The half-marathon coach: Becs Gentry

This ultrarunner shares her favorite pre-race meal and strength exercise

Running is an excellent mode of exploration when visiting new cities. And signing up for a race in a spot you’re planning to visit is even more ideal as you’re guaranteed a set route and fuel along the way. TheLondon Landmarks Half Marathon on March 25th 2018 checks those boxes—and brings it to the next level, taking participants past Big Ben, The Tower of London, and the London Eye as well as quirky and hidden landmarks such as Oscar Wilde’s memorial. To commemorate the special event, for which Equinox is the official fitness and training partner, we’ll be introducing you to our London-based Equinox run crew including personal trainers who specialize in running and even a world-class professional marathoner who coaches novice and elite athletes alike. Take note of their favorite exercises, training strategies, restaurant recommendations, and more.

This week, we’re featuring Becs Gentry.

A Precision Running coach at Equinox’s London locations, Becs Gentry specializes in marathons and ultramarathons. She found running as an escape from the stress of her previous career and never looked back. “Running translated into my way of freeing my mind. It released anxiety and left me much stronger,” she says. Gentry brings that same peace of mind to runners in her classes. She believes the sport should be fun, and that above all, logging miles is about the freedom to do so.

What’s your favorite strength exercise for runners?

“A round-the-world lunge where you’re alternating through a forward, side, and reverse lunge on each leg.”

How would you describe your running philosophy?

“Run because you want to and run with a smile. There is nothing worse than forcing yourself to go out for a run and hating it, so if your mind is really fighting against it, don't do it. Bank it and restart the next day and you'll probably be feeling tons better.”

How are you training for the London Landmarks Half-Marathon?

“I will do a minimum of two speed sessions a week, one tempo run, and one long run. I am strict at keeping strength training very prevalent in my run training, so there will be at least three weight training sessions in there too.”

What’s your go-to pre-race meal in London?

Jusu Brothers on Westbourne Grove does the most awesome dish called Avo Don which is avocado crushed on walnut bread. It’s my perfect kind of fuel, as you can add some chicken or an egg for protein too.”

Who are your running role models?

“Paula Radcliffe always inspires me. She is an all-round amazing woman. Shalane Flanagan is an absolute legend, especially since her insane NYC Marathon victory. And Joan Benoit Samuelson; everything she has done from her first massive race has been incredible. All these women have grit and determination beyond anything I have ever known and completed everything with beautiful smiles.”

Where was the most beautiful run you’ve ever done?

“I ran the Cinque Terre region of Italy during the Sciacche Trail race.”