- Boston Marathon champion Des Linden is the first American woman to win the event since 1985.
- Linden told Business Insider about the daily routine she sticks to when she’s training for a race.
- The marathoner’s average day revolves around long runs, but she leaves plenty of time for recovery too.
Boston Marathon champion Des Linden wasn’t always drawn to her signature event.
“Actually, when I first started watching marathons, I was, like, ‘That’s insane. Crazy. I would never do that,'” Linden told Business Insider. “So it wasn’t love at first sight by any means.”
But when the professional runner joined the Hansons-Brooks Original Distance Project, she saw the transformative effect that training for the marathon had on her teammates.
“They just came out the other side as different people,” she said.
Linden was sold. Since then, she’s represented the US at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics. Linden made history in April by becoming the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon since 1985.
She told Business Insider that running marathons has taught her that she’s capable of handling adversity.
“When we think we’re down and out, there’s still a little bit more,” the runner said. “It’s figuring out where the very bottom of your well is. And every time you’re, like, ‘Wow, that was a little more than I thought.’ You can keep pushing that threshold. It’s kind of the same lesson over and over, but it’s just going a little further each time.”
Here’s a look at Linden’s daily routine when she’s training for a marathon:
When she’s in training mode, Linden packs a ton of mileage into each day. She said that training for a marathon is “really teaching your body how to run when it’s really fatigued.”
Linden said she wakes up around 6 and starts off the day by reaching for the coffee.
She’ll also eat a light breakfast — a bagel or a piece of toast with some peanut butter.
On an “easy” day, Linden will kick things off with a 12-mile run. She goes for 14 miles on harder days.
The marathoner endures the grueling distance by staying in the moment. “Once you get out the door, it’s, like, ‘OK, just enjoy this step and this mile and this moment,'” she said.
“People tend to think about how much they have left or put a negative spin on it. Just being present in that moment is always really helpful,” Linden said.
Once she’s finished with her run, Linden said she showers and digs into a second breakfast. Much of the rest of her day is spent recovering and relaxing. Linden will take a nap, read on the couch, or get a massage.
In the evening, Linden will embark on a 4-mile run. Some days, she’ll also supplement her two runs with a yoga session or a trip to the gym.
Consuming enough calories throughout the day can be a real challenge for marathoners. Linden said she’s not picky when it comes to food, but, as a rule, she avoids processed food from “bags and boxes” and tries to keep the fridge stocked with healthy, whole foods.
Linden heads to bed early: “Sleep is the easiest way to recover. The best recovery tool you have is your bed. Just get sleep. That will allow your body to repair and be ready for the next day.”
For marathoners, all that training is necessary for making it through the intense race. “If you put the work in, you’re going to be prepared,” Linden said. “You might not have your dream day, but you’ll have a good experience. It starts before you even get to the starting line.”
“You find out that you’re more resilient than you ever thought,” Linden said. “Then you take that knowledge into race day and you apply that knowledge over 26.2 miles. When it starts to get hard, you’re, like, ‘I showed up every day and just went through it and it was fine.’ And you just keep plugging away. “