I first bumped into Jonathan Levitt in the Twitterverse, which always reminds me how small a world it is that we live in. We connected over the fact that he works for a fitness start-up, and got nostalgic after chatting further and realizing he lives in the same town I did while in Boston (Allston) and is a member of the November Project tribe there.
After hearing about his big running goals for the next year, I asked him if he’d share some of the details via How I Run. Here it is, in his own words:
“Growing up playing hockey and baseball, the last thing I had ever imagined I’d enjoy was running. I was watching the 2013 Boston Marathon in Wellesley, seeing thousands of runners go by at the 13.1 mark. I thought if tens of thousands of normal-looking people (I’ve since learned runners are not “normal”) could run a marathon, why couldn’t I? Just a few weeks later, the One Run For Boston began, a cross country relay uniting runners from LA to Boston. It was then that I fell in love with running and even more importantly, the incredible community that exists.
A few weeks later, while out at a bar after a Red Sox game with a few new One Run For Boston friends, somebody brought up November Project. I had heard about it on Twitter, and had been interested in going. At around 11:30pm, we all agreed to show up the next morning, bright and early (6:30am!) at Harvard Stadium. Since then, my November Project friends have inspired me to run longer, stronger and much much faster. Since joining, I’ve run my first marathon, a few halfs and many other races.
I’ve been working in the health and fitness industry for three years now, and currently work at InsideTracker, a personalized health and science analytics company that monitors your nutrient and hormone levels to provide recommendations on how to help optimize performance based on food and lifestyle changes.”
1. What’s your favorite route? Anything along the Charles River in Boston!
2. What shoes do you wear? New Balance 1400’s for speed work, and Altra Zero Drop Torins for distance.
3. What other run gear can’t you live without? Garmin 220, ENERGYbits and November Project #GrassrootsGear (see photos!)
4. What’s your best time-saver or “runhack?” Run in the morning before other things get in the way!
5. What running-related thing are you better at than anyone else? Tweeting, which is often done while running. I’ve received so much free stuff as a result of tweeting, and am proud to help connect other runners with products and services (my running coach, Steven, and InsideTracker, in particular!) that help increase performance.
6. What do you listen to while running? Podcasts about running/nutrition or country music
7. What are you currently training for? Boston 2016. My plan is to BQ this spring with a 2:59 marathon.
8. What are your recovery & sleep routines like? Sleep by 10pm, up at 5am to train, 3x a week with November Project. November Project is a grassroots, morning fitness/social group/best described by just showing up and experiencing it yourself. (Check it out in 16 cities in the US and Canada, with more to come this year!)
Recover harder than you train! I focus on nutrition with the help of InsideTracker, which provides individualized nutrition and lifestyle recommendations with the goal of optimizing performance and recovery.
I have tart cherry juice, turmeric and black pepper every night before bed, which helps with sleep and has anti-inflammatory benefits.
9. What’s the best running advice you’ve ever received? Get uncomfortable. It’s not supposed to be easy.
10. What’s your favorite running-related memory? The One Run For Boston in 2013, just weeks after the Boston Marathon bombing. It started at 11:30 at night, and went up Heartbreak Hill and to Boylston Street along the Boston Marathon course. We finished at 12:30am, completing a 3300 cross country relay aimed at connecting runners across the country and showing solidarity in the face of a horrible tragedy.
11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to go on a run with __________. Shalane Flanagan. (Again!)
I’ve run with Shalane at November Project, but I was tapering for her 5k race the next day (my goal race for the season) so I didn’t try and keep up to her on the hills. I hit my goal of a sub 18 5k (17:42) at a 5k she helped to organize and promote, to support her hometown track.
Her bold attitude when it comes to putting yourself out there by sharing your (big) goals has inspired me to do the same, and I’ve been so much more motivated to keep pushing as a result.
Thanks, Jonathan. Always fun to connect with a fellow November Project tribe member, and best of luck with that spring BQ goal!
Runner friends of all levels, please email me — info (at) kineticfix.com — if you’d like to be featured.