Workout Wednesday: Addi Zerrenner

For this week’s Workout Wednesday, we catch up with Addi Zerrenner, a cross country and track runner at the University of Arizona.  Addi’s 2016 cross country season was highlighted by a 10th-place finish at the Pac-12 Championships that earned her second-team All-Pac-12 honors.  Today she discusses what workouts her and her team are doing in preparation for the upcoming season, as well as the importance of building a strong core to prevent injury.

  1. Who are you? My name is Addi Zerrenner, and I am 21 year old. I am on the University of Arizona Cross Country and Track & Field teams, and specialize in the 5k and 10k!
  2. Short description of running experience or greatest accomplishment. Growing up, I did everything my older brother did. He was an amazing soccer player and played for UCLA. I thought I was going to follow in his footsteps and play college soccer and ultimately go pro, until I went out late for Track & Field my freshman year of high school to stay in shape for soccer. The head coach told me I was a “natural born sprinter,” but I remember watching the distance kids and they looked like they were having so much fun! Eventually, I was able to switch to the distance group and LOVED it. I was very blessed to have Steve Scott’s former coach, Len Miller, as my high school coach and he really believed in me and told me I could “be something great.” This led me to focus on solely running which led me to set some big goals for myself. These goals led me to where I am now, the University of Arizona, but I’m NOT even close to accomplishing half of what I want to do in running.
  3. What does your typical week look like in terms of workouts?  When preparing for a race? My typical week usually consists of 70-80 miles with 1-3 speed sessions or hill workouts, 1-2 moderate runs, and easy runs with a few double run days. In addition, I am a very strong believer in strength work as I believe it is crucial for both injury prevention and overall strength. I usually lift 2-3 times a week, individual core sessions anywhere from 3-6 times a week, and a light strength rehab plan about 3 times a week. Before a race, we’ll usually back off training about 2 days prior, making sure I’m fresh and ready to run FAST!
  4. What is your favorite running workout? Least favorite? My favorite running workout is a 6 mile tempo. Tempos are usually people’s least favorite but I love them! My least favorite is 3 sets of 5X300m with a 100m fast jog. It’s hard for me to run fast and then just stop and then start again. I prefer grinding an extended amount of time like you do during a tempo run.
  5. How do you incorporate strength training into your week? My team lifts 2-3 times a week and then I do individual core sessions 3-6 times a week and a rehab strength plan about 3 times a week. We lift on our hard days and our lifts usually consist of whole body routines, starting with some pre-hab work and dynamic warm-up before we hit the weights!                                                                                         
  6. Do you work with a strength or lifting coach? Our team has a strength coach that really takes the time to work with us not only as a group, but individually as well. In addition, our assistant coach is certified in strength training so during track season, he’ll put us through some strength routines after a hard track session.
  7. What is your favorite strength training exercise?  Least favorite? My favorite strength training exercise would be anything that involves the core. I believe that a strong core is fundamental for a distance runner not only to be fast, but injury free! My least favorite exercise is Russian Get-ups by far!
  8. Must have training equipment? Must have training equipment would definitely be a TRX and bosu ball. I love using the TRX because it’s so versatile and you can get a whole-body workout with just your body weight. I love using a bosu ball for core work.
  9. How has strength training benefited your performance? Strength work has not only made me a physically stronger runner, but it has really helped me in injury prevention.
  10. What are your favorite training related resources? My favorite resources would have to be anything Shalane Flanagan believes in (she’s my absolute favorite) and my coaches. I like to read about training on websites or in books, but I believe that everybody is different and you have to find what works best for you individually.        
  11. What motivates you to get through a hard workout? My biggest motivation through a hard workout or when I just am not “feeling it” on a particular day is to remind myself of the feeling I get after some of my worst races or losses. I will do anything to avoid that feeling. This in addition to wanting to be the absolute BEST, help me to dig deep.
  12. Favorite song to workout to?  I don’t have a particular favorite workout song, but rap is definitely my “go-to.”
  13. Do you ever have workouts that just don’t go your way?  How do you handle that? OF COURSE I have workouts that don’t go my way! I used to start tearing up in the middle of running and then just lose it during a rest interval but I try my best not to do that anymore. Instead, I remind myself that a “bad workout” doesn’t define me and neither does a “good workout.” It all matters what I can do when that gun goes off.
  14. What is your favorite way to recover from a tough workout? I definitely try and get in some form of carbs/fat/protein within at least a half hour of finishing a hard workout. Then I hit the ice tub and Normatech, followed by a good roll and stretch session a few hours after that.                                                                                                                
  15. Do you have a favorite spot or location to run? In Tucson, my favorite place to run would be West Monument. We go there for long runs or hill workout days and it’s basically full of hills and Saguaro cacti. In Southern California where I’m from, my favorite place to run is along side the beach.
  16. What does being a strong runner chick mean to you? To me being a strong runner chick means being fierce, strong, supportive, and resilient. In a sport where we’re always trying to beat one another, it’s also important to lift one another up which I really like about this specific page. Every runner, and girl, is unique in their own way, which I think is the biggest strength we have as individuals.



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