Ashley Stumpp, 26
City Allentown, PA
What event(s) are you currently training for and what does that include?
My main events are the Via Half Marathon, 13.1 miles (9/11/11) and the Steamtown Marathon, 26.2 miles (10/9/11). I am also training for two sprint triathlons in July. The Pyramid Triathlon is a 650 meter swim,13.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. I am also doing the New Jersey State Sprint Triathlon. That is a 500 meter swim, 11.5 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. Along with those 4 events, I am sure I will have other random running races from 5k's to 10k's throughout the summer and fall.
What are your personal goals for this year?
I find that I have already accomplished some of my personal goals this year. I wanted to run a half marathon and complete it with a respectable time. I did the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon on 5/1/11 and did just that, finishing in 2:01. I also had a goal to run a 5k (3.1 miles) in 24 minutes. I accomplished that at the St Patrick's Day 5k. Then of course my goal for the next 5k was to run under 24 minutes. That was accomplished on 5/7/11 at Run for Rich 5k. I ran a 23:37 and finished 2nd in my age group. I also had a goal to complete a triathlon. I was a swimmer in high school and college, and obviously a runner now. The problem was that I never was a biker. However, I completed my first triathlon 6/5/11 and finished 4th in my age group.
So what are some of my new goals?
To finish 1st in my age group at the Patriot's Triathlon, finish the Via Half Marathon in under 2 hours and to complete my first full marathon in under 4:30. I already have personal goals set for next year that include completing my first Olympic distance triathlon, and training for a half ironman in the Fall of 2012.
What does your weekly workout out look like?
I try to alternate swimming, biking and running on a daily basis. I alternate between endurance training and speed work throughout the week. I also try to do a brick workout at least once a week. My brick workouts usually consist of a bike and run, as I find this transition to be the most challenging in a triathlon. As for running, I try to do at least one distance run a week. Distance runs to me consist of 10 or more miles. I also make sure to find time to strength train. I believe that has been one of the keys to my success.
What do you think is the hardest part about training and doing an endurance event?
The hardest part about training is training! You have to be willing to do whatever it takes. If you want to be fast in a race, you have to train to be fast in a race. Training hurts more than the actual race. I have had to learn to love pain. I love it, and what I have done shows that. In training you have to not only be physically tough, but mentally tough as well. For instance, yesterday was a scheduled "run" day. It was extremely hot and humid. Most people would put off running because of the heat. However, I chose to embrace it because on race day I may be racing in similar conditions.
What benefits/rewards do you get from competing?
I love to see how my training has paid off. I learn something from every race; what worked, what needs improvement, etc. Most of all, I love feeling that sense of accomplishment when I cross the finish line, because not everyone can say that they have done what I have.
What advice would you give someone looking to compete?
Start slow. Pick an event that gives you enough time to train. Do not try to do too much too soon, you are just asking for injury! Be consistent. Eat healthy. Stretch a lot.