Moving On Up: Exclusive Interview With Lauren Fleshman

Lauren Fleshman winning the XTERRA Trail Nationals in 2009. Photo: Nils Nilson/XTERRA

What does your training look like now that you’re preparing for the marathon?

It’s just a tiny bit more mileage. I only run six days a week and I hit 80 miles last week. My hard days are a lot longer—14 to 16 miles.

I can’t do as much mileage as a lot of elites—I don’t want to get hurt.

I Ellipitgo for cross training for two to five hours a week, which ends up being the equivalent about 20 miles worth of running. Were lucky in Eugene that we have that a lot of bike paths and cycling friendly roads. I can take it anywhere—just not off a curb. I learned the hard way; you bottom out.

What does a typical training day look like?

I try to get as much sleep as I can get. I slept like 12 hours last night [laughs]. I wake up when I wake up and I listen to my body. I’ve heard I’m going to get a lot more tired once I start upping the milage on my long runs.

I eat a light breakfast and go for my first run which is usually six to, well, it could be a lot more since I’m training for the marathon.

Then I have lunch and work on Picky Bars, other work or blogging.

In the evening around 6:00 I go for another run or Elliptigo.

In the evening I stretch, cook, watch a movie or chill out.

And I try to spend as much time as I can with my husband. (Fleshman is married to triathlete Jesse Thomas).

How do you avoid burnout, especially since you are training for the marathon now?

I think its important to take a day off every week—I’ve done that since high school. Very few dedicated athletes do it, but I find if I take that day every week and fully charge my battery it is enough to keep my fresh each week and keep me excited to run. I take a longer break after a focal point of the season; I’ll take at least two weeks off and don’t run at all.

It’s really good to let yourself get out of shape, miss training and make you want it more.

The only year that I felt burnt out was when I didn’t take time off after the season.

It’s also good to have other passions.  If I didn’t have another job (Fleshman owns Picky Bars) it would be easier to not take breaks from running.

Your training diary was just released. Tell me about that.

It’s a project I created with Ro McGettigan. She’s an Olympic steeplechaser and we’ve been friends for years. I wanted to put the things I have learned about running into a training diary and walk people through the things that we do in our sport. The diary is a way to get people to record their training and be mentally engaged in their training and work toward a goal.

I wanted to make it the ideal book for runners to feel good about themselves and their training.

The training journal is available at www.believeiam.com

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