Jon Lindenauer - Athlete of the Month

Thacher Park Trail Running Festival - Half Marathon – Jon came in 1st place.
Photo ARE Event Productions

What is your age, occupation, background, hobbies, and other sports?

Age: 35

Occupation: insurance claims adjuster

Background: I ran in college at Ramapo College of NJ, all 3 seasons all 4 years and have run for various racing teams in NJ, NY and MA since college.

Hobbies: running (of course), walking, hiking, finding and visiting craft breweries, reading, circuit training at the gym

Other sports: occasionally triathlons but not for several years now. Wrestled in high school.

When and why did you start running?

I started running in high school for cross country to have a fall sport and I loved it right away, so that became my main athletic focus. Apart from Winter 2020 in which my ankle was broken and Spring 2020 in which there were not really any races and I was still building back from my injury, I have run and raced through every season since I graduated from college.

What’s your favorite race to date, and why?

My favorite specific race was the Chicago Marathon in 2022. I had always wanted to feel like I was racing an entire marathon (as opposed to racing, say, 20ish miles then hitting the wall and having my pace fall off a cliff). That was the only marathon where I felt strong the entire way (after something like 9 previous attempts over the span of a decade). It was an experience I had fantasized about ever since I first started racing post-college. No post-race high has ever come close to that.

Year over year my favorite specific race is probably the Boilermaker. I ran it for the first time in 2022 and loved it. It is brutal and competitive, and typically very, very hot and/or humid (hence the name) (actually not- the race was named after Utica Radiator Corporation [Utica Boilers], near where the race started) but it is also festive and has fantastic support from the town and the spectators – and the after-party is phenomenal.

What is your approach to training? Do you follow a particular training plan, or do you work with a coach and if so, who?

I follow a training plan but I do not have a coach. My training weeks have certain core components but I allow myself to change things depending on races, group runs and other events which might conflict.

What is your weekly mileage in peak racing/marathon training season? What is your approach to the off season

My weekly mileage is about 75-85 miles. I find if I go significantly more than that I become injury-prone. I don’t really fully take time off, I would more likely just reduce my daily mileage to something like 3 miles a day easy. I get depressed if I try to take significant time off. So long as I do not overdo it with my training, avoid serious injury and take the easy time actually easy, I do not find that I have any issues with running and training but still staying mentally fresh throughout the year.

During our cold winter days, do you brave poor weather conditions or stick indoors on the treadmill?

I am a huge proponent of the treadmill. I run workouts on the treadmill throughout the year, irrespective of the season. I would not risk running in very poor / inclement weather unless it is a race, in which case I would make an exception. I do not run in snow / ice / pouring rain, for example, for the following reasons:

  • I broke my ankle from falling on ice while I was out running and I want to avoid it ever happening again
  • running in driving snow and pouring rain is depressing to me – which is counterintuitive to why I run in the first place, which is because it makes me happy
  • -I have a home treadmill and a gym membership, so it makes sense to utilize them when outdoor conditions are adverse

Even though I prefer to run outdoors, for me it is not worth the risk. Again though, if I am signed up for a race and it is occurring, I would risk the conditions.

List your PRs: Race, time, year:

1 mile (road): Route 50 Mile, 4:29, 2023
5k: Silks & Satins, 15:19, 2023 (uncertified course)
5-Mile: Delmar Dash, 25:29, 2019
10k: Kingston Classic, 31:44, 2019
Half-marathon: Run 4 the River, 1:10:21, 2020
Marathon: Chicago, 2:32, 2022

What is your favorite distance?

My favorite race to perform well in would be the marathon. Historically I feel as though the half-marathon has asserted itself as my go-to race – it is long enough that I feel justified in traveling to complete it and I have found that I can apparently grit my teeth through basically an entire half marathon even if things go awry right from the beginning. I have had half marathon races where I already knew within the first two miles that I would be suffering through all the way to the end (the 2023 Helderberg 2 Hudson Half immediately comes to mind), but I try to take as much pride in gritting my teeth through a miserable race as I do after a decent one; I always try to look for some kind of positive take-away even if it is just “I can’t believe I actually felt like that and still finished”.

Your favorite shoe for training and racing

Training: New Balance SC Trainer; Asics Glideride

Racing: Hokas or Nike Vaporflys (Next % 2)

Ever run in a costume?

I have for novelty-style races where the time was not at all a focus (for example, did a “foam and glow” run wearing glow sticks/bands).

What is the most exciting thing to happen in your life completely outside of running / racing?

At Pearlapoloosa in Albany one year Chatham Brewing was doing a promotion with Empire Live where they were having a beer naming contest. I won the contest (my submission was "Evil Empire!"). By winning I got free tickets to a Kip Moore concert at Empire Live and got to drink the beer I named for free at the concert. And the show was fantastic.

What are your favorite pre-race and post-race meals?

I do not really have a go-to pre-race meal anymore. It would also depend on the race. I do not like the idea of “I have to have ‘blank’ before a race and if I do not I will not run as well.”

Post-race I will typically get a beer if it is available. I have a number of food allergies so anything I am able to eat that is available I will have!

What challenges / races / adventures are you planning for the coming year?

I am planning to run a marathon in the Fall. My main, big race on the horizon is a 50k in Florida in late January 2024 (Clearwater Distance Festival). Wish me luck, I will need it!

What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received in the sport?

– You are not better than someone just because you finished ahead of them in a race (and the inverse is true as well). There is always someone faster and even if somehow you are the best you can’t win them all and some days just aren’t your day. And no matter how fast you are there is way, way more to life than just running. That is why *always* you should be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

– You should be able to enjoy running/racing for its own sake, regardless of what time or place you finish. There will always be races (or sometimes whole seasons) where you do not reach your expectations, but the reality is that just completing a race of any distance is an accomplishment. There are many people who do not have the physical ability or the willpower; everything is relative!


                                       Jon at Boston Marathon 2023

                                                                            Photo by Sarah Harder

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