It’s 6 a.m. and while most people are rolling over in bed or dreaming of a bowl of Captain Crunch, Giovanni Barajas is already out on a 12-mile run.
“It’s crazy, but I don’t stretch before a run,” Barajas said. “I just start running. I don’t really eat breakfast or have a special diet I follow.”
Barajas is the top runner for the Don’s men’s cross country team, winning the 2019 Orange Empire Conference and placing sixth in the Southern California Championships and qualifying for the state finals.
Despite dealing with food poisoning two days prior to the state meet, Barajas was strong enough to finish 15th, missing All-American by one place, but improving 35 places from the 2018 championships.
Training has been crucial to his improved performance. Giovanni increased the mileage of his training runs to about 80 miles per week, performed strenuous hill drills, track workouts and intervals, focusing on his speed.
“This year, we changed our training,” Barajas said. “I had a talk with the coaches before the season and told them to bring out their best and most intense workouts because I want to be a good runner and represent SAC.”