Jenna coaching on the track.

Jenna Wrieden: Breaking World Records, Setting Tough Goals, and Making Boston History

Every runner has a motivator—a reason to lace up the shoes and go. For Jenna Wrieden, it’s about breaking records. Track and field coach Jenna Wrieden sets her sights on a world record at this year’s Boston Marathon. Join her as she races for the treadmill half marathon world record on the ProForm Official Boston Marathon Treadmill at the Boston Expo, Booth #1519, April 20. The current women’s record is 1:34:02.

 

Meet Jenna Wrieden

Jenna Wrieden was promoted to head women’s cross country coach after leading High Point University to its first-ever Big South Championship in women’s cross country in 2011. Also an assistant coach in track & field, Wrieden joined the Panthers in 2010 after working at Queens University, Arizona State, and Appalachian State.

Wrieden earned her bachelor’s degree from Arizona State and master’s from Appalachian State. Arizona State was runner-up at the Pac-10 Championship all four years that Wrieden competed there. In track & field, Wrieden competed three seasons and ran in the Pac-10 Championship twice. She earned six Pac-10 academic awards.

 

Jenna Wrieden

 

“MY GOAL IS TO BREAK THE WORLD RECORD ON THE TREADMILL FOR THE HALF MARATHON.”

 

THE INTERVIEW

 

ProFormWhat is your No. 1 goal for Boston this year?

 

Jenna WriedenMy goal is to break the world record on the treadmill for the half marathon. My No. 2 goal is to be a part of the whole experience at Boston. That is irreplaceable.

 

ProForm

How do you feel about potentially breaking that record in front of thousands of spectators in Boston?

 

Jenna WriedenExtremely motivated. I am going to need every ounce of support I can get. It’s amazing how much just one person cheering for you can do. On the treadmill, it will be difficult because I am staying in place. It’ll be really encouraging to have people interested in what I am doing—even if they walk by the booth once and yell something encouraging at me. I am going to use that to continue pushing on the treadmill.

 

Fast, Faster, Fastest Ever. ProForm: The Official Boston Marathon Treadmill.

ProForm

What does it mean for you to break a world record?

 

Jenna WriedenEvery runner (or person in general) needs a goal to get through his or her training or to feel accomplished. When I learned about the opportunity to break the world record, I thought, “Why not me?” It could be anybody, so why shouldn’t I go for it?

 

As my goal developed into this event at Boston it began to mean a lot more. It is exciting to be a part of it and to have the support of ProForm and the support of my friends. I don’t know what I would have done without ProForm.

 

At first, I didn’t really want to tell anybody. I wanted it to be my personal goal and to just do it. And then more and more people rallied behind the idea. I thought it was pretty exciting to have all of that support.

 

“When I learned about the opportunity to break the world record, I thought, ‘Why not me?’”

 

ProForm

Tell us about your backstory? What gave you the idea to shoot for the world record?

 

Jenna WriedenIt all started when I was chatting with a friend of mine, Amy Hastings. She is a professional runner and Olympian. We went to college together. She brought it up and said I should do this. Initially I laughed it off. Then later that night, I thought, “Why not? I can do it. It’s an attainable goal.” I knew it would be really fun to pursue it. So I called her back and told her “Hey, I am in. Let’s do this.”

 

She had a contact in the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) and it was amazingly easy to set it up. I sent one email and they directed me straight to ProForm. I was shocked about how supportive and immediately interested you were. That got me even more excited.

 

Jenna Training

ProForm

When did you start running?

 

Jenna WriedenI started running pretty young—eighth grade. I was an average high school runner. I ended up walking on at Arizona State, which was at the time—and still is—one of the best track and field programs in the nation. That is where I met Amy Hastings and Desiree Davila (she took second in the Boston Marathon two years ago). I really enjoyed my experience at Arizona State. I was an average college runner; I wasn’t off the charts. I worked hard but didn’t win any conference titles or anything.

 

I just never stopped. I kept running in graduate school at Appalachian State. I ran my fifth year there and was relatively successful. But I stuck it out and really enjoyed the sport, which is obviously why I am coaching now at High Point University. It is a small Division I private university in High Point, North Carolina. I coach the women’s cross country and track and field teams.

 

That next year after graduating, when I was done with my eligibility, I decided to run my first marathon in 2009. I ran the Phoenix P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon with a 2:50. I got a taste of the marathon. I loved it. I knew that was going to be my best event.

 

“I got a taste of the marathon. I loved it. I knew that was going to be my best event.”

 

ProForm

What motivates you to be a runner?

 

Jenna Wrieden1) I love running. It is very freeing and relaxing. I also enjoy the toughness of it and the pain. You can go for an evening run and really enjoy it and relax or you can really push yourself to the point of extreme pain. So you can get two extreme emotions out of one thing.

 

2) I have an ultimate goal of qualifying for the U.S. marathon trials. I don’t know if I can make it or not—but I know if I don’t try, I am going to regret it. So that is a big motivator for me.

 

ProForm

What has been your training preparation for this attempt?

 

Jenna WriedenI ran the Philadelphia marathon in November. I had a nice personal best and I came off that marathon motivated and at a good level of fitness. But I knew I needed a spring goal to maintain that motivation and fitness—especially with my job as a track and field coach. I am around it all day, but I am also training other people—not myself. I knew I would need a high goal to keep me dedicated to my training.

 

For the marathon in the fall, I was running probably 75 to 80 miles a week. This spring I have been running less at around 50 to 65 miles a week. The most important part of my training is that twice a week I have been on the treadmill. I have never done that before.

 

Once a week I do a half marathon specific workout and the other run I go for distance. We are lucky at High Point University to have a human performance lab with an altitude chamber. So once a week I do a short run at altitude. I am very lucky to have the facility here.

 

As told to Erica Colvin, ProForm writer

 

2 Comments

  1. Maureen Ellis

    Good to see you in Philadelphia. What a great article. Sending all our support for a great run.

    GO GET IT!!!

  2. Jenna

    Thank you Maureen! It was great to see you too! That was a really fun event and I am excited to pursue this goal!

Leave a Comment

Stay on the Right Track with Our Social Team

The ProForm Blog

Thank you for visiting us at the ProForm blog! We love sharing inspirational stories, motivational articles, and intriguing interviews with our readers. Please keep the conversation going by making comments and sharing favorites with friends.

Follow Pro-Form

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter +1 us on Google+ Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Instagram Subscribe to us on YouTube

A successful blog is a two-way conversation. We love your comments and questions! Just keep in mind that we review all comments before they go live and may edit submissions lightly. We won’t post anything that’s inappropriate or offensive.