Catching up with Andrew Webb
May 13, 2009
A converted high jumper and hurdler, junior Andrew Webb is looking to earn his second outdoor All-Big 12 honor in the decathlon this weekend. As a redshirt freshman in 2007, Webb placed seventh with a score of 7,079 points. But, it's been a tough road since that point. He was unable to finish the heptathlon at the indoor Big 12s last year and didn't compete outdoors, while trying to work through his injuries.
While getting back to full strength, Webb placed ninth at the indoor conference meet earlier this season. Now, with a few months of solid training, he is looking to get back on the scoreboard at the Big 12 Outdoor Championships.
In between training sessions, Webb took time to talk to TexasSports.com about his recent workouts, the mentality needed to compete in the decathlon and getting his degree.
On where he is in his training: We've already got the base of our endurance work, so we've been doing a lot of speed work. This is the time to put it all together. We're ready to go and everything's good. We're very technical right now, so we're getting our long jump and high jump down. Now, we just have to get rested up and ready to compete.
On the weeks leading up to a decathlon: We try to work in three-week cycles, three weeks on of real hard workouts and one week off. Probably the past two months, it's been pretty intense, lots of long distance, lots of 300s, lots of long days. Then, for a week each month, we'll have kind of a down week, but even those consist of real hard running at least twice a week. The past two weeks, we've been slowing everything down, not doing as much distance work as much as trying to be explosive. We're staying on top of the techniques, but not doing as many run throughs, just doing a minimum amount of stuff while being efficient.
On transitioning from event to event: It gets easier. The first time you do a decathlon your thinking, 'I've already done three events, I'm tired, I've still got seven more to go' but it gets easier. You start to realize this is how you're going to feel. Not necessarily that you are going to feel better when you get older, it's just that you know how it's going to feel so you're prepared for it. It's a lot of mental aspects in the dec because you're not going to PR in every event. You may have one event where you do real well, another event you'll do average and one or two in each dec is going to be terrible. But, you need to be able to switch it off, relax and forget about it. The longer you think about it, the more it will affect your other events and you can't have that happen. It helps after you've done a few decs to help you realize that it's going to happen and you just deal with it.
On his favorite events: I like the high jump and hurdles. I did them in high school and I'm decent at them. I also like the discus. I don't know why. I like how it feels and it is an interesting event.
On his least favorite event: The 1,500. I wouldn't say I'm an awful distance person, but I don't enjoy it. It's long and you have about four-and-a-half minutes to think about how much pain you're in. After nine events, it isn't the most fun thing to end on.
On field event coach Mario Sategna: It's been great. Mario is very knowledgeable about all the events, very knowledgeable about the decathlon. He knows what goes into it. He does have high expectations, but he understands the expectations for each person. I think coming in, they didn't know if or when I'd score at a meet and then I went and got fourth indoors as sophomore and went to the national meet outdoors. Mario and Bubba (Thornton) have pushed me and showed me that I can be one of the top decathletes, it just takes training and time. I also get to workout with one of the best in the world and that helps as well.
On his goals: My goals are just to score as high as I can. The Big 12 is the hardest conference to score in the decathlon. Ninth place might be at 7,180, which would be second place in most conferences. I'm looking to score. I'm not looking at anything other than where I am going into Big 12s. Last year, I think I put more emphasis on where I wanted to be later on and then I got injured, tried to get back to quick and I never looked at where I'm at now. I want to focus on this week, be ready to compete and go with it from there.
On his nutrition: I'm not overly healthy, but I don't jam down cheeseburgers. I'm kind of in between. I'm kind of a sandwich man, so that saves me. There's nothing really freakish about health for me other than I try to stray away from candy, especially in the two or three weeks heading into a decathlon, but I have a tough time passing up frozen yogurt.
On his education: I am going to graduate in two weeks with an undergraduate degree in advertising with a minor in business foundations, but I want to be in oil and gas. It's one of those things. I started off in college wanting to do business, but then I decided I wanted to do advertising. Then, I got an internship after my sophomore year in oil and gas and I really liked it. It is landman work, buy and sell oil royalties, mineral rights, things like that. It's kind of what my dad does, so it's kind of like a family business-type deal. Being from West Texas where it all is, it's one of those things you're born with.
On getting his degree: It's great. It seems like it was just yesterday. Seeing a lot of my friends from high school, some went to college and some didn't, you see how important education is. That's one thing my family instilled in me that education comes first. It's a big accomplishment.