Zauber Ready To Turn the Corner
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AMES, Iowa – In year two of his Iowa State cross country career, Falko Zauber’s transition from European cross country to collegiate cross country in the United States, is starting to bear fruit. The Cyclone athlete recently placed sixth overall at the Roy Griak Invitational and is ready for the meat of the season.
Zauber’s competitive path to where he is now wasn’t always a smooth one. Cross country races in the United States are longer than those in Germany. Zauber credits his current success to running with his Iowa State teammates.
“Here we train in big groups with our team,” Zauber said. “The workouts are easier because you are with your teammates and they are doing the workout with you. If you would train alone it would be very hard. In Germany I trained more on my own. I made my own creative workouts and it was hard to stay motivated. Training with my team has made me a better runner, especially in cross country where the team results matter more than your own individual results.”
In Germany cross country is run in the winter. Zauber likes the change to running cross country in the fall.
“In Germany in February it’s rainy and not nice outside,” Zauber said. “Here I like running cross country a lot more because of the nice weather in the fall.”
Another main difference in the European-U.S. collegiate cross country styles is distance.
“German cross country races are more 3K and 5K, not 8K and 10K,” Zauber said. “That is why it was pretty hard for me to get used to it here.”
The Cyclone runner spent the summer in Germany taking summer classes and preparing for this season.
“It was fun,” Zauber said. “We have a lot of good long distance athletes in Germany. I trained multiple times there, not in Berlin where I was born and raised but in a city named Potsdam that is next to Berlin. They had great conditions over there and many open fields in which to run, which is important. I trained a lot with American runners because they are used to the higher mileage. I have always had trouble with higher mileage training. I don’t like running more than 80 to 85 miles a week. But I did run more than that this summer. This year is going much better for me.”
Iowa State cross country coach Corey Ihmels is excited to see what Zauber can do for this year’s team.
“The fact that he has a year under his belt here has benefited him,” Ihmels said. “Coming in last year as an international transfer student and not having been here before in this setting, I think this year he understands it a lot more. When he came here last year he was just finishing up a track season and didn’t have much base built up for the fall cross country season. This year his track season ended a little earlier and he had the chance to take a break. He had a good summer of training and I think with those things combined he is more prepared for this cross country season.”
Zauber and his Iowa State teammates will compete Saturday in the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in Madsion, Wisconsin.