Every once in awhile I like to take the time to put the spotlight on someone else when it comes to TLAG.
This time I want to put the spotlight on Kimberly Ridout.
Kimberly has been a client of ours for almost 5 years. She first came to us already in shape, just wanting to lose a couple of pounds. Now we are helping her train for her first time running the Boston Marathon this coming Monday (4/20/15).
Kimberly is definitely a woman I admire for not only her hard work in the gym but also her hard work outside of the gym.
She is a wife, a mother of two, has a career of her own and is helping her husband start up his own business. In between all of this, she finds time to train for marathons and keep herself healthy.
She is a busy woman, and it’s not always easy. I recently sat down with Kimberly to see just how she does it and to get some tips myself.
So let’s start by talking about your history with running, how long have you been doing races such as half-marathons, marathons and even Spartans?
I have been running (in one way or another for 27 years). But I did not start running longer distance races for until about 15 years ago, while I was finishing PT school. I completed my first half marathon. Running for that long of a distance seemed like an eternity! I remember thinking I just couldn’t imagine running one more step further, let alone another 13 miles!! Looking back on that time, just makes me laugh– because that was just the beginning. I ran a full marathon the following year. And I have continued to run longer distance races ever since. As for Spartans, I did not start competing in obstacle races until recently. I did my first Spartan Beast in 2012 not long after I had my son. Obstacles add a different dimension to running that to me, is just plain fun!
What other kinds of exercise do you do to supplement your running?
Outside of my weekly running program, I am in the gym at Full Throttle Athletics two days a week. Possessing strength in the hips, legs, and core are so important for a runner. Strength training can help isolate and eliminate muscle imbalances and asymmetries that if not addressed, can lead to injury. And frankly, it is is nice way to break up the week, challenging your body in a different way that just lacing up your running shoes and hitting the pavement. The strength I have gained from my time in the gym has improved my hill climbing ability. Hills used to eat my lunch, now, my buddies are wondering what happened to me as I charge up most any hill!! My legs are so much stronger now.
With all your training, what does your nutrition look like?
I eat A LOT!! I am eating at least every 2-3 hours daily. From the time I wake up (which during the week is 4 AM) until I go to bed, I have usually eaten 6, sometimes 7 meals that day. Each time I eat, I try to include a lean protein and a vegetable or fruit. But my schedule is super busy– so many times, I will prepare food for the week so that I have available meals I can grab quickly. I also make a lot of smoothies in the blender that are quick and easy to grab and go. With a full time job and two young kids. It has to be easy.
I do love to cook though and I try to get the kids involved. We enjoy trying new combinations of foods and new recipes to keep things interesting. I focus on eating whole foods– and try to stay away from anything in a box or that would be stored in a pantry. When I shop with the kids, we make it a game. We “buy a rainbow”- We start with red,– identify a fruit and vegetable that are red, and place them in the basket moving through all the colors. Its pretty cool when your 4 year old can identify things like Swiss chard, fennel, sweet potatoes, and red bell peppers!!
What would you tell a woman who is scared to eat more than 1000 calories but still wants to train for races?
You have GOT to feed your body the nutrients it needs to run. You also need to feed your body the nutrients it needs to recover!! It is impossible to train and place that kind of demand on your body metabolically, and then not give your body what it needs. Not only will it make it difficult to perform, but you start to feel sluggish, tired, and just plain ill. You cannot restrict calories and train. Your body will reach a tipping point and eventually, it will crash. I try to view food as fuel– like fuel for a car. Restricting calories when training would be like trying to compete in the Indy 500 with a race car that has only a ¼ of a tank of gas. Impossible.
You are a mother, a wife, you have a career and you are helping your husband start up his own business. Where in the world do you find time to train?
It could be easy for me to say I don’t have time to train— I don’t have time NOT to train. What I mean is, for me, I have to schedule it. It goes on the calendar like anything else. Training is a non negotiable. It has to be done. Its like feeding your kids breakfast. You would never say, “well, I don’t have time to feed my kids this morning.” You just do it. I find that when I make the time to train, I think more clearly, I am sharper—- Running, for me is thinking time– I come back better equipped to handle life’s challenges. I also like that it sets a good example for my kids. To see their mom active sets the example that exercise is an integral part of everyday life. I hope that stays with them forever.
What would you say to a mom who wants to start training for her first race, maybe even just a 5K, but is scared to?
The most important thing is to have a goal– identify the race you are going to do. Pick a race several months away, so you will have adequate time to train. Go ahead and register for that race now. Don’t wait!! When first beginning, the idea of running a 5K can be scary. I would suggest focusing on running for minutes versus distance. Increase your running time by a few minutes each week. I would also suggest to find someone to do the race with you. Having another person to encourage you, hold you accountable, share in your challenges and successes, and to experience your first 5K with will make it that much more memorable.
I know you also track your HRV, how do you use it to help you with your race training?
Its all about training smarter, not harder. Sometimes your body just needs rest and recovery more than it needs to train. Sometimes it is hard to know when that is the case. HRV has been a fantastic tool for me to gauge where I am in my training, and know how much stress my body is under. It gives me a permission slip to rest when I need it, or it gives me that green light to train when I am ready. I used to battle guilt if I took a day off or I would worry about over-training if I had a series of tough training sessions. HRV has taken much of the guesswork out of training and gives me another tool to look at versus just how I feel that day.
What are you goals for 2015?
1)My first goal is to race Boston Marathon for the first time. Boston is in 3 weeks. This year’s strategy is to learn the course, soak it all in, enjoy running in the worlds biggest and oldest annual marathon. Next year, I plan on running it for time.
2) Run a 7 min/mi flat for at least 10 miles– My main focus this summer will be speed. Gonna be spending lots of time on the track!!!
3) Achieve a 3:30 marathon time– I plan to run Tulsa Marathon and Dallas Marathon this fall. Hoping to PR at one of these. This will be 9 minutes off my current marathon time.
4) Complete my first Ragnar Race this fall. Ragnar race is an overnight, team running, relay trail race. I’m looking forward to more trail running. I have not done much for fear of getting injured prior to Boston. So I’m looking forward to spending more time running trails and being surrounded by nature. No time goal on this one. Again, this will be my “fun” goal. Everyone has to have a fun goal!!!
Well there you have it!
I would say Kimberly is as busy as they come, but in the end she has her goals (always a good thing ;)) and knows she needs to keep her body healthy for not only her training, but her family.
I hoped you enjoyed getting to know more about Kimberly and how she is reaching her goals. I know she is always an inspiration to me.
We will be cheering Kimberly on next Monday while she competes in her very first Boston Marathon from here in good ol’ Texas. And look out for another blog post about Kimberly in the very near future about her experience running the oldest, and probably most famous, marathons ever.