Tianna Marshall – TrunsLA
Meet Tianna Marshall. Tianna has completed 20 marathon before the age of 26 and is currently training for her first ultra 50K. She is able to tackle these goals while earning her degree. I’m so glad Tianna was kind of enough to participate in Runspirational’s 13.1 Q&A. Her love of running and helping other runners is fantastic. Please make sure you give her a follow on Twitter and Instagram. Enjoy her great answers below. Thank you so much Tianna for being so Runspirational!
Tianna started running in 8th grade and completed her first marathon when she was 13. After finishing her first marathon, she made some insane goals including completing 10 marathons before she turned 21 and 20 marathons before she turned 26. She accomplished both and now has her eyes set on bigger goals. She got into running because she was a shy kid who really wanted to make friends. Her parents divorced when she was young so she was home alone a lot and needed something to do. Her 7th grade science/health teacher was the running coach at her school and he would constantly brag about the runners. So, in 8th grade, she took the challenge. She fell in love with running so much that she stuck with it throughout middle and high school and eventually came back to coach at her middle school. Running has also influenced her academically. As a college student, runner helped her select Food Science as her major, so she can become a product developer in the hopes of working with companies like Gu or Honey Stingers to create new running products.
1 – What is the next big race you are signed up for and what are your race goals?
My next big race I am signed up for is called the Rocky Peak 50k. It is my first 50k so my only goal is to finish and take in the whole experience and learn what I need to do for future ultras. Another big race is the Los Angeles Marathon and I would really love to PR.
2 – What is the top area of your training that you want to improve upon currently?
I would love to become faster. I’m the middle of the pack runner and want to move up to the faster runners at least once so I can qualify for Boston.
3 – What is the most challenging part of training for you?
The most challenging part of training is actually getting training in. I’m a full-time college student, have a job and have a busy life, so fitting runs in during the week can be extremely hard.
4 – What is your favorite running distance and why?
My favorite running distance is the full and half marathon. I can’t pick one because I love them both. I love the marathon because it’s a challenge many people do not attempt and the sense of pride you get crossing the finish line is unreal. I love the energy the spectators give you during a big race and you feel like the most important person in the world race day. I love the half because it is also challenging and it is a distance you really have to try at. Also, I really enjoy how recovery time is only a few days compared to a marathon.
5 – You’ve run 20 marathons. What has been your favorite marathon and why?
My favorite marathon is the Los Angeles Marathon. It was my first marathon when I was 13 so it holds a special place in my heart. It was the race that showed me I love to run and being able to run down the streets of LA is something you never get to do. I loved the start and finish line when it was In downtown because the echo of the cheers was insane. I love the new course they put together now too even though I don’t believe it is really “LA” since you only run a few miles through it. Also, if you have or ever get the chance to run it, you get to run with 3000+ middle and high school kids who will inspire the heck out of you.
6 – What types of fuel do you like to use during marathons?
Fuel has always been a huge problem for me until I started training for a 50k and realized I have to find something that works to succeed. Sounds crazy but apple sauce has been my go to during runs. It sits in my stomach well and haven’t had issues since I’ve been using it. I also use Honey Stinger chews and bananas.
7 – Besides running, what else do you do for exercise?
I love sports. If you ask me if I want to play it, I’ll do it, so I am always exercising. But I love to use our school rock climbing wall, hike, swim, bike and kayak. I hate the gym and work out classes so you won’t catch me there.
8 – What inspires you to run?
A lot inspires me to run. Not to sound cocky but I inspire myself to run. A lot of people my age haven’t done what I’ve done running wise and it’s something I take pride in. My coach inspires me because he was extremely overweight as a kid/teen and changed his life to become an amazing marathoner. He’s a huge reason why I love running. People who can’t run inspire me too. It shows me that I have the ability to do something they can never do. Lastly, kids who go through the running program I did and who I helped coach inspire me as well. I understand how hard it is to be a kid training for an adult race and the backlash we get from others. Seeing them sticking through training and finishing the marathon is such a great sight.
9 – What has been your proudest running accomplishment?
Completing at least one marathon every year since I was 13 and running 20 marathons before I turned 26 in June. Soon I’ll add many ultras to this accomplishment list.
10 – What are some races on your bucket list?
For marathons, Boston, London, New York and Chicago. For Ultras Badwater and Western States. For triathlons, I’d love to do the Kona Ironman.
11 – What do you do to recover from long runs?
For recovery, I always drink some type of protein shake or chocolate milk after because food doesn’t sit in my stomach well after. Also depending on how long the run is I will ice bath. I ice bath like it’s a mandatory test. Also stretch, stretch like crazy.
12 – What is the best advice you can give to a new runner?
Never ever ever be ashamed of your pace or if you need to walk. Walk with purpose is what we call it on my team. It takes time to get to be the runner you want to be. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice because more experienced runners have a lot to give. What works for someone else may not work for you so experiment with different things to see how your body will react and lastly always remember you will never have another first race for any distance so take the whole experience in, enjoy it and just finishing as your goal. Come back for that race the next year with a bigger goal.
13 – What are your favorite running clothes/gear/tech that you like to use?
I love Nike. For trail shoes, I wear Nike Wildhorse 4s and they’ve been amazing. For road, I love the Nike LunarGlides and Nike LunarEclipse. I also love socks and the Nike lightweight 2.0 quarter socks I wear all the time. I also love the Nike trail running trucker hats. I also use the Garmin Forerunner 35 which has been the best watch I have ever purchased. Last piece of gear I love is my Ultimate Direction hydration vest. It’s amazing how much you can fit in a little pack.
Bonus Question – Besides running of course, what is your favorite hobby and why?
I love to go camping. I’ve done it every summer since I was 7 with my cousins and it’s something I will do the rest of my life. Being in the outdoors with fresh air surrounded by mountains and a lake it’s so relaxing. Plus, all the things you can do run, hike, swim, kayak, boating, etc. is just the best hobby.