Rosby's running game elevated through `boot camp'
Sophomore mid-distance runner Katara Rosby and her Texas women's track and field teammates are going through a rigorous training and conditioning schedule to start the month of January, affectionately known as "boot camp."
Although most would falter at the idea of three-a-day practices and weight sessions, the Longhorns are adamant about defending their place as National Champions, and understand that this is a necessary part of being among the nation's elite.
"The beginning of practice is going as expected," said Rosby, before a mid-morning practice session. "We knew before we left for break that we were going to three-a-days once we got back. We did the same thing last year which helped us come out strong at the beginning of the season."
The formula worked in 2006, as the Longhorns won the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship and were on pace to defend the 2005 outdoor team title, but were sidelined by adversity at the final meet in June.
With that in the past for this group, the training schedule for the 2007 season begins with the same goals.
"Every day is different but the routine is the same as last year," explains Rosby. "The drills are the same; we are just continuing what we started before we left for home in December. (Head coach) Bev (Kearney) wants to make sure we're in a really good position to start the season well. That's why we are experiencing boot camp right now. Not to hurt us but to help us.
"We're not learning anything new but it's just about repetition."
Despite the hard training, Rosby welcomes practice with her teammates. The Baton Rouge, La., native spent her winter break relaxing with her family but still practicing with her father, Carl.
"It was very relaxed but I still worked out at home," said Rosby, who welcomes the company of her fellow runners at practice on campus. "My dad took me to lift weights while I was away from Austin. It was much harder to work out by myself because I had to do all of my practices alone.
"You have to stay motivated," continued Rosby. "You have to pace yourself; you can't depend on someone else. At some practices, you can sit on someone and you take turns leading. When you are practicing alone you have to lead the entire time, stay focused and remind yourself of your goals because it's a lot harder.
The alone time in training over the three-week break added an extra incentive to Rosby's running game. With distance runners, you often have a lead runner who sets the rate of speed -- or pace -- as it is often referred to in the running world. If that person runs slowly, the group typically has a slower time. At a certain point in the race, a runner can accelerate the pace (or "kick") and leave the pack to win.
"It's good practice to run by yourself because as a distance runner, you will be in a race, and the other people in the race may not go," said Rosby. "Practicing over break, it kind of gives me practice with running by myself in case it does happen, I'll have experience in that. I guess it has its benefits too."
Soon we will see the fruits of Rosby's and her fellow Texas runners' labors. The Longhorns open the 2007 season with the Leonard Hilton Memorial Meet on Jan. 19 in Houston.