My guest today is a lady that has had a fair bit of success thus far in her running career, highlighted by a third-place finish in her first marathon and a win in her second marathon just a few weeks later.
In a little over 8 years of running, she’s closing in on 50 marathon finishes, including a handful of Boston Marathons.
I am looking forward to trying to keep up with Thessaly Nicolaysen on the show today.
Thessaly Nicolaysen was always active while growing up.
Her earliest running memory was of running the mile in second grade and finishing second to a boy.
She realized very early on that she was naturally competitive and that running was second nature to her.
Thessaly continued to run frequently up until she finished high school.
After high school, she took a long hiatus from running until about 10 years ago.
Though Thessaly didn’t run for a few years, she remained active and walked daily.
Once she resumed running she went all-in.
Thessaly was running frequently and in her mind had nothing to show for it.
Once Thessaly decided she wanted to sign up for a race and put all her training to use, she had to then decide on a distance.
She briefly considered the half marathon, but the marathon was only $10 more for twice the distance.
That was the start of multiple marathons per year for Thessaly.
After 8 years of running, she is now closing in on her goal of completing 50 marathons.
Thessaly has another big goal of finishing all the world marathon majors and getting 6 stars upon completion.
All the success that she has achieved has been without a coach and learning what works for her.
Overthinking has gotten in her way before thus she prefers to run by feel.
Unconventional Methods From The Front
Most runners prefer to race the way they train and Thessaly is no different.
When she was first getting into running, she came across a book by Jeff Galloway on training and racing methods.
Thessaly has always taken walk breaks when she needs them regardless of the distance whether it’s 5k or a marathon.
There is no rationale or set times for her intervals, she is not methodical about when and how long.
Typically walk breaks are uncommon to see from athletes at the front of races.
Another way Thessaly is unique as a front of the pack runner is her fueling strategy or lack thereof.
She tends to not eat or drink even in races that last multiple hours.
This strategy stems in part from her history with disordered eating.
Thessaly has always done what works for her regardless of what others around her are doing.
Thessaly ran a Boston qualifier early on in her running career and initially had no idea the significance of the race.
She had no idea that her first year running in the Boston Marathon would be one for the history books.
It was 2013, the year of the bombings, that Thessaly first ran on the Boston course.
She was about a mile from the finish line when the first bomb went off.
The roller coaster of emotions continued as she was swept from the course and finally made it safely back to her hotel.
Thessaly was initially unsure if she wanted to go back and run Boston again, but a variety of reasons brought her back to the start line.
For Thessaly, Boston 2014 was just as emotional as the prior year, but in the opposite way.
To date, she has completed the Boston Marathon 4 times and would never rule out running it again in the future.
A Love Affair With Her Treadmill
In most runner’s circles, a treadmill is often a tool that is avoided when possible.
After Thessaly discovered the treadmill, she opts for it whenever she can.
The treadmill has a lot of perks including having a bathroom nearby, entertainment at your fingertips, climate-controlled, weatherproof, and safety.
She also enjoys being able to lock into a pace and not have to focus on running.
The only time Thessaly runs outside is to race.
Running outside triggers her competitive side which helps her when racing.
She loves the treadmill so much that she has also completed 3 virtual marathons on it.
Running has given Thessaly a grittiness that she would not otherwise have had.
Her favorite thing about the sport is that you get what you put into it.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Bloomsday Run
- “The Run Walk Run Method” By Jeff Galloway
Stay connected with Thessaly Nicolaysen by following her on Instagram.
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