Recovery Tips from 2020 Olympic Trial Qualifiers

Recovery Tips from 2020 Olympic Trial Qualifiers

It’s Leap Day soon… and also the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, GA.

We’re excited to have two Drink Simple ambassadors running — Samantha Calderon and Karen Bertasso.

Our co-founder Kate interviewed them about their qualifying races, favorite workouts, best recovery tips, and more.

Here’s what they said:

Samantha Calderon

Tell us about the race when you qualified for the Olympic Trials:

It was the Houston Marathon! My whole family was there and saw me on the course 8 times.

It was so fun. It was one of those races where you feel good the whole time and never really "hurt." The whole run just felt fun and magical!

Sam finished the Houston Marathon in 2:44:44!

Favorite workout:

Mile repeats! I love that they're long and they still get your legs turning over with speed.


Best recovery tip:

EATING a lot of food.

I love to recover with nutrient-rich hydration like Drink Simple maple water and fueling right away after a run.

Favorite post run meal:

Smoothie bowl + homemade granola

Banana chocolate smoothies with maple water are the best!

P.S. Want to recreate your own? Try our Healthy Cacao Recovery Smoothie recipe or Pink Pitaya Smoothie Bowl recipe.

How do you incorporate Drink Simple maple water while training for Olympic Trials?

I used it during all of my long runs!

It's so refreshing, has so many nutrients, and really helps me feel hydrated during hard runs.

Shop Drink Simple maple water here. 

Do you have a mantra you repeat while running? If so, what is it?

"I am strong."

"I am fearless."

I also "delete" any negative thoughts that come into my head while running.

Anything else you would like to share?

I am so excited to toe the line at the Olympic Trials today!

I have dealt with some injuries and ups and downs during my training, but overall it's been so fun and I am so excited to be on the starting line with the best in the nation.

I honestly feel a bit underprepared, but I'm excited to hurt and give it everything I have!


Karen Bertasso

Qualified at Hartford Marathon in 2018 with 2:43:46 and pace of 6:16 per mile.

Favorite workout: 

2x 3-4 miles with a mile float in between sets.

Best recovery tip:

Food and sleep!

I always get something in my stomach after workouts. In the summer if it’s harder to eat because I feel crappy, I’ll do a recovery smoothie.

I try to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night.

Favorite post run meal: 

Brunch all the way! Pancakes, eggs, etc!

Try making your own pancakes with our Plant-Based Pumpkin Pancake recipe.

Favorite flavor or favorite way to consume Drink Simple:

I like the original pre-race and during races or workouts.

It’s easy on my stomach and I never worry about muscle cramps later into a race because it’s loaded with electrolytes.

The raspberry lemon is amazing after!

How do you incorporate Drink Simple maple water while training for Olympic Trials?

I’ll use it pre-run and during runs.

It’s naturally low in sugar, unlike other sports drinks, yet still has a touch of sweetness!

Do you have a mantra you repeat while running? If so, what is it?

I do a lot of math to distract me, which tends to be off the more tired I get during a race.

I try to remember pain is temporary but if I regret giving it my all that will stick with me forever.

We’re wishing Sam and Karen good luck today at the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials! To follow along, check Sam out on Instagram at @samanthasunstrom and Karen out on Instagram at @kickassbertass.

Edited by Nancy Chen

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