Caroline Earle is the Fitness Director for an all-girls private school located just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She spends her days teaching Spin, TRX and leading team lifts with the varsity and JV athletes. She believes that a strong body builds a strong mind and that a healthy lifestyle forms a better quality of life. With this mentality, she hopes to help others in their path to wellness and success in this month’s Athlete Spotlight.
What is your favorite part about running?
To me running is ‘my time’. As a Group Fitness Instructor since 2008, I find my sweat-sessions typically go hand-in-hand with positive (and usually loud) words of encouragement. Running allows me to plug into the music I want to listen to and cheer myself on. I believe we all need this time for ourselves.
How did you get started?
In high school, I played 3 seasons of sports all four years. I was an animal. Soccer, basketball and lacrosse were my jam and two hours or more of practice a day was the norm. Upon entering college, I quickly discovered I hated not being a part of organized sports. I signed up for my first 5k and the rest is history.
How many races have you completed?
I’d have to go back and count my race bibs that I’ve so neatly shoved in a wicker basket in my closet. But, if I were to guess, I’d say over 20.
How long have you been running?
If you don’t count sports in middle and high school, I’d say since starting college (12 years). Yikes, haha, that makes me feel old!
What is your favorite distance to run and why?
I can comfortably say 1/2 marathons are my favorite. They challenge me, I have to train for them and I’m pretty beat at the end. However, in true Caroline fashion, I still have enough juice left at the end to sprint the final 400ft.
What is your best training tip?
Scale back. When training for the Vermont City Marathon 4 years ago, I found myself logging too many miles. Granted I was also teaching 8+ Spin classes each week and trying to fit in yoga and weight lifting on top of my pavement pounding. But what I’ve learned is that every body is different. Everyone has a different area that needs to be strengthened in order to run the distance you choose. Listen to your body and avoid a cookie cutter training program. The goal is to finish, not get injured.
What keeps you motivated?
My students and clients motivate me every single day. They get themselves out of bed in the dead of winter for training, make health and wellness a priority and regardless of the day they’ve had, give their workout everything they’ve got. If they can do it, I can too.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting on his or her fitness journey?
Be patient, stay focused and be a little bit selfish. Aside from people not seeing results as quickly as they’d like, fitness-goers also are the first to push their workout/run/yoga session to the side for someone else’s needs. It’s important to remember that your health is a priority and to be a bit selfish when it comes to putting yourself first. Value your body, and it will thank you later.