Earlier this week we caught up with Davis Bove about his training this season, goals moving forward and potential college choices.
The Centennial senior ran a new personal best on Saturday in Dickson at the Mid State Championships. He finished in second place with a 15:12, putting him third in the state for the 2018 season.
Here's what he had to say about his season so far and what's ahead.
How have you felt about your season so far?
So far I have been loving everything about my senior year! I was not really sure what to expect from Cross country this year to be honest though. I am primarily a triathlete, with triathlon season beginning in March and usually ending with Junior Nationals in August just before cross country so I get a short break before starting up for cross. This year however things worked out a little differently! I was one of three American Junior men to represent Team USA at the Junior World Championships mid September in Gold Coast Australia. Of course I was honored to go! Because of this, triathlon took up my main focus and I didn't get my normal break leading into cross country. After worlds I kind of let off the heavy training and so far it has seemed to work out well enough! I am definitely looking forward to state coming up soon.
What has been the biggest thing you've learned this cross country season?
Bove: Honestly I would say the biggest thing I learned this fall is that as people, we are so much more than just runners. I learned who I am outside of the sport, and that has really shaped my season, as ironic as it is. I learned to find who I am and what my purpose is. Figuring out why I am alive in the first place has helped me to learn why I run. I learned that my life is not sport, sport does not define me, it is simply something I do. And I have embodied that this fall. I have made sure to wake up every day, show up to every race with this mindset. Enjoying every moment I am given to do the things I love! Rather than telling myself, "just one more mile," I have said, "you only have a few more minutes, make the most of it."
What are your goals for this year?
Bove: Honestly my only goals are kind of what I outlined already. Enjoy the moments I have. Love what I do and the gifts I have been given! Of course I would love to win state. I would love to break some records and be the fastest in the country. Of course I will work my hardest in practice and in meets to prove that, but I would rather love the sport than winning be the only thing to be happy about.
What colleges are you looking at and do you have any visits planned?
Bove: Of course I am looking into some great schools at the moment. As far as Division 1 running goes, I want to be a part of the top notch education and unparalleled tradition found in the SEC. I have visited Auburn University and plan to visit LSU and Alabama soon. I am excited for where I end up in the future and am lucky to have such great opportunities!
You've been able to break 16 three times already this year. What's been the biggest key to your success this year?
Bove: Like I was saying, I just think that my mindset has developed and I've matured a lot in some ways this year. I learned that having fun is honestly the most important part of running, after all that is why we do it! I also had a huge summer with lots of extremely tough days hitting a swim bike and run all in one day many times throughout this summer. I backed off my training a bit this fall and I think that the balance of your life is just as important as the dedication. Being able to focus on my school work as well as visiting with my friends and family for the last few months before I leave has left me joyful at the start line of every race. I also can not take much of the credit for my successes this season at all to be completely honest. I am not the one who is staying up at night writing my workouts, or the one working to provide food, and an amazing home. I owe all my success to my amazing family who has never failed to love me, my friends who always support me, and the teachers and administration at Centennial High School, the greatest high school of all time, for making my success a priority! All I do is the workouts and the races, this community provides everything else.
What advice do you have for other runners looking to improve their times?
Bove: Honestly the best I can give to anyone is to find what you're passionate about. Find what makes you special and what purpose you serve. In today's world it is so easy to see our "role models" and sport super-stars and try to be photocopies of them. There is a reason we are all here, and I know for a fact that every person in the sport of cross country has so much more to offer outside of their times or best finishes! Until you figure that out about yourself, you will never have a success, or at least have a very hard time finding consistency. If you eat sleep breathe running all day every day, when you happen to perform badly you will have a bad day, then a bad week, a bad month, a bad season, then a bad year. It is impossible to ever please yourself that way! As far as training goes, I very, very strongly recommend cross training! I believe that absolutely everyone can benefit from swimming and cycling. My sophomore year I ran a 4:12 mile running around 20 miles a week because of the fitness I got from swimming, cycling and lifting. I do run a bit closer to 35 miles today, but that still is nothing compared to what most people are running today. I believe that your hard days should be hard. Hit the times your coach gives you and trust that your coach knows what he/she is doing. Take your easy runs easy. Races should hurt from mile 1. It's supposed to be hard, the longer you can handle the pain the more you will be pleased with your day. And never, ever, ever forget to have fun and find balance in life!