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Sara is a professional runner based in Phoenix, Arizona. She is married to Steve Slattery, a steeplechaser from New Jersey. Sara is new Mom of Steve Slattery 3.0 born on March 19, 2003. She enjoys spending time outdoors, cooking, shopping, riding motorcycles with her hubby and spending time with family and friends. Sara grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She attended Mountain Pointe High School where she was a 9 time State Champion and a Jr. National Champion. She was a 2 Time National Champion and 9 time All American while attending the University of Colorado and has been a professional runner since 2005.
What does your standard training week involve?
I run between 75 and 90 miles per week. I usually do workouts on Tuesdays and Fridays and my long run on Sunday(between 13 and 18 miles). After each run,I do core work and stretching. I also do strength training 3-4 days a week.
Where is your favorite place to train?
My favorite place to train is on the trails in Boulder, Colorado. My favorite trail is Marshall-Mesa Trail.
What is your favorite race?
I have two, a track race and a road race. My favorite track meet/race is the Stockholm Grand Prix. It is a smaller stadium and it draws a great crowd. You feel like the crowd is sitting right on the track. The weather is always perfect for racing and I always seem to have a good race there. My favorite road race is The Bolder Boulder 10k. The citizens race is run in the morning, and the professional race is later in the afternoon. There are over 30,000 participants, and many stick around to watch the professional race. You get an amazing energy from the crowd and seem to be able to draw more out of yourself. Living in Boulder for the past 10 years, and winning it in 2006 makes it a special race.
What is your favorite 2XU garment? When do you use it and why?
My favorite 2XU garment is the Elite compression sock. I use them for workouts and longer runs. I have had several lower leg injuries throughout my career. Since using the socks I have not had a lower leg injury(knock on wood).
What is your favorite training accessory?
I have lived in two very sunny cities during my career(Boulder and Phoenix). For that reason I love my Native Eyewear Sunglasses to keep me from squinting the whole run.
What has been the toughest experience in your career and what did you learn from it?
The toughest experience of my career was after I had surgery to repair my torn posterior tibal tendon on my right foot. I was out for almost a year and wasn’t sure if I would ever be able to compete again. It took a long time to heal from the surgery and rehab it to full strength. Several doctors did not think it would ever function the same or be able to handle running at a high level again.
What is the most common training mistake you see? Any suggestions on how to avoid it?
The most common training mistake I see is not listening to your body. Often we get caught up in our ideal training schedule or what others are doing in the and we ignore our bodies signs telling us to back off. We want to get 5 more miles in to make it an 80 mile week or do the workout that day even though your foot feels sore. Each person is different in how they handle training, stick to your plan, and be aware of your bodies signs on when to back off.
What motivates you to train and race harder?
I came from a very hard working family. I always want to know when I finish a workout, or race that I gave everything I had that day. I want to be able to walk away know I couldn’t have done more. I know my parents and my husband always do that whether it is with athletics, work, or family. And I want to make them proud of me.
Describe your diet/meal plan leading up to a big race:
I try not to change much with my diet leading up to an event. I keep a pretty healthy balanced diet year round and I try to stick to what has worked in training leading up to a major event. For breakfast I usually have oatmeal with walnuts, and a cup of coffee with hazelnut cream. Lunch I typically have a big salad with tomatoes, avocado, and chicken and rice or a sweet potato. For dinner it is usually a lean protein, rice/pasta or potato and lots of veggies. I have a huge sweet tooth and usually never skip dessert even going into big races, it just might be a smaller portion.
How do you balance your training and racing life with life outside the sport?
My husband and I are both very social people and enjoy spending time with our friends and family. When we are training hard we still frequently socialize but probably head home early so we still get good rest leading up to the race. If I get too consumed in training and racing and don’t balance my life socially I overthink things and often perform worse.
What type of nutritional supplement do you find most helpful (either for training or competition)?
Training for the longer races I have learned to take liquids more on the run. I use the Powerbar Ironman Perform drink mix in lemon lime to keep me hydrated in training. Living and training in a dry hot climate maintaining my electrolytes is very important. I love the NUUN products before and after training. They don’t have any sugar, taste great and help me stay hydrated!
What is the best thing about being a professional athlete?
The best thing about being a professional athlete has been the ability to travel to awesome races around the world doing what I love to do. I have also enjoyed all the people I have met along the way, most of them have become my closest friends today.
What is the worst thing about being a professional athlete?
You can feel like you are living under a microscope. As a professional, people will scrutinize your races and decisions all the time. You have to have thick skin and use it to motivate you.
In five years time, I will be:
Major marathon winner, Coach, and Mother of two beautiful children.