Camille Herron is an elite marathoner from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has taken first place at 7 marathons –most recently the Rt. 66 Marathon in Tulsa.
Her marathon PR is 2:37!
She made it to the US Olympic Marathon trials in 2008 and 2012.
She also holds the Guinness record for the fastest female runner wearing a superhero costume. Dressed from head to toe as spider woman she finished in 2:48:51.
We had the chance to talk with Camille via Skype and ask her what life is like as a professional runner.
Here is what we discovered
So Tell Us . . .
How did you get into running?
I actually grew up as a basketball player. In junior high our team had to go out for track for off season conditioning. From the first day I could just run and run and run! So I knew from the first day of track practice that I had the ability to run long distance. I played point guard in basketball and my strategy was to wear out my competition by running around the court to fatigue whoever was guarding me.
What was the catalyst for becoming a professional marathoner?
I met my husband Connor who was a professional runner sponsored by Asics and Powerbar. Trying to help him with his career planted that seed in my head to become a marathon runner myself. My husband started coaching me in 2004 and pretty quickly I dropped 2 minutes off my 5k time, ran my first 10k, and the longer the distance the better I did. My fist sponsorship was through Team Indiana Elite. In 2009 I had my breakthrough performance at the Twin Cities Marathon where I got the A standard for 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials and I started having agents contact me about getting sponsors and going professional. That was the turning point to quit my job and become a full time runner.
Do elite runners get VIP treatment at marathons?
The hospitality at races is just amazing! I’ve been to races at all different levels and it’s always the same -people are really grateful to have you there and they want to show off their race, and make sure you enjoy the experience.
What was it like to run in a spiderwoman custom?
I knew I wanted to go for the Guinness World Record at some point. My friend Michael Wardian holds the men’s record running as spiderman. And then my friend Leah wore a spiderwoman costume for a 10k. They were my inspiration to go for it. The costume felt claustrophobic, like having a plastic bag over your head. I ended up chafing under both arms . . . effecting my arm swing. Between the discomfort of sweating, digestive problems, and chafing I just tried to stay level headed.
What does a day in your life look like?
I pretty much eat, sleep, run. You definitely have to be self-motivated to be a professional runner. I have to be regimen about getting up at the same time everyday, going for my morning run, making sure I’m eating properly, getting enough calories, sleeping . . . its pretty boring. Like I say on my website, it’s a very monastic life. Most people could probably not tolerate it.
Academy member Kellie asks, “What type of diet do you have?”
I eat more fat in my diet than most people (about 34%). I like fresh, natural, home cooked food . . . a lot of beef. My husband (who’s Irish) and I brew our own beer. I need all the calories I can get. I’m running 120-130 miles per week.
Academy member Angela asks, “How often do you cross train and what cross training do you do?”
I’m accident prone so I definitely don’t cycle. I’m really not big on cross training. But I do do strength training. Five years ago I started to do upper body weights. I use really heavy weights that give a surge of growth hormone which helps the body recover and get stronger.
Academy member Suzanne asks, “What mental tricks or mantras do you use during the hardest parts of races?”
The best advice I ever received was from Jack Daniels (renown running coach). He said to run the first 2/3 of the marathon with your head and the last 1/3 with your heart. Being able to win a marathon is largely about heart. You can see the expression on a person’s face when they win a marathon . . . it’s like the person that wins is the one that had more heart.
To hear our interview with Camille listen to MTA Podcast Episode 74
Also Mentioned in this Episode
In 2010, four of the greatest undefeated mountian runners on earth toed the starting line at the Western States 100-mile endurance run, the oldest and most prestigious 100-mile footrace in the world.
Read Trevor’s blogpost “The Unbreakable Runner” to learn more about this movie