Megan Lund

Megan-LundMegan Lund comes from a family of distance runners.

While some families go camping or visit Disney World, Megan’s family planned their vacations around her dad’s races.

Photo Courtesy of David Clifford Photography

Now Megan is chasing down her dad’s marathon PR and eventually a spot on the US Olympic marathon team. She is also hoping to make an impact on the international mountain running scene again this summer, with another trip to the Mountain Running World Championships.

When she’s not logging miles in the mountains of Colorado, Megan’s helping others move their bodies and discover the joy of running.

The RunDown

Megan Lund, Age 26, Born December 10, 1983.
Lives Basalt, Colorado.
Self-Employed: Freelance Marketing and Coaching.
Website: Hit the Ground Running.
Distance Runner.
Running Club: Boulder Running Company/Adidas.

Summary of Running Achievements

2009 World Mountain Running Championships -
3rd place as Team USA, 16th individually.
2012 & 2008 USA Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier.
#1-USA Ranked Female Marathoner, U-25 (2007).
Champion & Course Record Holder: Basalt Half Marathon, 2007 (debut).
Course Record Holder & 3x Trail Champion: Aspen Mountain Uphill Race (Aspen, CO).
First UCCS Female Alumni to Qualify for a USA Olympic Trials Event.

Personal Records:

Marathon: 2:41:59
Half Marathon: 1:16:38
25k: 1:33:55
10 Mile: 58:10
10K: 35:51
5 Mile: 28:17
5k: 17:26

All in the Family

WRT: When did you start running?

Megan Lund: I come from a distance running family, both my parents and two sisters, Whitney and Amy run. We’ve all run marathons.

My sisters and I grew up watching dad at races. Our family vacations always included a road race on the agenda. I started running in the kid’s fun runs at my dad’s races when I was five. I didn’t get serious until middle school. Then super serious in high school.

WRT: When did you run your first marathon?

Megan: It was the St George Marathon, Utah in October 2007. My dad turned 50 that year and said, "Hey let’s run a marathon for my birthday". I didn’t want to just run to say I ran a marathon. I wanted to qualify for the Olympic Trials.

WRT: Did you run together in the race?

Megan Lund: I started ahead but needed a bathroom break at mile 11. I hopped out of the porta potty and there he was! We ran two miles together and we got to the half in 1:24. I thought "I better take off if I want to qualify!" Away I went and ran 2:41.59 to qualify. Dad ran really well, finishing third in his age group in 2:45:31.

The “Go to Guy”

Megan-Lund-with-her-dadWRT: What’s it like running with your dad?

Megan: We’ve run lots of races together. I didn’t start beating him until I was a sophomore in college.

He’s pretty fast for an old guy. His best marathon is 2:34, which I’m hoping to break one day.

Megan & her Dad, 2009 Twin Cities Marathon

WRT: What does he think about that?

Megan Lund: He says it’s great. Dad loves running so much and thinks it’s awesome that his running has had an impact on me and my sisters. He is happy to see me take it to the next level. I think it gives him a lot of joy.

WRT: You coach yourself, do you bounce things off your dad?

Megan Lund: We throw around ideas together, talk about training methods and zones. My dad is my ultimate ‘go to guy’. He’s always right which is great. Dad’s good at predicting race times from training. At my level I need additional information, it’s smart to have some outside perspective.

Olympic Trials 2008 - Boston

WRT: What was your Olympic trials marathon like?

Megan Lund: I didn’t have a good day. It was so disappointing as it was such a big deal but it was only my second marathon. The marathon is it’s own beast. You can have a good day and other days no matter what you do it’s not your day.

Even though I ran poorly it was still a wonderful experience. It was such an honor just to be there and compete among some of the most amazing athletes in America. I ran 3 miles side by side with Joan Benoit. I’ve idolized her since I was little, so getting to compete with her was pretty incredible.

WRT: Did you speak to Joan?

Megan Lund: I think we both said to each other something like “good job”.

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Snow Bound

WRT: What’s winter running like in Basalt, Colorado?

Megan-Lund-running-Loveland-PassMegan Lund: It’s pretty difficult because it's so snowy and slippery. I do all my training outside, as I hate the treadmill.

I manage to run outdoors all winter, sometimes even in blizzards. I run lots of miles and save the speed for late spring.

Photo Courtesy of David Clifford Photography

I don’t like to run much in Stabilicers or YakTrax. I usually run in my trainers as I’m used to running on the ice. I only fell once this winter. I like running up the ski slopes when it’s not busy. Skiers look at me and I’m sure they think I’m crazy.

WRT: Do you do any winter sports?

Megan Lund: I grew up in Aspen, skiing and running. I learned to ski as a three-years-old. I still cross country ski and snowboard.

WRT: Are you concerned about skiing impacting your running?

Megan Lund: It does make me a little anxious. I didn’t buy a season pass this year, firstly because it’s so expensive, but also because I’m apprehensive about getting injured. I don’t love skiing as much as running and to get hurt would be a huge bummer! Plus, with all my training there’s not much time for snowboarding anyway.

Top of Page

WRT: So tell us about your training.

Megan Lund: My base training is around 70-75 miles a week. I run every day but keep it flexible. Some days if I don’t feel like running, I don’t. I’m still learning the value of recovery and how much of an important piece of training it really is.

Of course that guilty feeling is still there when I take a day off. But I try to suppress it by reminding myself that recovering is part of training, and sometimes more important than a workout.

I don’t like track or shorter races as much as the longer distances, as I don’t have the speedster legs. My 10k pace is the same as my marathon pace. Typically, the longer or harder the race, the better I perform.

WRT: How do you recover from your long runs?

Megan-Lund-on-the-winning-XC-Nationals-TeamMegan Lund: In summer my post run regime is to run with my credit card and finish my run at the local coffee shop.

I order a nonfat mocha and sit in the river. The mocha keeps me warm and gives me my fix of carbs and protein.

Megan (first left), 2008 USATF Club XC National Champs

I believe it’s important to refuel within 30 minutes of your run so your body is not searching your muscles to refuel. The mocha is perfect as it’s 3 parts carbs to 1 part protein and around 200 calories. You need protein to help with muscle recovery and the carbs restock your depleted glycogen stores. Plus, it makes finishing a long run a good excuse to have a treat!

Hit the Ground Running

WRT: You’ve started your own coaching business. How did you get into coaching?

Megan Lund: After college I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my marketing/communications degree. I wasn’t passionate about using it and working in a big corporation. My friend who owns a gym had some clients who wanted to know about running. I started coaching a few of his female clients and decided this is what I want to do full time.

WRT: Who do you work with?

Megan Lund: I mostly coach women, though I do have a handful of male clients. Most need someone to push them and are looking for encouragement and enjoyment. Many sign up to lose weight and aren’t initially driven to run.

The majority are middle-aged women who have kids and like the social side. They want to get fit, do triathlons, run local races and become more competitive. Others are in their 20’s wanting to improve.

I coach locally and remotely. I primarily write online training programs for my clients. They have unlimited contact with me via phone and email so I’m able to track their progress, modify workouts and answer questions about their training.

It’s a great way for me to share my knowledge of the sport and continue to train without wearing myself out running with other people all day.

WRT: How’s the response been to your coaching?

Megan Lund: Lots of my clients start off saying, "I hate running". They ease into it, stick with it and then love it. It’s fun for me to watch the transformation. I know I’m doing my job when they’ve improved physically, are more confident and have a happier outlook. It’s pretty rewarding.

Megan-Lund-winning-Teva-Mountain-Games-Half-MarathonWRT: What’s it like making a living from running?

Megan Lund: Growing up I thought it would be cool to be a professional runner. But there’s not a lot of money out there.

But no one runs professionally for the money…I run because I love it! With coaching I can apply what I know and share what I love.

Plus the flexibility is great. I’m not someone who wants the standard 9-5 job. The bonus is I get to fit my work around my training.

Winning the Vail Half Marathon
2009 Teva Games

Moving Forward

WRT: What are your running plans?

Megan: I want to qualify and represent the USA in the Olympic Marathon someday. Also qualify for the USA Mountain Running Team again this year and hopefully medal at Worlds.

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