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Behind The Breakthrough: Christina Welsh Joins D3 Glory Days After Dropping Her Marathon from 3:29 to 2:33

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“After I ran 2:44, it would have been very easy to pick a reasonable goal time of 2:40 and then completely limit myself from 2:33, so I don’t really like to set goal times.”

The Houston Marathon was a historic day for US distance running as the American record in both the marathon and half marathon were broken. As the celebrations began, Christina Welsh crossed the line in 8th place running 2:33:00 in her 6th marathon. A quick TFRRs search will tell you Christina was a 18:25/39:21 5k/10k 2018 runner out of Stockton University in New Jersey.

The other staggering fact you’ll find out about Christina is that she made her marathon debut in 3:29 and went into Houston with a 2:44 PB.

Her progression:

6/2019: 3:29:17 – Lake Placid Marathon

11/2019: 3:20:34 – NYC Marathon

11/2020: 3:03:58 – Space Coast Marathon

4/2021: 2:56:09 – Wilmington Marathon

6/2021: 2:44:35 – Grandma’s Marathon

1/2022: 2:33:00 – Houston Marathon

She credits these jumps to her love of running and low intensity/higher mileage training that she wasn’t able to have in college. At Stockton, she was in the training system with everyone else of higher intensity workouts and reduced mileage. As she continued running more mileage for each marathon buildup, her times dramatically fell.

Christina brings a unique perspective to elite marathoning. She isn’t glued to her watch in race or workouts and a race plan stresses her out. You’ll see she enjoys going with the flow and joins everyone else that is excited to see what she does next because she isn’t even sure!

Follow Christina on Instagram

Follow Christina on Strava

Listen now: Apple Podcasts | Spotify 



SHOW NOTES AND NOTABLE QUOTES

On Dealing with Race Day Weather:

“I don’t get worried about what my workout paces were because the conditions are going to be so wildly different than Florida that I know that workouts don’t necessarily correlate to race paces.”

On How She Views Herself Now:

“I feel the same right now. It just feels like I should probably run faster next time.”

On Where She Gets Her Motivation:

“I really love running. Honestly, running is really fun.

On Looking Ahead to Her Next Time Goal:

“My plan of just winging it has been working so far, so I guess I’ll keep doing that for a while.”

On Not Looking At Her Watch:

“I really don’t like to look at paces when I do any runs. I like to go off feel, so I don’t ever really set specific time goals. It’s just kind of like whatever happens, happens.”

On Not Setting Race Plans:

“I think it’s more relaxing and easier to stay in the moment and take the challenges as they come if you didn’t have a specific plan in mind to begin with.”

On Running the Olympic Trials:

“I never made it to nationals in college and now I have to run the Olympic trials, that’s insane!

On Advice for Others:

“You got to find what works for you. And sometimes that is completely different than what you have in college. If it takes changing what you’re doing and finding a new plan or a new way of training, you can make really make huge improvements pretty quickly.”

On Not Limiting Herself:

“After I ran 2:44, it would have been very easy to pick a reasonable goal time of 2:40 and then completely limit myself from 2:33, so I don’t really like to set goal times.”


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