Growing up with the Minnesota mountains as a backdrop to his cross-country training, Joe Klecker is a bona fide all-American athlete. Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and running through the icy winters fortified Joe’s spirit. Part of the track and field team during his time at the University of Colorado, Joe is a PAC-12 champion, 7-time all-American and a 2-time NCAA runner up.
How did you start running? Both my parents were elite runners and my mom is an Olympian, so I grew up around the sport. I also have five siblings and at one point five of the six of us were all on the same high school cross country team.
Why do you run now? I run now to feel free. I run because of everyone who believes in me.
What was the most important race you’ve run to date? Any of the NCAA championships or the 2020 Millrose Games.
What is your pre-race ritual? I try to do 200s at pace, and if I’m faster than pace I know I’m ready to go.
What do you think about while running? Each day I think of the purpose for the day’s run in regard to the training cycle.
What is your go-to training meal? After a big day of training usually a burger, fries and a cookie.
How do you recover after a tough run? Eat well, take a nap, then do something active like walk or bike. Alternatively, I will jog at 9:00 a mile (5:35 per km) to flush the legs.
Apart from endurance sports, what is your passion? Spending time with my family and dog. Learning the history of American cities. Spending time on Lake Superior. Listening to Minnesota musicians as a way to learn more about where I’m from.
What was the best piece of running advice you ever received? If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to follow in your footsteps? Every day doesn’t have to be perfect, but every day should have a purpose.
Why On? From the top down, the brand is athlete focused.
What’s your favorite On shoe and why? I love the Cloudflow since it has cushion to put on miles but the spring for faster days.
What’s your favorite item of On apparel and why? The Performance-T, it’s extremely light and breathable.