During the month of May, to support our partnership with the USATF Foundation, we are highlighting several USATF Foundation athletes in a series of Athlete Spotlights.
Erik Sowinski is a middle-distance runner who holds both world and U.S. Indoor records. A former University of Iowa All-American, he is currently ranked 22nd in the world for the 800m.
What is your event and why do you love it? I run the 800 meters. For me, it’s the perfect balance between a sprint and an endurance event. It’s a long enough that you have to learn to be tactical, but not so long that you have to battle mental barriers during the race.
What motivates you to keep going? I get to do something that I love for a living and not a lot of people get to say that. Track and field has been a huge part of my life since high school. I’ve met some of my best friends and have been able to travel the world through the sport. Just knowing how lucky I am to be in the position I am in is all the motivation that I need.
What is that one part of your training/nutrition routine you can’t live without? Coffee. It’s the one constant that I can always count on to get me through my day.
What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome? During my first year out of college, I had to balance working 30-40 hours a week while trying to train and compete at an elite level.
That is a lot to balance. How did the USATF Foundation help you? Their financial support and resources have made my life as a professional athlete much less stressful and much more enjoyable. The USATF Foundation has helped me find the perfect balance between working and training and I am extremely thankful for that.
To donate to the USATF Foundation and learn more about their mission, visit www.usatffoundation.org.