This profile of Andrea Walkonen first appeared in the Sept/Oct issue of our magazine.
Name: Andrea Walkonen
Nickname: I have many nicknames but the few guys I run with call me Tiger.
Residence: Lebanon, NH
Day Job: Rehabilitation Technician at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
High School: Conant High School, 2004
College: Boston University, Undergrad 2008, Graduate 2010
Club: none currently
Average Miles per Week: 75-80 Miles on a high week, 40-50 on a low week
- 10K – 32:31
- Half Marathon – 1:13:12
- Marathon – 2:37:06
- 5k – 16:03 (indoor) 16:05 (outdoor)
- Boston Marathon
- Portsmouth Half Marathon
- Ted’s Shoe and Sport Pathways for Keene 4 on the 4th
- New Bedford Half Marathon
- Track Workout: 20 x 400 meters with 200 meter recovery
- Marathon Workout: 2 mile warm up then 15 minutes ~20 seconds faster than goal marathon pace then right into 60 minutes ~10 seconds slower than goal marathon pace then right into 15 minutes ~20 seconds faster than goal marathon pace then cool down 2-3 miles
- 3+ hour long runs!
Places to Run:
- Bragg Hill in Norwich, VT
- Quechee Gorge Area in Quechee, VT
- Mascoma Lake in Enfield, NH
Running Shoe: Trainers: Asics Gel Noosas/DS Trainers Racers: Asics Gel Hyperspeeds
Workout Songs: Whatever tune is playing in my head; I don’t listen to music when I run.
Book: From Last to First: A Long Distance Runner’s Journey from Failure to Success by Charlie Spedding
Hobbies: I love being outdoors when the weather is nice so anything like biking, hiking, going for long walks. I love reading anything running, nutrition, or health related. I also love making scrapbooks and have made my running journals into scrapbooks to give people something pleasant to look at while reading through my crazy intense runner habits.
Training Philosophy: As long as you love to run it does not matter where you run, how far you run, or how long you run; it just matters that you run and you have fun doing it.
I try not to get caught up in paces even on workout days because there are always factors you can’t explain, can’t control, and can’t expect so it’s best not to worry about times but about how you feel. I won’t always run with a watch either; it keeps me from getting carried away 🙂
Prerace Ritual: Just making sure I stick to what works for me and never trying anything new before the race including new meals, new clothing, new shoes, and especially new socks…have had problems with new socks before oddly enough. I do make sure to shave my legs the day before the race every time, does that count?
Career High/Lowlights: High: Finishing the 2014 Boston Marathon right behind Meb Keflezighi in a personal best time and OT Qualifier one year after spending three months in bed with a terrible auto immune condition that kept me from even getting out of bed! Low: Spring 2013 suffering three months in bed with ulcerative colitis unable to even stand up let alone walk. Life is better when you’re running.
Goals: Improve all of my Personal best times as many times as I can before I retire and maybe even make an Olympic Team…
Proudest Moment: Finishing the Boston Marathon after a very long and tough comeback.
Best Distance Runner of All Time: There are so many of them, runners are the best people in general. I don’t think I can pick just one; it just wouldn’t be fair to all the amazing athletes out there.
Advice for The Legion: Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself to others. Don’t worry about how many miles other runners are doing, how fast their workouts are, or how high their mileage is because that may work for them but it doesn’t mean it will work for you, and in the end if you take care of yourself and train how your body can handle training, you will be a much stronger competitor for it. Always listen to your body and go by how you feel, not by what your watch says and don’t be afraid to cut back when necessary because it’s easier to come back from being too rested than to comeback from being too over-trained. Lastly sometimes it is far more difficult to rest than it is to work harder, the best athletes are the ones that know how to rest.
Fun Fact: I have a super long tongue and can touch my tongue to my nose.
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