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Laura Thweatt has found immense success as a post-collegiate runner after graduating from the University of Colorado in 2011. Her collegiate personal bests were impressive, but she’s made huge leaps on the professional scene, now owning personal bests of 4:10 in the 1500m, 15:04 in the 5k, 32:15 in the 10k, has won the USATF National Club Cross Country Championships 3 times and recently debuted at the NYC Marathon in a 7th place finish (first U.S. woman) in an impressive time of 2:28:23. This time is the 7th fastest ever for an American woman on the NYC Marathon course.

My favorite motivational quote changes but at the moment it is:

“Great things never came from comfort zones.” I’m not sure who said it!

What is your favorite hard workout?

 My favorite hard workout would be hill work, specifically a four mile climb up Flagstaff Mountain. It is extremely tough because it is a grind from start to finish and the true test is psychological strength. You’re in so much pain the whole time that it really makes you focus on the moment and gut it out.

What do you feel it benefits?

The benefit of a workout like this is building strength, both physical and mental. Since you are fatigued from the first mile it really allows you to practice grinding on tired legs, focusing on your form and drive as the workout progresses, just like you would in a race. I like to think that after a workout like this I am tougher and better for it.

When do you enjoy it?

I really like it when its over haha. We finish at the amphitheater, so there is no better view after almost killing yourself than looking out at what you just run up. No matter how the workout ends up it’s always hard to not feel like you really accomplished something.

Do you prefer to do this alone or with the help of teammates?

Honestly it is one of those workouts that you get something out of either alone or with teammates. It is really just you out there, grinding and trying to put one foot in front of the other. Having teammates out there with you is nice because when it gets really challenging you know that you are not out there by yourself, struggling together is always better hahaha.

Do you suggest other runners use this workout?

I think whether its this specific workout or just implementing hills into your training, one can benefit so much from those type of strength workouts.

How do recover after the workout and before the next?

I immediately re-hydrate with SOS and then go home and throw everything that I can find into my NutriNinja and then top it off with some protein powder. That and using NormaTech compression boots always seems to do the trick.

Photos via The Daily Camera, Runners Web, New York Times.