Jennifer Bigham

Jennifer Bigham

After all that you accomplished, what drives you to continue running?

I still have a lot to accomplish. I've been running for 20 years, but much of that time was not competitive. In college I was getting a small taste of the competitive spirit, but was injured constantly. I train smarter now and have much bigger goals. I have many personal records left in my legs and I want to see how fast I can go!


How do you motivate yourself on days when you don't feel like running?

Like anyone, my motivation comes and goes, but for the most part I am very internally motivated. I run for my own goals and myself. When the motivation comes from your own heart, it doesn't take much convincing to get out the door. 


On average, how many times and miles do you run a month?

I have 2 small children and running twice a day isn't practical for my family right now so I usually just do 7 runs a week; one each day. When training for a longer race (marathon/half marathon) I run approximately 70 to 75 miles per week or about 300 miles a month. 


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

Weird and funny things happen to me all the time when running. One thing that sticks in my mind, though it was not funny at the time, is from way back in high school. I was running a 2 mile race on the track and I broke a bone in my foot. It snapped on the second of eight laps and I instantly knew it was a broken bone. I thought about what I should do, and my coach and dad were telling me to drop out. But I heard people telling the girl behind me that I was "getting tired and slowing down" and she could beat me and it got me fired up so I finished (and won)! Then I was carried off the track and in a cast for over 2 months. Some of my weirdest running moments have been times when "nature calls" and I've been caught squatting along the trail! 


What are your favorite types of fuel for running and why?

Pre and post run I love peanut butter and banana sandwiches, Picky Bars (all flavors), Vega products (Vega One, Recovery Accelerator, Pre-Workout Energizer), fruit smoothies, and occasionally Clif Bars (peanut toffee buzz). During my long training runs I use Vanilla GU and water. For long races I use Vanilla GU, water and the electrolyte drink on the course. I use all of these products because I've found they work well for my testy stomach and me.


What's your favorite cheat food & drink?

I don't really have a "cheat food & drink". I eat pretty well most of the time and eat "junk food" daily. I'm lactose intolerant and dairy causes major problems for me when running so during off times or after a big race or workout I indulge in some heavy dairy consumption if I'm in the mood! Obviously post-race beer is a necessity as well. 


Do you like ice baths? Why or why not?

I used to do ice baths, but have been more in favor of Epsom salt baths over the past year.


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

Be consistent. If running is a part of your schedule, you will be more likely to continue doing it and enjoying it. It's also the best way to see improvements. At the same time, do what you can and what is reasonable for your lifestyle. A missed day or two doesn't mean you have failed. I see too many people give up on running or any workout plan because they miss a day or two, maybe even a week. Life happens and it's ok. Forget about it and start back up as soon as possible.


What is your favorite running accomplishment so far?

I'm proud that I decided to become a competitive runner again after having my first (and now second) child. 


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