Get to know the pro: Rehband ambassador Faye Stenning

Rehband: What is your favourite holiday tradition?
Faye: Our family doesn’t really have any traditions, my sister and I both live in the USA and my parents are in Canada so we never know where we will be over the holiday. But wherever we are we always make sure to spend as much time as possible together. We all are very close so when we get together it’s always great to catch up and share stories. My family is a lot of fun, we all love to eat, drink, and have some classic banter which to me is the perfect holiday.

Any holiday memories you would like to share?
Faye: My sister and I used to sneak out of our rooms Christmas Eve and poke holes in our Christmas gifts to see what “Santa” got us. Once my sister “accidently” pressed the button on my singing Elmo and it totally ruined the surprise, I remember being so mad at her.

What would you tell someone that doesn’t have a fitness regimen, but wants to begin one?
Faye: I would tell them to start slow, people are busy and adding another thing to their to do list can be overwhelming. Most people do have time to watch a TV show at the end of their day so I would tell them to exchange that time for 30min of exercise. As this now becomes their routine and a habit is created, they will probably begin to crave a little bit more (especially once they start to see results).

Faye’s Favourite Products: 

UD Runner´s Knee/ITBS Tights
QD Compression Socks
UD Achilles Support

 

Is there any food or supplements that are key to your nutrition and energy levels?
Faye: Carbohydrates! Mainly in the form of bagels. Carbohydrates are your body’s most efficient energy source, so I never skimp on these.

Spartan races have taken you quite a few places. What cities would you want to visit again?
Faye: I’d love to go back to Greece and have time to explore the islands.

How was the Hyrox competition? Very different than your normal races we suppose?
Faye: Very different and very fun! I like the idea of having standardized event so you can compare your times across the year and see if you are improving. I’d for sure like to go back and better my time as I only had two weeks to train for it.

We loved your post after Lake Tahoe! Can you give us some insight on the journey that weekend?
Faye: After being 4th the last 2 years at Worlds I was ready for a podium this year and I had done all the training required to get me there but unfortunately the weather took a turn. There was a decision made to keep the water obstacles open, which, with the combined air and water temperature not being high enough, my gear wasn’t suitable for the conditions. I wasn’t prepared that the water obstacles could potentially be kept open, since previous years it was a borderline decision whether to keep them open, I had no issues with the cold. I froze and was unable to finish the race due to hypothermia. It’s disappointing, but I am grateful that my family was there and that all other spectators and volunteers were so caring and helpful.

“My thoughts from previous years was that skin dries faster than clothing, so I wore shorts, and did that crawl on bare, wet, frozen legs. I felt disappointment in myself for talking mother nature so lightly. “

Looking back, how much gear would someone have to bring to safely get through the water obstacles?
Faye: A lot more than I had (or even own). I have never done cold weather or adventure racing, so I lacked the knowledge and gear to get me to that finish line safely. A lot of the top girls who finished still had symptoms of hypothermia, with way more gear than me. With a race where the top people are so close together, it’s hard to have a lot a gear because you might not have time to use it, or if you do, you may lose your positioning. You also have to take your gear with you through the obstacles, which adds another challenge. At a minimum, I should have had a dry bag with a change of clothes and maybe neoprene gear.

The snow also added another element because when I fell into freezing water on top of the mountain while trying to complete the ape hanger with frozen hands, the penalty was a low barbed wire crawl through snow. My thoughts from previous years was that skin dries faster than clothing, so I wore shorts, and did that crawl on bare, wet, frozen legs. I felt disappointment in myself for talking mother nature so lightly.

How different was the race that the year’s past?
Faye: The weather changes everything. The water felt colder and the air at the top of the mountain felt colder. For most it was a race of survival not a race to finish fast. Aside from the weather though, they switch the route of the course and held it on a Sunday rather than a Saturday. They also kept pushing back the start time the day of the race, which I don’t recall ever happening. The venue as always was fun and exciting, and I love being surrounded by the great community that attends the event. I was happy to see Nicole Mericle and Lindsay Webster dress appropriately and take home 1st and 2nd as they for sure were dominate all year but sad to see other competitors/friends so far back who I knew had the fitness to finish way higher up.

Do you use both the 5mm and 7mm Rehband knee sleeves? If so, do you use certain ones for specific workouts?

Faye: Yes, I use the 5mm for running when my knee needs a little extra support and stability, and later in the season when I’m on the verge of needing a break. They are especially useful on hard rocky terrain with steep descends (which can be so hard on the knees). The 7mm have been nice lately as I’m having to lift heavier than I normally do to get ready for Hyrox Chicago in January.

Any products, other than knee sleeves, do you recommend?
Faye: Compression socks are must for any obstacle course racer, the extra protection on the calves has saved me some nasty rope burn from the various obstacles. I also love the compression tights for travel because nothing feels worse than getting off a plane or long car ride and feeling like you have bricks for legs. The compression helps increase blood flow as is great for just general recovery (sometimes I even wear them to bed for that reason)

Why Rehband?
Faye: I love the non-flashing branding they have; I can wear my compression tights out to dinner and not look like a complete dork! They also are built on a unique patent securing it’s anatomical fit, so you are never fussing with them shifting around as you move. They are also classified as medical devises so you can be sure you are getting the best quality of product.

In general, what’s important for you when you shop training stuff?
Faye: Quality, I like to know that my purchases will last through all the racing and training I put them through. Also, appearance, I don’t want to dislike the look of what I’m wearing all day long.

How do you plan your outfits? Spend a lot of time?
Faye: I’m usually running late so I just grab whatever is in arms reach and semi-clean. But when I travel, I’m picky!! I can’t live without my compression tights and compression socks, no matter how short or long my travel day is.

Other than running, what does your fitness regimen include?
Faye: Strength training, rock climbing (when I have the time), stretching (when I prioritize it), and bike intervals.

How does strength training affect your training?
Faye: Strength has been key since a lot of my races are in the mountains (or very hilly) and I live in New York City which is totally flat so I have to do what I can in the gym to get a similar stimulus to a hill. Sled pushes/pulls, step ups and lunges are my go-to exercises.

What is Faye’s go-to cheat food?
Faye: Most people would say ”I cheat” everyday when they hear about my diet haha. My diet consits of nomral American food throughout the day (bagels, sandwitches, baked good, lattes, etc) and I always end may day with a little dessert. Usually chocolate which isn’t terrible, but if I’m feeling like I need somthing naughtier I eat cake– a classic vanilla birthday cake is my favourite. I actually walk right by my favourite bakery on my way home from the gym which is very danergous, expecially since I have no self-cotrol when it comes to food! New york has the best food right at your fingertips and I try and enjoy as much of it as I can.

What ways do you recharge for another season of training?
Faye: I like to catch up on all the thing I haven’t had time to do in the middle of the season. This usually consits of spending more time working on my coaching business (Grit Coaching) which brings me alot of joy. There is something so refreshing about getting to talking people about their goals and races and shift the focus away from myself. My athletes all work so hard and its extremely rewarding being a part of their journey.

Faye’s Favourite Products: 

UD Runner´s Knee/ITBS Tights
QD Compression Socks
UD Achilles Support

 

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