Alexi Pappas is a 5-time All-American and member of the Nike Oregon Track Club Elite. She is a film-maker, artist, actor, poet and Twitter aficionado. She’s a Garmin Athlete, Olympic Athlete and National record holder. Whatever Alexi is doing, she is determined to put in the work and necessary changes to be better, do more and beat yesterday.
When you have an off day with training, how do you come back the next day?
As my coach says, we aren’t supposed to feel amazing every day. Rather, we should feel great 33% of the time, okay 33% of the time, and “off” 33% of the time. When I have an off day, I remind myself that it’s part of the process. The next day, when I wake up, I actively think about channeling a “new day”—as I drink my morning coffee I proactively think about how I can choose to make any day better than the previous. I believe that my active decision to have a positive attitude will carry into the day’s training.
When a race doesn’t go as you wish, what do you tell yourself to get back on track?
When a race doesn’t go as I wish, I reflect on what happened and then try to take away a tangible action that I can use to improve myself moving forward. This comes from my background as a director and actor and the concept of “playable actions,” which states that the best directions we can give are directions that are verb-based. For example: rather than telling myself to “be tougher,” I tell myself, “the next time you are in pain, pump your arms harder.” I can carry this specific playable action with me and actually use it in future races and workouts.
What’s the most important part of racing/training to you?
The most important part of both racing and training for me is the opportunity to find my personal limits and push on my boundaries. And most of all, it’s important to always remind myself to be proud and enjoy my own journey and progress.
What advice would you give to other athletes who might be at their “turning point”?
I would tell any athlete who is at their turning point to embrace the challenge ahead and to amuse in the process. Always remember to smile when you see how far you’ve come.
What features on your Garmin do you appreciate the most when training?
The Garmin feature I appreciate the most is its accurate GPS system. As a professional runner I travel often for races, altitude training camps, and appearances, and the GPS system allows me to make sure I keep my mileage and training consistent no matter where I am.