Chalk Talk: Brandon Hontz

Get in the race with tips from a running veteran.

illustration of three men nearing a marathon finish line by Joel Kimmel

Brandon Hontz courtesySpeed Boost

Brandon Hontz ’22 Bus, who has been running for Penn State’s cross country and track and field programs since 2017, has learned a lot about how best to prepare his body for a race. Whether you’re taking on a 10K or just want to knock a few seconds off your mile time, his tips can help.


Persistent prep work

Hontz draws confidence on race days from the knowledge that he’s put in consistent training, which also helps him avoid injuries. “It doesn’t have to be anything crazy,” he says.


illustration of calendar with blue x's and blue marker by Joel KimmelDon’t push it

Regular training is good, but taking on too much too soon can be counterproductive. Add mileage to your runs gradually. “I’ve always been a fan of being slightly undertrained as opposed to the opposite,” he says.


Find your stride

Hontz discovered early in his career that his legs crossed over slightly when he ran. He’s since focused on keeping them properly spaced and creating a more even foot strike.


Keep some in the tank

In short races like the mile or longer races like the 10K, Hontz believes in using as little energy as possible early in the race and saving it for the final kick.