Kevin has been a part of my running life from Day 1– literally. Back in the day, I couldn’t make it a half-mile without wanting to quit. KK knew how to encourage me so I would keep at it. It could have been intimidating baring my soul to an Ironman athlete in those early days (check out question #3), but he always made me feel like I was making progress in my journey.
1. Every runner has a “WHY.” Why did you start running? I had no choice! I joined the Marine Corps in 1993. I grew up a swimmer and played water polo long before I was a runner.
2. What pushes you to keep going? As my fitness evolves I can see the benefit of consistency and hard work. I believe I haven’t yet reached my potential. Also, I have the dream to qualify for Ironman World Championships.
3. What is your running/fitness routine for a typical week? In a peak week training for Ironman, I will train 20 hours that week. I average about 18 hours, for a 10-week build up. My typical training volume consists of 12,000 yards swimming/200 miles of riding/38 miles of running. During the non-Ironman weeks I train consistently at 12-15 hours a week depending on my race schedule.
4. What is your favorite distance to run? Why? 30k. It’s longer than a ½ marathon but shorter than a marathon.
5. Best running memory? My latest run, down the finishing chute.
6. Trail, track or road? Road
7. Do you race for the medals or the memories? I run for the journey– from the first day of training to the finish line.
8. What is your worst running moment? I was doing an 18-mile training run and became low on calories. I resorted to eating grapes off the vine, and the sulfur made me crap in the vineyards just 30 minutes later. I ran home sockless. Lesson learned: next time, bring enough calories or a few bucks.
9. Give your younger self some advice about running. Use the 10% rule for increasing your mileage, and after a big run don’t think you can eat whatever you want.
Editor's note: Photo, courtesy Kevin Knutson