All of us—casual runners, spectators, and pros alike—have missed in-person racing. Jordan Tropf, a 29-year-old orthopedic surgical resident and friend of Under Armour, was one of those runners chomping at the bit to get back. He was so excited, in fact, that he just took racing to an entirely new level. This past weekend, he completed his 2021 goal: to run three marathons, in three days, in three different cities. On October 9th he first lined up at the Baltimore Marathon, finishing in 2:27:24; on the 10th he took on the Chicago Marathon, finishing in 2:31:54; and on Monday the 11th, he completed his epic trifecta at the Boston Marathon, coming in at 2:32:13.
“It kind of started as a joke,” Tropf admits. “But then we started looking at the logistics of pulling it off and determined it was doable.” While it all might sound crazy, Tropf’s approach to three marathons holds true for a successful single marathon or race of any distance, really. Here’s how he got it done:
Like most modern-day runners, Tropf has to fit in his training around life. A busy resident at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and husband to fellow runner and Under Armour Sports Marketing Manager (Run) Hannah, Tropf doesn’t have loads of free time for his running. So he gets creative with his schedule and training.
“Sometimes I run to and from work,” he says. “On the weekends, Hannah and I will make a day of it, traveling somewhere different for a run and then taking in the sights. I find ways to build the running into my schedule.”
Pay Attention to Recovery
Ramping up for three marathons in three days means that Tropf is running close to 100 miles per week—more than his usual training routine. That makes sleep, nutrition, and listening to his body more important than ever to avoid injury. “I’m feeling really good going into the races,” he says. “I take recovery very seriously, getting the rest I need and backing off if something feels off.”
Tropf also avoids being held hostage to a training plan. “I don’t get carried away,” he says. “Work and home life take priority and if I need to miss some runs for that, it’s OK. I refocus when everything is going smoothly.”
Find a Why
With in-person racing back, finding motivation isn’t all that hard for fall events. But some days even the most enthusiastic runners lack the drive to lace up their shoes. Tropf creates his own inertia by reminding himself how good he feels when he’s training for a race. “I like a good race and getting ready for it,” he says. “It gives me overall wellness, both mentally and physically, and having a goal gets me out the door every day.”
Have your own running goal? Take a page from Tropf’s book and there’s no doubt you’ll be well on your way to success.
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