Alumni Focus: Zach Haire

Alumni Focus: Zach Haire

Zach Haire is a 2018 graduate of Breckenridge High School. He now runs at the University of St. Thomas. 

High school PRs: 100m (14.71) 1600m (4:42.49) 3200m (9:55.55) 5000m (16:21.4) 

College PRs: 3000m (8:40) 5000m (15:08) 8000m (25:45) 

Discuss the transition from high school competition to competing at the college level. What adjustments have you had to make in order to be as successful as possible?

As soon as I arrived on campus, I was surrounded by many likeminded individuals which made hard workouts, lifting, rolling out, icing and all other aspects of running that much easier. Fully focusing my time on running this freshman year has also been a big change. In High School, I wrestled from November-March which was a nice break from distance running, but I didn't reach the track times I wanted come spring. Buying into Coach Wareham's training plan has been instrumental in improving as a runner much quicker than I could have imagined. Along with adjusting the mileage and workouts, I have also vastly improved my nutrition. I have made sure to eat a lot better than I allowed myself to in High School. At UST, it has also been incredibly beneficial to work in upper body gym workouts and core workouts more frequently. Finally, I have made sure to utilize all possible resources on campus whether academically to help manage schoolwork, athletically to stay healthy and fit, or spiritually to focus on what matters most.

Tell us about your training regimen by giving a general overview of what goes into getting prepared for your next big event.

As far as training, consistency as always been key for me. Whether it be for a postseason race or even just daily workouts, my routine is very similar day in and day out. Since I started running cross country freshman year of HS, all the miles and training have compounded with PRs dropping every season. I started around 20-25 miles a week that first year and have slowly upped it every year where now I sit around 65-70 miles. It has been important to never rush anything training-wise while staying healthy and injury free.I have always just trusted my coaches and body which usually has me peaking at the right time.

What athletic-based goals do you hope to accomplish during this upcoming year?

With the cancellation of outdoor track, I am excited to get back to racing in the fall and keep going for new PRs. Some lofty goals for XC next fall are top 5 at the MIAC XC Championships, break 25 minutes in the 8k, and qualify for the National Championships as a team again. In track, I am looking to break 8:30 in the 3k, 14:45 in the 5k, and 31 minutes in the 10k. Hopefully I can qualify for nationals in one of those events. Overall, make the most of our last year in the MIAC while staying healthy and happy.

How has your training and schedule changed because of the current pandemic?

I was looking forward to keeping the momentum going from indoor track right into outdoor track, so it has been a tough mental adjustment going back to a base training phase. Currently, I have been building up mileage since mid-March with two fartleks or longer tempos per week. I am just focusing on building a big base and staying healthy before XC next fall. The biggest struggle being home has been training alone and sticking to a schedule. I have tried to stay motivated and keep doing the little things, but it becomes much tougher when you are at it alone. I plan on taking a week break first week of May and then transition into a slow build of summer mileage. Down the road, I am excited to go on weekly runs with some friends in nearby cities.

Do you have any advice that you can offer an incoming freshman on how to best deal with the higher level of competition they'll encounter at the college level? Also, what tips can you provide regarding the balance between training commitments and academic demands?

First off, I would encourage anyone is unsure whether they want to run in college to do it. I was going back and forth during Junior and Senior year, but I clearly know now that deciding to run at UST was one of the best decisions of my life. Primarily my concerns were regarding balancing athletics with my academics, social life, and faith; however, running has only enhanced those other aspects. Those teammates you spend each day with will become your best friends and the people you can count on down the road. Academically (just like in high school), running year-round will help you stay on a schedule and motivate you to stay on top of things. Also, never be afraid to reach out to your coaches, professors, or friends if you feel like you are falling behind in your classes. They are there to help you!