FitReserve Trainer Profile: Becca Skudder
As anyone who has trained for a race during a Boston winter knows, it can be a wet, chilly, snowy, icy, ankle turning experience. Though all who survive it wear it as a badge of honor, MyStryde founder Becca Skudder has come up with a better way. Becca took her passion for running to create MyStryde, a treadmill fitness class that provides a fun, motivating, and exciting environment for running veterans and newbies alike. Having run eight half marathons and two marathons herself, she knows the joy of the runner's high and the ability of running to better your mood, and even your life.
What inspired you to create MYSTRYDE?
I've had the idea for this type of studio for about five years now. I was training for a half marathon four winters ago, and dreading my treadmill workout all day. Instead of doing my interval workout on the treadmill, I opted for a cycling class at the gym due to lack of motivation. During the class, I was thinking to myself wouldn't it be great if they had this type of class on treadmills! Basically, a cycling class, but for running?
I got home and jumped on my computer to do some research, but found nothing. There was no equivalent of spinning for runners at that time. I had just graduated college and wasn't sure how to start my own business, but I slowly worked on it and finally decided to take the leap, leave my corporate job and open up MyStryde.
What is your go-to workout song?
I have a secret obsession with "Raspberry Beret" by Prince, and when I used to teach spin at Boston Sports Club I would play it pretty often. I love jamming to that song on a run! I also love "The Show Goes On" by Lupe Fiasco, and "Heading Home" by Griffen if I'm really in the zone getting some mileage in.
What do you eat before working out?
Before a long run or a race, I usually go for a full English muffin with peanut butter and a banana. If I'm marathon training, I'll add in some Gatorade pre workout. If it's not quite as long, I'll have half an English muffin and half a banana. Nutrition is so important to keep your body from hitting a wall during though workouts!
Be honest: What is your cheat meal or guilty pleasure food?
Nachos. Hands down. The more cheese the better!
What advice would you give to someone who considers him or herself a "non-runner," but wants to train for his or her first race?
Don't over do it. Don't jump to five or six days of running each week. It will burn you out mentally, and possibly physically, and it's intimidating. You really only need three or four days of running each week, and each run should have a purpose. One run is for your speed, which means working on sprints or pushes in a class like MyStryde, at the track, or coming up with some sort of tempo run on your own. One run is your longer run to bring up your base mileage. One day is a little faster mid-mileage day.
You can add from there but that's the basics! You want to still have fun! Running is fun, and clears our heads and makes us feel awesome, so it's important not to loose sight of that!
For my second piece of advice, I would say to cross train. Make sure to get at least one strength training day in each week to keep you from getting injured and to change it up.
Finish this sentence: When I'm not at the studio, you can find me...
…biking around the city, on the Cape in the summer, or in the mountains in the winter.
What is your most memorable teaching moment?
I've been teaching for about four years now, first with cycling classes at Boston Sports Club, and now here at MyStryde. I think my most memorable teaching moment is when MyStryde first opened, and someone came up to me after class and almost had tears in her eyes to let me know that was the longest and fastest she had ever ran. It was pretty cool to know that I had helped her do that, and to see how much it meant. Running is quite emotional, and it's an amazing feeling when you start to progress. It's just so awesome that I get to help people reach their goals every single day.
What makes MyStryde so effective?
Being able to run at your own pace is key, so we have an effort scale of 1 to 5. Level 5 is your all out sprint, level 4 is your push pace (which is your pace if you could run one mile as fast as you could), level 3 is your steady run pace, level 2 is your conversational pace, and level 1 is your full recovery pace. Having a scale [as opposed to the same pace for everyone in class] allows people to feel more comfortable and be less intimidated, which in hand makes them push harder because they aren't discouraged. It's all about them, and that's empowering. Our staff is amazing and really wants you to succeed and makes sure to adhere to everyone at all levels, from elite runners to run walkers, and it helps everyone get to their own personal goals.
Also, I just don't think there is any other place that will push you to sprint, push your pace on hills, push your pace on a flat road, and get you excited to do it. It's like a track workout, a tempo run, and a hill workout all in one. It's crazy how much faster and stronger some of our customers are now compared to when they first started coming. In fact, our classes are so great that I fit at least one into my weekly routine because I know how good it is for me.
Inspired by Becca's story? Reserve a class and hit the treadmill at MyStryde today!