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Professional Q&A: Answers from an Athlete

  • March 30, 2016
  • By Brittany
  • 0 Comments
Professional Q&A: Answers from an Athlete

Hi all!  Happy Wednesday.  How is this week already half over?  I was drowning in admin stuff yesterday.  I’m the worst at letting things pile up and then having to tackle them all at once: taxes, insurance stuff, DMV stuff…yuck!  But that’s over and it is on to new and exciting things like the next installment of Professional Q&A!

ProfessionalQ&A

In case you are tuning in today for the first time, the Professional Q&A series showcases some of the best professionals in the health and fitness business and asks them all your burning questions about their speciality.  So far we’ve heard from a health coach and personal trainer.  Today, I’m excited to introduce to you Allie from VitaTrain4Life who is not only a certified personal trainer but a serious athlete!  She qualified to represent Team USA at the World Duathlon Championship in Spain in June 2014!  Whether you are interested in running your first 5k or you have your heart set on winning a marathon, Allie has an incredibly relatable style and she is here to answer some questions today about competition, racing and more!  Take it away Allie!

You are a trainer, a group exercise instructor and a competitive athlete but you didn’t always have those titles.  In fact, you used to dislike one of your favorite forms of fitness, running!  What made you become interested in health and fitness?

It is definitely true that I did not like track or cross country in high school so, I’m not really sure why I even did it! What I can tell you is that I was a sprinter and thought anything over 800 meters was a ridiculously long distance! That said, I was in gymnastics and dance starting at age four, so I definitely grew-up being very active and super competitive.

Throughout college at Boston University the extent of my “fitness” was riding my bike all over the city. It wasn’t until I graduated and moved to Los Angeles in 1997 that I joined a gym. I remember telling my first trainer (who I had for three free sessions when I joined) that I just ran two miles on the treadmill at a 11:00 minute/mile pace. He responded with “why don’t you just walk?” I laughed but it absolutely pushed me to go faster and get better and I have never forgotten it.

When I moved back home to Connecticut in 2000 I joined another gym and eventually started teaching classes because I loved taking them so much and became friends with a few of the instructors. I also fell into a group of like-minded women who all ran so, I just started running with them. Shortly thereafter I realized I had some speed and, after starting to run longer distances with my new friends, I really started to enjoy it.

Sixteen years later I’ve run seven marathons and countless other road races, duathlons and triathlons!

Besides my competitive nature and the social aspect of running and being a gym member, I have a very real fear of being sick and unhealthy. My mom died of ovarian cancer when I was just 17 years old so that left a permanent mark. She struggled with her weight her entire life and had some very unhealthy habits. My young mind transformed that fear into becoming the healthiest person I could possibly be. I’m kind of an all or nothing person so this is my “all.”

[bctt tweet=”Get tips from a competitive athlete! #fitness #running #runchat #racing @vitatrain4life”]

You have become a seriously competitive athlete, what advice can you offer people who are interested in taking their training to the next level?

Go for it with everything you have and do not let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. Be serious about your training, be disciplined in putting the work in and, if it stops becoming fun, you may want to rethink your goals.

[bctt tweet=”Go for it with everything you have and do not let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do.- Words from a serious athlete! @vitatrain4life”]

You’ve reached a lot of goals by a very young age, what advice do you have for those of us who have a lot of lofty goals but aren’t quite sure how to actually achieve them?

Thank you for saying that but at 40 I’m starting to not feel so young! My advice is always to really think about what you want and, especially, why you want it. If you can drill down to what is at the heart of your goal and be completely honest with yourself, nothing can stop you.

For example, it’s not enough to have a goal of weight loss. What will losing ‘x’ amount of weight look like? Feel like? How will it change your life and is it worth it?

Obviously I have achieved things over a very long period of time. Nothing happens overnight and you absolutely need to put in the work. It’s often very hard to stay the course when pursuing a goal, which is why you need a very firm grasp on why you want to achieve it. You will need to reach back to that motivation again and again throughout your training.

Give me one piece of tangible advice for someone who is going to compete in their first 5k, 10k, half-marathon, marathon or triathlon?

Put in the work and leave it all out there.

Everyone is scared to fail, just getting to the start line means you have achieved something most people never will. Running and racing, no matter the outcome, is something that is all about you and which no one can take away. Be proud of yourself for just starting and celebrate your finish…and then go out and do it again!

A lot of people are turned off from competing in races because of the training schedule.  You are on the of busiest people I know, how do you manage your busy life and your training schedule.

It really comes down to how badly you want it.

When I was pregnant with the twins people would tell me how much things would change once they were born. Well, of course they did but I was out walking them in a stroller two weeks postpartum and raced my first triathlon three months later. I’m not saying that to brag but to tell you it’s possible. You are in control of your fitness, no matter the circumstances.

I make excuses to get out for a run or get to the gym or do push-ups and crunches in my basement. I do not make excuses as to why I cannot work out or train.

I wake up at 5:00am every morning and not because I want to but, I know it’s the only way I will get everything accomplished that I need to in a day. Are there days when things fall apart? Of course, but I do everything in my power to prevent it.

If you make your health and fitness a priority it just becomes part of your life. My kids were raised being brought to the gym and now they play soccer and baseball and swim there. If you make it a part of your life, it becomes a habit, no matter how busy you are.

Thanks Allie!  That was some really great, inspiring advice!  For more of Allie check out her blog, VitaTrain4Life, and follow her on social media:

Instagram

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Readers, what are your current race goals?  Have you ever wanted to train to be a competitive athlete but something has held you back?  What would you ask Allie?

By Brittany, March 30, 2016
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