FROM 5K TO 50K
Jeff Reisdorfer started running 3 years ago and now reflects on his new lifestyle.
“In one year I went from doing my first 5k to a 50k by the end of the year.” Jeff Reisdorfer said. This runner did not grow up running, nor did he run cross country or track and field in high school or college, unless it was running as a punishment for the other sports he played. Reisdorfer has learned about the lifestyle of running through finding a comfortable pace, listening to others, and giving himself grace when striving for success.
Three years ago, Reisdorfer decided to run his first 5k. He was urged by friends, and after completing the first one, he was hooked on races.
“I blew all my Delta miles my first summer,” Reisdorfer said. “I was just going to run everywhere!” He traveled to Key West, Seattle, and more locations around the United States for races. By the end of his first year running, a friend encouraged him to put his name in the Leadville Trail 100 Run lottery, ensuring him he would probably not get in.
“My name got drawn for the 100 mile,” Reisdorfer said. “It blew my mind.” He concluded he over-prepared for everything except the running part. He ran the race in 2019 and accomplished 50 miles, that being the farthest he’s ever ran.
Reisdorfer has learned more and more about running in two ways: trial and error, and listening to experienced runners. Right when he started running, his coworker questioned the shoes he was wearing, and he learned he needed a better pair. He’s now learned the type of shoe he prefers, the type of sock he prefers, and the best foods for his body before and during his run.
“I definitely make mistakes, but I’ve stopped trying to micromanage everything that goes into running so I’m not changing things constantly,” Reisdorfer said. “It’s a lot of trial and error and getting tips from people along the way.”
Throughout the past few years, Reisdorfer has switched off from following a strict training plan, to simply getting out and running consistently on his own time. He focuses on adding miles and maintaining his base.
“Running is a super good stress reliever,” Reisdorfer said. “Right now, I’m trying to do distance at a feel-good pace.”
Reisdorfer has aspirations of completing a 50 mile race next summer, in 2021. He also wants to finish the Leadville Trail 100 in the future, though he admits his challenge will be securing a spot in the lottery drawing or qualifying.
“People that get into that race are insane,” Reisdorfer said. “So even just being there is totally nuts.” When he was at Leadville in 2019, he was thrilled to meet runners he had been following on social media.
Reisdorfer encourages new runners not to be too hard on themselves in terms of distance.
Running is not a sport of instant success but takes time to see results.
“I sent my friend my old Garmin and said, ‘Use this, go out on a pace that feels good so you’re not dying, and then stay in that pace and realize how you’re feeling along the way.’” Reisdorfer said. For himself and when instructing others, he focuses on not getting too technical, but noticing how he is feeling. In the past, if he caught himself running too fast he would quit. Now he’s learning to run a more comfortable pace in order to help increase mileage.
In one year, from running his first 5k to running a 50k, Reisdorfer has shown the running community how to become a runner without having a background in the sport. He has tried and failed and then succeeded. Running is a process of learning, it takes time, and anyone can do it.