2020 Maine XC Watchlist: Tyler Patterson, Brunswick HS

Notable Finishes: 4th NM Class A Regional 2019,7th Festival of Champions 2019, 7th KVAC Championship 2019, 12th Class A states 2019, 44th New England Championship 2019

Comments: Patterson had a strong junior season finishing 12th at states and then 44th at the New England Championship. He continued his strong running during the indoor season, finishing second in the mile and 800m at the Class A state meet. Tyler continued to show he's ready for big things in his senior season with some fast time trial efforts this past spring. He'll be one of the top individuals who will contend for the Class A title this fall.

How has COVID-19 affected you?

I've just been affected in most of the same ways everybody has, missing school, the track season, etc. It has also made college recruiting a bit harder as well. For me, it's just something I can't control and I try to do the best I can to work around the restrictions. 

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

Earlier this summer I got up to about 60 miles/week with a long run and a tempo workout, though the last few weeks I've had to take it a little easier due to a minor injury.

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

The ultimate goal for me is the individual state title. I know I'm ready to have a strong season, and I'm excited to compete with the best guys in the state. I also just want to stay healthy and make sure I continue to improve.

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

My favorite workout is fast, shorter reps, like 200s and 400s at a little slower than 800 pace. I feel like it suits my strengths well and it's a workout I can cruise through. We usually do that workout in the last few weeks of the track season, and it's a good confidence boost for me heading into a big meet. Another workout I like that we do more in XC is longer reps (800s or 1ks usually) with the first 200 at a faster pace. It simulates the start of a cross country race and I think it helps me prepare for the changes in pace that can happen in an XC race.

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

I think last year I wasn't strong enough, so when I got on a course like Twin Brook I didn't have a great race. This year I have been working a lot more on strength by trying to find more hills to run and incorporating some lifting more consistently. I also want to improve at running in tactical and competitive situations and racing to win.

How is your team looking for the fall?

I'm really optimistic that Brunswick can be very competitive in championship races this year. We're returning five of our top seven and we've got a great top four of guys who are really committed and have made big improvements over the past year. The whole team has been putting in good work over the summer and I think we'll be ready to go in October.

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

Consistency is a big thing for me. I've been running six or seven days per week for a couple of years now, and skipping a session without a good reason just isn't something I consider. Another thing that helps me is to think about a harder workout as a step in the process that is necessary to improve my fitness and get ready to race. It's a lot easier to push in a workout when you understand why you are doing it and you have goals to work for. Lastly, not feeling motivated is a bit of a red flag for me and I need to consider if I'm overtraining or what else is going on. 

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

Our coach, Coach Dearing, told me last year that "you are your own worst coach." What he was getting at is that it's hard for an athlete to honestly evaluate themselves and make rational decisions about their training. It's easy to think that you always need to go harder in a training session, and it's the role of the coach to provide the outside perspective. It also means that you don't always need to do more to get the results you are looking for, you need to do what is right for you in the given situation.

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

Number 1 would be sleep. I try to get a least 9 hours each night if possible. The next would be supplemental training. Doing things like core strengthening, hip strengthening and lifting helps correct any imbalances and improve form. I guess the last one would just be paying attention to how I'm feeling and treating any small injuries to make sure they don't escalate.

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

This spring I really enjoyed being able to do workouts when I wanted to. I feel like after a full day of school I'm usually pretty tired, it's not an ideal time to run or race. 

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

When I'm doing base mileage I'll get up to about 13 miles for my long run days.

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

Probably 4th of July. Not because I'm really into the patriotic aspect, but just because I like summer and it's a nice time of year. 

Favorite subject in school?

I'm a math guy, but history is a close second.

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

Definitely Eliud Kipchoge. His performances in recent years in the marathon are really impressive, and he's definitely one of the top distance runners of the era. I also feel like he has some good insights on running, and also just life in general. 

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

I get the sense that a moderator on the team, which mostly entails keeping Joey (slingshot kid) Valliere under control.