Samantha Echols, Team Pruzan

Reflections on Running
Samantha Echols, Team Pruzan
Mar 15, 2024

Can you share a bit about your running journey? How did you get started, and what inspired you to take up running as a sport?

I actually started running in High School for the Cross Country team. I had recently done a backpacking trip and realized I was much more athletic than the common school sports had shown. That first practice I couldn't even run a mile straight, but I absolutely loved how it was a me vs me sport. I ran in college for a year before quitting the team, it just wasn't fun or enjoyable at that level. After college I ran in local races as often as I could, ran my first half marathon and then running took the back burner to starting a family. I ran through my first pregnancy, but some complications with my second child put running on hold for a bit.  Running has had so many different seasons in my life, but right now has to be my favorite. All my kiddos are now in school, I've had the time to really take my running to another level. I hired a running coach, Laura Norris, and I've been trying to run in as many beautiful places as I can. It honestly feels like my running journey has only just gotten started, even though I've been running off and on for 20 years.

Training plays a crucial role in every runner's journey. Could you describe your typical training regimen? What does a typical week of training look like for you?

All of 2023 I ran 4 days a week, but I recently bumped that up to 5 days a week. I'm really loving the new training schedule, I usually have 3 easy runs, 1 speed workout, 1 long run and a cross training day on my peloton. My strength training changes depending on what I'm training for, but I use the peloton programs. 

You recently participated in a race. Can you walk us through your preparation leading up to the race and your experience during the event?

Yes, I ran the Malta Half Marathon at the end of February and it ended up being the most insane weather conditions. Most of 2023, my training was a base building year, getting my body adjusted to the mileage and the strain. I feel like all the work I put in last year is getting to show off now. I went into this race knowing I was in great shape, but sometimes it doesn't all align on race day. I did a lot of mindset work going into this race, working on mental resilience and not letting my mind talk me out of what I set out to do. Race day morning it was storming, the streets were flooded, I was soaked just getting to the buses. A lot of people were complaining and talking about dropping out of the race. I just told myself, 'hey you love running in the rain, this is going to be fun'. The race ended up being my best half marathon time ever and it was really chaotic and fun running in the pouring rain. I still can't believe I raced in weather like that.

What are some of your favorite pieces of gear or equipment that you rely on for training and racing? How do they contribute to your performance and comfort?

My most loved and worn items are my SPIbelts, my Shokz headphones and for the past 6 months the Pruzan Curved Marathon Shorts. I had on all three for the race above and they all survived the pouring rain. My phone never got wet, the headphones still work and I didn't chafe anywhere! I also couldn't live without my treadmill, I do about 50% of my weekly mileage on the tread. 

Every runner seems to have a bucket list of races they aspire to run. What are some of the races or events on your running bucket list, and why are they important to you?

I feel very lucky to be living in a place that makes international races so accessible. I'm still processing my first marathon in Scotland last October, highly recommend the Loch Ness Marathon. But if you're doing it, don't skip those hill workouts! In June I am running the Midnight Sun race in the Arctic Circle. I'm so excited for that race, it's going to be breathtaking. 

As far as a bucket list, I would love to run a half marathon with one of my kids someday. The oldest two have just started getting into running; we did a 5k in Verona this December and they absolutely loved it. I would love for running to be something we can bond over for years and years to come.

Samantha wearing the Curved Marathon Shorts in onyx.


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