HOKA ONE ONE Pro Runners Give Their Best Advice to High Schoolers

by LetsRun.com (sponsored by HOKA ONE ONE)
April 19, 2020

On the last day of February, hundreds of America’s best runners and tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of fans gathered in Atlanta for the Olympic Marathon Trials. It was beautiful.

Prior to the Trials, we at LetsRun.com profiled the HOKA ONE ONE athletes racing in Atlanta as part of our HOKA Takes On the Marathon Trials coverage. So it was an extra bit special when one of them, Aliphine Tuliamuk, won the women’s race.

In the lead-up to the race, we asked each of the HOKA pros what advice they would give high school runners, and shared the responses with you in each athletes’ Trials Q&A.

Aliphine Tuliamuk wins the Trials

Now, we’ve gone ahead and aggregated all their advice into one place as a resource for any high schoolers looking to improve (although a lot of the advice applies to older runners as well). You’ll see that the advice they gave is often pretty similar and simple. We think it’s definitely worth hearing.

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Some of the top runners in America tell the up and coming high school runners to have fun, be consistent, be patient, don’t over do it, and dream big. Anyone who takes those things to heart will not only become a better runner, but a lifelong runner.

Responses below from the HOKA pros to: “What one piece of advice would you give to a high school / younger runner?

Be consistent / Be patient

Jim Walmsley America’s #1 ultra runner: “Believe in yourself. Consistency is powerful. Stay healthy and keep training for your dream.”

Sid Vaughn: HOKA NAZ Elite pro: “Stay the course and be willing to put in the time and work in order to achieve your goals. You don’t get successful in running overnight and no one workout or training run will do it either. It is the sum of weeks, months and even years that will get you to your goals.”

Swarnjit Boyal: From walk-on to college champion: “Just get out the door. It’s the hardest part. The rest will take care of itself. There are good days and bad days. And even if you have a bad run or workout, by just getting out the door you’re getting better and one step closer to reaching your goals as a runner. But it starts by getting out the door.”

David Fuentes: 2-time US mountain team member: “Discipline and consistency go a long way.”

Enjoy What You’re Doing

Kellyn Taylor and Ben Rosarsio after her pb at the Grandma’s Marathon

Kellyn Taylor: 8th place 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials: “Be a kid. Do the work, but enjoy your time. Most runners that have had long careers are those that didn’t take this sport too seriously early on.”

Ashley Brasovan: 2007 Foot Locker high school national champ: “Have fun and enjoy the process! I wish I wouldn’t have taken running so seriously in high school and think that led to many injuries in college.”

Scott Fauble: 4th in the 2016 Olympic Trials 10,000m, 2:09 marathoner: “Listen to your coaches, make sure it’s always fun.”

Scott Smith: 2:11 marathoner: “Enjoy being on a high school team, that was some of the most fun times I’ve ever had running.”

Tyler Andrews: 2nd at 50k World Champs: “Be patient, love the sport. Running is a life-long sport (if you want it to be) and you should find what you love about it. Maybe that’s being on a team and having that social aspect, maybe it’s really internal and all about pushing yourself, maybe it’s some combination of lots of different things. But find the things that make running fun, joyful, and find ways to keep doing those. Don’t let anyone else decide your path.”

Sergio Reyes: 2010 US marathon champ: “You’ll end up pushing yourself so much further if you can start, continue, and end having fun doing it. Don’t put the pressure on yourself, the sport’s not for everyone, you must enjoy doing it.”

Don’t Do Too Much

Aliphine Tuliamuk: US Olympic Marathon Trials champ: “Listen you your body and coaches, don’t over do it in the training, too many miles for a younger athlete could be detrimental, most important fuel properly so you can keep your body healthy hence achieving your highest athletic goals”

Liza Reichert: 2:42 marathoner: “Take prophylactic days off here and there – you won’t lose fitness.”

Rajpaul pacing Jim Walmsley at HOKA Carbon X event (via @lightningraj)

Rajpaul Pannu: 2:17 marathoner: “Don’t run yourself to the ground. This is the perfect time to ‘build yourself’ up as an athlete.”

Dream Big

Stephanie Bruce: 6th at the 2020 Olympic Trials: “Give yourself time, don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t limit your goals and dreams.”

Addi Zerrenner: 2:37 marathoner:  “Be that kid with dreams so big it makes your peers uncomfortable.”

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