Winfield track ace continues pace with summer cross country training
The transition from track to cross country transpires quickly and Winfield runner Aaron Withrow looks to remain on top in both sports as the seasons change.
Withrow, a rising Generals junior, finished the spring as the Class AA boys track and field high point winner, with individual wins in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs, as well as third-place finishes in the 800 and 4x800 relay. Withrow wasted little time enjoying his track success before tackling the summer workload in preparation for fall’s cross country season.
“After track season ended, I had one week where I ran a little bit,” Withrow said. “I still ran every day, but I only ran like 30 miles that week and now I’m back looking forward to cross country.”
Withrow will incorporate a training program of long and tempo, faster runs, as he adjusts to the longer cross country distances.
“Right now, I’m at like 50 miles [per week] and by the end of the summer, I should be up to 75, 80, something like that,” he said. “You definitely have to put in miles during the summer. It’s tough to come in and do well if you don’t put in a lot of miles in the summer, in my experience.”
Winfield coach Shawn Anderson said Withrow understands the importance of summer preparation.
“It’s all about getting your base built and getting that endurance built up, so once August does roll around, we’re at a good point where we can really start having stuff in practice,” Anderson said. “That’s one thing I don’t have to worry about with Aaron. He’s always ready come August. He has great summers. He’s very, very determined. I think that shows when he runs.”
That determination propelled Withrow to a second-place showing at last year’s cross country state championship. With Withrow leading the track program’s distance runners, the Generals claimed the Class AA boys track title and Withrow high point.
“I didn’t really expect to get that,” Withrow said of his individual accolade. “I was pretty happy with that and winning the team state championship was nice as well. I think winning the team title means more than high point.”
Following the track squad’s stellar performance, Withrow said he expects similar results in cross country.
“I think our team should be looking pretty good this year,” he said. “I hope we can win it all like we did in track.”
As Withrow dedicates himself to remain in peak physical shape this summer, Anderson said Withrow has also improved his mental running performance. The combination provides a strong indication of further success this fall.
“I think he’s learned how to run, learned how to race,” Anderson said. “I try to tell him to not let others dictate what goes on, you dictate what happens, and I really think he’s come into his own as far as learning how to race. He’s getting smarter as he goes on. To me, his future looks really, really bright.”