There are two types of people in this world, those who run marathons and those who don’t! Today we have with us Joanna Baird, fitness coordinator at the University of Delaware, speaking about her experience with running marathons.
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Without further adieu, here is the interview with Jo Baird on marathon running!
Jo Baird & Marathon Running
She is the fitness coordinator at the University of Delaware. Jo is also a UD alumni, who graduated with the class of 2015.
How did you get into running?
She started running when she stopped swimming as a varsity athlete here at the university, under coach John Hayman. After 2.5 years she got very sick (adrenal glands had failed) from overtraining, forcing her to stop swimming. During her free time she still wanted to be active, and started running. Jo had ran in high school before, but not anything too intense. She started running on her own, then with running groups which she enjoyed. They told her to try a 5k race, and thats where it all started.
When was your first marathon?
Her first marathon was the “Monster Mash Marathon” at the Dover Speedway her freshman year of college. The race director is a friend of hers and she was able to run a free race!
Have you had any injuries?
She has not had any substantial injuries. Being she does not only run, but also lifts and cross trains she is able to prevent injuries.
Do you think anyone can run a marathon?
Jo said, “anyone can run a marathon if they really want to, but they have to want to that’s the hard part”. She said if anyone wanted to do it they can work themselves up to it, but you must want it to enjoy it and to also be able to finish it.
How do you feel marathon running affects your overall wellness?
She said she loves marathon running because of the community that it builds. Jo talked about the athlete village at the Boston Marathon. She mentioned you’re there for about three hours with a bunch of strangers you’ve never met before and learn all these different stories about people. This community ranges from individuals that’s ran marathons for years and years, to people that have just started running that year and are super competitive.
What part of your wellness do you feel is the most affected by running marathons?
Jo said her emotional and spiritual wellness is what is most affected. She said she is able to get out and be by herself with no worries at all, besides just moving and going forward. She said it is a time for her to be by herself, and not worry about different stressors such as the stress of a new job. When running a marathon she is able to leave everything at the line and go do her thing.
What is a myth about running marathons?
She said that not everyone thinks running marathons is good for your body. Jo said that some people may run marathons once a month which may not be the best idea, but she does think there is a right way to go about it. It is also important to listen to your body and be smart about your training and what your body can handle.
What has running marathons taught you about yourself?
Jo said she is more of an introvert by nature. She has learned to be able to reach out more and become a part of the community, versus just worrying about her own experience.
What is one tip you would like to give someone running their first marathon?
Enjoy the process! Getting too wrapped up with training plans, and the right way to go about a marathon can become a barrier. Jo said as long as you feel good about what you are doing, and your body feels good – you will be fine!
How do you feel about running a marathon, or running in general? Thinking about starting with a 5k and working your way up? Do you think it can teach you something about yourself, or increase your wellness? Leave a comment, let us know!
Article written by GUADS member Breanna, with contributions from Joanna Baird.