Making The Break With Alaina Kautz

(Alaina took 3rd in the Division 2 race at the State Meet this past weekend.-photo by John Hays) 

Name: Alaina Kautz

School: Campo Verde High School

Year: Senior

Where are you from and when did you begin competitive running?
I was actually born in Belgium, but we moved to the U.S when I was 18 months old and we kind of lived all over. We moved to Arizona from Omaha, NE when I was five years old. I began running competitively when I joined my junior high cross country team in the seventh grade.
What does a typical training week look like for you?
On Mondays we usually do some kind of interval work or repeats. Then we'll have an easy run for a recovery day. On Wednesdays we'll do either hills or a progression run with some tempo. Then we have another recovery day. Depending on our meet schedule we'll have a long run on either Friday or Saturday. I also incorporate strength training three times a week.
What is something that helps you mentally prepare for a race?
The thing I have found to help me the most is just putting in my headphones and listening to some music during a light jog. It helps me calm down and focus on what I need to do in the race.
What's your favorite memory of cross-country over the course of your career?
Oh my gosh there are so many! My favorite would probably be traveling to California for the Mount Carmel invitational in 2014 with my team. We had such a fun weekend and we all got super close!
(Alaina Kautz ran 17:17 at the Woodbridge Classic in September.-photo by Ben Crawford)
What's your favorite post-race meal?
Honestly anything from IHOP, our team goes there after almost every race.
Could you describe Coach Applebach and the most valuable lesson he's taught you?
Coach Applebach is amazing! He's so dedicated to our entire team and works hard to make sure we're all reaching our full potential. The most valuable lesson he's taught me is that one meet doesn't define you. A bad race doesn't mean much in the big scheme of things. Life will go on and you will have better days. Thanks for everything Coach!
What motivational advice of your own do you give to the younger athletes?
There are somethings in a race that you can't control, but you can control how you react to those things. Don't compare yourself to your competitors, all you can do is run your best race.
Do you have a favorite pro-runner/athlete?
My favorite pro runner would probably be Allyson Felix. I follow her on twitter and everything she posts is really positive and motivational. I really look up to her.
What's your favorite subject in school? Why?
My favorite subject has always been English. I love analyzing literature and seeing how it applies to our lives today.
What is something unique about you outside of running?
I've actually been golfing a lot longer than I've been running. My family would go golfing a lot on the weekends when I was younger. I actually considered joining the golf team instead of doing cross country my freshman year.
Will you be racing any post-season meets?
I will be racing NXR Southwest and we'll see where it goes from there!