This is the 2nd in a 2-Part publication featuring a written question and answer session with Iowa HS track and field legend, Sydney Milani. This final section will include memories, mentors, and training plans. Sydney also gives advice for young runners and athletes looking to compete in college.

Q9. What is your favorite memory from your senior track season? Any race you would want to do over?

A9. There are so many good memories it is so hard for me to pick a favorite. A good one is definitely my last time running the 4×4 at the conference meet with the girls that trained with me throughout my senior year. It’s a long story but long story short it was very emotional and they didn’t know it was my last time running it with them until it came to race time and I was so scared they’d be mad but they were with me every step of the way.

Q10. Who were the people that inspired you to raise to such heights?

A10. The people that inspired me were my Dad and the rest of my family, my teammates, my community, my competitors, the people that I didn’t even know who was behind me, and my coaches. I can’t tell you how lucky I got with the high school coaches I had. To this day they are still family to me.

Q11. What was the recruiting process like?

A11. The recruiting process was stressful and exciting. I missed a lot of school which was hard but my teachers always worked with me. My advice to those going through it would be to question everything and take your time with it. I made the mistake of committing too early and due to my being a little young and naïve I decided to transfer after my freshman year. Make sure you are working hard because your work ethic and room to grow will be noticed.

Q12. What would you tell your younger self when starting out as an athlete?

A12. I would tell myself to make time to take your time because a lot of times I wouldn’t have a routine or I’d wait till the last minute and then I’d be rushed. I would also tell myself to plan your day around your training. That’s something my head coach at Alabama told us and it really stuck. If you try to plan your training around your day I promise it either won’t happen or it won’t be good quality work.

Q13. What are your future goals in the sport?

A13. Ideally, I would like to go pro one day. I live and breathe this sport so I’m gonna go big or go home. I lost a little hope during my freshman year at Iowa State but my teammates and Coach Wiley at Alabama have really pulled me out of a rough place and are restoring my abilities and hope. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to share my next 3 years of college with. As far as goals for this year I am really focusing on developing in the 800 and getting what makes me tick back.

Q14. Would you be open to providing a sample training week/block from that year?

A14. The sample training that I’m providing is straight out of the journal I wrote in every day senior year. We got suggestions from all sorts of resources such as SEP’s wrestling coaches, football coaches, track coaches, swimming coaches, and parents. Monday/ Tuesday/ Thursday/ Friday/ Saturday 6am lift starting with a short warmup (since we had to go quickly in order to go on time for school), Olympic lifts, plyometrics, agility, and journals to write down our weight. We did this that way each week we could look back and try to lift heavier each week. Monday running: stairs or hills Tuesday running: 12 minutes of sprinting straights, jog recovery the turns on an indoor track (we did this in the hallway of our high school as well) Wednesday: sprint drills/ accelerations/ general strength Thursday: 4×1000 meter repeats (editor note: Sydney guessed she ran about 3:30 for the 1000s) Friday: pool workout Saturday/ Sunday: active recovery on bike/ foam roll/ stretch We always did our routine warm-up before the runs, cooled down after and did 10 minutes of core work afterward. We got a lot of help from people to come up with workouts and we made a lot of them up on our own. As long as we were pushing each other, breathing hard, and pushing ourselves we knew we were improving.

Sydney will be competing for the Alabama Crimson Tide as a sophomore this spring. Best of luck to her as she shares her talents across the country. Thank you to her for taking the time to share her insights into her magical 2018 season!

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Ben Tilus
Head Performance Coach
XLR8 Performance Lab