Tegenkamp just doing it

first_imgProfessional running doesn’t have the same zeal as other pro sports, but for former Wisconsin runner Matt Tegenkamp, it’s his life.”I don’t have a real job since running is not a 9-to-5 or anything,” Tegenkamp said. “I tell people I’m retired right now because all I do is run twice and then just kill time the rest of the day.”Tegenkamp — who holds the school record for All-American honors with seven during his track career and three in cross country — has been running professionally the last year and a half, unbeknownst to many.Following graduation in 2005, Tegenkamp signed on with Nike, as shoe sponsors are the main source of funding for professional runners. Other than that, not much has changed in terms of running since his time at UW.”I was lucky enough to sign with Nike, and from that point on it really doesn’t change much running-wise from college,” Tegenkamp said. “Basically, I’m doing the same thing I was in school.”In fact, much hasn’t changed for Tegenkamp since his Badger days. He’s still in Madison, still runs with some of the UW runners, still lounges about the cross country and track locker room and still insists Wisconsin cross country head coach Jerry Schumach is his coach.”He’s still my coach,” Tegenkamp said of Schumacher. “He writes all the workouts for me and makes sure I’m on top of my stuff.”I still see most of the guys on the team. I see the guys in the locker room when I talk to Jerry, and we get out (and) do some runs together.”While Tegenkamp and Schumacher may have butted heads early in his collegiate career, Tegenkamp has matured and couldn’t even think of the possibility of anybody else being his coach now.”One of Jerry’s best attributes as a coach is that he looks at the big picture,” Tegenkamp said. “He can tell guys what it takes to get the next level and really takes the time to sit down and prepare his runners … not only [to] run well in college, but afterwards, too.”The main reason why Tegenkamp clashed with Schumacher early on was because of the numerous injuries affecting him in college. However, the two have worked things out and today they are on the same page.”It took a while to take Jerry and me to get a coach-athlete relationship where we both know what works for me and what doesn’t,” Tegenkamp said. “I’m not nearly as stubborn as an athlete; I’m much more willing to listen to him and take my easy days when I need them. Now I just have to implement everything I learned over the five years of college and keep staying healthy.”Also, Tegenkamp no longer has to gut it out and run through injuries to help his team. As a professional, he is running for personal time and can rest when he needs to.”I am considered a part of the Nike international team, but when I run meets I am running for myself,” he said. “I am trying to run the best time that I can, get the place I can, and all of that is just for me.”Tegenkamp’s professional running season consists of two halves. From mid-April through June he competes all across the United States, and from June to September he travels to Europe for meets.As Tegenkamp wraps up the 2006 season, he is already preparing for the future — not just for next year, but also for the Olympics in two years.”It’s two years away — that’s kind of the big picture, that’s what all my training’s going towards,” Tegenkamp said. “I’m almost done with my season for this year, so my focus now is the World Championships next year. That’s the first step — make it through all of the next season, then take a next step towards the 2008 Olympics.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *