Q&A with Hoka One One Athlete Leo Manzano

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When you’re in the running industry, you get to meet a lot of great people. Leo Manzano is one of those great people that Running Warehouse has been honored to work with, and we had the opportunity to ask him a handful of questions – not only about his time at the Olympic Trials, but also about his current training.


How long have you been running?
I have been running ever since I can remember. My first memory of running was back in Mexico with my grandfather. While we would herd sheep, I would challenge him to run while the sheep would graze. A few years later I learned what track and cross country were as a 7th grader in Marble Falls Middle School. The first day of practice I showed up wearing jeans, a dress shirt and hiking boots. That’s how I ran until a few weeks later when my cross country coach gave me my first pair of running shoes and running attire.

DSC01614What is your favorite distance to run?
I love to race the 1500m, 800m, and the mile. But really I love to run all distances. Especially leisurely long runs.

Was there a specific workout prior to the Olympic Trials that you felt prepared you to compete?
Yes, I did a 5×800 at 2:08 pace then 4×300 at 42-41seconds. Which made me feel ready!

Tell us a little about what you took away from your time at the Olympic Trials.
I had many setbacks in my health and family, and I still finished a strong fourth by less than a second. This tells me that without those health and family issues, it is safe to wonder about a different result. That being said, with minimal time to prepare, it shows that I am very capable, and I can look to four more years and longevity in the sport.

What race tactics did you experience?
I felt I executed perfectly. I knew my competitors would take it with 400m to go and all I needed to do was to be patient. I followed them waiting for my time to kick, but unfortunately I had given it all I had. I left it all on the track and finished an honest fourth.

What’s next for you? Any races coming up?
Yes, there are a few more races scheduled. I am hoping to finish on a good note and then finally take a much needed break. The effort level I put into it this year has been high and it is always good to refresh the body and mind with some good time off. I will be taking some time off, hoping to come back stronger for next year’s World Championships.

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What are your thoughts on the new HOKA ONE ONE spikes and how have they performed so far?
The new spikes are incredible – super light while still maintaining the HOKA ONE ONE trademark cushioning. My legs feel great after using them and I love training and competing in them.

What shoes are you currently training in?
I train in the Clifton 3, Tracer, the Clayton, the Speed Evo R (available in 2017) and on occasion the Stinson.

What new shoe are you the most excited about?
The Speed Instinct.

What is your spirit animal and why?
The Lion, because they are loving and cuddly but don’t mess with them. :)

Current pump-up jam?
No current ones, anything with a good beat.

Leave us with your go-to motivational quotes or mantras.
One moment of pain for a lifetime of glory!

Thanks, Leo!

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