NYRR: You have said many times that the ancillary factors in your recovery and rest are just as important as the training itself. How about you describe a sample day in Deena Kastor’s life?
DK: Okay, I’ll give today as an example. We work out at 8:30 a.m. every day. Before the workout, my husband Andrew stretches me out. For about an hour, we go through a stretch routine and do any strengthening exercises that I have to keep on top of. On a weekly basis, we [runners] get little imbalances, one calf being stronger than the other, or a hamstring getting weak. For instance this morning, I had to do some left hamstring exercises before practice, to get it firing. It’s important to be attuned to changes on a daily basis.
Then, I get my bag packed for practice. The weather varies, so I want to be prepared for everything. I pack a big bag filled with clothes and food. Today we did 5 X 1-mile, and 2 X 800 [meters], so I needed to make sure I had some proteins and carbohydrates in my body right away to start the recovery process.
When I get home, I eat a little something when I’m in an ice bath [laughing], and then after sitting in the cold water for 10-15 minutes, I get a massage. Some days, I get acupuncture as well, or chiropractic. Then, I take a nap, which is also important for the recovery process so that your body is resting up for the next workout.
When I get up from a nap, then we’re off to gym for strength work, which we have emphasized greatly this year, getting in the weight room and doing drills, plyometrics, weight lifting, and core work. After that we go for a 4- to 6-mile run, and then we go home and refuel again, and get to bed early to prepare ourselves for the next day. So, the days are pretty monotonous and regimented. There isn’t much room to do errands and that [laughing], so you need a willing spouse or someone to help out. Being a professional runner is a full-time job