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For Leo Manzano it hasn’t been easy reaching for the top, nor staying there – but he has been overcoming the odds his entire life. Born in central Mexico in a town that until recently did not have running water or electricity, Leo moved with his family to Texas at the age of four where he later took up running as a youth - at one point even running in work boots. Leo progressed and had a standout high school career for Marble Falls High School in Marble Falls, Texas, where he won a total of nine Texas 4A state championships. Despite this, his 5’5 physical build made it difficult to get attention from many traditional running powerhouse schools. It still worked out - finding a great match when he was recruited to University of Texas as the first member of his family to attend college. In Austin, he became just the second Longhorn to run the mile in under 4 minutes, amassed ten Big 12 championships, 2 NCAA 1500m outdoor titles and 2 NCAA indoor mile titles and a distance medley relay tile along with becoming the first ever Longhorn to make the U.S. Olympic squad in the 1,500m. After not making the 1500m final in the Beijing games in 2008, he made the final in London in 2012 and ran a heroic finish to the race moving from last place going into the bell lap to second and claiming the silver medal, the first for the US since Jim Ryun in 1968 and one of just 4 US men to ever do so. After that accomplishment, a period of challenges and hard work followed with contemplation of leaving the sport after finding himself without a sponsor. But 2014 brought him a new sponsor with Hoka One One, a new agent Hawi Keflezighi, brother of Meb Keflezighi, and a new coach, John Hayes. It’s led to an outstanding year for Leo winning the USA 1500m Outdoor National Championship and a new 1500m PR in Monaco in July of 3:30.98. He’s proved doubters wrong time and time again throughout his career though perhaps his greatest asset is his determination, heart and of course, a competition crushing finishing kick. The importance of consistency Consistently timing your peak and bringing out your best performance on race day What he does when he mentally wants to just give up in a race Knowing when to kick into the finish - avoiding too soon or too late A recount of his heroic final lap in Men's 1500m Final during the 2012 London Olympic Games His perfect formula to develop your own kick Overcoming the post race blues that almost made him quit following the pinnacle of his career His advice at becoming a better miler so that you can improve at all distances Coaching Minute An insight from Leo's training progression from high school to collegiate to professional running that you can implement within your own running to achieve a new level of success. Success Quote "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." -Sir Edmund Hillary Links Mentioned in the Show Watch Leo's Finish at the 1500m Final 2012 Olympics Watch Leo's pre-race ritual 2012 Olympics LeoManzano.com - Leo's website