Shay Mitchell and Jamie Chung Are Running a Half-Marathon - Get Their Training Tips, Favorite Pump-Up Songs and More!
Raise your hand if you’ve ever done a half-marathon or marathon. Now raise your hand if you’ve been too chicken to try (guilty!). Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell and Once Upon a Time‘s Jamie Chung are about to join the former category in a few days, as they take on the Nike Women’s Marathon and Half-Marathon in San Francisco (Chung’s hometown!) Sunday. They’ve been training hard (as you can see in the video below, which also features musicians Melanie Fiona and K. Flay and surfer Lakey Peterson), but they took some time out of their tapering schedule to answer our questions about the big race, from how they get pumped up to how they treat themselves after a hard run. Read on for all the scoop — and we won’t be surprised if you feel inspired to give a half-marathon a shot in 2014!
PEOPLE StyleWatch: What inspired you to run this half-marathon?
Shay Mitchell: Every single New Year’s, I’m like, “This year I’m going to do a marathon.” So when Nike came to me, I said, “Let’s go.” I don’t know if you could ever 100 percent say I’m ready. Am I trying to be the fastest person there? Definitely not. It’s about doing it for the cause, being around all those women — and of course completing it.
Jamie Chung: I signed up for the Nike Women’s Half three years ago, but the San Francisco Giants went into the playoffs against the Texas Rangers and I had to go to that game. I felt awful for missing the half, so I’m making up for it!
PEOPLE StyleWatch: What’s been the hardest part of training?
Mitchell: Making it a priority. Putting on those shoes, lacing them up and heading out. You actually just have to go, change into your workout gear, put on your shoes and get out there.
Chung: Training in the heat. I completed most of my training in L.A. and too often it was 80° and clear skies, which made the runs more challenging.
PEOPLE StyleWatch: And your favorite part?
Mitchell: Every time I ran, I tried to go a little further than the last time. It feels great when you finish. That’s the best part.
Chung: The foot and leg massages I treated myself to on Sundays!
PEOPLE StyleWatch: While you were training, what exercises did you love to do besides running?
Mitchell: Boxing. It’s such an intense workout … I love that one-on-one interaction, and being a boxer, you need to do a lot of cardio to keep the heart rate up. Running helps with boxing. So does Pilates. It’s also very therapeutic.
Chung: Spinning, Vinyasa Yoga Power Flow, boxing and Pilates.
PEOPLE StyleWatch: What will you be blasting to get yourself pumped up?
Mitchell: At the beginning, it’s definitely anything by Avicii and Beyoncé. During the middle of it I literally play “Eye of the Tiger.” It keeps you focused! And then at the end of the run I have “Started from the Bottom” by Drake, “Feel So Close” by Calvin Harris and “We Are the Champions” by Queen — It’s a little tradition that I do with my roommate.
Chung: “Make Me Proud” and “Started From the Bottom” by Drake.
PEOPLE StyleWatch: What are you excited for on Sunday? What are you nervous about?
Mitchell: First of all it’s my first marathon. And then to be teamed with Nike and the cause with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Plus, 30,000 women running it. Then you add in San Francisco, making it amazing because of the beauty the city has, but also difficult for the hills. It’s like, “Go big or go home.” It’s my first, lets do the hardest one first. The scenery is beautiful. I love San Fran. I’m going to reward myself with a big clam chowder and bread bowl after it. I’ll eat the whole thing and not feel guilty about it all.
Chung: The marathon crowd is always so full of great energy, and there is a sense of comradery which I love. I’m most nervous about the hills!
PEOPLE StyleWatch: And since you were training with Nike, what’ll you be wearing? How did you find your perfect shoe?
Mitchell: Nike has some of the best stuff. Nike Dri-FIT knit tank. Epic Run shorts or tights depending on the weather. And then a Dri-FIT base layer. I’ve been training in Nike LunarGlides and I love them. If you feel good about what you’re wearing, you will do so much better!
Chung: The more I started to run, the more I realized what I need out of a shoe. My LunarGlides have more support than the Lunars and more give than the Air Pegasus. I cannot run without my little Nike waist pouch — it’s the perfect place for phone and keys. Sunday I’ll be wearing a neon colored tank, shorts and my SF Giants cap. I’m so sad they aren’t in the postseason this year. But everything happens for a reason. It’s my year to run this half marathon!
–Alex Apatoff and Brittany Talarico