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Written By Clare Wilkes - April 01 2020
We’ve known Kat Drew for a few years now, thanks to her being a founding member of Fraser Street Run Club, and longtime supporter of Vancouver Running Co., so we were stoked to officially welcome her into the VRC fold at the beginning of this year. From humble beginnings as a casual half marathon runner, Kat set the trail world on fire in 2019 by winning the prestigious Chuckanut 50k, bagging a Golden Ticket at Canyons 100k, then placing top 10 at Western States. We’re excited to see what’s in store for Kat, but read on to hear more about how she fits in training alongside work, and why not give her favourite running route a try. 1. When it comes to running, what's your 'why'?
I have so many, but mostly that it supports my mental health and well being, and it’s a means for me to challenge myself. I have a lot of anxiety, but going for runs lets me clear my mind. I run without music so I have a chance to be with my thoughts, and work through whatever is going on in my head. Speed work is a great way for me to focus on a physical challenge, and it's a good technique for being totally present in that moment - it can be very mentally freeing! Runners tend to put so much focus on the race, they forget to realise how much progress is made during the training they put in to get there. With all the recent race cancellations, it’s so important to remember this. 2. You work a busy day job alongside training - how do you make sure you get everything done, and get enough sleep?!
I won't lie, it's pretty tough! I do all my weekday runs in the mornings, at around 5:30am, then head straight to work at 9. I’ll sometimes go to a strength class after work, then head home for dinner with my very understanding partner Jeremey, who does join me for some runs. Sleep is such a priority, so I try to get to bed by 9:30pm so I get a solid 8 hours. On weekends I try to have a slower morning before I hit the trails, sometimes for several hours. I’m not sure how, but all the normal non-running stuff magically happens in there somewhere!3. Do you have a favourite route to run solo?
Because I’m out so early in the mornings, I make sure I run where I feel safe and someone knows where I’m going, and it's the same in the trails. I love running alone in the forest, but I always make sure to give someone my trip plan, and I’m prepared in case something happens. A safety text along the way never hurts either! One of my favourite weekend solo routes is a loop through Pacific Spirit Park, making sure to include a couple of little climbs up and down the canyons on the north side of the park. 4. Women are really crushing the trail racing scene right now - what do you think has changed?
Trail running has become increasingly popular, and there are so many strong women competing now. Many of them have been crushing it on the trail scene for a while, so to me it doesn't feel like much has changed, but women are finally starting to get the recognition they deserve in this sport - it was so great to see the start line of Transgrancanaria filled with women! 5. What do you do to try and stay injury free?
I really value rest days (normally on a Monday) and giving the body a chance to recover before putting it through another intense week. I try to do 2-3 strength sessions per week - a strong core is crucial for running! Sleep and nutrition are super important too; I'm putting my body through so much day after day, I can’t assume that it's just going to continue to perform if i don't care for it properly.