Emily Durgin

Emily Durgin is an American long distance runner from Standish, Maine. She began her running journey at the age of 9 when she joined the local USATF summer track and field team in her town. Emily loved competing and went on to run in high school, and she qualified for the Footlocker Nationals in 2009. She then attended the University of Connecticut and was a 9-time American Athletic Conference Champion. After graduating from UConn in May of 2017, Emily joined Team New Balance Boston to continue her running career. In 2019 she signed a professional contract with Under Armour, and moved to Flagstaff, Arizona to help the formation of Dark Sky Distance, a professional running team sponsored by Under Armour. Emily has recently qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 10k with a time of 32:22 and ran a personal best of 69:27 in the half marathon.

 

How does it feel for running and racing to finally be heading in the direction of normalcy?

I feel very fortunate that racing is starting to get back to normal. I have been able to race a handful of times in 2021 already, and know that things are heading in the right direction. It seems like the U.S. has figured out how to put races on in a safe manner.

What was one of the things you missed during this year of Covid restrictions?

The one thing I missed during the restrictions was being with my full training group. A big bonus to living in Flagstaff is that you always have a lot of people to run with. During lock down we had to do a lot of training on our own which made it hard to stay excited to get out the door everyday.  

What was one of the biggest training hurdles during this period and how did you deal with it?

The biggest hurdle I had to deal with was feeling burnt out around August of 2020. It had been a long stretch of grinding on my own and having races in the back of my mind. When a few races did pop up come August, I was emotionally and physically exhausted. To overcome this I took some time off and was able to go back home to Maine. I then was able to reset and race a few more times before the end of 2020!

What are your goals for the upcoming year?

My goal for this year is to race hard at my first Olympic Trails and be competitive. Then I will shift my focus to the roads and look to win some of the big summer road races.

What has inspired you to move up to the marathon distance in 3-4 years instead of staying focused on the 10K?

I love racing on the roads and this is what has inspired me to move up in distance. Now that I feel more confident in the half marathon I am excited to take on the marathon in the next year or so. I have built a lot of confidence in my ability to grind on the roads, which is another reason why I am excited to move up in distance. 

What does your weight training consist of and which exercise do you feel helps your running the most?

For weight training I mainly do body weight or light weight exercises that focus on foot/ankle strength and mobility, core and glute activation. These are the most important areas I have found that help me stay healthy and run faster.

What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?

When I first moved to Flagstaff I was out running on the trails alone and listening to music when all of a sudden I looked up and a bull was staring right at me! I had never been that close to a bull and was scared it was going to charge after me. I quickly turned around and sprinted back to the trailhead. 

What's your favorite types of fuel before a race?

I like to keep it simple. Before a morning race I fuel with oatmeal, coffee, and some type of bar. Typically anything that is easy to digest but has substance is my go to food.

 

What's your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is messes! I am very OCD when it comes to how I keep my living space.

 

What's it like to run for Under Armour?

Under Armour is like family to me. As an athlete it is important to feel heard and Under Armour 100% does that. I have built a lot of great relationships through my UA family and truly feel like we are helping each other grow as an athlete and a brand.

 

Who would you say is the funniest teammate?

Pat Casey. He keeps things fun and light at practice. He has been in the sport for a long time and still knows how to have fun with it! 

Do you like ice baths?

 I used to take a lot of ice baths in college, but now I prefer epsom salt baths. I feel like after hard workouts it helps my body feel more relaxed and recovered where ice baths tend to tighten me up.

In your free time when you’re not running, what hobbies do you enjoy?

I enjoy having social time with family and friends. Hosting dinner and wine nights at my condo and catching up with friends. 

What's the most important tip you like to give new runners?

Listen to your body! If you are feeling tired or sore do not push a run. Take time to stretch and recover. This will help you feel better for your next run and will allow your body to get stronger.

When it comes to running, what would you say is your biggest strength and weakness?

My biggest strength is being able to push hard in my workouts. I am always training to become a better athlete and I practice this when I am doing hard sessions. My weakness is comparing myself to other athletes that have run faster than me. It is easy to do this before races and something we all have to work on.

Who is someone you look up to in the sport?

I look up to all the women who paved the way for distance running. Joan Benoit, Shalane Flanagan, and Sara Hall to name a few that I aspire to be like. These women set the bar high for American distance runners and continue to be a positive light in the sport.

What's next for you?

U.S. 15K road championships.

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