Amanda is a single mom to two awesome kids, 14 and 6. She’s also a fitness instructor and a former special education teacher. She is a NASM certified personal trainer and a fitness instructor for PiYo Live, INSANITY Live, P90X Live, and bootcamp classes. Her blog, Phoenix Fitness, is all about fitness, clean eating, and how she keeps her family and herself healthy. She’s now also an avid runner, so I spoke to Amanda about her journey.
What is your favorite part about running?
I love that running gives me a way to escape the stress of life. When I’m running, whether with music blasting in my headphones or just in silence, I am able to forget about all the tasks and troubles in life and just enjoy the feel of my body working along the road.
How did you get started?
I used to only be able to run 30-60 seconds before I would have to stop and walk. I was unhappy with the fact that others could run long distances when it seemed so impossible to me. I found a “Couch to 5k” program and worked myself up to being able to run one mile, then two miles, and so on. I entered my first 5k race, not to win, but just to be able to say I finished it. From there, I set new goals for myself and eventually completed a half-marathon.
How many races have you completed?
So far, I have completed numerous 5k races, a mud run, three 10k races, a 10-miler, and one half-marathon. I have a couple of 5ks lined up for this year, and have the joy of my daughter running with me. My next half-marathon is scheduled for May 2016!
How long have you been running?
I only started running in 2011, after I turned 30 years old. Who says old dogs can’t learn new tricks?
What is your favorite distance to run and why?
My favorite distance is the half-marathon. I can easily run a 5k or even a 10k without much training, but a half-marathon is long enough that I really have to train and work myself up to the endurance needed for that distance. I enjoy challenging myself and setting new goals so that I have something to work toward, and the 13.1 is the perfect one for me.
What is your best training tip?
Take it slow and give yourself plenty of time to add mileage. Trying to push yourself too far too fast leads to injury - and it’s no fun sitting out when you just want to run!
What keeps you motivated?
Knowing that I’m setting a positive example for my kids keeps me motivated to do more, especially when I can include them. Running races with my daughter is a lot of fun and gives us an opportunity to spend time together. My son has also started running short races for kids, and knowing that he wants to be like his mom means that I have to keep running to inspire him.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting on his or her fitness journey?
No matter how far you run, no matter how fast you go, just go. Remember why you want to do this, and don’t stop. Enjoy the journey.