Coming off a 5th place win at the 2018 USA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS, Emily Durgin of Team New Balance took the time to talk with us as we begin our 2018 Spring Track Season. Emily has an impressive College and Pro background including multiple 1st place wins at both the Indoor and Outdoor American Athletic Conference Competitions and is already taking 2018 by storm.
You all read in this interview how she overcame obstacles by speaking with successful athletes who accomplished what she dreamed of. If anything, that is the main purpose of this blog. Remember that all athletes are faced with challenges but it’s the ones who work passed them and never quit that find/earn success.
Good luck this season Emily, thanks for speaking with us!
1: How did you get started in your Sport?
Track and Field has been a part of my life since I was 10-years-old. In the summer I was part of the Windham Summer Track and Field team in Maine. I was persuaded to join the team by one of my childhood friends. She had done summer track for the past few years and was extremely happy when I committed to trying it out. I started out like any other young Track & Field athlete by trying every event available in the sport. This included high jump, discuss, and the 200 meter dash. In USATF Track & Field they run the 1500 meter one week and the 3000 the next. My dad had mentioned that I enter the 1500 to try the shorter of the two distance events. As soon as the words came out of his mouth I started bawling, and I said that the race was way too far. After this moment my coach who was on the high school track team at the time came up to me and stated that she thought I would do great in the 1500. I instantly had a change of heart when the statement came from an athlete I admired. I ended up entering the race and winning by over 10 seconds. The following week I did the 3000 meter and took first place again. This was the beginning of my career and how the sport of Track & Field came into my life. Every race I compete in I fall more in love with my sport.
2: How do you overcome obstacles in your training/career?
Over the past 13 years I have had to overcome multiple obstacles including injuries, learning how to race at the next level, and trusting the process. I have overcome all the injuries that I have had in the past few years by learning from them. Injuries have taught me a lot about my training and how important it is to listen to my body. I have been able to overcome obstacles such as bad races and questioning my training by communicating more with my coach and athletes that have accomplished what I evasion myself doing. I think it is important to surround yourself with positive influences and understand that in life and in our sport there is always going to be highs and lows, and learn to own both equally.
3: What is your favorite and/or most important exercise for your sport?
My favorite and what I believe is the most important exercise is flexibility and core strength. I think it is extremely important to do strengthening exercises that incorporate ankle and hip flexibility. Being a distance runner I still like to do a few explosive type exercises but mainly do core and glute work in my lifting routine.
4: What advice would you give a young athlete?
The #1 advice I would give to young athletes is to always look at the big picture. If you plan to continue the sport in college and even post collegiately you cannot get so wrapped up in being perfect all the time. Running has always been one of my biggest joys in life and this is because I never let the sport become a task. I encourage young athletes to set their goals high and work hard because I know that to be successful you have to do these two things, but always remember to stop and ask yourself what you envision long term.
5: How big of a role is nutrition when it comes to your training?
Nutrition is a huge part of running and for me one of the parts of training that I am constantly trying to work on. It is so important to fuel your body with the right nutrients, and I continue to learn how to better my nutrition which will benefit my training. Nutrition will forever be an ongoing topic for runners and non-runners. It is constantly changing and everyone has different views on it. For me I think it is most important to learn what works best for you as an athlete and make sure you are recovering properly with carbohydrates and protein after hard sessions.