Training for a race is hard, but when you see other fierce women just like you crushing it, it makes those long runs and hill drills just a little bit easier to tackle
Get Inspired, Get Together
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Marathon training can sometimes feel like the loneliest game in town, but you don't have to go into a self-imposed exile: inspiration can be found everywhere, from your local running clubs to the upcoming Olympic Games. When you're feeling sluggish, what you really need is instant commiseration, so follow these motivational runners who are also training, hill repeating, meal prepping, and plotting their next big races. Think of them as your personal training squad—and leave a comment to cheer them on, too!
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Ultra distance runner, triathlete, and mom of four, Rhandi Orme, has some seriously inspiring goals. She's aiming to be among the top three female finishers in the North Face Endurance Challenge 50K in Wisconsin on September 17—and as if that wasn't enough, she plans to follow that with the Monumental Marathon in Indianapolis on November 5, where she's hoping to finish in less than 3 hours and 10 minutes. Based in Indiana, Orme has been running for more than 25 years. "I remember beating the boys around the track in elementary school, and I was hooked instantly," she says about the sport that keeps on giving. "I love the sense of freedom and strength that I feel when I run."
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She may be training for the Chevron Houston Marathon early next year on January 15, but Catalina Drouillard already knows all about the really-long-run game. She ran a solo 50K in May because she wanted to be an ultrarunner by her 29th birthday. "You feel pretty invincible when you know your body is capable of running 31 miles without stopping," she says. Her Houston-based Insta features some killer yoga poses and inspiring words, like those she pinned to her pack during a trail run. (These 24 Motivational Quotes for Athletes and Runners will offer some more much-needed words of encouragement during training.)
Christal Lauren Ryles
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Christal Lauren Ryles lives in Los Angeles, which means her feed is full of enviable beach runs and some quality #motivationmonday mantras. She's been running for a decade, and up next is the JetBlue Long Beach Marathon on October 9. Ryles also writes a health and wellness blog and says she loves running especially for the feeling of accomplishment that comes after a good, hard workout. Amen, girl. (Balance the grind with the with the calm and Follow These Meditation-Savvy Instagrammers for Insta-Zen.)
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When her typical commute on the train was interrupted, London-based runner Fleur Hallett took matters into her own hands. Or, actually, her feet. She set a short-term goal for herself to run 10 miles to work and 10 miles back every day for a week as part of her prep for London's new Richmond Marathon on September 18. Now that's commitment. "Running has shown me that mentally and physically I'm capable of more than I ever thought was possible," as she likes to say.
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As Brooklyn-based vegan blogger, Anna Wildman prepares to tackle the TCS New York City Marathon on November 6, she's fueling up with some of the most delicious roasted veggie bowls and next-level toasts. Wildman loves running because, she says, "It challenges me to push my boundaries, to overcome setbacks, to explore parts of the city I would never otherwise venture to, and to wake up every morning to train, even on the days that I don't want to." (Looking for more plant-based food ideas? You'll probably also want to follow these Vegan Instagram Accounts for Shameless #FoodPorn.)
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"What I love most about my running is that it has allowed me to run to escape, but also run to find answers," says Krisha Larson, who began running three years ago. "It has allowed me to run through pain and heartbreak but also through happiness." The Michigan-based mom and virtual health coach, says she loves her long training runs, which will come in handy when she tackles the Grand Rapids Marathon on October 23.
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Dani Nemeh isn't just a marathoner who loves doing speedwork as she trains for the Portland Marathon on October 9—judging by her impressive pics, she's also a smoothie bowl connoisseur. After overcoming some nagging heel pain, the Orlando-based runner dug deep on a recent run (set to Destiny's Child, of course) and experienced yet again how powerful your mental running game comes in handy. "It's never about competing with others...only yourself!"
Khymmie Le Chau
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Less than four years ago, Khymmie Le Chau couldn't run 3 miles without stopping let alone think of running a marathon. Now the San Francisco runner is training for the Providence Rogue Marathon in Oregon on September 18, and her joy-filled Instagram account tracks her progress alongisde some beautiful scenery and sunrises. As she says, "Anything can happen if we trust our bodies and live a healthy lifestyle."