Olympian Molly Huddle: How to Stay Driven, Be a Role Model, and Run Mentally Tough

The global pandemic put an end to our races and, for many, our commitment to training. But at least we still have running memes.

running memes

(No judgement here, check out these running memes for a laugh.)

The reality is that races serve as a major motivator. Whether you are trying to increase your mileage, set a PR, find an excuse to travel, or simply stay healthy – signing up for a race will likely help you in that goal.

As we approach 9 months of very few organized events, we’re forced to find new reasons to keep training.

From pros to recreational runners, there are many unique approaches. If you’re struggling to keep running during COVID times, take a listen to what others are doing. It just might give you the spark you need!

Strategies for COVID Times

For high level summary, here are some of the strategies I’ve heard of or have implemented myself to keep things interesting:

  • Organize an informal and socially distanced race
  • Join a virtual race
  • Run your regular route in the opposite direction
  • Do your own time trial
  • “Race” for a set time instead of distance
  • Get a dog – they love going for runs
  • Focus on other training styles to support your running
  • Write a book about running

Today’s podcast guest has a few other ideas to add to the list. She has been able to keep up with her (modified) training while contributing to the running community.

Molly Huddle on Training through COVID

Molly is one of the best runners in the world. She holds the American Record in the 10k, 20k, and the half marathon. She represented the United States at the 2012 Olympics, qualifying for the 5,000m final and finishing 11th. Molly set the American Record in the 10k at the 2016 Olympics, finishing 5th overall. Later that same year she made her marathon debut at the NYC Marathon, making the podium in a 3rd place finish.

Molly’s talents are indisputable. Not only does she have range in her performance across a variety of distances, but she also has longevity. Molly has been a professional runner for well over a decade. In this podcast she shares about her unique training schedule and we also discuss:

  • Training changes and records set during COVID
  • How she stays motivated
  • Advice for other runners in these challenging times
  • Molly’s new project (hint: it’s a book!) releasing next year

Molly openly admits that racing is her number one motivator. As a professional runner, she was lucky enough to be able to participate in a few very small events, but beyond that, she had to get creative.

Rather than feeling defeated or demotivated, Molly chose to focus her energy on staying healthy. Check out this clip where she shares her approach to body “renovations”.

    Listen to the entire episode to hear more about Molly’s training approach and what else she has been up to during the pandemic.

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