in with your advisors weekly and be aware. Also, be proactive when doing homework, so you won't get stressed out or worried later. You're committed to the program, so you have to make sure you're eligible to do the sport you love.