Brian Herron is the next big thing. The freshman from Lakeside High School in Atlanta, Ga. set National Freshman Class Records this weekend in both the 200m and the 400m -- 21.84 and 48.76! Jojo talked to Herron about his training (just three times per week!), his secret love for computers and his big goals for the spring. He trains with Andre Oliver and the Flight400 Track Club.
What was your initial reaction to your performance this weekend?
I was surprised because we were supposed to run that [time] at New Balance.
Can you describe the races?
In the 400m, I just got out and sprinted that whole first 150 and when I got to the cones, I kept moving but coasted a little bit. I was kinda worried because the guy in the lane inside of me, he ran like 50 and I ran 49, but I was still worried. So when I got to the 200m, I kicked very hard. I was like dead but I had to still try.
I had like three hours [before the 200m].
I enjoyed [the moment] with my coach [Andre Oliver of the Flight400 Track Club]. He was like, 'how did you run that?!'
Not really, no [idea what time I could run]. [It was my] first race since nationals [in July].
I went to Subway to eat, I got a grilled chicken sandwich. I rested, let my legs rest - put 'em up on the wall and lay back.
I thought I was gonna run like 22 low [in the 200m] but then I was like, 'I just ran 48, so let me run 21.'
I didn't like [my start in the 200m] at all, it wasn't that good. I was surprised about [the time] but I know I can go faster.
In the warmup, we do a lap and then we just stretch and do a dynamic warmup, like A-skips, high knee karaoke, hip flexor stretch, lunge and hamstring stretch, then workout.
What's your favorite workout?
Probably the 200s.
What's the hardest workout you've done in the past six months?
600-400-200 @ 1:24/52/23 with 10 min rest between everything.
Have you reevaluated your goals?
Not really, just yet. I know what I want to run outdoor: 46 low outdoor and 20 point.
Did your performance this weekend change your view of yourself as an athlete?
It changed everything... everyone was just stunned because they didn't think I was gonna run that; I didn't think I was gonna run that.
There's so many great sprinters to come through Georgia: Ryan Clark, Candace Hill. Do you know them and are there any athletes you look up to in the community?
I look up to Ryan Clark 'cause he went to the World Youth Championships and came in second. I was at a combine with him in January at Life University...
What did you think when you met him?
He didn't look as fast as he runs...
Did you tell him that?
Would you tell him that now?
Probably not. [laughs]
Do you have goals of going to the World Youth Championships?
Next year we're planning on going on there and hopefully running 45.
Are there any plans to add weight training to your training?
I think my coach is going to incorporate that later.
Do you do any core work?
Yeah, as a cool down for our workout, we do Russian Twists where we sit up on our butt and balance. We do one minute planks.
Do you have any other hobbies or interests outside of track?
I like computers... I built a computer. I bought all the parts online and just put it together.
What are your favorite classes in school?
Science and Math.
How old were you when you first started running track?
12 years old; sixth grade. My brother influenced me to run because he was on the team first, so I was like, 'I might as well run.' He's a senior; he does hurdles.
How fast were you when you started?
I wasn't that fast at first. My PRs were 25.7 and 56.49 in sixth grade. But the year after that, I won the USATF Junior Olympics 400m.
What was it like when you won?
I knew I was going to win; they weren't that close to me and they were far behind me when I ran 50...but I was still very happy.
Which event do you like better: 200m or 400?
Probably the 400.... 'cause it's more action happening in it, it's longer, you experience more, you get stressed out because people are right next to you and you have to pick it up more.
Have you ever raced an 800m?
Yeah, I hate it. I ran it once open and then on a 4x8; [my PR is] 2:04.
Do you plan to do more 800s?
What is your racing schedule?
Jan 17 @ Birmingham, AL
Feb 6 @ Kentucky
Feb 14 @ Birmingham, AL
March 11-13 @ NBNI, Emerging Elite instead of freshman race