Ellie Pell's entry into competitive distance running wasn't conventional. Ellie started running in her early twenties as a form of "free fitness," and after running casually for a couple years, she entered to race a local half marathon which she won. Ellie grew fond of the sport and of the running community which lead her to follow a more dedicated training program. Ellie has excelled in distance running and has found a passion for marathons as well as UltraRunning. In fact, in 2019 she set a goal that she wanted to achieve an Olympic Trials standard marathon time (2:45) and she realized that goal at the Hartford Marathon with a time of 2:41 and a 3rd place result. Learn more about Ellie below and how her training has changed this year!
When you are traveling and away from home for extended periods of time (for competition, training, etc) what meal do you crave the most?
The meal I crave the most when I am travelling is a simple pasta or rice dish with roasted vegetables, beans and three over easy eggs on top.
If you could have any three people (dead or alive) over for dinner who would they be?
If I could have three people over for dinner, they would be Michelle Obama, Rich Roll and Steve Magness.
How do you relax? Do you have any favourite hobbies that help you winddown?
To relax, I like to read books that let my imagination run wild. I love fantasy fiction, WW2 fiction (and non-fiction) and a good old romance novel. I also just love to nap and close my eyes. Sometimes just feeling present and in the moment is the best way I let myself wind down.
How have things changed for you and your training during this pandemic?
The only thing that has really changed would be a lack of competition I feel safe attending. I train with relative consistency with my same group, and that has been so wonderful during this hard time. I also don’t feel the pressure to peak at a certain time nor do a certain type of race. Instead of doing long distances, I am training for the mile and 5k, something I’ve never done before. I would never have taken the past few months to begin from scratch and work my way up to this. I am using this time to try new things. It’s all been so fun!
Has the pandemic impacted how you can prepare for your sport? Will/Is your competition/race/etc schedule being impacted?
The pandemic hasn’t really changed how I train day to day, there simply aren’t races to compete in. Luckily, I am the slowest of my training group, so I always have someone to chase. I will never lack for fast partners.
What do you love most about Odlo?
I like a lot of things about Odlo. I like that they took an interest in me despite my lack of racing plans for the rest of 2020. I like how they allow my posts to feel natural and not like a sponsored ad. Every person I’ve interacted with has been really nice. Of course, I love the athletic gear and how generous they are. Not only do I get wonderful pieces, but I’ve been sent things to give to friends and followers which I love doing too.
What sets Odlo apart from other brands?
Odlo is different from other brands near me because they have a distinct European style. I also love the colors and print. It’s funky and subtle. I like it.
What is your favorite product? Why?
My favorite product would have to be the rain shells. They keep me both warm and dry when I need it but not suffocating if the weather gets warmer. A shell is crucial for fall and winter running where I am located. The ones I have both look and feel great.
What do you expect from a brand that you work with?
Any brand I work with has to follow a similar ethical code. I appreciate Odlo’s commitment to sustainability while not sacrificing quality or style.
What is the best advice you can give to younger athletes or aspiring distance runners?
The best advice I can give to young distance runners is to really love the sport, no matter what pace you’re going. Love it and then it’s easier to enjoy the work.
Do you have any tips for finding motivation to push through tough days?
On tough days I give myself a treat at the end. Usually it’s a hot shower, a nap later in the day or I plan a time to just relax and read. I tell myself that if I get through this then other activities will feel even better. It doesn’t always work and some days you just have to grind, but it’s worth it. Every single time.
Have you learned any travelling tips or tricks through your experiences?
When travelling, have extra shoes and socks and a towel always. It will always rain. You will thank me later.
How do you prepare for your event? Do you have any tips for handling the stress or performance anxiety?
I prepare for my event by re-reading my training log and reminding myself how ready I am. I tell myself that the person stepping on the start line is who I am that day. I can only control my attitude and effort. If I do that, then results mean less and I can focus on doing what I love, running.
How do you cope with adversity in your sport? Whether it’s a bad day, bad weather, equipment failure, cancelled event, etc?
I cope with adversity by remembering that bad days, races and performances will make me a better athlete down the line. Learning how to fail and being sad but ok afterward is the best advice I can give. Learn to be ok with trying your best and maybe not getting the results you want. Then learn to try again.
(ed. note: interview has been edited for length and clarity)