408k Elite Brett Gotcher

tumblr_inline_n1nzj1aYv41qb8gdvBrett Gotcher is one of the top distance runners in the U.S. today.  He finished 5th at 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon, narrowly missing a chance at Beijing.  He has a best of 2:10:36 in the marathon which is a staggering 4:58 per mile pace FOR AN ENTIRE MARATHON.  Crazy town.

However, most importantly, Brett is a local boy.  He attended Aptos High School in Santa Cruz County and went on to compete at Stanford University.  This spring Brett will be running a number of races including the post-bombing Boston Marathon and the San Jose 408k “Race to the Row.”  2014 San Jose 408k race director, Scott McConville, grew up with Brett and thus Mr. Gotcher has been cool enough to sit down and answer a few questions before this weekend’s race.  There are some good training tips below, not to mention some interesting insights into the life of a professional runner.

Brett’s sponsors & supporters include Adidas, Precisions Wellness Center, Dr. Ho at Elite Chiropractic in San Jose and his fiancee Valerie. (sorry ladies)

So you’re a big time, nationally known U.S. Distance runner, why the San Jose 408k? Clearly you heard it was the greatest race ever. 

I heard the race management was top notch, so I had to get in on the action.  Honestly though, it’s the perfect opportunity to dust off the race uniform and go through all of my usual pre race routines before I get ready to tackle some bigger challenges down the road.

Any part of the event you’re particularly looking forward to? 

I know the purpose of this race is to promote and bring together your local running community.  From my perspective, if we want our sport to stay alive, we need strong local running communities.  As a professional runner myself, I know my livelihood depends on it, so I’m excited to be a part of bringing runners from the 408 together.

Good answer, you clearly studied up.  Now, we understand you’re preparing for the Boston Marathon. For numerous reasons this year it will be extra special. What does it mean to you? 

I have never run the Boston Marathon, so that right there makes it pretty special already.  But when you take into account everything that happened last year, it almost becomes more than just a race.  I think the eyes of the entire world will be focused on Boston that morning, runners and non runners alike.  I don’t know if there ever has been or ever will be a race that will have as much significance and media attention as this years race.  It’s a great chance to show the world how running can bring people together and I’m honored that I get to take part in it.

Give us the “Cliff’s notes” on the typical day of a pro runner? 

Are you sure?  It’s pretty riveting stuff.  At times, the schedule can be pretty slow and boring, but it varies depending on the time of year and what type of race I’m getting ready for.  The last few months have actually been some of the busiest months of my running career.  A lot of that has to do with the fact that I’m getting ready for a marathon and have also been coming back from an injury last fall, so there’s plenty to do between runs to make sure I stay healthy.  This is basically how it goes:

  • Wake up between 6-7am
  • Breakfast, coffee, stretch
  • Start my run sometime between 8-9am
  • Run is anywhere from 1 hour to 3 hours
  • Lunch

Certain days, I will drive to San Jose to see my chiropractor, Dr. Ho at Elite Chiropractic.  Dr. Ho and the staff there have been so invested in my health from the first day I saw him, I know I wouldn’t be able to train at the level I’m at without their help.  I usually get about an hour of stretching, stim, and ART to loosen up the muscles and get rid of any adhesions.

Other days, I’ll go to my gym, Precision Wellness Center, in Aptos.  Another reason I think I’ve been able to stay healthy lately is that I’ve been on a consistent weight lifting routine.  The people at PWC have been extremely helpful by letting me use the facility as a sponsored athlete.  (Goes back to having a strong running community!)

  • Go for my 2nd run at around 4pm.  Usually 30-50 minutes
  • The rest of the evening is all about resting, eating a good meal, and getting to bed so I can do it all over again the next day.

Any training advice for the 408 faithful? 

The best training advice I can give is to mix up your running pace.  It can be really easy to get into this monotonous, slogging kind of running when you go out and run the same pace everyday.  It can be super helpful if you throw in some small surges on your runs a couple times a week.  It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but just something to get your legs moving a little quicker than normal.  Start small, with maybe 15-30 second surges a few times during your run.  Then you can work up to doing 1 minute surges or longer down the road.  If you do this properly, I think you can surprise yourself on race day.

Good luck brah! Shaka.