Dan Lennon prepares for return to track after month-long hiatus

first_imgDan Lennon is anxious to get back on the track.He hasn’t raced since the Stanford Invitational on April 4, Syracuse’s first meet of the outdoor season, and won’t race again until the ACC Outdoor Championships — a hiatus that spans over a month.“I’ve joked around with my coach, coach Fox about running a 1,500 or something like that… we both know that that will never happen,” Lennon said.Because of the strenuous nature of the 10,000-meter run, Lennon’s event, he has been limited in his opportunities to run throughout the season. Instead, more of an emphasis has been placed on his rest and recovery. To combat this lull and still maintain both his physical shape and competitiveness, Lennon has simulated races during practice to fully prepare for his next go-round.Since last running the 10,000-meter at the Stanford Invitational, Lennon has been slowly working his way back into form. Upon returning from the meet, he took the whole week off from workouts. Only recently has he begun to tack on more mileage to his practice regiment.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe logic behind such a plan is simple: rest now, run later.“It sometimes bangs you up,” assistant coach Adam Smith said, “so you just don’t want to race too much.”Smith said he expects Lennon to be one of the top 12 runners selected to make it to NCAA Outdoor Championships for the 10,000-meter run, and preserving Lennon’s legs for the more critical postseason races helps to keep him fresh and rejuvenated.The SU coaches have strategically worked to evenly spread out the meets Lennon will run in throughout the season. If Lennon qualifies for NCAA Outdoor Championships, he will be running only his fifth event in over two months.“It’s just a lot,” Smith said. “10k racing is just a lot on your legs, so we just try to keep those guys fresh… We kind of try to take it slow with those guys and just have the big meets count.”Long periods of recuperation and high volume training in between races are extremely beneficial for 10,000-meter runners runners like Lennon, fellow distance runner Joel Hubbard said.Some days the waiting gets harder than others. It was during a recent workout at Sweet Road, a 6.5-mile, up-hill path run for distance runners, that Lennon felt especially antsy.“I was thinking, ‘Man, feeling pretty good today, can’t wait to race,’ and then it just goes through your head,” he said.Lennon acknowledged the time off aids him physically, but it can just as much build up anxiety. Sometimes, it leaves more time to ponder racing and to worry about how good the competition could be.That’s when Lennon focuses on Sweet Road. It’s there that Lennon tries to simulate a race to reduce his nerves and fortify his preparation.During his workouts, Lennon attacks the second to last rep the hardest, something he said assists him both mentally and physically.“My philosophy is you can always go fast on the last one,” he said. “So it’s much harder to go fast on the last one when you work hardest on the second to last.”But Sweet Road isn’t the same as running in a meet. Lennon still has to wait for that. And despite yearning to return to the track, he realizes the importance of taking it easy.Last season, Lennon ran twice before the ACC Outdoor Championships and narrowly missed the cut for NCAA Outdoor Championships. With a more strategic game plan this season, he’s looking to avoid repeating that outcome.“He wants to be going to Eugene (Oregon) in June to run nationals” Hubbard said, “…he understands that, that’s his focus right now.” Comments Published on April 27, 2015 at 10:17 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more