Instructor Rachel Asher Trains for Boston Marathon

Though she’s never been seen running through the halls of Samuel Phillips Hall between classes, Rachel Asher, Instructor in Spanish, runs between 50 and 75 miles a week and plans to run in the annual Boston Marathon on April 16.

Asher has been training extremely hard in order to achieve her goal of completing the marathon in under three hours.

She has run two marathons before, with her best time being three hours and 10 minutes in the New York City Marathon last fall.

Running marathons is one of the hardest tasks in all of sports and can have a huge impact on a person both mentally and physically. Asher has developed a kind of routine that allows her to overcome these obstacles.

“Depending on the day, running can be both painful and exhilarating. Long workouts for the marathon can be mentally and physically exhausting, but they definitely make you stronger. I usually follow hard workouts with really easy paced runs, which allow my body and mind to recover,” said Asher.

Running also benefits Asher’s teaching and even makes teaching more enjoyable for her.

“Running energizes me, and I love transferring that energy into the classroom,” said Asher.

Asher is also able to balance her time running and teaching effectively.

“These past few months I’ve averaged between 50-75 miles per week, which is higher mileage than I did all through college. It is definitely a time commitment, but it is one that I feel is well worth it. Managing my time between coaching, teaching four classes and living in a dorm has definitely been a challenge at times, but I like being busy,” said Asher.

Asher began running competitively as a student at Williams College. Only in this past year, however, did she become eager to compete in marathons.

“I’ve always loved running. Joining a team at Williams was just one way for me to connect with people who shared a similar passion. Running is also a good way to explore new places and appreciate the outdoors,” said Asher.

“My training for this marathon has been far better than it was leading up to the New York Marathon. Last fall I was just getting back into running competitively, after taking significant time off after college,” said Asher.

“Since January, I’ve been training consistently with the Boston Athletic Association club team, which has really helped my training. I usually go into Boston at least twice per week to run with friends, once to do a long run on the Boston marathon course, and another time during the week to do a tempo workout,” she added.