What We Learnt From The New York City Marathon Winner - The Running Channel Advertisement

What We Learnt From The New York City Marathon Winner

BY: Mark Dredge
07 March 2024

In partnership with Under Armour

Sharon Lokedi runs 200km most weeks. That’s over 120 miles. She doesn’t run 200km every week, of course. Sometimes she runs even further.

That’s what it takes to become New York City Marathon champion, which the Kenyan runner achieved in 2022. To make the win even more impressive, it was her first ever marathon. 

The Under Armour athlete was recently in Barcelona to launch Under Armour’s Infinite Elite, their latest trainer designed to keep your legs feeling fresh, no matter how far you go (even if you run as far as Sharon Lokedi!).

The Infinite Elite is the shoe which Jess is going to be training and racing in as she aims for a 10K PB in May, so she flew out to Spain to try out the shoes and get some top tips from Sharon and her coach Stephen Haas.

Following an easy run around the city on the first night, the next morning Jess laced up as Stephen led a group run, including some of the drills and strides that Sharon routinely does during her training. With the run done, Jess got to ask Stephen a few questions about training for important races.

“Consistency is your number one goal,” he says. “The more you run, the better you’re going to be.” Mostly that means lots of easy-paced runs, but Stephen told Jess how he wants all of his athletes in Under Armour’s Dark Sky Distance team to do strides twice a week, running 10-12 strides (a type of speed training that consists of 20- to 30-second bursts of running at race pace or faster) each time to get their bodies moving much faster than race pace.

Stephen also places equal importance on recovery after the runs, and he encourages his athletes to stretch and foam roll every day. Later, Jess asked Sharon about how she manages all the miles, and she emphasised the importance of eating well to “fuel enough because you need to recover,” plus needing to “have the energy for what’s coming up next.”

Before moving up to road marathons, Sharon was a star 10K runner, winning the 2018 NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships running for the University of Kansas, so Jess wanted to know one of Sharon’s favourite 10K workouts. Sharon explained how she liked to do 10 x 1K repeats, all around race pace, with a 90-second jog between. To make it a bit harder, she followed that with some 600m repeats because “towards the end of a 10K there’s usually a gear change and you have to be ready for that.” It proved to be speed work which Sharon took to the New York City Marathon, surging ahead in the final minutes of the race to win by seven seconds.

As Jess begins her 10K training, she won’t attempt to get to 200km a week but she will be inspired by Sharon’s dedication to easy runs, hard workouts, and focusing on her recovery. “She talked about making sure you’re setting yourself up for success,” says Jess. “I’m notoriously bad at fueling, so hydrating and fueling properly, and taking the time to generally care for myself, is going to be so important.” As Sharon told her: “It’s hard work so allow yourself the chance to be optimal.”

Jess will be running everything from her easy miles to intervals in the Infinite Elite, which is a new approach for her as she’d typically have a few different shoes to pick from depending on the type of run she had planned, but she’s putting the Infinite Elite to the test to do it all.

“Running in the Infinite Elite in Barcelona gave me all the confidence I needed that it works for a lot of different running, and the confidence that I’m happy to do all my training in it and go for my PB in it,” Jess says.

Before the end of their chat, Sharon had one last piece of advice for Jess. “Trust yourself, trust your training, and everything will be good.”

You can follow Jess’s training all the way through to her 10K race in May across The Running Channel’s social media and YouTube.

If you’d like to find out more about the Infinite Elite from Under Armour, click here

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