The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

A Runner’s Story: Laura Peifer

Posted by on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Today we’re excited to share with you an interview with Laura Peifer, a mom and soon to be certified spin instructor who loves to run and create healthy recipes that support her active lifestyle. Hello, Laura!

Healing Feet: How long have you been running?
Laura Peifer: I began running in college as an easy way to get a little exercise, since I was no longer playing team sports. Some friends and I decided to train for our first half marathon in 2001, and I’ve been running ever since!

HF: How do you motivate yourself?
LP: Running has become such a part of my identity that it is now a natural part of my week. I carve out time in my week to get my runs in and stick to it. However, I also find that signing up for a race will give me an extra boost of motivation to work on speed or to run longer distances than I otherwise would. I’ve also been motivated by the many amazing running bloggers that I’ve gotten to know!

HF: Do you have any foot care or footwear secrets to share?
LP: I’m still learning the secrets! I love the idea of minimalist shoes, but my legs are so used to the supportive shoes that I’ve had a little trouble adjusting to less support. I prefer to support my small, local running stores and have received great advice and guidance from their knowledgeable staff.

HF: What is your strategy for preparing for races and marathons?
LP: I’m a relatively low mileage runner (25-40 miles/week), and usually stick to 3-4 runs per week, so I try to make the most of each run when I’m in training and include an interval or tempo run, long run, and a recovery run. I generally piece together my own training plans, with a gradual increase of the long run and mid week runs, and am careful to include a cut back week every 3-4 weeks. I’ve had a few injuries along the way and have learned the hard way to be more conservative.

HF: How have recovery runs helped your training?
LP: I only recently began adding in a recovery run the day after my long run, and I love the theory that it is training my body to be more efficient by running on fatigued legs. I can’t say I’ve seen any results yet, but it feels good to get extra miles in at a slow, enjoyable pace.

HF: Do you have any health/nutrition tips to share?
LP: I’m a (mostly) vegetarian and do my best to eat a largely whole foods-plant-based diet, and this has worked for me. I don’t eat before runs of 6 miles or less, but beyond that I often eat half a banana with peanut butter before morning runs. I prefer real food over gu/gels in long runs, so I’ve found that dried fruit or date-nut balls work well for me. I think the key is to practice in training and determine what your stomach can handle.

HF: What is the #1 secret that you feel every runner should know?
LP: I think every runner finds his or her secrets along the way, but one of the biggest surprises for me was how much of running is a mental game. If I feel strong and expect myself to perform well, I can run a much harder pace than I otherwise would. Positive thinking and self-coaching can go a long way in helping us reach our goals!

Indeed, it’s all in the mind. Read Laura’s blog to learn more about her running and (yay!!) her recipes, then follow her on Twitter @mommyrunfaster. Thanks, Laura!

If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.