Coming to you with another edition of the Chaski Athlete Spotlight series, we interviewed Logan Linden (coached by Calvin Lehn). Originally from Delaware, Logan is an Active Duty Communications Officer in the United States Marine Corps. Currently located in Encinitas, California but is moving to the Columbia, Maryland area this winter, Logan is on the lookout for good running spots or running partners in Maryland! We were super excited to hear that he married his fiancée Samantha last week!
Who has inspired your running journey the most and why?
This is an old one, but Steve Prefontaine. My college roommate showed me his book and I found his work ethic truly inspiring. When I was a swimmer it got me through a lot of hard workouts in the pool and it even helps me during long runs today. When I have late-night shifts at work, I turn his movie on and just get goosebumps.
I just read Inside a Marathon as well. (this month's read in Chaski Book Club!) Scott Fauble is a big inspiration. I just appreciate any athlete who has a monster work ethic. Outside of running there is also the GOAT Tom Brady. His work ethic is just contagious.
Another inspiring person to me was my mother Jean. She just lost her life to lung cancer in April after a long year and a half fight. I was lucky to have been with her towards the end, and I saw how hard she fought. Not once did she make it apparent that she was struggling.
I use that to fuel my running now. It does not exactly correlate but I know that any pain in my workouts isn’t even close to what she was going through. She never once backed off or gave up. Thinking of her helps me push myself and in return, I feel like running is my way of paying respect to her.
Have you ever been on the cusp of quitting this sport? Why, and what brought you back?
Probably every day. I have a very crazy work schedule that can make planning workouts and races stressful. Sometimes it can be too much and I just want to step away from the sport. Luckily, I have my awesome coach Calvin Lehn. He is super flexible and does a great job of keeping me on track.
How long have you been running, and why did you first fall in love with the sport?
I have always run for extra cardio in swimming. I did a few local races with the swim team in college and I was an okay miler when it came to running on the sand in summers as a lifeguard. I did not really get into running until about a year ago.
I had a few years off of swimming and gained some of the good ole LBS. I realized I needed some structured training in my life after swimming. Running helped fill that void. a lot better than fast food and craft beer did!
Is there something about Chaski that you’re especially drawn to?
When Tyler gave me my free consultation, he was very genuine. He took the time to get to know me and cared about my goals as a runner. Then I met my coach Calvin who was equally invested in me as a runner. The whole group is a bunch of crazy good runners and world-class athletes, yet they love the sport so much they want to spread their knowledge and enthusiasm to the average guy like myself.
I think it is great to be part of a collective which is so invested in each other’s success. Whether it's someone's first 5k or their 500th, it reminds me of being on my college swim team again.
Chaski is also an awesome one-stop-shop. I have branched out on a few of Chaski's resources, including Sue McNatt for PT and strength. I am also hoping to use their nutrition as well (with team dietitian Carolyn Stocker). I have yet to meet anyone involved with Chaski who isn't great.
What are your long-term goals for yourself as a runner?
Oh man! I am hoping to have a good turn out for this half marathon I am doing this Saturday. Eventually, I would like to get a Boston qualifier as well. I had a 5k time trial a month ago that was a complete mess so I definitely want to revisit that. My main goal is to be consistent with training over the next year or two and just see how much I can improve. I would also love to get into coaching at some point.
What has been your most meaningful experience as a runner?
This is going to sound backwards but a month ago my coach and I decided to do a 5k time trial as a part of the build-up to a half marathon. I was getting super pumped for a PR because my training was going well and my mileage was way up from what I was used to.
I hit race day and just whiffed it. I went like 18:30 something and we were hoping to sneak under 17:00. I learned a lot about myself and the sport that day. Sometimes you can put in all the work and do everything the right way, but things happen. That is totally okay. Even though the result was not what I wanted, I really enjoyed the preparation and it helped me focus on the process over the outcome.
Have you had any running setbacks (an injury or big change in life) and if so can you tell us about it?
I think that from being in the military, I get a curveball every other week. It's not anything of a major setback but just lots of changes in day-to-day life. I move a lot and every once in a while I have to spend some time in situations where I cannot run. This is fine because it has taught me to be flexible and just go with the flow.
How have you been training for your upcoming race?
It has been a great mix of long runs, track work, and easy shake-outs. I think that I have made the most money with some steady-state tempo runs. They really build my confidence going into this half marathon which is big for me. I am super nervous about going 100% for 13.1 miles.
Favorite place to run?
Favorite race of all time?
Just about any turkey-trot ever. The post-race recovery meal is endless.
Bucket-list race you haven’t done yet?
What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
Rich Dad Poor Dad (taught me about finances and planning for the future)
Where Men Win Glory (the first book I read in college)
Into Thin Air (Jon Krakauer is a great writer)
What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)?
Blue light glasses. I work in the tech field and stare at computers all day long and all night. I am not sure if it is a placebo effect or not, but I can pass out pretty quick as long as I wear them before bed.
If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why?
“To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift” -Steve Prefontaine
What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
This is a huge shout out to Scott Fauble, but I love burritos! Huge respect to his burrito mafia. I am a skinny guy as it is and I live in Southern California where the burritos are great. The best California burrito is from Cardiff Seaside Market. They make it with smoked tri-tip, French fries, guac, sour cream, and cheese. The Taco Stand in Encinitas is also amazing. I think I've managed multiple days where I have eaten a burrito at each meal.
I am moving back to Maryland (Burritos not as great in Maryland) this winter and am terrified I may lose weight because of the lack of burritos. Burritos…
In the last five years what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life (and your running)?
I just wake up early. It helps get the work out done before work and there is no one else up to bother me! I think being in the military helped me to develop this habit. I've never had an issue waking up early, but waking up and having to attack a workout can be difficult.
Consistency helps me to stay on track. This means that even on weekends or days off, I still try to get up at the same time. Sometimes I fall off the train when the family is in town, but on the whole, I try to maintain the same sleep schedule.
Outside of running it is nice to wake up early and get ahead of the power curve. It is very relaxing getting up and knowing that you have a few hours before you have to deal with anyone else. It gives me a chance to walk the pup and make coffee for my wife before she gets out of bed.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your area of expertise?
Although I do not have a degree in nutrition, I love reading about it and I have come to realize that there are really no shortcuts to success. Following a fad diet or special training plan will not magically allow you to achieve your goal. The key is consistent hard work over time. To quote the Tinman, "keep the ball rolling."
People, myself included, can get excited and bounce from diet or training philosophy. Settle in, get comfy, and do what works for you. I think when it comes to a healthy diet just eat good foods and listen to your body. If there are ever any doubts just eat a burrito.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
When it comes to running, I take a second and try to focus on the things I can control. I develop a plan and run it by my Chaski coach (Calvin Lehn). That helps me refocus and keeps me grounded. At the end of the day, there is nothing worth stressing about. I think running has helped me develop this mindset and I have learned to apply it to the rest of my life.
When it comes to work or other life things that can get overwhelming, I tend to do the same thing but instead of my coach, I run it by my wife. She is always able to set me in the right direction.
Chaski athletes: if you are interested in being featured in the Spotlight Series, contact us here.