Ahead of the Olympic Trials for Track and Field, Lively connected with Kim Conley, two-time Olympian and professional runner for New Balance, to get the scoop on how she started running, what it’s like to be an Olympian, how she fuels her runs and more!
Plus, keep an eye out for two more blog posts by Conley on Lively later this month.
Lively: How did you get started running?
KC: I joined a youth track team when I was 11-years-old. I wasn't the fastest on my team, but I learned early on to appreciate how I could make improvements and chase personal records by being dedicated. That foundation has helped me throughout my entire career.
L: What inspired you to start running track and train for the Olympics?
KC: I ran track throughout high school and then revived a scholarship from the Track and Field program at UC Davis. After I graduated from college, I felt like I still had more improvements in me, so I decided to keep training to see if I could qualify for the Olympic Trials that were three years away. In those three years I made significant improvements, and at the Olympic Trials I managed to get the third and final qualifying position for the Olympics by .04 seconds.
L: What was it like to compete in the Olympics?
KC: I found it very inspiring to compete at the pinnacle of the sport and among the best athletes in the world. I left the Olympics eager to continue making improvements and return to the Olympic stage.
L: How do you fuel your training?
KC: I work with a nutritionist, Will Benitez at On Pace Wellness, who guides my nutrition. He puts a big emphasis on protein and cruciferous vegetables. We incorporate all the Vital Performance™ products into my diet. My favorite is Vital Performance™ RECOVER in Watermelon Blueberry, but I also love the Chocolate Protein and Vanilla Protein and all the Protein Bars!
L: What is your favorite type of run/training run to do?
KC: Anything hard! I love long runs and I love workouts that mimic the specific demands of an upcoming race. Mostly, I just love the satisfaction of completing a tough session.
L: How do you motivate yourself during a workout rut?
KC: I think about my goals and how the training is going to help me achieve them.
L: Do you have any mantras?
KC: I use cue words to break up different sections of a workout or race. The specific words vary depending on what I need at that moment, but it might be "confidence" early on when I'm still combatting doubts about how I'll do, and later on when it's getting hard, I like "courageous." When I'm repeating a word like that to myself I try to channel the feeling associated with it.
L: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start running?
KC: Working with a coach can help give you a good plan and create accountability.
L: Do you prefer music or silence when you run?
KC: I almost always run with my coach/husband, so there are no headphones. Instead, we enjoy talking about life.