Amanda is a run & nutrition coach living in NYC– and is one of my favorite Barry’s instructors! She’s all these things as well as one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Read our chat below and find her on Instagram @amanda.asaro.

When did you first start running?

I first started running my junior year of high school to stay in shape for field hockey and lacrosse. I joined winter indoor track in my off season, and I hated it. I tried to quit countless times. I didn’t see the point of putting my body through this kind of continuous stress, pain and exhaustion. I still remember skipping practice and being dragged by my coach from the bleachers of the men’s basketball game down to the track for my workout. Quitting wasn’t an option because thankfully I had a coach that believed in me. As the season went on, I started to see my progress; my times got faster and my body felt stronger. This was the start of my obsession with running and the feeling my body is more capable than I ever could imagine. 

What advice do you have for someone who is a beginner runner?

  1. Find a reason to love it or even just like it in the beginning. Think about the benefits of running and find one that resonates with you and let that drive you. 
  2. Focus on time not mileage. Go outside for 10 mins, 15 mins, 20 mins and let your time slowly build as you feel stronger. Do not worry about pace. Run, walk, run and gradually your walks will be less, and your runs will be more.

Your favorite shoes to run in?

Right now, I really love my Hoka Carbon X. They are light and speedy which is just how I want to feel. My second favorite is the New Balance 1080 for high mileage days because they are super plush and stable. I am not your typical runner who has one brand and one model they stick too. I like to switch it up a lot with different brands and models. 

What was the process like of becoming a certified nutrition coach?

I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). It is an online course and focuses on general nutrition for athletes. I am qualified to coach and guide clients in their diets to support their goals. However, I am not a registered dietitian, so I do not write out specific meal plans. I enjoyed this course because I learned about the benefits to every food group. This knowledge is important to share as I am constantly hearing about these fad diets and myths about food that simply aren’t all true. We need food to fuel our bodies and get what we are asking out of our body, especially in our workouts. 

What are some of your top tips for the nutrition side of running? (What’s best for pre/post run?)

Carbohydrates are important for runners and all athletes looking to perform. They are our quick energy as our body is able to break down carbs quickly and use them to carry us through our workouts. Also, protein and carbohydrates are important within 30 mins after a workout. Protein repairs the muscles that have been torn in the workout.  

How do you overcome feeling unmotivated?

I remember my why. I love the feeling of self-improvement and working toward a longer distance or faster time. If I get outside for a run, I can say I did one thing to better myself today. Running has become a nonnegotiable in my life at this point. 

Advice for increasing distance?

It is a very slow process! The body needs time to adjust to mileage. I typically hold onto the same weekly mileage for 4 weeks before I build. I like the feeling of a strong base and can go into that 5th week with confidence that my body is ready. 

Favorite route to run in NYC?

Central park for sure is my favorite! Loops on loops on loops. Big, small and everything in between. I love seeing so many people out and about with their family, friends and best of all dogs!

What watch do you use to track your miles?

Garmin Forerunner235. Great app with great analytics. 

Favorite run memory.

My favorite run memory was winning my first college cross country race. I showed up super nervous and not knowing what to expect as I was still pretty knew to all of this (this was only my second cross-country season). I remember jetting off the start line and just wanting to stay with the front pack. I was surprised with how strong and liberated I felt as  I started to pick up the pace. I think I smiled the entire race.

Bonus! What’s the first thing you’re going to do when we are out of quarantine?

Post long run brunch with my boyfriend (he’s in for the brunch– not the run lol)! We have been apart for quarantine which has super been hard. I am back home with family in Westchester, NY and he is in the city still and working in the hospitals. I am counting down the unknown days of when things will start to look up!

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