I’m always amazed at how accessible and awesome elite athletes are. As an athlete who is, quite honestly, far from elite – I just find them so forthcoming with help and advice about running and training. Anna Weber is no exception! Anna is a 2x Olympic Trials marathon qualifier, holds a marathon PR of 2:38:39 (say what…?), and is the co-founder of BAnna Camp – a running camp crested is hand-in-hand with Northeast Ohio elite runner Becki Spellman.
Keep reading to learn more about Anna and her journey to elite running!
Growing up, Anna was involved in several sports: soccer, horseback riding, softball, basketball, and swimming. Competitive running actually happened coincidentally…(keep reading; this is good).
Anna began running competitively in 6th grade. Plot-twist: Her reason for running, at first, was to improve her basketball skills and eventually join the WNBA. “The only reason I ever started running was because the 6th grade basketball coach announced everyone who ran cross country would make the first cut at tryouts!” she said. During the first cross-country practice, Anna beat everyone on the team except one boy. After that, she just kept on running. She has been a consistent competitive runner since 1999.
The marathon isn’t Anna’s only impressive PR. She set a 5k PR of 16:58, 10k PR of 34:26, and half marathon PR of 1:14:03. The competitive nature of running is what continues to draw her to the sport: “I found something that I was naturally good at, and I knew that with some hard work, I could be great [at it].”
And hard work is truly what Anna puts in. During her training cycles for the Olympic Trials Qualification, she runs up to 100 miles per week, citing that her training is switched up each month to continually trigger adaptation. Anna’s weekly OTQ marathon training weeks look something like this:
- Monday: 6 miles easy
- Tuesday: AM: 3; PM: 2 mile warm up, 2 x 20 min @ marathon pace, 1 x 16 min @ half marathon pace, 2 mile cool down + lifting
- Wednesday: AM: 10 miles + form drills; PM 5 miles easy
Thursday: AM: 2 mile warm up, 10 x 400 m @ mile race pace w/ full recovery, 2 mile cool down + lifting; PM: 4 miles
- Friday: AM: 10 miles on trails with a friend; PM: 4 miles
- Saturday: AM: 10 miles; PM: 8 miles
- Sunday: 23 miles
Well…Anna runs my total weekly mileage during one day of her training (Sunday). Moving along.
In addition to the mileage as well as body weight and low weight strength training, Anna also works the following into her training cycles: Daily 30-90 minute naps, 2-hour massages every other week, biweekly dry needling, and 8-9 hours of sleep per night. Plus, she and her husband enjoy their “seafood Sunday” recovery tradition which consists of fresh fish varieties from Whole Foods, homemade lava cakes, and a fresh bottle of Malbec.
Anna’s 2020 Olympic Trials Qualification isn’t her first. She raced the 2016 Olympic Trials in Los Angeles with hopes if placing in the top 15. She finished 56th and fell about 10 minutes short of her goal, but all-in-all, she is proud of her performance: “Like most people [at the trials], I was affected by the heat, and the fact that I went for my goals from the gun didn’t help. In retrospect, I am very proud of that race!” Anna’s goal for the 2020 trials is the same as her 2016 goal: finish in the top 15.
While the trials and LA were obviously an accomplishment for Anna, it’s not quite her favorite race. The Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon takes first place as her favorite. This is not only where Anna set her marathon PR, but where she experienced a very important mental shift: “It was the first time I had ever bet on myself and won.”
Side-note: Anna’s favorite running jam is a ska cover of Come On Eileen. Who doesn’t love Come On Eileen?!
Coming January 2019 (you can still register by January 1 and the camp is open to all women!) is a running camp co-founded by Anna and her running buddy Becki Spellman. According to Anna, “BAnna Camp (www.BAnnaCamp.com, Jan 25-28, 2019 in Austin, TX) will provide an opportunity for women to learn more about [running] at every level while also bringing together like-minded women. There will be nutrition, mental-game, and self-defense sessions, as well as a talk that Becki and I are co-hosting called ‘The Art of Being a Gritty Bitch.'” #signmeup!
As though being an elite runner and co-founding a running camp isn’t enough, Anna is also a runner for Oiselle (favorite item: Vim Jacket), Rodan + Fields Consultant, and running coach. She is accepting new athletes, and she is always accepting new clients for the #1 skincare brand in the US: Rodan + Fields: “Rodan + Fields has been great because it has helped me afford a greater level of care. For instance, in May I had to drop out of the Pittsburgh Marathon due to a hamstring injury. I had not yet met my deductible for my health insurance, and without my extra income from R+F I never would have been able to afford my 3x weekly PT appointments for 6 weeks! ” Anna’s go-to RF regimen is Soothe which is great for sensitive skin.
Anna’s advice for runners is to go all in and believe in yourself and the goals you set. “I hear so many people say they aren’t good enough yet to have a coach, massage therapist, mental game coach, nutritionist, etc. However, these are the people that will help you bridge the gap from where you currently are to where you want to be.” Sound advice!
Get to know Anna’s services, running camp, business, and running journey:
- BAnna Camp: http://www.bannacamp.com/
Thank you for joining me for Running Shoes! Peace, Love, and Running –