Jeff Benjamin spoke with Eric Avila, a top miler with adidas, and asked him about his daily training in this time of the coronavirus.
Eric Avila is @nd from left, next to me, photo from Jeff Benjamin
Awaiting The Baton In The Relay Exchange Zone – Profiles Of Athletes, Coaches & Legends During The War Against Corona
Profile # 49
Top adidas American Miler Eric Avila
By Jeff Benjamin
1) How is your daily training routine doing and how challenging has it been for you in this environment?
“My daily routine has shifted dramatically. After the Indoor track season culminated on February 28th I took one week off to reset the body. I spent the next two weeks getting the legs moving again, with light workouts. I had planned to race the Carlsbad 5k before heading off to altitude camp in Flagstaff, Az.
Once the magnitude of everything started to reveal itself, we scaled things back and waited to see what direction things went. Ultimately pulling the plug on a altitude camp and taking a complete break.
I welcomed the decision of postponing the Games and putting a hault to everything in general. I, as well as many other athletes, had minimal to no access to a track or gym at this time, as well as many parks and trails closed to access, making training difficult.
At that time there was also a sense of ‘this is bigger than yourself, and therefore your running endeavors’. I wasn’t willing to push my body in training, risking getting sick, and exposing myself to family and friends. It’s a fickle situation.
For the month of April I’ve spent focusing on myself and resetting the body.
I’m still training every morning, but have done little to no workouts. I’m currently taking some online finance classes through Edex.org, teaching myself how to edit film, cook new meals as well as reading plenty of books. (I just started Enders Game) Once a week I will cook dinner and drop the meal off at a family / friends home.
It’s been nice to take a step back and slow things down. Our sport as professional athletes can be, at times, a selfish one. Always having to cater to our body, making sure we’re ready to go. I’ve taken this time to reach out to others, via zoom or phone, its food for the soul.”
Eric Avila, photo by SirWalterMiler.com
2) What advice can you give to runners, -especially youth, high school, collegiate- who are challenged during this time as well.
“I would suggest that they focus on staying busy, as difficult as that may be. This is a perfect time to learn a new skill, maybe focus on getting physically or mentally healthy.
From a athletic stand point this can be a crucial time to make those big jumps in fitness that will pay dividends come next year!
I just finished reading a book called ‘Win or Learn’, by John Cavanagh. The book focuses on UFC coach Cavanaugh (Coach of UFC champ Conor Mcgregor). There’s a fantastic chapter where he details Conors rise tostardom, only to be stalled by tearing his ACL, putting him out for a year of competition.
I found the situation relatable to what we as athletes are facing right now. Naturally there is a bit of a mourning process that occurs, but after that Conor realizes he just gained a year to work on his weaknesses, while getting his knee back in place. When he returned to competition he was a completely different animal. more well rounded, balanced on and off the mat.”
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