The Runner Spotlight came to be because I love to meet new people and, of course, talk running. Twice a month, a new runner will be featured on the Runner Spotlight. Through these interviews, we will meet and learn from runners of all distances, paces and food preferences.Without further ado, meet Tina Muir.
She is an elite runner sponsored by Saucony. Tina shares her insight into life as an elite runner on her blog, Fuel Your Future with Tina Muir, and is community manager at Runners Connect.
Interviewing Tina was so much fun because, despite being ridiculously fast, she is very down-to-earth. Being a middle-of-the-pack runner myself, the elite runners seem to be off in their own (much faster) world yet Tina is a great spokeswoman for elites being "real" people, too. They deal with the ups and downs of running and the battle of finding balance in daily life as well.
Let's jump into the interview!
All About Running:
When did you start running? What spurred your interest?I started running at age 14. Before that I ran cross country practice, but wasn’t particularly good at it, and definitely did not enjoy it. I even hid in the bathrooms for the trials for the team. I honestly can’t remember a moment where I realized I liked it, all I remember is ending up on the team, and then being focused on beating the best girl on the cross country team as she really didn't try very hard and partied all the time, so that became my goal. I guess when she became a realistic target, it ignited my competitiveness, then I realized I kind of liked it!
When did you run your first race? What were your thoughts before/after?I can’t remember a specific race, but I remember the first time I passed the best girl on the team, and it was the greatest feeling knowing that she was much more talented than I was, but I out worked her :) I remember being elated, and then deciding it was time to give it a real try by joining a club (in England almost all running is done through clubs).
What is your favorite distance to race?Can you ask me again in 2 weeks? I am hoping I will say the half marathon, as that has been the race I have done the best at so far, but one day I hope to be able to say the marathon, as in my heart I know this is the race for me, but so far I have not run to my potential in it….mind you, not sure marathons are ever really meant to be enjoyable during :)
Do you work with a coach or are you self-coached?I am coached by my husband Steve, somehow it works and it means he knows me better than I know myself, so he knows exactly what workout I need to get ready based on how I am feeling (or acting).
|Tina and her hubby/coach, Steve|
What weekly mileage do you run during training on average?Around 80 miles per week
What do you think is the most important aspect of training for a long-distance race?Getting enough rest/recovery :)
What are your PRs?16:08 5k, 33:24 10k, 55:19 10 mile, 1:14 half, 2:41 marathon
What has been your favorite race experience? Tell us a little about it!The London marathon this year was the greatest race experience I could have ever imagined….Okay, it wasn't quite….if Steve would have been there, that would have been the greatest I could have imagined :) But from start to finish it was amazing; I warmed up with my idol Paula Radcliffe, my friends and family lined the course and hearing them cheering my name after so many years out of the country was such a high, running through the famous landmarks I had grown to love, and running the race I had always dreamed of doing, oh, and I felt great! I kicked down 91 people in the last 5 miles and just loved every second of the race!
What is your favorite post-race treat?I LOVE sweets. Anything sweet! I cannot possibly chose a favorite, but after every race I will indulge in whatever dessert is calling my name….in addition to usually a burger or pancakes…depending on the time of day :)
|Breaking the tape at the 2015 Army Ten-Miler in 55:19|
Personal/Family Life Balance:
Are your family/friends interested in running as well?Somewhat. Most of my family and friends are not interested in it on its own, but they are interested in my running, if that makes sense? However, my parents love watching track, and get more excited than I do about the world championships!
How do you balance family/friend time, daily responsibilities and training?I am very passionate and committed to staying in touch with those I love and care about the most, and at the end of the day, they will come before anything, even my running. I love making people feel good about themselves and letting them know how much they contribute to this world. I love hearing their accomplishments, and seeing them do well in whatever they commit themselves to, that inspires me. As for balance, I definitely burn the candle at both ends sometimes, especially when I go home, but part of me thinks I am addicted to the thrill of being busy all the time, so I have no one to blame but myself. Steve is very good at keeping my feet on the ground and reminding me to relax, something I struggle with!
When do you fit running/training into your day?I get up at 5am to start working and eat breakfast, and then go for my run around 9am. I almost always do two sets of exercise, other than workout days, so after my run, I will come home, eat, and do work while I rest my body. I then go for my cross training bout later that day before dinner. If I have a strength training workout, that usually follows the run, but I make sure the rest of the day I am off my feet. On workout days, that takes 2-3 hours of the morning away, but then I know I have the rest of the day to work.
What advice would you give to new runners?Firstly, you ARE a runner if you are out there doing it. You do not have to look a certain way, or run a certain speed. At the end of the day, we are all out there facing those same demons together, but you have to believe in who YOU are, your own strengths, and learn to love running for your own reasons.
Secondly, I would say that rest and recovery is the most important part of running, make sure you take some days to run so slowly you feel like you are barely moving, those are the days your body needs to recover from those tougher days.
Finally I would say there are going to be ups and downs, but trust that the more struggles you overcome, the better it is going to feel if you persevere. It is ALWAYS worth it :)
Thank you, Tina, for taking the time to talk! Congratulations on your Army Ten-Miler win and best of luck in your future races!
Check out Fuel Your Future with Tina Muir for more insight into Tina's life as an elite runner!