Running and COVID Recovery with Gwen Jorgensen and Bobby McGee

Running and COVID Recovery with Gwen Jorgensen and Bobby McGee

Olympic champion Gwen Jorgensen and elite running coach Bobby McGee talk about how plans for her year have changed after a COVID-19 infection, returning to training and the value of running form.

Gwen Jorgensen won the triathlon gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic games after a pair of ITU World Triathlon Series championships in 2014 and 2015. She has since retired from professional triathlon and is focused on marathon running. She will be inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame in August of 2022

After contracting COVID-19 recently, she and elite athlete coach Bobby McGee reset her goals and plans for the year. The situation has given them both a new perspective on training and racing. Listen in as Dirk Friel talks about the various challenges of recovering from the illness and how running form and surface impact runners.

Stand-Out Quotes

Jorgensen on getting sick with COVID-19: “…I put it in [the] perspective like I went without running for like four or five days, and I didn’t even think about running. And that’s something that is so unusual, like, usually if I’m sick I’m like begging to go outside. Begging to go for a run, and that wasn’t where my head was. I couldn’t even fathom that.” 

McGee on recovery protocols post-infection: “…the same thing [that] seems to happen with all of [my athletes] is this massively elevated heart rate, and a lot of the research shows [this] you know, but the funny thing is the resting heart rate seems OK, right? As soon as you go out there [it] just goes through the roof.”

Jorgensen on running form: ” I’ve really just enjoyed working with Bobby. It’s just fun because I feel like I’m learning something every day, and I feel like I’m so green in this sport still, and there’s so much knowledge still that I can absorb. And that’s something that’s really exciting for me…We sent a video to some of my old [physical therapists] in Portland, and people that looked [messaged] me, and they’re like, “What are you doing? You look amazing.” It’s really gratifying when you work on these little things every day, and you don’t necessarily see the changes. But then you see this big change all of a sudden, and it’s just really, um, it shows you that you know the little things like mechanics do pay off.”

McGee on running surfaces: “You know, at [this] stage in my coaching career, I’m really working hard at listening to the athletes more and more, right. I’ve never been a dogmatic coach. And if you look at the issues that Gwen has and you look at her mechanics, etc., etc., and the feedback is always “I have less discomfort when I run on the asphalt,” and you know, then you go with that. Then I say OK, well, let’s go asphalt and just not concrete.”

Resources

Gwen Jorgensen on Instagram and YouTube

Bobby McGee on Instagram and YouTube

Bobby McGee Coaching

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