HOKA High School Memories with Leo Manzano

While longtime HOKA fans are probably familiar with him, Leo “The Lion” Manzano was one of the first professional track athletes HOKA sponsored in 2014. Beyond his stellar accolades on the track as an 800m and 1500m athlete, Leo exemplified the importance of hard work and commitment before his retirement from the sport in 2019. As athletes are already logging miles for the HOKA Summer Mile Club, we sat down with Leo to hear more about his own training as a high school summer athlete.


Hi all – Leo Manzano here! I’ve been running for a total of 20 years, 11 of which were professional, and I’ve been a HOKA ONE ONE athlete since 2014. Throughout my time as an athlete, some of my greatest accomplishments were running a 3:50 mile, 3:30 in the 1500m and winning the silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics. As I look back at these accomplishments, I credit a lot of it to the strong foundations I built as a young athlete in high school.

There was a lot of hard work that we did behind all the success and as the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child,” and I am so grateful for my high school coaches, Coach Futrell and Coach Fletcher. They were actually football coaches, but were so passionate about track and field that when I arrived to Marble Falls High School, they went the extra mile to learn how to train a mid-distance runner. I attribute my success and longevity to the sport to the way they coached me.


I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to train or to be coached as long as it is beneficial to you. The big debate is over quality or quantity, and for me it was all about quality. To give you a better understanding of what training looked like throughout high school, I would have to run  back-to-back races with a mile, then 30-40 minutes later jump in the 4x400m. I would always be so tired and in so much pain after running the mile, but finding out how to push through the fatigue and pain was what helped me become faster and stronger. With that being said, I would come back to the 4x400m and close in 49-51 seconds!

Another aspect of training was the amount of miles I ran each week. While some coaches swear by training mid- or long-distance runners with 60-80 miles per week, I ran at most 30-40 miles. With fewer miles to run each week, this taught me how to bring a higher level of intensity and focus to each training session.

One of my favorite high school memories was running  workouts of 5-6 X (400m + 200m), running the 400m in about 60-65 seconds, 30 seconds of rest, then running 200m between 26-30 seconds with 3-5 minute rest between sets. It was brutal and taught me how to push through a lot of pain. Looking back, this type of quality-over-quantity training helped me become a better competitor with overall faster times and better closing speeds. I was able to run the 800m in 1:51, 1600m in 4:06, 3200m in 9:07 and won 9 State Championships throughout my high school career.

There was a lot of hard work that went into building these strong foundations in high school, and I wish I incorporated more fun into it like the HOKA ONE ONE Summer Mile Club. Runners can log in their miles and have chances to win awesome HOKA gear such as hats, shirts, shoes and more! Nonetheless, my high school career taught me so much (on and off the track) about discipline and accountability, and I am so grateful for all the opportunities it brought and all the people that helped me along the way.


Wondering what Leo’s favorite shoes are now? For daily training, he loves the Hupana; for faster efforts, he wears the Rincon; and for long runs, Leo puts on the Cavu 3.



Nicky Inge (@Nickyingenn)
Nicky Inge (@Nickyingenn)

If you’ve been feeling a little cooped up lately, chances are your four-legged friend feels the same way.

After a while, those walks to the park for a game of fetch might feel like a missed opportunity to get even more active.

You might want to try a dog jog.

Running with your dog is a great way to stay active, reconnect with your furriest family member, stay safe during solo runs, and reinforce positive pet behaviors along the way.

But there are some guidelines to follow to make sure you and your pet are running smoothly.

Keep the following in mind:

Not Every Dog is a Born Runner

As much as every pooch can benefit from exercise, some breeds are just not run-ready.

If your pup is built for comfort more than speed – short-legged and short-snouted varieties can especially struggle – it might be best to leave them at home when you hit the road.

The last thing you want is to end up miles from home with a worn-out Basset Hound or wheezing Bulldog. That’s a recipe for switching your own workout from a leisurely run to hardcore endurance weight training.

You’ll know if your dog is a good potential running partner if they have energy to burn around the house.

If you’re already tossing tennis balls for hours on end, or if they’re zooming all over the couch every time you turn around, those are good signs you have a runner on your hands. Less so if their usual activity level puts them in danger of growing moss.

Mireille Sine (@mireille.sine)
Mireille Sine (@mireille.sine)

The Leash of Your Worries

If leash discipline isn’t your dog’s strong suit, you’ll want to work on it during your regular walks (two tips: treats and consistency) before bringing them up to a full gallop.


Because as much as we’d all love to run free with our perfectly behaved best friends, let’s face it, not every dog is Lassie.

You’ll be running too, and unless you enjoy brushing off road rash to chase your dog through the bushes (or worse, traffic), you want an obedient and reliable running partner who won’t dart away at the first sign of squirrel.

Plan to run with a leash, and make sure you’re confident in your dog’s ability to do so. Getting there will require diligence and focus. If you’re having a rough start, enlist another human to help reinforce the pack rules.

As for the leash setup, when your dog is ready you’ll want to put them in a non-chafing shoulder harness with a back loop, and you might want to try an extendable leash option once your furry friend proves themselves trustworthy.

Keep leash etiquette in mind, and hold your dog close whenever you cross paths with any other humans or canines to avoid tangles or clotheslining.

Run at the Pooch’s Pace (and Distance)

If you’re used to a brisk daily five mile run, you might want to temper expectations for your first trip out with the dog.

Try a nice slow, even jogging pace over your usual shorter “business trip” dog walking route first as a primer, and go from there.

Remember, they’re new to running. Slow down when they slow down. Stop when they stop. Wait when they do their business (and definitely bring baggies for cleanup).

And if an encouraging “let’s go” command doesn’t get them back on track, don’t push – or pull.

If they’re tugging against the harness to go faster than is usual for you, a heel command and a quick short yank on your leash (just enough to remind them you’re there) will work better than sustained pulling – but as mentioned before, leash discipline should be worked out already.

Hot day? Bring a water bottle and a fanny pack with collapsible bowl to keep both you and your dog hydrated.

Scott Fauble (@sfaubs)
Scott Fauble (@sfaubs)

Footwear and Paw Care

What’s the best shoe to wear for interspecies running?

This can get tricky.

The grip-added features of a trail running shoe can help you be a more sure-footed master, but the deeper grooves and bigger lugs associated with trail running soles can make for a messy cleanup in case “it” happens.

A road running model makes the worst-step scenario a little less bad, but running exclusively over concrete surfaces can be tough on a pooch’s paws – especially when it’s hot.

All in all, a trail running shoe, extra vigilance, and a planned route with at least some natural, unpaved running surfaces are the best mix for all six legs involved.

Shop Trail Running Shoes

And if your dog pulls up limpy from any initial test runs, you might want to explore booties or paw healing ointment options before you give it another try.

The main thing to remember, across every aspect of dog running, is you’re the responsible party. So always train your dog up, make every concession you can to their needs and abilities, and take small steps as you develop into a trusty running tandem.

Good luck, and enjoy your run.

Top Trails Video Series 9: Washington D.C.

The ninth stop for the HOKA ONE ONE Top Trails video series is Washington D.C. HOKA Athlete Mike Wardian leads us through Billy Goat Trail; a gnarly, technical trail in the northern Virginia/Washington D.C. area. Host Matt Barnhart then meets up with Chris Farley (Owner, Pacers Running) to talk about the running community in D.C., which surprisingly has more running clubs than anywhere else in the country. Our hosts end their trip at local favorite, Ser, to chat with Mike Wardian about life as an ultra runner and the opportunity to travel with his family.

Check out the HOKA Speed Instinct here, Mike’s shoe of choice for braving the Billy Goat Trail.

Geek Out: HOKA Shoe Guide to the Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving Turkey Trots are a tradition observed by runners almost as much mashed potatoes with gravy. The short 5k to 10k runs are great for sweaty family bonding, for enjoying the crisp Fall air, and of course as an excuse to spread some extra butter on your cornbread at dinner.

We hope you will throw on your stretchy pants pre-meal this year for a holiday run. Here is the HOKA guide for Thanksgiving Turkey Trot shoes for the whole family.

Clifton 3

In case you haven’t heard the hype, your old favorite got an update, and it’s better than ever before. The lightweight cushion you love is here with a more accommodating forefoot. New to HOKA? Take these for a trot to see what the brand is all about. You might not even crave dessert after experiencing this sweet ride.



If you are looking for speed and cushion, Clayton is the shoe for you. The 2016 Runner’s World Editor’s Choice Award Winner is a favorite for it’s responsiveness. The Clayton is a racing favorite for 3rd place IRONMAN World Championship winner Heather Jackson. For us average people, it will perform well in the short distances of the standard Turkey Trot, and still provide a cushioned ride. This versatile road shoe will make you thankful for running.



The HOKA Tracer was made for speed. This extremely lightweight model is perfect for the family overachiever. Most of us came to burn off some impending Thanksgiving dinner calories, but the Tracer wearer came to win.


Bondi 4

There will inevitably be a family member who refuses to participate in the trot because they are “not a runner”. Prove them wrong by having them try the Bondi 4. As the most cushioned model in the HOKA line, Bondi 4 will keep even the grumpiest uncle smiling mile after mile. Let this shoe demonstrate that less is not always more, especially when it comes to cushion and pumpkin pie.



HOKA Team Planking Challenge

About one month ago, the HOKA Marketing team decided to take on the challenge of planking together for 90 seconds twice a day. Anticipated benefits included improved core strength and a nice break from screen time. While some were initially hesitant to join in, team planking has become a team bonding activity we look forward to every day.

We interviewed some of the team to see how planking in the office has impacted their lives. 


Why did you decide to start planking twice a day during work?

“It’s a quick, fun, low impact way to get up from my desk during the day and engage and strengthen my core! And our HOKA coworkers are a competitive bunch, so when it was spun as a ‘challenge’ we hooked more people.”- Suzie

“It’s something I think everyone can benefit from beyond the obvious physical gains. It helps promote the healthy lifestyle our brand represents as well as build team camaraderie and a little fun competition.”- Jared

“Peer pressure.”- Ian

How do you feel after planking?

“I honestly feel great and slightly accomlished! 90 seconds of planking is more of an achievement than it sounds! I also feel energized and more alert after, ready to jump back into focusing on my work.”- Suzie

“Sore, in the best way possible.”- Jared

How do you feel that planking improves team unity?

“I think that planking twice each day brings our team together so much. We are all working on the same thing at the same time for 90 seconds..not falling to the ground.”- Justin

“With the distance that our team has with people working offsite and traveling, it’s fun to hear and see (via snapchat) that people are doing the plank even though they’re not physically in the same room. Also it’s fun to hear that people who work in different areas are also joining in, like HOKA sales op and product team. I get a notification when someone forwards the Outlook reminder, and it always makes me smile that more people want to join in.”- Suzie

“Mutual pain brings mutual respect.”- Ian

How long do you plan on continuing planking?

“Indefinitely, #plankforlife.”- Jared