Philadelphia Runners is our new series name for something that we have being doing for almost one score (that’s twenty years for those keeping, um, score…..pun intended): highlighting the individuals and collectives who are spicing up Philly. Our beautiful, global city is filled with amazing people doing remarkable things. Several of these people happen to be runners, and some of those feats happen to be run-related. We recently caught up with Philadelphia Runner Katie Rodger for an insight into where she’s training and racing, what she’s rocking whilst doing so, and why rice and beet juice should be on all of our grocery lists!
Who are you? Katie Rodger, local runner, and triathlete.
Who do you train with? I train with Yoder Performance, an elite triathlon team based out of Lancaster, PA.
What is your title? Beet juice stan, turmeric aficionado, aka the owner and founder of The Juice Philly.
What are you currently training for? After starting my season with Broad Street, I switched back over to triathlons for the summer. I raced 70.3 Roanoke in June, did a short sprint in Avalon at the end of June, and finished 70.3 Musselman with the overall win in July in Geneva, NY. From here, I’ll transition to the longer distance stuff as I train for Ironman Maryland in September and maybe, possibly, the Philly Marathon in November.
What shoe(s) do you run in? Nikes! I was anti–Nike from a training perspective until they launched their Infinity’s in 2020. After depleting my stockpile of my beloved Infinity 1’s, I transitioned to the Zoom Fly 5s. When it comes to racing though, I’m an Alphafly girlie – give me carbon for days, I love it.
What apparel do you run in? Until recently, I would’ve said lululemon through and through. Give me a Longline Energy bra and the Fast and Free high rises and I’m good to go. For almost 9 years, I raced in the same pair of discontinued lululemon shorts (kind of like the Wunder Under train ones but way old school), though the holes in the seams forced their retirement in late 2022. I have since opted into the Malo line of shorts and tanks and dare I say, I’m obsessed. The brand is created by a husband/wife team of former pro triathletes and their attention to detail (pockets in the right places, zippered spots for keys and/or fuel, a phone holder in the back of the tank, etc.) is absolutely on point. Everything stays in place, no stretching or sagging, I can’t recommend it enough. But I’ll still be in lululemon’s Longline Energy bra until I die :)
What accessories do you run in? Just my Garmin Forerunner 295 and that’s about it! Whenever I can (and more often than not), I don’t even bring my phone – I love/crave the total disconnection a run can offer.
What fuel do you use for running? Pre run, I’ll do a mix of beet juice and wheatgrass with a glutamine powder, mixed up in 6oz of water 20 mins before I leave. From there, I’m a Maurten fan through and through. I’ll take either the 160 or 320 mix in a 12oz handheld for long, hot runs, and will keep a gel or two on hand, depending on pace and distance. When I’m racing, I aim for 80–100g carbs per hour, so I try to train the same way during higher intensity intervals/ workouts. Outside of the energy sources though, I use a sodium magnesium powder called Rapid Rehydrate for extra salt in the bottles and I love the Swiss Rx Total Recovery protein for post workout. I also absolutely swear by rice, I’ll eat it for every meal in the week or two leading up to a race – rice with almond butter, jelly and salt for breakfast, rice rolled up with avocado, lettuce, carrots in nori for lunch, rice with salmon for dinner. No such thing as too much rice!
When did you start running? I grew up as a swimmer, so running was always tucked away in the peripheral for me. We ran a bit for cross training while I was in college, but I despised it; it wasn’t until a few years after college when I started to miss the camaraderie of sports that I started running, first with a friend or two, then with Bryn Mawr Running Co. I became so enamored with wondering what was possible (a 5k, maybe Broad Street, what about a half marathon, should I do a full?) and found myself enraptured with the process of figuring it out - thus began my journey as a runner!
When did you begin training for this particular event? After doing my first real triathlon (70.3 Chattanooga) in the spring of 2019, I was pretty hooked. I was coming off of a few injury-prone years as a runner and found that the three-sport combo not only helped me stay upright and injury free, the new challenge genuinely sparked something in me that I hadn’t felt in a while. When 2020 hit and the future of racing was so uncertain, I learned three things: that I absolutely love the structure and process of the practice, that truly committing to consistency, regardless of the ability to race, was deeply satisfying to me, and that rest, true genuine rest, was the golden ticket to all of it. I revamped my mindset based on these three things and found myself getting faster as the year went on. At my first race back in the summer of 2021, I qualified for Worlds, which were to happen in October of ‘22, and spent the next year working towards that goal. In the process, I placed second at 70.3 Eagleman, won 70.3 Atlantic City, and requalified for Worlds of ‘23. Opting for a new challenge though, I’ll pivot my ‘23 season away from 70.3’s after July, focusing instead on longer distances through the fall.
Where do you normally run? MLK Drive – come hell, high water, or bridge closures, I’ve been running almost exclusively on MLK since 2020. Its tucked away from the chaos of Kelly Drive. To me it’s quiet and peaceful and stunning in the fall, I know exactly where my turn around spots are for 30/45/60/90-minute runs, and running down the median on the weekends when its closed to cars really lends itself to some main character energy when you’re in need of it =B
Where do you normally train (non-running, i.e. swim, bike, weightlift, etcetera)? I split my time between Philly and Lancaster from a training perspective, but when I’m local, I swim at the Kroc Center (that pool is an absolute hidden gem), I usually bike throughout the western suburbs or up through the Doylestown area, and I’ll run on MLK for intervals, etc. I’m a creature of habit so when a route works, I tend to stick with it.
Why do you do what you do? Because it’s such a wonderful privilege to be able to explore the outer edges of your own capacity. I’m somehow getting faster as I get older and making the most of that, through travel, races, and experiences, is just pretty dang neat.
How can we continue to follow your journey? Strava and Instagram!
How would you describe your biggest success? I’d like to think it hasn’t happened yet :) I think the mentality of looking forward, rather than back, tends to fuel the fire for the work that needs to be done in order to keep growing within the sport.
How can Philadelphia Runner help promote you? By telling our stories! We’re part of such a vibrant, rich, and talented city, I’m grateful to be a part of it.
Do you have a story that you would like to share, or a runner that you would like to see featured? Send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.