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Cougar to Mammoth With Nico Montanez


This week’s guest is Nico Montañez of Mammoth Track Club. Nico is an accomplished marathoner and road racer who’s had a fantastic couple of months, beginning with running 2:13 for 7th place at the Chicago Marathon, continuing with a top-3 finish at the U.S. Half Marathon Championships and culminating most recently with his first national title at the U.S. 15K champs in Jacksonville, Florida last weekend.

Nico shared his unique story that began in Tuscon, Arizona, went from junior college to BYU, and landed at Mammoth Track Club under Deena and Andrew Kastor. Nico talked about how his sports psychology work has paid off in results, how his Boston buildup is going and he also shared a lot about his time at BYU. We also covered bad tattoos, being mistaken for Galen Rupp, and slip-n-slides.

Enjoy the episode, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review this and all the Citius Mag podcasts, and until next time, this has been Run Your Mouth.

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Coach Kastor’s philosophy:

“His philosophy, and now my philosophy because I believe it 100%, is I’ve found what’s worked for me is going into U.S. Championship road races and just trying to win and putting myself in the best position to do that. He assured me numerous times that I would be fine if I did taper a little bit before this race. With these road races, especially the championship-style races, it’s about being your best on that day. We have a ton of time still (until Boston). I’m already back up to high mileage and I feel awesome. We haven’t missed a beat.”

On finding his place on the elite road circuit:

“I used to go into races with ‘something to prove’ and I realized that, for me, it was a big insecurity issue [….] now I go into races believing what I know I can be. And that I can allow everyone else to shine with me.”

On preparing for Boston 2022:

“The goal is to perform at my best level, whatever that looks like. I want to look myself in the mirror that night and say I gave it my all. But I’m fierce, I’m competitive, and sometimes that takes over the driver’s seat… so part of the goal is to be really competitive upfront.”

On running at BYU:

“It was a big mental shift, but more than anything it was raising my standards. Seeing what people were actually doing behind the fast times at the university… I was like, ‘I have to raise the standards’ – not just for the running, but for who I want to be as a person.”

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