In a continuing series, we are publishing interviews to gain insights from some of the top performers within the V.O2 community.

We chatted with athlete and coach Jon Mott who logged some of the highest miles we saw on VDOT this year. He ran over 4,700 miles.

Some Background Info (Name, where you live and train, etc).

JM: I do most of my running around the beautiful Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, FL. It’s a 2.85 mile asphalt loop with accurate mile markers every quarter mile. I run about 75% of my mileage around this lake.

The reason I enjoy running this lake so much because it’s a hotspot for the local runners in town. It doesn’t matter what time of the day you run, you’ll always see others runners. It’s motivating and in a way increases my confidence.

A couple days per week I’ll run the hills that line up right next to the lake. Florida is known for being flat but we have it good here in Lakeland. We have the flats and also hills. I wouldn’t want to train anywhere else.

With all this training, how do you manage to stay healthy?

JM: I would say the biggest factor that allows me to stay healthy is that I’m able to give my body the rest that it needs. Fortunately I don’t work your typical job. I work from home and control the hours that I work. This means I’m able to incorporate the necessary rest that my body needs.

I’m a personal running coach and work with about 100 runners. RunnersFix Coaching Services is the name of my business. I actually use the VDOT platform for all my runners. So like I said above, having this type of job allows me to do the things that most other runners aren’t able to do. I’m very lucky to be able to do what I do.

Other than that I really don’t do too much. I live a low key life. Running is my whole life whether it’s my own running or coaching. I follow a strict routine that I feel has allowed me to training at the level I’m currently at. I hope to always live this lifestyle.

Can you single out a specific injury-prevention technique that has helped you build your volume?

JM: I wouldn’t say there’s a specific technique that has allowed me to run the amount I do but more or so like I explained in the question above: I believe it’s from sticking with my simple daily routine.

I wake up at the same time every morning. Start my runs at the same time. Eat my meals at the same time. And get the proper rest. Luckily this has allowed me to avoid injury for the last couple years. And this when I’ve been running the highest mileage of my life. I should say I do work on strength work twice per week and sometimes hop in the pool for some laps. But overall, I truly think sticking to my simple daily routine is what has allowed me to stay injury free all this time.

What was your highest mileage week during 2021? Do you remember any details of the week?

JM: This is a week I’ll never forget. It was the biggest week of my life. I was able to throw down 180 miles this week. And the crazy part is that my body handled it very well.

As an experienced runner and coach I’ve learned what type of runner I am over the years. Some people are better at the shorter and fast stuff and others thrive off the mileage and strength work. I would definitely say I’m a strength based runner. This all started back in 2020 when I was planning to run the Grandma’s Marathon. About halfway during this buildup it was announced that the marathon was cancelled due to Covid. At this point I really didn’t have anything to focus on and decided to experiment with things. This is when I decided to work on my strengths. I decided I would do an 8 week base build up and see how high I could get. During this cycle I got up to 160 miles per week.

Yeah, it was a little tough but after dropping my mileage I was in the best shape of my life. And this was just off base mileage. Later that year I ran a marathon PR at a low key race in Mississippi (2:18:03). This is when my whole philosophy on marathon training changed. In 2021 I took this same approach for the Grandma’s Marathon and ran another PR (2:17:30). This was the race of my life.

Currently, I’m in the process of training for another marathon. Prior to this marathon specific build up I was able to get my mileage up to 180 miles per week. And I wasn’t just out there slogging miles at a slower pace. If I remember correctly I was able to complete this mileage in just over 19 hours during the week. I believe that’s around 6:20 average mile pace. I’m a true strength based runner. This is how I like to train. Some coaches may not agree with this approach but no one can say it doesn’t work. The results don’t lie.

Did the V.O2 app provide benefit to being able to stack such big mileage weeks?

JM: I would say the biggest benefit to VDOT was being able to stay organized with my training. The old school method of handwriting schedules just wasn’t working for me. V.O2 allows me to input my schedule into the database and it send it all to my watch daily. Being able to just turn on my GPS watch and getting notified what I’m supposed to do for the day was the biggest benefit for me.

I should say the pace formula that VDOT uses has worked well for me and most of my runners. It’s actually been spot on with what I’m capable of in training and on race day.

Who is your coach?

JM: I’m self coached! You may be asking why I’m not using a coach but it’s because I want to control my training. I know my philosophy is unusual to most coaches. I know most of these coaches wouldn’t prescribe what I feel is best for myself. I’m experienced enough to know what works for me. I plan on always being self coached.

What’s next for you?

JM: Houston Marathon! The goal is to qualify for my 3rd Olympic Marathon Trials. The standard is sub-2:18. My current build up has been going better than ever and I’m feeling healthy and strong. I just need decent weather and to run a smart race. I’m feeling confident and like my chances of accomplishing this goal.