This week’s Strong Runner Chick of the Week is Linda Steinhardt, a positive, uplifting and inspiring Instagram foodie and former collegiate volleyball player turned into strong runner and aspiring Registered Dietitian. Read on to find out more about Linda, her path from advertising into nutrition and her favorite strength routine (we must warn you: it’s a tough one)!
- Who are you? (Name? Age? Hometown? Team/Club/Coach?)
Hi everyone! My name is Linda Steinhardt, and I am a 21 year-old from Austin, Texas. I am a converted runner, as I actually played volleyball in college at the University of Missouri where I graduated last May.
- What is your main event/distance?
I would say my favorite event is the 5k. It’s short enough to need speed and kick, but long enough where it is not a sprint – that’s where I perform best!
- When did you start running?
I have always loved running, but as I mentioned, I actually grew up playing volleyball. After graduating college, I began to get into running and triathlon more, and have run in road races and competed in a few triathlons since.
- What is your favorite part about running?
I love the challenge running provides. I don’t think there is anything else like it – the sense of accomplishment after a tough workout, the body’s ability to work harder and go faster than you thought it could, and the great friendships that come from camaraderie in the running community make running so unique.
- What is the highlight of your running career so far?
My first 5k was the highlight of my (very new) “running career.” I had never run in a true race (except in middle school), was very nervous, and didn’t quite know what to expect. My dad, who ran in college, gave me some strategy and encouragement, and the excitement and adrenaline of it all was something I hadn’t felt since competing in volleyball in college. I had looked up the race’s times in years past and knew I could be competitive. I ended up finishing as the 3rd overall female and had the time of my life (literally and figuratively ; ) ). It was an amazingly gratifying feeling, and made me feel like a super strong runner chick ; ).
- What is your life like outside of running? (Academics, career, etc).
I graduated with a degree in marketing from Mizzou, and then worked in an advertising agency for 6 months. I quickly realized that was not the path for me, and knew that I had to follow my true passion – nutrition for an active lifestyle. I had struggled with this in the past, and overcoming obstacles made me realize how crucial nutrition and the conversations about it is for any person, especially athletes. That being said, I will be returning to school this summer to begin the path to become a Registered Dietitian, and I could not be more excited!
What is your goal or dream that you want to achieve? (running related or not).
Running wise – I want to continue to enjoy and love the sport of running. Time goals are not the “end all be all for me.” Instead, I like to focus on enjoying the process and pushing myself along the way.
Outside of Running – I have learned that being compassionate and empathetic towards people is the way I always want to live. I want to continue to focus on these things, and carry them over into my eventual career as a Registered Dietitian.
- What are your strengths as a runner?
My strengths as a runner are definitely the ability to focus and push through tough workouts. I stay calm and confident in my mind even if the workout is difficult.
- Who, to you, embodies a strong runner?
Strong runners are those who believe in themselves wholeheartedly and have fun in the process. Emma Coburn and Emily Infeld come to mind : ).
- What is your favorite pre-workout snack? Ultimate post-race meal?
Pre-workout snack – I love some yogurt with berries or date coconut rolls!
Post-Race Meal – Some big juicy bison steaks with corn on the cob and a sweet potato!
- What is your running motto?
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”
- A random fact or two about you.
I love country music (especially Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban) and I can’t whistle, haha.
- What is your favorite strength or core exercise/workout? Why this one?
My favorite thing to add into a workout is a circuit with 1 minute on the rower, med ball slams, and kettle bell swings. This circuit is a staple for me because it gets my heart rate up and works on strength at the same time. It also hits many different areas of the body (basically everything on the rower, core and arms with the slams, hamstrings and core with the swings).
- What is your must-have running accessory or piece of race gear?
I don’t know that I have a must-have running accessory. I just like to make sure I have a shirt that I love and is comfortable!
- What does being a strong runner chick mean to you?
Being a strong runner chick is empowering. Strong runners are strong because of many things other than just running capabilities. It’s the ability to stay away from comparisons, the ability to use the persistence running has taught them in all aspects of life, and the ability to spread that mindset to others in a way that helps and empowers others to do the same.
Bonus: Any other shout-outs or words of wisdom?
Shout-out to Strong Runner Chicks all around the world who know the value that they hold as a runner and as a person outside of running. Thanks to everyone who read along with me!
Lastly… How can people connect with you? (social media, email, blog):
I have a personal Instagram account and a “foodie/fitness” Instagram account!