A Week in the Life of a Professional Runner
Training With the Beasts
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Goofing around before a group training run
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at Discovery Park in Seattle, Washington
How She Gets Ready to Run
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"I heat my shins and Achilles because those are the places that tend to be more tight on me, and they can get injured. Most days I also complete activation exercises, and if I'm sore, I might roll out with a foam roller."
Warm Up With Activation Exercises
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"I complete activation exercises three to four days a week. I do 10 exercises before I run."
Activation Exercises con't.
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"This activation exercise is a single-leg bridge. You're trying to activate your glutes and hamstrings to get you ready to run with good form."
Getting Into the Zone
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"I listen to books on tape; that's my thing in the morning. I get up and I'm the only person home in the mornings, and I'll listen to a book as I get ready to meet people to run. While I have my oatmeal and stretch, I listen to my book on tape."
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"I usually use caffeine pre-workout. I'm usually not a caffeine person. It makes me too amped up for every day. I sleep enough that I feel like I don't always need something to perk me up. When I'm traveling, I drink coffee more than usual."
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The Brooks Beast Track Club is a co-ed team of 12 middle-distance track runners who live, train and frolic in Seattle, Washington.
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"After really hard efforts I have a protein and carb blend powder that I usually put in my smoothie. I'll have a fruit-and-veggie smoothie after easy workouts, but it depends on how hungry I am. I have an unflavored protein I'll put in there, maybe a green powder or whatever I'm trying to get in me that's healthy and I'm not necessarily excited about eating."
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"Before I go to bed or when I'm done with practice, I foam roll. I'll stretch and roll my hips and upper quads after a run, but it's not high-school style, where you do every single muscle."
Cross-train Once a Week
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"[The ElliptiGO] is a fun way to get outside, and I'm lucky enough to be able to go outside and cross-train. I've never used the ElliptiGO to do harder workouts; I use it for easy mileage or a certain amount of time, typically a 40-minute aerobic effort. One day a week, I'll cross-train and that might be the day I use it. I usually take one day off where I'm not running but I do something. I don't do second runs for recovery."
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"We lift twice a week and we do drills three to four times a week (before we work out—twice a week—and then one or two other times a week). We do weights twice a week, which is barbell and squat-type stuff. We do strength, such as core strength three times a week. It's all broken up—a quarter of our weight routine would be core, but then the next day all of the strength would be bodyweight exercises and hip strength."
Strength Work con't.
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Strength Work con't.
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squat with knee raise
Strength Work con't.
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Lunch at the track
How Many Hours a Week Does She Spend Training?
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"I run 50 to 60 miles a week, so I'd say I spend about seven hours running each week. I spend about 14 hours cross-training, strength training, doing core work, activation exercises, foam rolling, and that kind of thing. So I spend twice as much time doing non-running things so that I can stay healthy and run the mileage and intensity that I do."
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at the Brooks Running Headquarters in Seattle, Washington
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"Brooks is always trying to improve their spikes, and I did a spike fitting the week I took these photos. Brooks will ask me what I do and don't like them so their next round of spikes will be better. Sometimes with clothing and shoes, the fit is the hardest thing to target. We do a lot of fit testing for Brooks so they can dial in the product better."
How Much Gear Does One Workout Require?
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"It's astounding how much stuff I bring to practice. As I get older, there's a lot more stuff I need for a three-hour practice. Running in Seattle requires a change of clothes, multiple pairs of shoes, some type of nutrition (a drink and water, and for a long run, some type of sugar-based GU)."
She Could Open Her Own Shoe Store
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"I guess I think it's normal [to have so many pairs of running shoes] because my teammates and I have a ton of gear. That's the fortunate thing about it being your job."
No Popeye-Like Love for Greens
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"I don't love salads but there's a lot of nutrients in greens so I've been trying to sneak them in all different ways; kale chips remind me of potato chips, or I put greens into smoothies. The past month, I've been trying to be conscious of eating more greens. When I struggle to eat my greens, I make kale chips."
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"I have a smoothie every other day or every day. It's a good thing to have between a meal when I get hungry or if I get back from practice and it's a little early for lunch."
Green Smoothie Fail
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"That one was disgusting and I couldn't eat it; it was the most disgusting thing I ever made. I was trying to do greens and ginger and it didn't have anything sweet at all in there. You need pineapple or something in there that will make it redeeming. It tasted like it looked."
Beets, Beets the Magical Veggie?
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"I'm trying to eat more beets because of the studies on beets helping with endurance and aerobic capacity. That's one whole food that I try to eat more of than I naturally might. I try to have at least one dose of beets a day. It's hard to isolate one thing that works because you're doing 15 different things. Beets are just one of so many things that I do, so it's hard to say if they do all the things the studies say."
A Typical Dinner
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"I keep my diet pretty boring, but I try to eat healthy most of the time. This was my dinner one night. I think I had a beer after, so I counted that as my carbs. With most meals, I usually have carbs like sweet potaotes, rice or quinoa. I also like desserts--sugar is probably my favorite carb. I have a little something almost every day. There's usually a dark chocolate bar in my fridge, and I'll have a little of that. Or I'll make frozen yogurt. I got a FroYo machine, so I'll make fruit-flavored frozen yogurt."
Electric Stimulation Therapy
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"I use e-stim (electric stimulation therapy) when I have injuries. It's nice to have it in the comfort of your home. I got the machine when I got injured, and I use it when specific things hurt. Our team works with a sports chiropractor and a physical therapist, and they tell me how to use e-stim, and what settings to put it on. The week I took the photos I was dealing with a sore Achilles, so that week I was probably doing e-stim twice a day, but once it gets better, I might only do it once a day or when things are bothering me."
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"Beyond it being really fun to be a part of the team, you also have services that are provided to the group. We work with a physical therapist, chiropractor and massage therapist. I have an appointment once a week with one of these professionals. You get so many appointments for each type of professional, so you spread it out so there's someone with a different expertise seeing you routinely. This helps me become more proactive rather than reactive when it comes to possible injuries and overall maintenance."
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"I sleep a lot. I'm exhausted a lot. I don't take a lot of naps, but I sleep nine to 10 hours most nights. I'm not a napper. I can't nap and feel rejuvenated after; I feel draggy after naps."
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"Kinesio tape helps support muscles and ligaments. If I lift weights at night or if I run at night or I'm nervous and I'm traveling and trying to change time zones, that's when I use melatonin to help me sleep. Melatonin is my favorite supplement. It's not like a sleeping pill where you feel like a zombie and it's not super harsh when you feel like something is off when you take it."
Even the Pros Have Vices
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"Chocolate is one of my vices."
Out to Dinner
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"Wine and pizza are other vices."
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"My husband Karl and I took a weekend drive about one-and-a-half hours north of Seattle to these tulip fields."