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Q&A with 2019 TCS NYC Marathon Runner, Jen Tyson


Jennifer Tyson
Jennifer Tyson

Jennifer Tyson, 32, is joining Team JA New York from London for the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon! Check out her marathon goals, favorite Clif Bar flavors, and more!

Q: How did you get involved with JA New York?
A: My colleagues in the Refinitiv legal team in the US have been supporting JA New York for many years and our US General Counsel is on the Board of Trustees. During one of his visits to the London office we got talking about my passion for running and a few months later he let me know there was a place available with JA New York to run the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon. It has been on my bucket list for ages and JA New York sounded like a great cause, so it didn't take long to decide to sign up!
Q: Why did you decide to run the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon?
A: The TCS NYC Marathon is one of the Abbott World Marathon Majors and I'm aiming to eventually run all six. So far I've run London and Boston, and in addition to the TCS NYC Marathon I am also running Chicago this year, which means I will only have Berlin and Tokyo left.
Q: Who/what is your biggest motivation to train?
A: Having run a few marathons before, I know that it’s all about the training. I'm motivated to put the hours in during the months leading up to the race because I know it will help me have the best and most enjoyable marathon possible. I'm very competitive too, but only with myself – ever since I got my current personal best in 2016 I have been trying to beat it! Plus one of the best things about the training is that every run you complete is an achievement. It feels good to achieve something every day for four months.
Q: How do you measure success as a runner?
A: For me an ideal marathon success would be to get a new personal best. However, from experience I know that sometimes things don't go to plan and circumstances outside your control can impact a race. In those situations, success is being able to accept that you aren't going to achieve your goal and to enjoy the event nonetheless. It can be hard not to think that all your training has been a waste but you have to remember that it is all part of the journey and just as much an achievement as getting a good time in the marathon.
Q: What is the best running/training lesson you’ve learned?
A: So many, marathon training is a huge learning experience. Something I often have to remind myself of is that a multitude of factors can impact your performance, so you mustn't worry too much if you have a bad run. And a more practical lesson I've learned is the importance of doing strength exercises for avoiding injury!
Q: What is the most challenging part of marathon training?
A: Getting up really early to run before work! All of the marathons I have run so far have been spring marathons, so my training took place during the winter. As the TCS NYC Marathon takes place in autumn, I'm training over the summer and have struggled a bit so far with the heat.
Q: What are your favorite pre- and post-run meals?
A: Before a run I have something high in carbs like toast or granola. A mistake I've made in the past is to have the same thing too often, meaning that by the end of training I'm sick of it – I can't bear porridge now for this reason! So I try to keep things varied. My absolute favourite immediate post-run snack is a Clif Bar (especially Crunchy Peanut Butter or Blueberry Crisp). 
Q: What are some songs on your favorite running playlist?
A: I actually listen to podcasts when I run, rather than music. People often wonder how I manage without the beat of music to keep me going, but I prefer the distraction of an interesting interview.

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