This week we were privileged to have guest speaker Nan Kennard talk with our Wolfpack after practice. Nan was a state champ at Bountiful High School, an All-American at BYU, and a professional runner. She is also founder of the Race Cats running program.
She talked with our Wolfpack about the importance of running as part of a team and how taking care of your teammates can ultimately make you a better runner.
Nan shared the story of Desiree Linden; the first American woman to win the Boston Marathon in over 30 years. In 2018, when Desiree set our on her run, she wasn’t feeling well after a few miles and decided not to aim for a podium finish. It was also unusually cold and rainy for the marathon that year; miserable! Instead she chose to support other runner on her team to try and get an American woman on the podium. She ran in front of a teammate to let her draft, she waited a porta potties and helped her teammate get back to the main pack. Further into the race, Desiree was feeling better and felt like she had a chance to win. Her teammates then supported her and helped her achieve that first place finish.
To quote Desiree:
“When you work together you never know what is going to happen. Helping her helped me get my legs back.”
Nan explained that when you’re not feeling great, when you just don’t feel like you have the legs to win a race, adjust your focus to support your teammates and you never know what will happen. When you are feeling bad, it helps to help the people around you. You will feel better too.
Part of being on a team is supporting each other. If something is going on with a teammate, reach out to make sure they’re okay. If your teammate wins, cheer them on. Building others up makes you stronger.
She also went on to explain the positive impact that meditation and visualization can have on race results. Nan lead our Wolfpack through a simple meditation and encouraged them to focus on their breathing and let their bodies relax after training. Meditation and visualization has been proven to show more improvement and better race results than just training on its own.
Q&A with Nan:
Most important recovery advice:
Eat, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, and res.
Best Marathon Time:
Best Race of her Life:
Placing 2nd in the US at a 15k at a 5:15 pace (wow!)
Favorite Post-Workout Treat:
Favorite Motivational Song:
Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger came to mind first, but here’s a link to Nan’s running playlist on Spotify.
Favorite Event in High School:
Favorite Event in College:
Thank you so much, Nan for speaking to our Wolfpack and giving us some great advice to consider for years to come!! We love you!