This is a sponsored post. I received a complimentary Ultimate Direction Meow Waistpack and Handy 10 as a result of being a race Ambassador for ZOOMA Florida and as compensation for sharing this interview. All opinions are my own.
One of the most important components to training and racing is proper hydration. Every runner has his or her own preferences as to the type of fluids they consume and how they transport them. Since 1985, Ultimate Direction has been creating and developing innovative hydration gear, “Designed by Athletes for Athletes. The goal is to provide products that address athletes concerns, giving the most comfortable and efficient way to hydrate on the go.
This year, Ultimate Direction teamed with athlete Jenny Jurek to create the aptly named “Jenny Collection.” The Jenny Collection focuses on specific design dynamics to be more compatible with the contours of the female athlete, eliminating bounce and providing a more comfortable fit.
Some of my fellow ZOOMA ambassadors had the chance to ask Jenny some questions about her own lifestyle and fitness regimens, and she was happy to answer.
What do you use to hydrate on your long training runs? – Kristin from A Mom on the Run
Jenny Jurek: I use an Ultra Vesta with two 10oz bottles in the front and a non-hose Platypus bladder in the back with another 20oz of water.
What do you do during your “off season” to stay active and fit? – Cori from Olive to Run
JJ: In the winter I nordic ski and I rock climb year round.
What is your typical recovery routine? – Lisa from Lisa Runs for Cupcakes
JJ: Scott’s more the expert on recovery so I drink what he drinks which is 20oz of Clif Shot drink mixed with 15g of protein powder within the first 30 minutes after my workout. I like taking a Vinyasa Flow yoga class the day after a long race or a hard workout because it keeps me from getting too sore the next day.
Do you participate in any other sports such as cycling or triathlon either as a method of cross training or to keep running fresh? – Landi from Preserving Pollyanna
JJ: Climbing is my only other consistent sport. I like to go for long rides and I swim, but not competitively or with any regularity. I lift weights and do kickboxing twice a week, too.
What is your favorite pre-run fuel or meal? -Sarah from How My World Runs
JJ: I’m not a huge eater before I run. I usually run first thing in the morning so it’s on an empty stomach. But if I do run later, I love eating an avocado sushi roll before I go!
As runners, we are constantly searching for ways to fit everything in. What tips do you have for balancing training and the busy schedules you and Scott have with family and life outside of running? – Jesica from rUnladylike
JJ: Communication and routines are helpful. Every morning we wake up and discuss our schedules for the day before we head out for a run. We are big fans of errand runs where we will stop by the bank, post office, or grocery store on the way home to save some time. Whoever gets home first starts making breakfast and we try to function like a team.
How do you keep yourself injury free? – Megan from A Better Year To A Better Life
JJ: When I’m training for a race, I try to follow a schedule where I have recovery runs and off days planned in. I also do strength training and a lot of low impact cross-training like climbing and yoga.
Do you have a favorite memory of a particular view during a run, or moment during a race, that has always stuck with you? – Cynthia from You Signed Up For WHAT?!
JJ: I started trail running when I lived in Seattle so I have a lot of nostalgia for the Northwest. One of my favorite races was my fist 100 miler, the Cascade Crest 100, because it was in the Cascades and my BFF Krissy paced me for the last 45 miles. Just finishing gave me a huge amount of confidence in myself, in pursuing my dreams, and in life in general. It was a big moment for me.
When you were conducting research to design the Jenny Collection, what was the most common complaint you heard from women about most distance running gear? (ex: chafing, bouncing, low quality, too heavy, poor fit, etc.) And how does the Jenny Collection address this issue? – Mary from Minutes per Mile
JJ: The biggest complaint I heard was about poor fit. An ill-fitting pack or waistbelt will bounce around and can cause chafing. I started the designs based on women’s bodies and curves and made sure there were plenty of adjustability options on the Ultra Vesta.
What motivates you to run?-Colleen from Live Free and Run
JJ: Mountains and fresh air!
What is your one thing in training you can’t live without? Alex from The Run Within
JJ: My iPod shuffle.
What is your favorite go-to breakfast before long runs? – Katie from Healthy Heddleston
JJ: I’m not a huge eater before runs, but if I’m going to be out longer than two hours I like to eat a small bowl of oatmeal with a banana.
What is the biggest piece of advice that you would give to a new runner? – Lindsay from Lindsay Weighs In
JJ: I would suggest finding a running buddy. It’s always easier to make time for a run when you have somebody counting on you. Stop by your local running store and see if they have any group runs, those are a great way to meet other runners and get involved with the community a little more.
What is the most essential part of your training – the one thing you know you can’t give up and still succeed?-Melissa at Eat On the Run
JJ: Track workouts. It’s easy for me to get stuck at one pace for my training runs and I can easily get too comfortable. I like hitting the track twice a week to work on my speed.
What is your favorite fuel to store in your ultra vest for a long run? – Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC
JJ: It’s hard to choose just one, but anytime I have a Bearded Brothers energy bar it makes me happy. (beardedbros.com) They are all organic raw vegan and amazing! I also really like Margarita Clif Blocks, the saltiness is a nice way to break up all the sweet gels.
What are some techniques you use to get your head back in the game if you find yourself discouraged after not-so-great performances or injury/illness?-Jennifer from Runs With Pugs
JJ: I wish I was better at this but I still get disappointed with myself and question if I could have pushed harder or trained better or whatever. But I try not to beat myself up and turn the disappointment into motivation for the next event.