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Pro Adriana Nelson on a Lifetime of Opportunity, Adversity, and Running

It’s easy to overcomplicate running, whether it’s our goals, our training, or our recovery. Pro Adriana Nelson teaches us why simplicity and dedicated focus are key to a life well run. 

This week’s guest, Adriana Nelson, was an athletic child in Romania where sports were an essential part of her upbringing. Running was one of many sports that she did in school, and it was only when she was pushed into a race at age 13 that her natural running talent became apparent.

Still, running competitively remained on the back burner until high school, where once again she was pushed into competition in a 1500m race. The same coach that had noticed her at age 13 was there to witness her natural talent yet again. With consistent coaching, Adriana’s running excelled. 6 months after beginning to train regularly, she competed nationally for Romania.

How Adriana Nelson Focused on Her Dreams

Adriana went on to earn 6 long-distance national track titles for her home country of Romania, as well as a Romanian team gold at the 2004 World Half Marathon Championships with her teammates. She was second at the 2007 Chicago Marathon, and was the 2013 US half marathon champion.

Adriana’s background is unique and compelling because of her hard work and talent and what she has overcome.  But that’s only part of the story.  Adriana’s successful business venture – ROLL Recovery – was born out of her dedication to taking care of her body while competing at the highest level. She is just as devoted to the recovery process as she is to pushing her body in training.  

On this week’s podcast we’ll discuss what makes Adriana’s perspective so unique, including:

  • The impressive mindset she has carried through her entire journey
  • How she prioritized recovery even as a newly elite runner with limited finances
  • Why it’s important to embrace where you are, even if that means running becomes one of life’s competing demands
  • How simplicity should be prioritized in recovery, including hydration, nutrition and sleep
  • Why her emphasis on recovery is more important than ever now that she has a young child
  • How she can still can run marathons in the 2:30s even on far less mileage

Whether she was running to get bread for her classmates as a 12 year old, or building the successful life she has today, Adriana’s story is an inspiring one you’re bound to enjoy.

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Thank You InsideTracker!


This episode is brought to you by InsideTracker, one of the most reputable blood testing companies in the world. They were founded in 2009 by aging, genetics, and biometrics scientists to help you analyze your body’s data and get a firm idea of how well you’re responding to training.

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