Health Warrior team member Thomas Cadrin took on the Boston Marathon in 2016 and took us along on his training journey. 

I will be the first to tell you that I’m not an athlete. I mean like, not a true one. If anything I’m a moderately decent musician whose journey into the whole body + mind nourishment practice began when Health Warrior offered me a sales position in July of 2014. My exercise had fallen victim to a waiter’s routine, with an erratic sleep schedule and a late night lifestyle to go with it. But just like that post shift drink becomes part of the work routine, so does fitness and wellness in the health food industry. One of the first things a HW colleague said to me as we finished our workday @ Brooklyn Boulders Somerville was that “this whole fitness and feeling good thing kind of just rubs off on ya – you can’t help it!” And he was right.

In Fall 2015, I was asked if I wanted to run the Boston Marathon. Turns out that through a family connection, a friend of mine had two bibs. He’d never done it and I hadn’t even run more than 5 miles in a single shot at that point my life. I said yes without hesitation, and will be forever grateful for this life changing opportunity.

My training began around Thanksgiving 2015. I have been using a beginners training regimen, and I’ve included a snapshot of this week below. By uploading each workout into my calendar, the days of the week ended up feeling like a game of dominoes: wake up – see the work out – do the work out – done. Just pushing over blocks, really.

It might be against the norm, but I chose to organically grow with the training. This is very much a couch-to-marathon type situation, after all. I didn’t push myself to the limit every session, but I made sure I was making progress. I began using the RunKeeper app and got a Withings Activé watch to track myself. I changed my diet to focus on mostly plants and vegetables and signed up for Lighter, a vegan food recipe service. I started researching running and marathon techniques; I started talking with friends and family who are dieticians, nutritionists and personal trainers, and I became educated. But even still, over these past few months I’ve fallen victim to over training, under nourishing, poor scheduling, playing too much music, and not sleeping enough. Your body has a rhythm, sung most loud in new environments. It’s our duty to listen and adapt with it.

All in all, I’m doing this because I know can. Here we are less than 3 weeks away from Boston 2016 and I’m so ready. I’ll turn 29 that day, and set a PR simply by crossing into uncharted mileage and mental territory. I’m now convinced anyone can do this, they just have to choose to and listen. Because once I stopped telling myself I can’t do that, and simply started saying I can do that, blocks started toppling one after the other.

Week of 3/21-27

Mondays: Easy: 3/4 miles

Tuesdays: Cross-Training or Hills: 0.12 mile long hill, 100 ft of elevation, 5 jogging climbs, 10 laps

Wednesday: Pace Day: 10 miles at/around 8:45/mile

Thursday: OFF

Friday: Easy: 3/4 miles

Saturday: Long: 21-22 miles on Boston Marathon Course