2020 Maine XC Watchlist: Garrett Erickson-Harris, Kennebunk

Notable Finishes: 12th Southern Maine Regional 2019, 15th Class A States 2019

Comments: Erickson-Harris improved twenty-two spots at the state from 2018 to 2019, and will look to continue that upward ascension in 2020. A year ago he finished 15th at Class A state meet clocking 17:08 at Twin Brook. His fastest time of the season came at Hoka Southern Maine Classic where he ran 16:52

How has COVID-19 affected you?

I think that my experience with COVID-19 is similar to many others. I missed a track season that I was very excited to compete in and I have been training alone since February. I really miss the team aspect of running, but thankfully, my family and I have remained healthy.

What has your summer training consisted of? How much mileage are you putting in?

My summer training has focused on building back up from taking some downtime in the spring. I have been building from 30 miles a week to 45 and I hope to hit 50 over the next few weeks. I have incorporated some aerobic and speed development workouts.

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

My goals are less clear due to the season being up in the air as of now. I'd like to set a new personal best and hopefully have the opportunity to compete.

What is your favorite workout that makes you feel most prepared for success?

Many of our workouts are effort based, so when I feel comfortable running over the grass efficiently in fartlek workouts, I feel prepared for success.

What did you learn from the last xc season that will help you improve in 2020?

I learned from the 2019 cross country season to not count yourself out before a race starts. Races are always decided by the effort you put into it.

How is your team looking for the fall?

Our team lost a lot of seniors last year, but we have some solid underclassmen that are prepared to step up.

How do you stay motivated when you don't want to run?

Recently, I have been motivating myself by telling myself that every run does matter. Each run is an investment in myself that is important regardless of whether a competition season occurs or not.

What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received in the sport?

The greatest piece of advice that I have received in the sport is to listen to my body. This can mean to trust that I can cover a move in a race or cut a run a couple of miles short. I have become more in tune with my body and how it responds to stress, simultaneously boosting my performance and the enjoyment that I get from running.

What are the top three "little things" that you do to prevent injury?

I would say that the top the things I do to prevent injury are valuing strength training as much as my running work, resting when I need it, and avoiding neglecting self-care efforts. Core and strength work has helped me stay relatively injury-free during my high school career as a form of prehab and helps my running as well. Resting can be a hard thing that I have struggled with, but understanding that absorbing the current training load is more important than pushing over the red line is critical for injury prevention. It takes discipline to know when to cut a workout short, and this is a skill that I have been working on and continue to work on. Self-care is another skill that I continue to work on because I know the benefits, but it is difficult to take the time. The running work is much more exciting than foam rolling, but both are equally important.

What is the one thing you have done during COVID-19 that you have never had time for in the past?

In the past, I have struggled to get 7 hours of sleep at night. I have recently been focusing on making this a priority now that I have extra time.

What's the farthest you've ever run at one time?

I have run 12 miles a few select times. Most recently, I ran a bizarre long run on some obscure Vermont trails. It felt like every time I turned a corner I was in a new field with cows or in the woods running along a riverbed.

If every day were a holiday, what would yours be?

I think that I would choose Thanksgiving to be every day. It's a great time to spend time with family and carb-load.

Favorite subject in school?

I really enjoy the applicability of the sciences.

    If you could go on a run with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?

    If I could go on a run with anyone, I would choose Eliud Kipchoge. He has so much wisdom that goes far beyond running.

    If your teammates gave you a superlative, what would it be?

    I think that my superlative would be "takes everything too seriously."