Jenny Johnson is a Boston TV personality and co-host of NESN's Dining Playbook. She's also just registered for her first road race - the Falmouth road race. For those not familiar, Falmouth is a 7 mile-r in the middle of August with many rolling hills. No small feat. We were inspired by this ambition for a novice runner to say the least! Read our Q&A with Jenny below about training for her first race and how she makes fitness a priority overall. She is pictured here (cross-training in Crane & Lion!) with Rebecca Pacheco, author of Do It Your Om Way.
Q: What was your inspiration for signing up for the Falmouth Road Race?
Jenny: I've spent years saying "I can't run" marveling at people seeming to sprint around the Esplanade with ease, as I'd hobble for a stride or two before returning to my "power walk." As someone who would much prefer chanting 'I can" I decided it was time to prove myself wrong.
Q: What is your experience level with running?
Jenny: I remember running the mile in 7th grade? .....I run during Barry's Bootcamp workouts a few times a month (at a MUCH slower tred pace than the rest of the class)
Q: What is your training plan in general?
Jenny: Historically, I work out in group class settings, so training on my own feels like a challenge in and of itself. I'm running 3-4 times a week from now until the race August 15th. A friend of mine who has run the Boston Marathon gave me a plan to follow. On the other days, I'm strengthening and stretching with barre and yoga.
Q: What’s your biggest hurdle for keeping to your training plan?
Jenny: I'm not really a morning person but because of my schedule, early AM is the only time I can regularly commit to - so do I eat? Is a half a banana enough to give me energy for 7 miles? I'm a big believer that there isn't one answer for all people when it comes to fitness and wellness, so I'm in the process of trying to figure out what works best for me - a little trial and error. I'm open to suggestions!
Q: What motivates you to get out there and train?
Jenny: The energy I feel throughout the day has always motivated me to keep exercise as a regular part of my daily life. I used to have a hard time sleeping until I started working out every day. I also eat for a living, so it makes me feel a little less guilty if I sample 5 desserts for Dining Playbook later in the day, when I've had a good workout.
Q: When not training for a race, how do you keep in shape?
Jenny: I tend to become addicted to one type of workout for a year or so and then I switch it up. Right now I'm all about FlyWheel and FlyBarre. I am a big fan of group classes. There is something about a bunch of people moving in similar ways that pushes me.
Q: You have a very busy schedule. Do you have any tips/tricks for how to make sure you fit a workout in?
Jenny: Plan ahead. Sunday I sign up for classes that work for that week's schedule. Add exercise times into your calendar as you would a work related meeting - it's helps you hold yourself accountable. Set regular attainable goals no matter how big or small (right now the New Balance Falmouth Road Race is mine) Keep a set of workout clothes and sneakers in the car, you never know when you might find extra time and not having workout clothes can't be an excuse! Once your done exercising, take one minute to access how you feel - while I didn't always realize it - my mind feels the most clear after a great work out and for that present moment I feel grateful!