Brookline, MA physician Rebecca Breslow has switched gears in recent months, making the decision to move away from practicing medicine and instead reaching out to fellow mother runners through her local strength and conditioning business called Moms Run Strong. “My goal with the athletes I train is to empower them to make their own dreams happen,” she says. “I think my medical background is helpful for this, as I can combine a scientific, evidence-based approach with my own personal experiences and the practical knowledge I’ve gained from those I have trained and studied with.” Up next for this BAMR: tackling the Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill 5K this weekend, June 7.
Best recent run: I’ve been doing a lot of hill training recently (sprints and short fast intervals) to build strength, and I love them! A workout from last week: Hills. Warm-up: 15 minutes easy on the track. 2*buttkicks, heel kicks, carioca, long skips. 4*strides. Workout: Hill repeats 2* [4*1 minute @ moderate effort up 6-8% grade, downhill jog recovery]. 5-minute rest between sets of hill repeats. Cool-down: 5-minute easy jog, medicine ball circuit, hip mobility routine.
An Inspiring Father: I started running in 8th grade. I grew up in New York City, and one of the choices for gym class at my school was to run around the Central Park Reservoir. I preferred this option to any of the conventional sports that were the other choices – maybe because I had the great example of my dad, who ran every day when I was a kid growing up and remains an athletic, fit individual into his late 60s. I have been running regularly (with a few interruptions during pregnancy and medical training) ever since that time.
Running Evolution: My reasons for running have changed over the years. As a younger person, running was a stress-reliever and a time to think through things. After I met my husband, who is also a runner, running became a strong bond between us and we did many runs and races together – even getting engaged during a 10-miler along the Charles River! When I had my younger kids, who are twins, running helped me rehab from prolonged bed rest and became a way to maintain sanity in the chaos of a household with preemie twins. Then, over the past few years, after training with a local running coach, I’ve approached running from a more competitive angle and view it as a goal-oriented and challenging activity.
Following her heart: I have been working as a physician for the past 10 years, but am transitioning away from practicing medicine. I had a great job and supportive mentors, but I just didn’t feel passionate about what I was doing. I love running and training, and in recent years I’ve gained a lot of knowledge (both formally and informally) about the science of sport performance, movement assessment and corrective programming, and that’s what I decided I wanted to devote my time to. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who totally took this in stride and supported me in following my heart.
Favorite running weather: a crisp fall day.
Running shorts or skirt: shorts.
10K or Half Marathon: 10K.
Foam roll or stretch: foam roll.
Running mantra (or quote) I love: “Run from a place of joy” –Coach Jay Johnson.
Worst running injury and how I coped/dealt with it: In the summer of 2012 I developed tendonitis in my left tibialis posterior tendon during a time when training was going extremely well. The injury became very severe because I did not take care of it when I should have, and I had to rest from running for three months. Fortunately for me, the physical therapist who treated me had underwater treadmills at his facility. So I was able to run a couple times a week on those. I still lost most of my running fitness, which was tough. I did a ton of yoga and several months of power-lifting under the guidance of my running coach, so the silver lining was I did get a lot stronger, but it was a very long time until I could run pain-free. It still sometimes flares up if I advance my training too aggressively.
What keeps me going when I hit a rough patch in a race or a run: Realizing how lucky I am to be able to run. I once read a piece written by an ultra-runner describing her approach to fatigue: she said instead of fighting it, she tries to welcome it like an old friend. I thought that was a neat way to think about it, so I have also tried to adopt that attitude when things start to get difficult in a race or workout.
What I thought about during today’s run: I admired the Boston skyline while running in the Arnold Arboretum, a beautiful hilly park in Brookline with great vistas of the city.
Best Mile Ever (and Why): The last mile of the New York City Marathon, which I ran in 2011. Running that marathon was the culmination of my efforts to regain myself after the tough pregnancy and all that followed with my twins. I had just seen my family (including all three of my kids), who were waiting for me in Central Park, so I got a huge boost from that, and I was thrilled to be so close to completing that accomplishment.
My running, in three words: Feeds my soul.