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WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: Tara Welling

Tara Welling runs for Skechers Elite Team while training with High Performance West in Portland, OR. Though she had an impressive half marathon debut early this year, she has goals on track for the spring in the 10k. She most recently won the USA 15k Gate River Run Championships in Gainsville, FL.

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Tara celebrating her 15k win last weekend at the Gate River Run. She’s had a long road back, but is now healthy and ready for Spring 2016. Photo via: High Performance West

She ran at Loyola Maramount University where she was a six-time All-American and was named the LMU Female Athlete of the Year her final season. Tara first competed for the Nike Oregon Project after college, but has made a switch that allows her to also work part time.

Tara has high aspirations for the 10k this year, hoping to perform even better than her 6th place finish at the 2012 Olympic Trials (in a time of 32:09).

What is Tara’s favorite workout and how does she recover after?

What are your goals for the upcoming season?
My goals for this outdoor track season is to make the team in the 10,000m. I have dealt with many injuries in the past and gave up the sport in the spring of 2015, but I am very excited about track and looking forward to dropping my PR’ this outdoor season.
What is your favorite motivational quote?
I don’t have a favorite motivational quote. I feel quotes are very cliché and although I read a few here and there on twitter and think they sound good, none of them really stick with me. I honestly do not have a single quote memorized!
What is your favorite hard workout?
My favorite workout is long tempos 6-9 miles or longer intervals such as 2×3 mi, mile repeats etc… Anything under a mile I just can’t focus because it is a different type of pain.
How do you get through a tough workout?
I have learned to relax and enjoy the process. I use to stress so much over workouts, like I was needing to prove something to myself (or others), but that is no longer the case. I feel the best way to prepare for a workout is to recover on easy days and trust myself when it comes to the workout.
I usually spend the morning eating a bowl of oatmeal or rice cakes and almond butter and think about the workout, but try not to over analyze it. I just think about the benefits of the workout and parts of the workout that may be physically or mentally challenging that way I am prepared. By the time I am done with breakfast I am done preparing.
How do you recover afterwards?
Proper fuel and stretching/ foam rolling are crucial for me. I used to be really bad with my nutrition, especially following a hard workout, but I have learned and seen the benefits. It is always difficult for me to eat something right after, but I am very grateful for Generation UCan.
I always go for a protein drink after my hard running session to get enough protein and fluids before my lifting session to prevent bonking in the weight room. With all of my injuries in the past, I now allow extra time to stretch and roll out after I finish lifting. I am still not great at stretching/ rolling after easy days, but I am not perfect! With enough lower leg injuries I now use the time after hard workouts to do a light stretch and use my roll8 before getting in the car or sitting on the couch for hours afterwards.
Do you have a favorite pre-race dinner?
I do not have a typical pre race dinner, but I try to avoid new foods and just make sure I get some healthy carbohydrates and protein.
Photos Via: High Performance West