In Episode 31 of the Final Surge Podcast we welcome professional runner Drew Hunter. Many consider Drew the best American high school runner since Alan Webb. Drew turned down the opportunity to run at Oregon and instead signed a deal with Adidas to turn pro. We talk to Drew about what went into that decision-making process, how the new lifestyle is treating him, and we break down a week of workouts. During the first couple of questions there were a few audio issues with his phone, but it cleared up. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I enjoyed doing it.
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So let’s start from the beginning. When did you get your start running?
Before your mile in 8th grade, had you ever run before? Or, was that really your first time?
How fast was your mile in 8th grade?
When was it that it struck you, “Hey, I may be pretty good at this and have a future in the sport”.
We talked to your coach Tom Schwartz in Episode 12 about you going pro. You had said that you were going to head off to Oregon, but then you decided to take another direction. Can you tell us what went into that decision making process?
So what are your plans for college?
You had ended your high school career with Lyme disease. Do you feel like you are most of the way back and are you fully recovered from that now?
You signed with Adidas, but are not really part of a team. One of the tough parts about going pro right away is that you lose that team aspect. How has that change been for you?
Your coach is across the country and you have no team, but have you found any running buddies?
So how has your training changed since you turned pro?
Everyone who ran in high school knows the drill. You are in school all day, then you get in your running and strength work, you spend a couple hours on homework, and by the time you realize it, it is time for bed and you have to get started all over again. Now, your job is to run. So what does a day look like now that this is your job?
What’s been the biggest challenge on or off the track for your transition to being a pro?
You made your debut at the Sir Walter Miler last August. What was it like lining up on the line as a pro runner for the first time and not running against high school kids your age? Did it feel different?
How is it working with Adidas knowing they are paying you, but at the same time knowing you are younger and not quite there yet? Do you feel any pressure?
This weekend you ran another sub 4-minute mile at The Armory to win the MenÍs 1 Mile Elite race during the New Balance Games. Is this where you see your career focusing on in the next few years (the 1500/mile)?
Let’s talk about that training. Listeners love to hear training talk. Can you walk us through some training, the types of workouts you do, and the paces you run them in?
How are you communicating with your coach Tom Schwartz on these workouts?
What is your next race you have on the calendar?
What is the plan for outdoor season?
Did you set any goals for this year?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I know your mom is a high school track coach. If she asked you “So what advice do you have for young high school runners who may be just getting started in the sport of track?”, what would you tell them?
Rapid Fire… 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite running book? – Born To Run
Current trainers you are wearing? – Adidas Supernova Glide
Favorite race? – Mile
Favorite meal or recovery drink? – Chocolate Protein Drink
Your favorite workout – Hill Repeats
You can find Drew online in the following places:
Team Final Surge