The Art Helterbran Interview with tips4running.com
You can listen to The Art Helterbran interview. All you have to do to hear the conversation is click the green arrow below. I have included all of the questions I asked him on this page, and parts of his answers.
Here is a brief biography of Art and his running experience. Art was a football player for his first two years of high school, but switched to cross country for his Junior and Senior Year. He also played basketball in the winter and ran track in the spring. His running career stopped when he finished high school. About 15 years later, Art is attempting to resurrect his running because he feels like he has "let himself go." Currently, Art lives in California and has an extensive background in film.
Above is a picture of our 4x1600 meter relay team after we set a school record. Art is the second from the right, and I am next to him on the right side of the picture. The questions I asked him, and a summary of his responses are below.
David Tiefenthaler - First of all, it’s good to talk to you again. I hope things are good out on the west coast.
Art Helterbran - I should have been running today. I only had one day off this week, I was working a ton, so I thought I would enter into a poker tournament. There were about 120 people in it, and I was the first one out...
DT - You just started running again. What motivated you to start up your running?
AH - I haven't done it as much as I liked, but I have started again. I don't have as much time, I'm older, my knees have been bugging me. I run on a track.
DT - Are there any trails for you to run.
AH - There are, but they are usually too long of a loop for me. I could have ran a half mile and turn around, but I have been kind of looking for a track. I found two near wear I just moved though.
DT - What works for me is I just go out for a set time, and then turn around when I am halfway. What is your plan for working your way back into shape?
AH - Running on the track. After a few weeks I might start to bump up my running each time from 1 mile to maybe 2 miles or a mile and a half.
DT - I’ve only been out to the Los Angeles area in the winter. Is it too hot to train in the summer that much, or is the temperature fine?
AH - You know, I did the bulk of my competitive running in Wisconsin and compared to Wisconsin there is no humidity. I find it easier even though sometimes we have smog warnings. I have been out here for eight years now, and it seems that the air quality is better.
DT - Here in Wisconsin, I don’t see people running that often. Is running or jogging a hobby that a lot of people do in Southern California.
AH - I wouldn't say a lot. I think gyms are bigger out here than they are in Wisconsin. There isn't a big difference that I have seen. You see a lot of people on treadmills in the gyms. I was in San Francisco the other weekend though and it was amazing the number of runners up there.
DT - Back in high school, you actually played football your freshman and sophomore year. Why did you decide to switch to Cross Country.
AH - I'm very competitive. But for me it's more personal. Football, they want you to be a bad ass and go out there and murder people. For me though it's always been about personal goals. I don't really care about the glamor. At least that is what I though in my personal experience. Their was a lot more ego in Football, but much more of a team mentality and camaraderie on the cross country team.
DT - Now they say you have to be tough to play football, but is running tougher? Can you compare the two sports in that respect?
AH - They're both tough, but so different. Obviously from an endurance standpoint, running is much tougher. Football you're worried about getting clobbered or getting injured. I hurt my neck 15 years ago during my last football game and I still can feel it.
DT - What about mentally?
AH - I think it's mentally harder to be a runner because being a runner you just can stop. Playing football is pure reaction. If someone is coming, you have to tackle him or he gets a touchdown. You might get him or you might miss, but you have to do something. There isn't time to think about it. Running is more on you. You aren't reacting to anyone else. To a degree you might have other runners pushing you, but if you aren't feeling it, you can just stop.
DT - Your Junior year was pretty amazing. Can you describe your season and how it helped out the team.
AH - Well, I was always confident in my ability. I was that guy in gym class that would take the 1 1/2 mile run seriously and would go out and destroy everyone. I expected to do pretty well. I ran pretty good all season, but then raced bad at state.
DT - Your Senior year of Cross Country didn’t go real well until the State Meet. How did you manage to stay positive, and end up running a great race when we needed it most?
AH - Senior year was like the flip of my Junior season. Well, you know I had chronic tonsillitis and was waiting until the end of the season, to have surgery. I just tried to stay mentally tough and finally I broke through the last race of the season.
DT - Which sport did you like better, track or cross country?
AH - Cross Country. Part of why I liked cross country is your running on trails, your running through the woods and over the hills, through gullies. Track can get monotonous.
DT - Let’s get away from the running questions. Art has his Masters Degree in Film Directing. What are some of the things you are working on right now as far as film and video are concerned?
AH - I have a bunch of projects going on. I just shot a music video for a local band, I'm working on a children's show, and in the next six to eight weeks, I'm hoping to shoot another music video. My friend and I areI am always writing. I've written a couple of scripts, and working on some more.
DT - If tips4running.com starts to take off, and I get a nationally syndicated show, will you a director or producer for me?
AH - Dave, I'd be honored. I'd be honored.
DT - Thanks Mr. Helterbran for talking with me. Good luck with the running. Stick with it man!