Runner Questionnaire - Michelle Davis

When and why did you start running?

I started running to stay in shape after high school. After my first race (the Firecracker 4 in 2010), I loved the feeling of crossing the finish line, hearing the crowd cheer and seeing what my body was capable of. After that race, it became an addiction to always push myself to be better.

What’s your favorite race to date, and why?

My favorite race is the Stockade-athon. I grew up in Schenectady and ran on the roads of the race almost every day. I also have a love for Schenectady and what it is becoming.

What has been your biggest running adventure to date?

The Dopey Challenge. Lots of getting up early, running and enjoying Disney! Even though this was done leisurely, it was very exhausting.

What is your approach to training? Do you follow a particular training plan, or do you work with a coach and if so, who?

In my current running career I have Mat Nark as my coach. He provides a training plan in the off-season to set me up for success when it’s time to start a real training block. Usually I have a speed work session every Wednesday and a long run on the weekend. The long run can consist of a workout or it can be easy miles.

What is your weekly mileage in peak racing/marathon training season? What is your approach to the off season?

During peak racing training block, which is usually training for a marathon, I run 50-60 miles a week and limit my gym sessions to 2-3 times a week.

During the off-season I go to strength sessions 4-6 times a week to supplement not running as much. During this time I run 20-30 miles a week. In the warmer months I plan on riding my bike for cross-training. 

During our cold winter days, do you brave poor weather conditions or stick indoors on the treadmill? If you do run outside, what safety measures do you take?

I do not run on the treadmill. The only time I would run on the treadmill would be if it is icy. Otherwise, if you wear the proper gear (lots of layers), you can brave the elements.

List your PRs: Race, time, year

5k - Watervliet Arsenal City 5k, 19:43, September 2016.

 ½ Marathon – Hangover Half Marathon, 1:32, January 2017

Marathon – Philadelphia Marathon, 3:18:27 November 2021

What was your worst injury and how did you get over it?

My worst injury was a torn calf from trying to get up a 14ft warped wall. I was too determined to stop. Recovering from that took a lot of rest and maintenance. I saw my chiropractor, Dr. Bath, a lot, did cryotherapy and a lot of foam rolling when I was able. I really focused on my strength and went to the gym a lot to keep my body moving and my mind off the injury. I started with the run/walk method to get back into running.

Your favorite shoe for training and racing

My favorite shoes were Brooks Adrenaline. Ever since they changed and then eventually got rid of the model I loved, I’m exploring other options. Brooks Hyperion seems to be working well. 

Ever run in a costume?

Nope, and I don’t plan on it.

Do you work with a dietitian to enhance your performance?  If so, who?

I do not work with a registered dietitian.

What are your favorite pre-race and post-race meals?

My favorite pre-race dinner would be pizza or pasta. For breakfast I love oatmeal with honey and fruit.

Post-race meal is anything along with a beer.

What activities do you enjoy when not running?

When not running I enjoy lifting weights, binge watching shows and bike riding.

What challenges / races / adventures are you planning for the coming year?

This year I am planning The Electric City 5 Miler, Helderberg to Hudson, Run 4 the Rover and Philadelphia. 

What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received in the sport?

Run slow on easy days so you can save your energy for when it really matters.

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