Polar, a manufacturer of wearables, welcomed USA Track & Field champion Will Leer to its team. One of America’s elite mid-distance runners, Leer joins Polar’s growing team of running and endurance athletes including Gwen Jorgensen, Molly Huddle, Kate Grace, Mirinda Carfrae and Andy Potts. Polar’s Smart Coaching and metrics-based guidance will support Leer as he trains for the USATF National Track & Field Championships this summer.
Leer is not the typical world class runner you see championed within the sport. He’s world-class speed done in his own colorful way, complete with his everchanging facial hair choices. He does things a little differently, shying away from the traditional pro runner path, and while he’s a training machine, he is an old-school racer, at home in the intensity of a competition.
“Will embodies everything most of us want to be as a runner,” said Stan Brajer, senior vice president of U.S. sales and marketing. “Polar has been a fan of Will for a long time so we are pumped to add him to the team. There are different types of runners out there, each with their own successful style. From pros to the local run clubs, there are calculated data junkies, grinding runners that love the pain, group runners that enjoy the social aspect and solo runners who like to clear their mind and find new ways to motivate themselves. Will embodies pieces of each of those types of runners…and that’s what makes him fun to watch and be around.”
Leer w entered college with promise, but with little pedigree compared to some of his fellow high school competitors, and still managed to show signs of greatness winning four Division III titles during his time at Pomona College. Will is still the only athlete to ever win the 1,500m and 5,000m in the same championship.
After graduation he trained with the Oregon Track Club Elite under Frank Gagliano and Mark Rowland before truly finding his stride with coach Ron Warhurst and training partner Nick Willis in Michigan. When family pulled him back to California, the change turned out to be just what he needed to refocus his training. With refreshed determination in 2013 he went on a tear including two USATF Indoor Championships (3,000m and the mile).
“To remain successful throughout my career, I’ve constantly had to elevate my training and dig deep to drive the discipline and determination it takes to win,” said Leer. “I’m preparing for the National and World Championships so it’s key that I train smart while not losing the intense natural approach I enjoy. As Coach Warhurst likes to remind me, it’s all about ‘flexibility within structure.’ With that in mind, the Polar M200 has seamlessly integrated into my training style, allowing me to focus on that last 5 percent of effort and precision that’s the difference between having a good race versus a great race, while also preventing me from going over the edge and training too hard.”
After a successful 2013 season, Leer came back the following year to achieve a 1500m runner-up finish at the 2014 USA Indoor Championships, earning a trip to the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland, where he finished 6th. Now living in Boulder, CO, Leer continues to train toward his next set of goals, which he will face at the USATF National Track & Field Championships in June in Sacramento, CA.