Canada-born Jenny Fletcher has always been on the run. Growing up, she just couldn't slow down, competing in tetrathlon—that's running, swimming, shooting (air pistol), and cross-country horse jumping.
These days Fletcher has landed in New York, where in addition to her modeling career she trains as a pro triathlete. (She won the Ironman Branson 70.3 in 2012.) In keeping with her need for constant challenge, Fletcher is currently training for a new discipline: the 10k. “I love the 10k because it’s the perfect distance—not too short, not too long,” Fletcher says. “It’s a great distance to focus on working on tempo and cadence and form to having faster results. Everyone is running faster and faster and it gets addicting to work on having a PR [personal record].”
GrindTV.com caught up with Fletcher about how she's preparing and what's she's learned about training for the Oakley Women's New York Mini 10k, taking place in iconic Central Park on June 14.
What's different about training for this middle-distance race?
This distance requires a lot more speed workouts, intervals, and higher-intensity workouts with speed. These types of workouts help with higher turnover, resulting in a quicker cadence and faster times.
For me, one of the best ways is to work on getting my cadence high and speed incorporated together. On the treadmill I do anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute at a higher speed than I race and alternate with the same [interval of] rest. I run through this drill five to 10 times. A great session on the treadmill or track is doing any distance from 200 [meters] to mile repeats. Do a select number of these with anywhere from 30 seconds' rest to three minutes' rest for the longer intervals (averaging 1:30 rest), depending on where you are in your training and your fitness level. These are all done at a higher or equal speed to what you want to race. These two workouts alone will change the way you run, making you faster and smoother and giving you an overall faster 10k time.
Do you train alone or with friends?
Both. It's always great to have a training partner, even in the gym or on the treadmill, but a lot of times the headphones are on and I'm just focusing. Or if I'm outside with no music, a lot of times I'm working on the mental aspects I deal with when running hard. Friends are always great because they keep you accountable, motivate you, and push you harder when you are struggling. And the best part is someone is there to give you a high five when you are done!
How have you altered your nutrition for training time?
Nutrition is key. I'm always hydrating—always getting in the recovery drink after. I can't eat that much before a hard run session, but I'm always making sure I fuel and recover properly. This is the key to running faster and utilizing your body to its highest level of achievement.
What are your goals for the 10k race?
This race is all about having fun. Depending on how I am faring after racing the half Ironman the weekend before and working and traveling in between, I will just go out steady and pace myself per mile for the first 2 to 3 miles—take it all in. Then I'll work on form and cadence in the second half, working on getting up those hills efficiently by keeping my turnover quick. With 1 mile to go, I tell myself to keep pushing. I count in my head to get my mind off the pain. And I keep telling myself I'm almost there. Once the finish is in sight, the goal has been achieved. Always try to finish the race you have set out to run! Times for me right now aren't that important. It's about how my head is while I'm in the game. At the end I want to tell myself I gave it my all and walk away with the satisfaction from knowing that alone.
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