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Meet The Runners In Our New Vital Performance™ Shoot

by Jordan Smith - June 10, 2021

You might've noticed a new group of runners logging miles all over our Vital Performance™ feed and on vitalproteins.com. And yes, if you were wondering, they're real athletes who let us capture them in motion. To keep your motivation going strong,Lively connected with the featured runners in our latest photoshoot to give you a sneak peek into their world. Keep reading to learn more about them, what inspires them to run & more. 

Joey Ha, Ultrarunner

Lively: How did you get into running?

JH: I started running as a way to stay in shape and run with friends. For the longest time, the idea of running long distances terrified me. It also ignited something inside that wanted to see how far I can push past what I perceived as physical limitations. Now, I'm constantly asking myself, "How can I push myself mentally when physically my body is exhausted? What can I do to get to the finish line? Am I going to do whatever it takes, or will I give up?"

L: Why do you love running?

JH: I love running because anyone can do it and you can start at any point in your life. All you need is the right attitude and a nice pair of running shoes. Want to get in the best shape of your life? Start running. Run with friends. Join run clubs.

Through running, Ive had many opportunities to discover new things about my town I wouldn't if I drove. Another vital reason I love running — it brings me joy when I see people running for the very first time, their feeling of accomplishment lifts my spirit.  

L: What are your favorite distances/races to run?

JH: Anything between 6 and 10 miles. The Berlin Marathon has been my favorite race so far.

L: What is your best tip for getting through a hard run?

JH: Keep pushing. Today is an opportunity to get better. You'll feel so much better when you finish. 

Follow Joey here

Arielle Hope Creager, Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Holistic Nutritionist

L: How did you get into running?

AHC: I got into running while at UCLA for undergrad. My roommate was an avid runner, and she pushed me to expand my workout regimen to include running! As a dancer, we were told to not run to decrease the risk of injuries, but once I started running there was no turning back. 

L: Why do you run?

AHC: I run to self-reflect, feel strong, challenge myself, and as a sort of meditation.

L: What are your favorite distances/races to run?

AHC: My favorite distances to run are the 100m dash and whatever distance my feet take me while running trails and streets in Los Angeles.

L: What would you say are essential strength-training moves all runners should do?

AHC: Abductor exercises are essential strength-training exercises all runners should perform in order to develop stronger glutes and help prevent injury. A specific movement I recommend is the bird dog. This exercise strengthens the front and back core while simultaneously firing up your glutes and thighs!

Follow Arielle here


Joshua Holmes, founder of Run It Fast®, running coach, fitness trainer

L: How did you get into running?

JH: When I was in my first year of law school at LSU, in Baton Rouge, it was either study for 8 hours a night or go to the rec center to lift weights and run around the lakes (and study some). I chose the latter for my own mental clarity.

During the summers of law school, I lived and modeled in Athens, Greece and Milan, Italy. I would go run around the Acropolis or behind my apartment at the park in Athens where Socrates and Plato had held court. It was then I realized all the cool places you can see by foot and how much more I absorbed when I did that over driving.

Fast forward about three years, I began training for the San Diego Marathon. It took almost two years to want to run another one after my first, but the addiction was born. I have since gone on to run a combined 266 marathons and ultramarathons averaging 52 miles/race, in addition to around 100 more shorter distances.

L: Why do you run?

JH: I run to find out exactly what we are truly capable of achieving as humans. Too often in life we listen to others tell us things are impossible instead of going out and trying. I decided after a bad basketball coach in high school that I wouldn't let others set my limitations in life and that I would always attempt things that interested me even if they were difficult. I have found that we are capable of achieving way more than we imagine if we will simply try. 

 

L: What are your favorite distances/races to run?

JH: I really love ultramarathons. My first one was a 40 miler in Wartrace, Tennessee called the Strolling Jim 40 Miler in 2010. I still go back to run it every year. I love 50 and 100 milers. My best distance is probably 100+ miles. So far, I have run 52 races of 100 or more miles. 

L: What advice would you give runners who are intimidated to hit the gym/add weights to their training?

JH: If you want to be the best I believe it's important to treat yourself as an athlete and virtually all athletes, in every sport, on every level incorporate the weight room and gym into their training to be the best and compete at the highest level. I have always considered myself an athlete and never wanted to simply be labeled as a runner or jogger.

I believe core and back workouts are vital to holding up as a runner as you age, go longer distances or as you increase your intensity or volume. I believe in my long ultras, especially those on trails, that the weight training I do in the gym makes me tougher at these events, helps me from tiring out as quickly, and increases my chances of reaching my goals.

Follow Joshua here 

J Henry, PTA Global Personal Trainer Certification, NASM Performance Enhancement Specification

L: How did you get into running?

JH: Although I have suffered from asthma since childhood, it was always something I wanted to try and soon realized I enjoyed doing. I love to run.

L: Why do you run?

JH: To stay healthy but most importantly so I never feel like there is something I can't do.

L: What are your favorite distances/races to run?

JH: I like both the 5K and half marathon distances; one improves speed and the other works my mental and physical endurance.

L: What advice would you give runners who are intimidated to hit the gym?

JH: Go with a friend and find a program, whether that's exercise or nutrition (or both) that suits your lifestyle and best aligns with your health goals.

Follow J here

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