We checked in with Alvina Begay, our newest addition to the Run SMART staff, for some insights into her training as an elite athlete. You can follow her @AYBegay.
Run SMART: Hey, so what are you currently training for?
Alvina: I plan on running the 25K Championships this weekend. After that a marathon but I’m not sure which one I’ll run yet.
Run SMART: How’s training going this year?
Alvina: Training is going well right now. I’ve been focusing a lot on strength work. I’ve been hitting the weight room more than usual trying to strengthen my glutes and hamstrings. I feel that if my glutes and hamstrings are strong, I will be able to continue to train at a high level and get my times down in my events (10K, half marathon and marathon). As far as running workouts, I’ve been doing whatever Trina (my coach) tells me to do. I trust that she knows what I need to do to run faster. I’d say that I’m gunning to crush my marathon PR this fall!
Run SMART: Anything new you’re doing in your training (running or nutrition wise) that you’re seeing benefits from?
Alvina: I’ve been drinking smoothies after most of my runs and all of my workouts lately. I’ve been using frozen fruit, yogurt, spinach, nut butters and soy milk. They’re great for recovery. Everything in a smoothie is broken down and quickly absorbed by the body.
Run SMART: Any long term running goals you’d like to share?
Alvina: I would be happy to run PRs this spring and continue to get faster. Ideally, I’d like to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon and attempt to make the 2016 team.
Run SMART: What’s your favorite place to run and why?
Alvina: I like running on the urban trails in Flagstaff. The urban trails are dirt, wide and clear. I do not do well on single track trails. I find myself running way too slow and because I’m afraid of falling and rolling an ankle. I also like to run on Milton Road in Flagstaff. Everyone in Flagstaff makes fun of me because there is a lot of traffic and commotion on that road but I don’t notice it at all!
Run SMART: What’s your favorite type of workout?
Alvina: I like fartleks because they’re a nice mental break from hitting times. I can get caught up in hitting splits and running faster than the suggested time(s) my coach gives me. Sometimes hitting splits can be stressful so Fartlek sessions allow me to just focus on effort. I also like mile repeats because it is a combination of speed and endurance. Mile repeats are great to indicate fitness and predicted finish times in a race.
Run SMART: What’s your favorite post-run snack?
Alvina: A Macy’s special and Macy’s yogurt with granola. Macy’s is a popular coffee shop in Flagstaff. I also like egg sandwiches.
Run SMART: For those building up for a marathon, what are some musts nutritionally? Anything new that’s simple and most people aren’t doing?
Alvina: I suggest that runners preparing for a marathon practice what they are going to eat the night and morning before a long run or hard effort. It helps to know how your body will handle and react to what you eat during hard marathon training. If you have no problems, great! If you find yourself having issues, you can make adjustments to your pre-race/pre-run meal(s). Its also good to practice taking the fluids and gels you will be using in your marathon during training runs. Fluids should be taken about every three miles. I also practice picking up bottles/cups and drinking while running.
Run SMART: Okay, our non-running related question… what’s your favorite out of any recent movies you’ve seen?
Alvina: The Life of Pi and Silver Linings Playbook
Run SMART: Alright! Good luck at US Champs this weekend!