FROM THE ATHLETE: BRENDA MARTINEZ
JACKRABBIT INTERVIEW WITH OLYMPIAN AND TRACK STAR BRENDA MARTINEZ
Middle distance runner and Olympian Brenda Martinez (USA) took the time to sit down for a chat with JackRabbit to talk about her track career, New Balance and why giving back is so important to her.
BRENDA’S KEY RACE STATS
JackRabbit: What might a typical day in the life of a pro runner look like as you enter race season each year?
Brenda Martinez: A typical training day for me consist of a consistent schedule for workout days such as waking up at 5am. I get my equipment ready and tend to feeding my dogs and cat and taking them out. We leave the house by 5:45am and make the drive down the sea-level and depending on the traffic it can take an hour and 15 minutes to arrive to our training location.
We spend about 3 hours start to finish of the workout that consist of warm up, drills, workout, cool down and about an hour of more drills, hurdle flexibility and core. We eat and make the drive back home and this can be around midday. I nap and once I wake up I go for my second run and have dinner after. Bedtime is usually 10pm.
JR: You represented Team USA in Rio and have just returned from the IAAF World Championships in London. Your sport allows you to travel worldwide. Michael Phelps famously said he had traveled the world, but only saw the black line of a pool! What’s your experience of competing overseas?
BM: I always feel fortunate being able to travel and race and I completely agree with Phelps.
My profession requires to stick the routine so there is lots of time spend in my hotel room but I’ll try and make effort to have dinner with a friend or by myself. Not much of tourist activities for me.
JR: You were quoted as saying the 800m race is such that the distance chooses you! What is your take on racing twice around the track and the preparation an athlete goes through to maximize performance on the double lap?
BM: It’s such a hard event that requires the foot speed and the strength to last the rounds. I don’t think I will ever get a handle on the event but I always look forward the challenge. The 800 meters can go all sorts of ways and it makes the event exciting to watch and it unfold over 200 meters.
JR: You’ve been running in New Balance shoes. Tell us about your experience working with the company and the support they give you and your mentoring?
BM: I’m will always be grateful to New Balance and the believe they have in me since day one. New Balance genuinely makes you feel like a priority and you get this sense of family which I can appreciate. They have been such a big part of my girls camp and have provided gear that goes all the way for their season.
JR: Let’s talk shoes, after all, they’re arguably the most important part of a runner’s kit (save your mental kit of course!) What are your go-to shoes for training and for racing.
BM: My go-to shoes are the fresh foam 1080’s. I can do much of easy runs and they can take the mileage. They are so comfortable too. For racing on the track I go to the MD 800s and if I’m somehow racing on the roads I will go to the RC 5000 flats.
JR: You train with the legendary coach Joe Vigil, who also trained the likes of Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor in their careers. What does having his experience and mentoring mean to you?
BM: Working with Coach Vigil is a game changer, but also probably the toughest coach out there. He has been instrumental to not only training but my life. He has brought out the best in me and he will always remind and encourage me to be my best on and off the track.
Coach Vigil has been a great to my husband as well and will help in anyway possible so that Carlos can learn to be a better coach. He is all about educating and sharing his knowledge to others.
JR: Most athletes have a moment when someone champions them and guides them to make the most of their talent. Who inspired you along the path to being a world class athlete?
BM: My life is indebted to Coach Vigil and he is the reason why I have good life and I am running well. His teachings are valuable and I try to learn as much as I can. He is the reason why I started my girls camp. Anytime I have goals to share or if I am going thru something in training, he is only a phone call away.
JR: You spend time mentoring girl runners at the camps you host in Big Bear, California. As a powerful voice for these young ladies, how do encourage them to dream big?
BM: I can talk about the good, the bad and what makes us human. I share my story with them but they also share their story. I feel that I have learned so much from these young minds and to see them happy is my ultimate goal. We keep touch and I assure them that I will be there for them.
JR: Imagine it’s the middle of winter; it’s dark and cold. What inspires you to lace up your running shoes day on day?
BM: When you’re in the bulk of training and at times it hard to get up and run. I just find a way to jump out of bed and I constantly have to remind myself that there are young girls the look up to me and I want to be my best for them.
It helps knowing that there is a reason for why I do it but it’s also for a better life that I want. To me, a better life means helping others and I can do that through my running.
JR: And finally, one question we ask all athletes. What are three songs that motivate you in life, sport and racing?
BM: My playlist constantly changes, but as of right now these are my top 3 songs: Shakira: Me Enamoré, Al Green: Love and Happiness, Selena: Baila Esta Cumbia
JR: Thanks Brenda!
DISCOVER NEW BALANCE RUNNING SHOES
FOLLOW BRENDA’S ADVENTURES ON THE TRACK
Follow Brenda Martinez, her race season, training adventures and committment to mentoring girls through her running camps on Twitter.