An Olympic sprinter will start the intense part of their preparation 15 weeks before the event. They donít consider there to be much difference between the shorter races all the way up to the 400 meters. They train the same for all. Basically they will run sprints at top speed in 20-30 meter bursts, five or six times in a row with very little rest in between. They then will run some prancing, exploding out of the blocks, and using their arms more than usual. They do all this in the effort to trim 1/100th of a second from their time.

They can expect to run 2,050 meters per day and 14,000 per week. At the end of the first 6 week block they will have run 86,000 meters, and after the full 14 weeks 186,000. That is 120.8 miles, all in 20-30 meter lengths. They get the last week off to let their muscles heal for the race.

I got a call on Sunday, at 2100hrs, from a guy who wanted help preparing for an interview. I asked him when his interview was and he said tomorrow, Monday, at 0900. Now I am sure that he had done some preparation, but obviously he didnít feel ready. The night before your interview you are as good as you are going to get. I told him the best thing he could do was get a good nights sleep.

Testing season, if there is such a thing, is close upon us. There seem to be a large number of tests that come around in the spring. The weather is nice for the physical, and the people from the department doing the tests arenít yet off on their summer vacations. How many of you have been doing your wind sprints? How many of you havenít even been to the track yet?

Two of the things that all Olympic athletes have in common are that they practice under the direction of a coach and they hit that competition in the best shape of their life. They have done that same distance so many times they know how many strides it will take, and which foot will be the one that crosses the line first.

Just like that guy who called me, if you are not prepared for your oral interview you begin to get this slowly growing sense of dread that grows within you. It is always with you. You start thinking about it when you are at work, having fun, driving your car, and especially as you are trying to go to sleep. It makes it hard for you to keep you eye on the ball in the other parts of your life. There is a solution. Do what you know you should. Get the coach and head for the track. He is going to kick your butt on that first day, but a month or two latter you will be trying to shave those hundredths of points from you time. Imagine how good it will feel the day before your interview to see a person taking the same test come onto the track in a too small sweat suit and try to get into shape in one day.

Good Luck, Captain Rob