At Injinji, we love our athletes, and we love hearing about their accomplishments! This week, we’re profiling Lindsey LaVeck—the 31-year-old, Cleveland-based road runner and psychologist who’s gearing up for the Boston Marathon. Take a read as she answers our questions about training, self care, and what she’s most excited about for her first time running Boston.

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So how’d you get started as a runner?
I got into running because I had some time off in-between my programs (I got my bachelor’s degree, and then my master’s and doctorate). So I took a year off after one of my programs and one of my friends asked me to go for a run with him, and I just did not stop after that.

Are you strictly a road runner, or do you hit the trails too?
I do like running on trails as well as the road. Sometimes if I’m running on trails, I’ll do it as part of my training, but for the most part I only run on trails when I’m not in marathon training.

 

Have you always been a marathon runner?
I did shorter races to start out, but I’ve actually done up to a 50K. That said, marathons are by far my favorite distance! They’re like the no guts, no glory type of run.

 

What do you find different about running a marathon versus shorter distances?
For a shorter run, you can really go all out for a short amount of time, and it burns, but you can do it. I think for longer distances, you have to really conquer your mind. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of trial and error to be able to get the distance right. It’s not that difficult to run a marathon, but I think it’s very difficult to race a marathon, if that makes sense. And it’s only been in the last year or so that I’ve really grasped that concept.

 

You have to really change your training style, you can’t just go out and run every run fast and expect to run a fast marathon. If you do that, it’s likely going to blow up in your face. So you really have to learn the different types of runs, and why those runs are beneficial, what your paces should be, etc. I see a lot of people who are doing their easy runs too fast, and then their marathon pace doesn’t equate to what they wanted, and they can’t figure out why. So it’s hard… it’s hard to be humble and have patience when you’re training! That’s where that mental aspect comes in.

 

Do you have any tricks for staying mentally “in the game” when you’re training for (and racing!) a marathon?
I like to listen to motivational talks, and then I will try to remember them and say them to myself in my long runs. Sometimes I take the pieces that apply to me and kind of morph them into my own motivational talk. I don’t know if that’s a weird thing or not… haha!

 

What made you want to qualify for the Boston Marathon?
I think that when you start marathon training or running marathons, running Boston is one of your goals. I’ve talked to a lot of people who say “Oh I can’t wait, I’m working toward Boston” or they talk about how everything is about Boston. I think it’s just because it’s the most prestigious marathon. There’s nothing that compares to Boston. You have the world majors, and I think that’s fantastic, but the difference is, even for New York and some of the marathons that have faster qualifying times, they have lotteries you can enter and get into. But Boston is only for, other than charity runners, those who have qualified.

 

So it’s really the most competitive, it’s the fastest in the field, and I think that’s so cool. Especially because, for me, this is the only place I’m going to be able to share the roads with people who are actually professionals (like Shalane Flannigan and Des Linden). They’re out there running the same course I’m running, and at the same time. It’s like having a backyard football game and playing with NFL players. It’s just so cool to be able to do that.

What are you most excited for about for Boston?
I think if I’m being honest… I’m most excited for everything! I can’t wait to start building my own Boston traditions. I’m excited to go for the first time and see what I like and what other people do, what they’ve made a tradition, so I can see what I want to make my tradition as I hopefully (knock on wood!) continue to go back.

 

So what’s the road to Boston been like for you?
The last year or so, I feel like I’ve really gotten a grasp on training styles. One of my friends has really helped me with that. She’s helped coach me through it and really encouraged me to learn more about it myself—about the different training techniques and why they’re beneficial. So for the past year and a half, it’s been way smoother.

 

Prior to that I would have injuries, and it was disappointing race after disappointing race, so I took some time away. I actually didn’t race a marathon for two and a half years. I just came back for my first race this past May, which happened to be the race I qualified for Boston in. And then I ran a race in September, which helped me qualify for Boston 2020, then I ran a half marathon in December that helped me qualify for the New York City Marathon. I’m just hoping to stay on a good healthy trend now. PR’s are nice, and I love them, they’re always a great goal, but the best thing for me is that I’m running healthy now and I enjoy it. And there’s nothing you can ask for more than that.

 

What are some of the main things you do to keep yourself injury free?
I do a lot more yoga stretches now. I had this idea before that I had to go to these hour classes to get the benefits of yoga, and that doesn’t really work for me. I’ve found that incorporating shorter sessions, like ten minutes of yoga a day (whether it’s in the morning or at night) has been a really big game changer. And honestly, slowing down my paces too. Before I was running my easy runs way too fast. Now I watch my heart rate, not my pace, to make sure that I’m actually in a recovery zone. Some days that’s a 9:30 mile and some days that’s a 10:30 mile! Just being able to be okay with that and know that it’s just part of the process has been great for me.

 

 What’s your biggest takeaway from this process been for you?
If I could tell people what their biggest takeaway from training should be, it’s that you can listen to your own body and your own style of training, and not do what people on Instagram are doing, or what your next door neighbor is doing or whoever it is, and still be successful. They might genetically be gifted and be able to run all the time (and luckily they don’t get injured), or they might be someone that has to run three times a week because they’re really injury prone. You just have to find what works for you. It’s a lot of trial and error, but you’ll probably learn more from the failures.

 

Do you have any specific gear you wear for every run?
I strictly wear Injinji socks. For everything! For my daily life, for my work life, for my running life, I am obsessed with Injinji toesocks. I swear by them because I don’t ever have any issues when I’m wearing them. There’s never a time where I’m running and not wearing Injinji socks. I literally keep extra pairs in my car, just in case something happens and I’ve gotta go on a run!

 

As far as clothes, I usually wear luluLemon. I know it’s a little pricy, but when you’re running so many miles, you’ve got to be comfortable and that’s what’s worked the best.

 

What are your favorite Injinj toesocks?
My absolute favorite ever are my no-show run performance, but recently I’ve also been wearing the high crew. And then when I travel to races, I always wear my compression socks en route. It always seems to help me feel better when I get there. This go around, I’ve trained a lot more on hills and I’ll say that when you’re sliding and you’re putting a lot of pressure on the downhill, I never have a problem when I’ve got my Injinjis on.

 

Where to next after Boston?
Great question! I’m not entirely sure. I do know I’ll be back to Boston 2020 since I’m already qualified and New York 2020 as well. I’m not sure about the fall yet, but I might do a fall marathon. If nothing else, I’ll be back for Boston and New York in 2020!