It has been awhile but I am returning with some goodies! Between running, gardening, cycling, working, running, schooling (yeah I am crazy and decided to take a class), running, eating, sleeping, running, and cleaning I have been filling the very little down time I have had with keeping up on women’s professional running and cycling. I’ve been glued to Flotrack watching all the recent races and I am starting to think it is my subconscious recognizing I suck at running and in turn study from the best. I am so A-type my subconscious is competitive.
I got the wonderful opportunity to do some Q&A with Amy Hastings. If you don’t know who she is the first thing you need to know is that she is fast! Her debut and PR in the marathon is 2:27:03 (that is 5:36 pace which blows my mind and hurts just to think about). She went to ASU, she is a member of the Mammoth Track Club, and shows no fear on the track or the road and will be doing big things this year and years to come.
5k to marathon: How in the world do you develop the kind of range, so quickly and at that level?
To be completely honest it didn’t happen quick! I’ve been running at a fairly high mileage since I was a freshman in college, focusing predominantly on the 5k, so that helped me transition to marathon training. Since then my passion for the 5k has grown but I really love the longer distances as well which helps keeps me motivated in every workout from sprints to long runs.
Leading up to an "A" race, how much do you focus on speed compared to power or tempo work (6 weeks)?
Before a big race we are still doing long, hard workouts until just a couple weeks out. The last two weeks everything is shorter and quicker in order to sharpen up.
What does your warm up include and do you have a favorite form drill?
My warm-up for track races usually consists of a 20 minute jog with the last few minutes harder, a series of plyometrics, and strides. It varies slightly depending on how I am feeling. My favorite form drills are the good old fashioned skips, knee highs and butt kicks!
Do you have to feel "fresh" every important workout?
Absolutely not! In fact some workouts are timed just so you are running them on fairly dead legs. No matter how good you get at the art of tapering you will still have races where you just don’t feel great, so it’s important to mimic that in workouts on occasion.
How do you distinguish between soreness and possible injury?
Everyone is different and the more you run the more you will get to know your own body. For me if something lasts more than a few days or if I start compensating in ANY way, even with stretching, icing and traumeel then I go to see a professional depending on the symptoms. Sometimes a 30 minute massage or a quick chiropractic adjustment early on can prevent months of pain later.
How do you stay motivated during an injury, or worst, a series of injuries?
I must admit this is something I have struggled with. However, my most serious injuries have always been a blessing in disguise. When I am hurt I do everything I can to take care of my body and I usually return to running healthier than before. The best advice I can give is to get a proper diagnosis and create a plan of return! When it is on paper and there is a realistic end in sight it makes the cross training easier because it is serving a purpose to help get you back out doing what you love. When returning from an injury come back slow! Take the extra few weeks to build your mileage and intensity slowly so you don’t re-injure yourself!
How much time do you spend on strength training and do you yoga or Pilates at all?
I do some sort of strength circuit, whether it is lifting weights or throwing med balls, six days a week during the track season. Less during heavy marathon training. I don’t do pilates or yoga but I do do a lot of general strength.
What do you do to try and find balance in life? Or is it running/training all the time?
I am constantly trying to find balance in life! There are many days where I will work out in the morning and then again in the evening and all I can do in between is eat and sleep. On days when I have a bit more time though I always try to get out even if it’s just for a coffee!
What does your mental training consist of?
I do lots of visualization. It helps me feel more prepared and less nervous for the race. Almost like I have been there before.
Can you talk about your diet a little? What's a typical day of meals and how do you fuel for workouts?
I’m not a big pasta person which can be odd for an endurance athlete. I always feel my best after a big steak dinner with a side of veggies!
Do you have any background in swimming and biking and can we convince you to considering switching to triathlon?
HAHA! I actually used to swim competitively when I was younger but it was nothing to write home about! I would like to try a triathlon someday but I think the toughest part would be getting used to going that fast on the bike- scary!
What are your personal and professionals goals beyond this summer?
My professional goals are to continue to improve from the 5k to the marathon. On a personal level I really want to figure out a way to be a little bit more settled.
Favorite training run/loop anywhere? Paper Route in Mammoth Lakes CA
Favorite race? I LOVED the LA marathon
Favorite and least favorite workout?
Favorite- 2000m-200m cut down
Least favorite- hard strides early in the morning
Favorite food or food indulgence? Beer float! (see attached photo)
What is your beer mile time? Somewhere around 14 minutes I believe.
What is your favorite beer or beverage of choice? Chocolate Stouts
All-time favorite song? Just too many!
Current favorite song? Whole Wide World- Mindy Gledhill
I am pumped I have Amy in the beer mile, but Amy, beware, I am starting a movement to get you to do a tri! Anyone know if beer floats are good for recovery? Many thanks to Amy for partaking during the thick of her season and best of luck in the things to come. If you want more info on Amy head to http://www.brooksrunning.com/Athletesor