Workout Wednesday: Erinn Stenman-Fahey

Today’s Workout Wednesday is with  Erinn Stenman-Fahey from Ottawa, Ontaria! Erinn specializes in the 800m and 1500m at Iowa State.

  1. Who are you? My name is Erinn Stenman-Fahey. I’m 20 years old and I am on the cross country and track team at Iowa State. My main event is the 800, but I also run the 1500.
  2. Short description of running experience or greatest accomplishment. I started track in grade 9 originally as a way to improve my speed for soccer. Although, I very quickly fell in love with the sport and running became my thing! I found success my last two years of high school, with making the Canadian Junior National team being the highlight, and this helped me get recruited to Iowa State. Coming to the States was a big adjustment and I have had a lot of ups and downs a long the way, but that experience, along with the support from teammates and coaches, has helped me develop into a stronger runner.
  3. What does your typical week look like in terms of workouts?  When preparing for a race? Our typical week consists of workouts on Tuesdays and Fridays, a mid-week long run of 8-9 miles on Wednesday, a long run either Saturday or Sunday, and recovery days the rest of the week. It depends on what time of the season we are in, but we typically back off on mileage and workout intensity during race week. A go to pre-meet 800 workout we do is 3x200m at race pace.
  4. What is your favorite running workout? Least favorite? My favorite running workout is when we have double workout days! We will typically do a 2-3 mile tempo in the morning, and then come back in the afternoon for a quicker session on the track. Those days are always really tiring, but I feel like I get a lot out of them. My least favourite workout is 1k repeats
  5. How do you incorporate strength training into your week? We lift 2-3 times a week, and we typically do it after our workouts, but it switches up depending on the week! On our lift days we do a variety of full body exercises, like hanging core, pull-ups, plyometrics with weights, etc. The mid-distance girls will also add in some more explosive exercises, like clean and box jumps. I also typically add in 10-20 minutes of core 2-3 times a week.
  6. Do you work with a strength or lifting coach?  Our coach develops our lifting plan! We follow a similar plan each week, but then add in different variations.  
  7. What is your favorite strength training exercise?  Least favorite? I enjoy doing explosive training exercises, like cleans and jacks, because they make me feel powerful and confident. My least favourite would definitely be push-ups.
  8. Must have training equipment? My must have training equipment would be a stability ball and therabands. I like the stability ball because I can do a variety of exercises with it, like hamstring curls, core, pikes, etc. We also do quite a bit of work with therabands, like band walks. They are great for building strength in our legs to prevent injury.
  9. How has strength training benefited your performance? Strength training has had a very positive impact on my performance. I’ve noticed an in improvement in my ability to access my speed and switch gears during an 800. It has also benefited me by helping prevent injury. I have been able to fortunately avoided major injury thus far in my career, and I attribute a lot of that to strength training.
  10. What are your favorite training related resources? I definitely look towards my coach for training advice because she has a lot of success and experience both as a former professional athlete and coach. I also like to follow various professional runners on social media and learn from what they do! I like to follow the careers of Jenny Simpson and Melissa Bishop, because they embody well-rounded human beings, not just athletes. (I got a hug from Melissa Bishop one time and I almost cried).  
  11. What motivates you to get through a hard workout? To get through tough workouts I always tell myself that I’m choosing to do this, I’m not doing it because I have to. I remind myself that I’m doing this because I love this sport and this workout is going to make me better.
  12. Favorite song to workout to? “Ready for Action” by Alvaro and Joey Dale. It has been my go-to pump up song since high school! I listen to it before every race.
  13. Do you ever have workouts that just don’t go your way?  How do you handle that? Definitely!! I fall into the trap a lot of overthinking a bad workout and letting it get me down. When I find myself in this position, I always remind myself that one bad workout doesn’t automatically mean you’re a bad runner; it was just an off day. A bad workout doesn’t negate all the hard, good workouts you have put in before.
  14. What is your favorite way to recover from a tough workout? I like to eat a lot after a tough workout. I also enjoy a good foam roll sesh.  
  15. Do you have a favorite spot or location to run? I wouldn’t really say I have a favourite spot. I can be happy any where I run as long as I’m in good company.
  16. What does being a strong runner chick mean to you? To me, being a strong runner chick means being happy and healthy in all aspects of life. I’m a strong believer that in order to be successful in running you need to have balance. Running can’t be the only thing that brings you joy, as it is a sport filled with just as many heartbreaks as it has thrills.

All photos are from (official Iowa State University athletic photographer).


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