Friday, January 17, 2014

Running Q&A: Pat Carroll

Local speedster and 2012 Wilmington College graduate, Pat Carroll, holds six school records in cross country and track and field. Here he is to take on the tough questions and help you get your fitness plan rolling.

When did you start running?
I started running to get in shape for basketball as a high school freshman. I quit basketball to run indoor track a year later.
What was your first race like?
In my first race, I was clueless. I remember there not being a lot of other runners around me, so I must have been pretty close to last place.
Talk about your regular running routine.
I run 6-7 days a week, sometimes twice a day. I include two “hard” workouts a week and one long run that can exceed 17 miles. A good training week will add up to around 80+ miles.
How does eating right figure into your fitness routine?
I notice that eating healthy helps my body recover properly between workouts. I eat frequently in order to maintain good energy levels throughout the day and to be ready for the next run. Eating poor quality foods in excess will notably decrease your energy levels which definitely won’t motivate you to get out the door and exercise.
What foods give you that extra boost?
Cliff Bars are amazing. They are great for a post-workout recovery and they’re all natural. I like to eat the mint chocolate chip flavor with a cup of coffee before a difficult run or race. The caffeine helps me prepare mentally and offers a great performance boost.
Describe your ideal run.
Nothing compares to an early morning trail run up a mountain. There is no better way to get in touch with nature while getting a killer workout.
What advice do you have for someone who is just starting out as a runner?
Start slowly and try to find a route or type of run that you enjoy doing.  Maybe that is a slow run on a set of hiking trails or a hard run around the track.  Everyone has their preference.  Find yours and do what you can to enjoy every step; take walking breaks, wear headphones, run with friends, or just enjoy nature.  Wilmington has  a lot of wonderful dirt, grass, and paved running trails that offer a safe and enjoyable place to run. Can't find them?  Ask the local cross country teams, they will be more than happy to help.   

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