As the Central Oregon landscape begins to thaw and the allure of spring races beckons, we sit down with two dedicated local runners, Crystal (a massage therapist and the owner of Halcyon Bodyworks) and Lisa (a designer and marketer at Binary Star Systems), to delve into their training strategies, gear essentials, and motivations for hitting the pavement.

Q: What are your current race goals and how are you training for them?

Crystal: My ultimate goal is to tackle the Portland Marathon, but I’m starting with a half to test the waters. I’ve been gradually adding miles since last October, following Garmin’s training plans and utilizing my Garmin Fēnix 7 Pro watch for guidance. My training includes a mix of running, yoga, and heavy lifting to keep my body strong and resilient.

Lisa: I’m aiming to conquer the Mastondon, Horse Butte 10 miler, Salmon Run half-marathon, and hopefully the Dirty Half. My training plan is a modified version of Peloton’s marathon training, incorporating tempo runs, endurance runs, and strength training specific to runners.

Q: How do you approach nutrition for your training runs?

Crystal: I’m a firm believer in fueling up with carbs before long runs, aiming for 50-70 grams at least an hour before. I stick to a consistent nutrition plan, even on rest days, focusing on maintenance rather than calorie-cutting. During runs, I rely on dried fruit and gummies for energy, followed by a balanced meal post-run.

Lisa: Hydration is key for me, especially before long runs. I fuel up with Skratch Labs energy chews before and take Gu gels during the run, saving the caffeine-infused ones for that final push when I need an extra boost.

Spring Race Training Running in Central Oregon

Crystal after the Happy Girls race in Sisters, Oregon.

Q: What are your go-to recovery strategies?

Crystal: Recovery is just as important as training. I swear by my compression Normatech boots, along with foam rolling and regular massages to keep my muscles happy. I also prioritize rest days and enjoy unwinding in the hot tub to soothe my body after a tough workout.

Lisa: I’ve learned the hard way that stretching is essential for running pain-free, so I make sure to incorporate daily yoga sessions into my routine. After long runs, I indulge in baths with epsom salts and spend time foam rolling and using a Theragun to release tension in my muscles. I incorporate monthly massages into my routine to ensure my muscles stay supple and free from knots, allowing for optimal performance and injury prevention.

Spring Race Training Running in Central Oregon Crystal

Crystal after the I Like Pie run in Bend, Oregon.

Q: What gear can’t you live without during your training?

Crystal: My must-haves include my Normatech boots for recovery, Altra shoes for running, my Garmin Fēnix 7 Pro watch for tracking workouts and playing music, and my trusty Smith Wild Cat Glasses to protect my eyes on sunny runs.

Lisa: I rely on my Peloton Tread for winter training, Hoka Bondi running shoes for comfort and support, the Strava app for tracking my runs, a Swiftland hydration vest for longer summer runs, and the Trailforks app for exploring new trails.

Spring Race Training Running in Central Oregon Crystal Jeff and Mr Wiggles

Crystal, Jeff and Mr. Wiggles after the Horse Butte 10-miler in Bend, Oregon.

Q: What motivates you to keep training and running?

Crystal: For me, it’s all about the joy of physical pursuits and the sense of empowerment that comes from pushing my limits. Training keeps me mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically strong—it’s less about the finish line and more about the journey.

Lisa: While I may not be the fastest runner, I love the meditative aspect of running and the sense of accomplishment after completing a tough workout. Setting race goals keeps me accountable and motivated to stay active and enjoy the outdoors for years to come.

Spring Race Training Running in Central Oregon Lisa

Lisa and Jim after the Tofurkey Trot in Portland, Oregon.

Q: What do you listen to during your runs?

Crystal: I enjoy listening to music and podcasts like The Mell Robbins Podcast for some extra motivation. Sometimes, though, I prefer the sound of my own footsteps and the rhythm of my breath.

Lisa: I switch between music, podcasts (favorites include Handsome, Criminal, This American Life, and Wiser Than Me), and audiobooks to keep me entertained and motivated during long runs. 

As spring blooms in Central Oregon, Crystal and Lisa exemplify the dedication and passion of local runners, each with their own unique approach to training and racing. Whether you’re gearing up for a marathon or simply enjoying a leisurely jog through the scenic trails, their insights serve as valuable inspiration for runners of all levels. So, lace up your shoes, hit the pavement, and let the rhythm of your run carry you toward your own race aspirations in beautiful Central Oregon.