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Athlete Interview: Sarah Cummings

Tomorrow, UWC athlete Sarah Cummings will be toeing the line of the 2014 Boston Marathon, eyes set on another PR (her current marathon best is 2:39:27 at the 2013 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, which also serves as the USATF National Marathon Championships). Sarah is a former Princeton track & field/XC star who works full-time at Goldman Sachs. She’s currently running for the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) and is supported by Brooks Running and PowerBar. We caught up with Sarah for a few minutes before her big race. 

Urban Wellness Clinic takes a moment to sit down with elite runner Sarah Cummings

Urban Wellness Clinic: What does your training look like leading up to the Boston Marathon?

Sarah Cummings: I build up to peak mileage of 90-100 over the course of the 12 week training cycle with two HMP- MP (half marathon and marathon pace) workouts and one 20+ mile long run per week. For example, I’ll run 15 miles at marathon pace in Central Park (3 x’s the 102nd transverse loop), Harlem Hill repeats, or 2 x 10k at half marathon-marathon pace.

UWC: What kind of exercises outside of running do you do to keep in tip-top shape?

SC: I do yoga, core, and pilates.

UWC: What kind of pre-hab do you do to prevent injury?

SC: I’ll go through the whole sequence of Dr. Kiberd’s prescribed exercises 2-3 times per week!

UWC: How do you prepare mentally and emotionally the couple days before the marathon?

SC: I Try not to think about the race a ton in the days leading up (I’ll stay busy with work) and catch up on other restful activities (magazines, TV, reading, emails, etc.) once I arrive. It’s easy to get too excited at the start of the race…I really need to stay calm and try to let first 13.1 miles just pass me by. I’ll also prepare the food I eat before/during the race and talk to some of fellow elites to see if I anyone has a plan that matches up (so we can possibly run together). I mostly just try to stay focused on my planned pace and take it one mile at a time to stay in the moment. I always decorate my bottles placed along the course at fluid stations with heart-print masking tape to remember everyone that loves and supports me when the going gets tough!

UWC: What do you look forward to eating after?

SC: Lots of wine and Magnolia vanilla/vanilla buttercream frosting cake!!

UWC: Any good luck rituals?

SC: I always wear the same sports bra, my compression socks and my left shoe gets tied before the right. Nothing major- I just try to keep the rituals to a minimum because a lot of things are out of my control!

The UWC team wishes Sarah the best of luck in her race tomorrow! To learn more about Sarah’s marathon journey and her incredible work-life-running balance, read her blog