Cover Story | Fitness

Sprinting Towards the Goal

“Starting running can be difficult, but it’s so gratifying to see the daily improvements and feel your fitness increase so immediately."

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Name: Roisin McGettigan
Sport: Track and field

Background

  • Four-time All American at Providence College
  • Represented her native Ireland in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2008 Olympics
  • Finished third in the 1,500-meter at the 2009 European Indoor Championships

Now
She hosts a weekly “Run with Ro” on Wednesdays from 7-8am, beginning at the Lippitt Park fountain. She also offers coaching through her website, BelieveIAm.com, published the Believe Training Journal, along with fellow elite runner Lauren Fleshman. Her newest training journal, Compete, is set to be out on stands this fall.

You retired from competition to start a family. Do you still run much?
“I run most days. Some days it’s as little as 20 minutes; others days I’ll run with my local pro-runner friends, Molly Huddle (US Olympian and record holder) or Kim Smith (three-time Olympian from New Zealand). I’ll hang with those girls for eight miles, max – on their easy days.”

Do you still have goals as a runner?
“Today I run for many more reasons than the Olympic finals, but reasons that are just as important: time to myself, fun, health and wellness, and love of the sport. I’m not really working towards any personal running goals at the moment. I did that for so long that I enjoy the freedom from the goals. At the same time I know it won’t take long for me to find a new goal that will excite me and motivate me. I enjoyed training for a half-marathon in the spring. I’d like to explore more trail racing in the fall.”

What’s your advice to someone struggling to get those legs moving?
“Starting running can be difficult, but it’s so gratifying to see the daily improvements and feel your fitness increase so immediately. Start slowly and be consistent. Over time you’ll find yourself actually enjoying and craving the feeling of running. It’s so vigorous – even a few minutes can really reset you mentally and physically. And you can do it almost anywhere. I find running really allows me to experience an area. I could literally talk all day about the benefits of running.”

How can runners reduce the wear and tear on their legs?
“Make sure you’re not plodding or slapping the ground when you run. Run lighter on your feet, as if the ground was extremely hot, to prevent your legs feeling the force of every step.”

BelieveIAm.com