by Jade Belzberg
Katalin Nagy (see above in INKnBURN Women’s Motion Singlet and Bee Sports Skirt), the newest addition to the INKnBURN Elite Team, is a long-distance runner. Scratch that–she’s a long-distance champion. In 2014 she broke the 200-km American record (at the time) and in 2015, Katalin won the 24 Hour Run World Championship, running 151.9 miles to take home both the individual and team gold medal for the USA. Most recently, she placed first female and fourth overall at Spartathlon in Greece, with a time of 25 hours, 7 minutes, 12 seconds. She covered 152 miles, averaging just under a 10-minute mile for the entire duration.
While Katalin represented the USA and now calls Sarasota, Florida home, her home country is Hungary, where her coach trains her from more than 5,000 miles away. After becoming a citizen in 2008, Katalin opened her own house cleaning business, which gives her the opportunity to put in consistent 80-100 mile weeks of running. Since her first ultra in 2012, Katalin, has quickly become an elite runner, often winning her races as first female and placing top 3 overall in most of her races.
Between training and racing, Katalin had the chance to answer some of our questions about the what, when and where she runs.
Hometown: Gyongyos, Hungary
Current town: Sarasota,Florida
When you were first introduced to ultra running
I ran my first ultra in 2012. It was a 50mile race at Key West. I fell in love right away! At that time I was training with a local running group without any plans or schedule 2-3 times a week. A few of my friends told me that I ran a pretty impressive time for the first time without real training and I should look into to find a coach and see how far I could take it. My coach and I have been working together for 4 years now. I have a very strict training schedule. Monday is my rest day and I run 6 days a week between 80 to a 100 miles.
How has your weekly schedule trained since beginning your running career?
I run Tuesday to Sunday and Mondays are my rest days. I do mix it up between flat and small hills run. Since having a coach, my training runs are targeted and very specific depending on the upcoming race. Oliver (my coach) and I try to discuss my race schedule 6 months to a year in advance so we can focus on each race with a different approach. It’s been a big change from running with a fun group to working with an elite coach.
What is the community of Sarasota, Florida like in terms of running?
I don’t know many local runners–most of the times I run by myself as the runners I know are running much shorter distances. My favorite places are Siesta Key Beach, Turtle Beach, Nathan Benderson Park, Celery Field and Whitlacoochee State Park.
What were your goals going into your most recent race, the Spartathlon?
I focused my attention on the finish line.
How did you prepare differently for this Spartathlon compared to last year’s event?
My primary goal was to finish; because I was limited in training I wasn’t mentally confident, but my body surprised me and I was able to finish strong. This year was also different because I was recovering from an injury. I was unable to run for nearly 3 months but mixed in some cycling to preserve conditioning.
Can you take me through some of the lows you experienced during the race?
The first 80km is rolling terrain but not difficult. During the first 40km we aren’t allowed any aid or support from our our crew. After 80km, every 8-15km the crews are able to provide support. I felt good through 160km all the way to the top of the mountain. By that time it was night and the normal stomach issues were setting in. I was unable to eat for the last 60km and even though I was very hungry, I was able to maintain reasonable energy levels despite my inability to eat. It was also cold throughout the night.
How are you recovering now?
I’m taking 2 weeks off from training but have been running casually…easy runs of 5-6 miles every other day.
How does it feel being an elite athlete, even after you’ve proved yourself so many times with high-placing race results?
It’s awesome! I never thought that I’d ever be competing at such a high level. I’ve always been active however it was a huge surprise for me to become a world champion.
How do you motivate yourself to train every day?
Running is my passion and it’s very natural to me. I love to train! When I have a bad day I always try to think about the next race and it gives me power to pull through.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I’ll keep running but I’m not sure if I’ll run on such a high level. I hope to have a family by then.
I found INKnBURN through the Internet around 2 years ago. I really liked their unique design. INKnBURN came across as a fun, fresh and colorful new brand on the ultra-running scene. From day one I had been wanting to try their apparel because the clothes are so outstanding from the usual look.
What are your favorite designs?
I love the new Bee design. It has a beautiful color choice with great art work and it’s sporty but feminine at the same time.
One my favorite is the Women’s Rose Full Zip Hoodie with Thumbholes (as pictured on left) . It’s so comfortable and you can wear it with so many different things.
The Women’s Run or Tie Die Singlet is probably the coolest design of all. It’s great material for a singlet and it’s comfortable for even longer runs.
What’s next on the calendar for you?
I have a 24 hour race in Taipei in December. I will resume training next week.