Female athlete of the year: 1st Lt. Alyson Gleason

1st Lt. Alyson Gleason, 2nd Range Operations Squadron range control officer, stands for the National Anthem before a soccer game. Gleason was nominated as the female athlete of the year by the 30th Force Support Squadron sports and fitness center. (courtesy photo)

1st Lt. Alyson Gleason, 2nd Range Operations Squadron range control officer, stands for the National Anthem before a soccer game. Gleason was nominated as the female athlete of the year by the 30th Force Support Squadron sports and fitness center VAFB. (courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- This year the 30th Force Support Squadron sports and fitness center nominated 1st Lt. Alyson Gleason, 2nd Range Operations Squadron range control officer, as the female athlete of the year.

The recognition Gleason received for being an outstanding athlete is not something she was seeking, or even expecting, she was recognized for doing what she loves.

"It is very important to recognize outstanding athletic accomplishments for many reasons," said Pamela Coffey, 30th FSS fitness center director. "It provides athletes with inspiration to continue to pursue or strive for excellence in their particular sport. Positive recognition can set the stage for inspiring others or bringing out the very best in athletes. Our local athletes put in a lot of time and dedication towards achieving great success in their sport. They possess drive and determination that will most likely transfer into their everyday life on the job and within their personal lives."

Gleason didn't get where she is overnight, and her workout regimen is not for the faint of heart. Regardless of one's physical ability however, Gleason attests that much of her success is due to self-motivation and mental willpower.

"I would say most of my training is 50 percent mental and 50 percent physical," said Gleason. "It is important to have a base physical ability, but the mental ability to continue to train day-in and day-out at a high level is equally important. My typical training schedule is to do cardio in the mornings before work. These types of training sessions are usually interval sessions focused on running, biking, or swimming. During the lunch hour or after work I train strength and speed. These training sessions are geared towards explosive movements like weight lifting, footwork drills, and sprints. I am a bit of a unique athlete when it comes to training because I am neither an explicit endurance athlete nor a soccer player - I am a bit of both so my training has to incorporate some of what is needed to succeed in both of those."

Gleason, who is a member of the Armed Forces soccer team, also dabbles in running triathlons as well as playing rugby.

"I play soccer for the Armed Forces team; it is what I was recruited for in college," said Gleason. "But I also love to play rugby, which I played in college and try to play as much as I can now. This year I was also able to compete in multiple triathlons, including the Scott Tingley Triathlon at Lopez Lake and half-marathons including the Chapel to Church race in Orcutt."
Gleason is continually looking for new and different workouts that better suit her needs, depending on her end goal. 

"I do triathlons for fun and don't necessarily follow a training plan but rather look for workouts that fit my needs," said Gleason. "Overall for any sport I think it is important to find the type of training that works for you and develop a plan from there, being careful not to leave out areas of weakness."