Feature Friday: Nik Schweikert
This week's "Feature Friday" is on our Kickoff 5K champion Nik Schweikert. Schweikert won the 5K race in a time of 15:38.
Taking 4 years off from the competitive world and only training consistently for the last 3 months, Schweikert is looking to make another go at his running career.
“In the last 4 years, I’ve ran about 200 miles,” Schweikert said. “When I was competitive running that was over a 2 week timeframe. So in 4 years doing what I use to do in 2 weeks essentially, so for sure took time away.”
According to the former Pioneer standout, taking time away from running was essential due to coaching and putting his main focus on growing a family.
“Coaching football and basketball made it easy to say I didn’t have time for it. Also having three kids during that time shifted focus and priority.”
With some encouragement from an old running friend, Schweikert found himself signing up for the Jackson Night Glow.
“How it all came about really was Tony Migliozzi convinced me to run the Jackson Night glow ,” Schweikert said. “I said this is a terrible idea, I haven’t raced in 4 years.This is going to be awful. He said just do it and I originally said no. Eventually he got me to do it. At this point I ran 60 miles in the past year, so it was off nothing.I ended up running a 17:56 there and felt like death.”
After a challenging start to his comeback, Schweikert had a conviction to start training again. This time around he would take patience as his guide; along with some wise words from his daughter.
“I tend to go full force when I get back into things so I knew being patient would be a crucial factor this time around,” Schweikert said.
He continued his thoughts.
“Before I was getting ready to run (Jackson Night Glow), my daughter asked, “Can I come watch ?, “Schweikert said. “I said no it is past your bedtime and she asked me “ Are you even going to win?” I was like say what? No, there is zero chance. Then she came back with “ Well why are you even running if you aren’t going out with the mentality to win? Well, I guess she has the right mindset.”
Taking training day by day, Schweikert’s patient and diligent mentality led him to a surprising outcome.
Running became a daily regime again and workouts seemed less painful.
“It took a little bit of time to even remember how to do workouts,” Schweikert said. “I’ve actually gotten back in shape a lot faster than I had expected. I am not going to pretend that I thought I could race a 15:28 by this point in training. My goal was to be ready by the Turkey Trot.”
Taking a quicker turn in fitness than anticipated, Schweikert is optimistic about racing competitively and looks to make an impact in the elite field next Spring.
“I do not want to make too many plans and I have taken the approach to take things day by day and I have been loving it,” Schweikert said. “For my future plans I am thinking let's try a little bit of everything. Next up, 10k Peace race to see where I am at in that distance and then I do plan on doing the rivalry 4 miler. From there, I would like to break 15 at the turkey trot. I think that would be really cool to go after. That will be it for this year…”
“Training through the winter will be essential for the Spring. Getting a strong winter in and then go after the HOF Half Marathon record.
Having hopeful goals, Schweikert continued to share the purpose behind his comeback.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself by I do think it would be a really cool story if I could get close to where I was competitively with how much time I have taken off,” Schweikert said. “It is more so about being an example for my athletes and kids and showing them if you work hard for something, day in and day out regardless of the hiccups or bumps, things are possible.”
---Get to know the inspiring local runner ---
High school: Beavercreek High School
College: Malone University
Job Occupation: Teacher/Coach at Canton South High School
1 Mile PR (Personal record): 4:09
5k PR: 14:06
10K PR: 30:10
Half Marathon PR: 1:05:52
Preferred Training Shoe: Right now Hoka Carbon X, Rincon or Clifton
Next Race - Peace Race 10K
Running Credentials - Part of 2 Malone National Championship teams, 6 time NAIA All-American, 2008 All Ohio Cross Country Champion, 2014 US 25k 9th place.
This or That?
5k I Half Marathon: Both! My two favorite distances to race.
Fall l Spring: Love the temps and changing of leaves plus XC season!
Running2win I Strava: Strava, it loads up from my watch to my phone for me. Can't beat that. I'm terrible at keeping a running log.
Facebook I Instagram: Facebook, I'm old.
New Balance I Brooks: New Balance
Adidas I Nike: Nike
Track and Field I Cross Country: Cross Country. I enjoy the team atmosphere.
Football I Soccer: Football
Gatorade I Body Armor: Try Nooma. Based out of Cleveland. It hydrates better than anything. But I'd pick Body Armor out of those two.
Continuous tempo or Mile repeats: Continuous. I hate breaks in my running.
Coffee I Tea:Trying to avoid both, but I do love the taste of coffee.
Higher Mileage I Lower Mileage: I'm not sure what's high or low, but my favorite is to be around 100 miles a week.