Kathrine Switzer — the first woman to enter the Boston Marathon and who paved the way for women in running — once said, “If you are losing faith in human nature, then go watch a marathon.”

It’s true. There’s magic in a marathon. Training and competing for one is hard work, exhausting, and sometimes painful. But it’s much more than a race, it’s a road to self-discovery. Those who compete embody the essence of what it means to be an athlete, dedicating themselves to months of planning and training, testing themselves, and pushing their body to the limits — all to discover how resilient they truly are.

One only needs to look at Jordan Hasay to understand what it means to be a long-distance runner. Last time we talked with Jordan, she was training for the Boston Marathon – where she ended up placing third. From there, she announced her plans to compete in the Chicago Marathon (where, in 2017, she set the record as the second-fastest American marathoner in history). Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned in Chicago. Jordan suffered a hamstring injury at the 3-mile mark. And while training again for the U.S. Marathon trials in Atlanta, Jordan suffered another setback.

“Unfortunately, in the prep for the marathon trials this February I had a hamstring injury but I know that I just need to be patient and trust the process again and I’ll come back stronger,” she told us.

Like a true marathon runner, she endures and continues to inspire us.

“I have learned through the Boston marathon that I could come back from a year of injuries and still achieve a high finish in a marathon,” she said. And although the Olympics are delayed until 2021, Jordan remains determined to qualify for Tokyo.

We recently caught up with Jordan to get an inside look at how she’s training while social distancing, her plans for the future, and what continues to motivate her.

On Training During a Quarantine 

In the days of social distancing and sheltering in place, Jordan explains how she is adjusting to new routines.

“Thankfully, running can be done outdoors,” she said. “So, I can go on the trails alone! I have an at-home gym where I do most of my stretches and exercises. I’ve also been engaging in some fun Instagram challenges to keep motivated such as the ‘do 10, tag 10’ push up challenge!”

“Honestly, I’m grateful because it doesn’t affect my lifestyle that much! A lot of my routine involves training, then resting and recovering at home. My heart aches for people who have really had to switch up their routine.”

As she prepares for the 10,000-meter indoor Olympic trials, Jordan said her health is her top priority.

“I’m making sure I take some extra Thorne Ascorbic Acid! I’m paranoid about getting sick, which would really impact my training and races, so I continue my normal routine of washing my hands constantly and getting lots of sleep!”

On Her Reasons to Run

What draws someone to long-distance running? For some it’s about improving health and wellbeing, others run for a cause, and some to meet new people – there are a number of reasons people get into running. For Jordan, it is simply about being in motion and the opportunity for new experiences.

“I love the feeling of simply being in the moment and feeling and appreciating my body in motion. I love the people and friends who I have met through running and the opportunity to travel to new places. I love the dedication and the discipline it has taught me. I really like running in Munich, Germany, or through garden towns in England,” she said.

But her favorite place to run is back home.

“I love to run in my hometown of Arroyo Grande, California. There is a loop that my mom used to run every day, and that is how I began running – with her. We started together but I got too fast for her!”

On Her Race Day Rituals

To get inside Jordan’s mind when prepping for a race, we asked her about her race-day ritual. For her, it starts in the morning.

“I am both a morning and night person! I just like being awake,” Jordan told us.

“I actually hate having to sleep, but I sleep a lot because recovery is part of my job. When I wake up in the morning, I like to meditate while I do my pre-run stretching because it helps me set my intentions for the day.”

“Then I always do my braids while listening to some Adele music, and next I have coffee and oatmeal with a banana and nut butter along with my four morning supplements —Thorne’s Super EPA, Vitamin D, Meriva-SF, and Beta Alanine-SR.”

After the race, Jordan winds down and focuses on recovery.

“I make sure I hydrate with some Catalyte and then I usually have chocolate milk and an energy bar while I’m doing press, ice tubbing, or massage and then I’ll have a larger meal.”

As for sleep, Jordan’s advice is simply to work hard in the day, and sleep will come naturally.

“I have no trouble falling asleep, but I do think that having a specific routine helps —  I always take a hot shower and stretch a bit while watching Netflix and then have a snack — usually Greek yogurt or milk mixed with RecoveryPro.”

On Taking Care of Her Body 

The high-impact action of long-distance running can leave individuals with aches, pains, and sometimes injury. Jordan is no stranger to taking care of her body, so she makes sure to factor in proper recovery. After her hamstring injury during the Chicago Marathon, Jordan spent time in Munich recovering.

“I did a ton of massage, acupuncture, and strengthening, as well as making sure I had extra protein in my diet. I’m thankful for the team around me to help me through the injury both physically and emotionally,” she told us.

“I’ve also been sleeping more since my mileage went up (I usually get 10-11 hours). And I started working with a nutritionist to make sure I’m not missing anything in my diet. I also take a Thorne probiotic daily, which I really think helps my stomach to not have any issues. I drink a lot of water because I think hydration is something people overlook in terms of digestion.”

Jordan and her trainers also rely on bloodwork testing to gain insights on her current performance levels.

“I’m thankful my bloodwork is usually very good, thanks to my excellent sponsor Thorne, so I get tested 2-3 times a year to make sure everything looks good and then re-tested more only if I feel extra fatigued or something in training or a race goes poorly.”

On Where She Finds Her Inspiration

“I am a big Kobe Bryant fan, so his loss earlier this year was hard for me. Nike made me a special uniform that I wore at the Olympic trials to honor him and the ‘mamba mentality,’” Jordan said.

She plans to carry that mentality with her through the rest of the year.

“Right now I’m focused on basic movements and form to prevent injury, mindset to handle the pressure of big competitions, and perspective that I’m thankful to have found a talent in running. I hope to use that to inspire others.”

Like life, long-distance running has ups and downs. And some days one can certainly find it hard to stay motivated. We’re all human, after all. When we asked Jordan what she tells herself to keep motivated, she said her advice for both life and marathon running is the same – take that first step.

“Sometimes the hardest part is the first step, but I’ve never regretted a run once I’ve started!” she said.

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