Ashton Eaton sets sights on Olympics and repeating decathlon gold medal
EUGENE, Ore. - The U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials kick off at Hayward Field in exactly four months.
Right now, there isn't a bigger name in the sport than Ashton Eaton who will attempt to repeat as Olympic decathlon gold medalist.
Eaton is currently in the midst of training, but he says his conditioning isn't as intense now as it was a year ago.
"In the Olympic year, we don't work nearly as hard as we did the year before," said Harry Marra, Eaton's coach.
As Eaton sets his sights on another Olympic decathlon gold medal, his focus now is on the little things.
"90 percent of what we do is technical and when you spend a lot of your time running and beating up your legs and your body to practice, those technical things feeling terrible, it's really hard to make improvements. So this year we are going to practice feeling good," Eaton said.
He said he feels good after a banner season in 2015 highlighted by a world record performance at the championships. But was it his best season to date?
"I guess [it was the best season]," Eaton said. "I got the world record and stuff but I didn't really compete that much. It was kind of a slow year and a boring year in a way."
Eaton's description sounds like quite the opposite of the year ahead. He'll stop in Eugene at his home track of Hayward Field for the U.S. Olympic Trials on his quest to become the third man in history to repeat as Olympic decathlon champion.
"I try to think about having the trials somewhere else and I can't even imagine traveling, staying in a hotel, not having the Hayward crowd, just having a crowd that's humming. So you kind of just take those things for granted if you don't try to say 'man, what if they weren't here,'" he said.
Eaton said it's an advantage for him to compete at Hayward.
The decathlon will be held on the second and third days of the trials.