This summer, Kathryn Lindquist, 23, logged 850 miles to raise money for the museum at Camp Taccoa at Currahee, Georgia, where U.S. paratroopers trained for WWII. From June 6th to August 8th, she retraced the route soldiers took from Normandy, France to the Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden, Germany. Lindquist, who works at Raleigh’s Fleet Feet, talked with Raleigh Magazine about going the distance.
RM: How did you train?
Most of my training occurred on soft ground to minimize impact. Three times a week, to increase mileage and get myself used to running on tired legs, I’d run in the morning and at night on the treadmill at an 8 percent incline. Each week I’d increase my training volume by 10 percent, until by the last week of May, I peaked at 85 miles per week.
RM: You traveled with two scientists. What were they tracking? What did they notice?
My calorie intake, weight and the way I performed in correlation with what I ate. We noticed a positive reaction to eggs. When we had eggs for dinner, I performed better and was more focused the next day. They noticed that I’d been consuming only about 60 percent of my recommended protein, which slowed recovery.
RM: You mentioned an injury. What happened?
On day six I was running the cliffs of Normandy. The coastline is rocky, and the beaches back up to massive vertical cliffs. The ground is sandy and gave away under my left foot. I turned it and strained my Achilles Tendon at its attachment point close to my heel. Rest wasn’t an option. We applied Kinesiology tape and magnesium oil. For two weeks, I couldn’t run more than 4 miles without suffering. I wasn’t sure if that accident had ended my journey. Then, almost overnight, the pain went away.
RM: Did you wear the same type of running shoe the whole time?
No. I rotated between pairs. Each had a different purpose … two pairs of Maximalist, high cushioned Hokas; the Bondi 3 and Stinson Lite, for long days on the road; the Salomon S-Lab Sense 3 to get me through the trails along the coastline of France, the Ardennes Forest in Belgium and the Alps of Germany and the Brooks Launch 2, which was my workhorse.
RM: What did this do to your body?
The worst thing? I broke down the fat pads on the bottom of my feet. I must stay in cushioned shoes at all times. But I’m strong and my muscle balance is phenomenal. I did some VO2 Max testing which helps determine the amount of oxygen your body is capable of using in one minute. I’m in the 80th percentile, just a step below elite endurance athletes.
Average miles per day: 14.17
Uphill Route Percentage: 45.2 percent
Flat Route Percentage: 9.2 percent
Downhill Route Percentage: 45.5 percent
Steepest Uphill: +34.6 percent
Total ascent: 48,195 feet
Number of days: 60