Evann Clingan started her fitness blog, EvannClingan.com, two years ago to chronicle the start of her running journey. In just two years, she has transformed from beginner to marathon runner, Finish Line brand ambassador, and role model for others looking to take on the fitness world. She has completed destination races in Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., Walt Disney World, San Francisco, and Vancouver, and shows no sign of putting her sneakers away anytime soon.
In a recent blog post about turning 27, Evann reflects on her past year, including her decision to sign up for her first marathon, writing:
To achieve a big goal, want it (a little) more than you’re afraid of it.You have to want the big goals, but fearing the process keeps you working toward them.
To Your Health, NY! reached out to Evann to see how she balances fitness goals with a full-time job and what advice she has for becoming more active. Read her answers below!
To Your Health, NY: When did you start getting into fitness and a healthy lifestyle? And why did you decide to start a health blog?
Evann Clingan: I actually started dancing when I was about 3 years old. I competed throughout elementary and middle school before switching to cheerleading in high school. When I moved to New York, I wanted to take advantage of the rapidly growing fitness scene. I first started to take boutique fitness classes. It wasnt until 2013 that I started running. I started my blog around that time to share my healthy experiences with others.
TYH: How do you balance your fitness and blogging goals with your intense full-time job?
EC: I am asked this question almost every day. All of these activities keep me very busy, but I try not to talk about how busy I am because I choose and enjoy this schedule. Rather than finding time (you won’t), you have to make time. I’m a very digital person, but I prefer to use a written planner to keep my schedule. All meetings, workouts, and other obligations are written down. During busy weeks, I even block off time for rest.
TYH: Some of us struggle with eating too much sugar and may be indulging a bit too much…any advice for how to cut down on the junk?
EC: What a coincidence! I also struggle with eating too much sugar (especially ice cream). Im not a fan of entirely cutting anything out of my diet, so I rely on moderation and snack swapping. I train hard, so I reward myself with the occasional ice cream cone. But sometimes you have to choose a healthy alternative. Greek yogurt with fruit is almost as good at satisfying my sweet tooth.
TYH: What are some of your favorite healthy, on-the-go snacks?
EC: Since I choose to keep such a busy schedule, carrying healthy snacks to eat between meals is key. My favorites include bananas with nut butter, unsalted almonds, Greek yogurt, granola, and smoothies. Liquiteria, Juice Press, and Hu Kitchen are my go-to snack spots.
TYH: Do you have any advice for how to be more active when so many of us need to spend hours sitting in front of the computer?
EC: There is so much research showing how detrimental it is to sit at a desk all day. While I exercise almost every day, I also work full time in an office. To help reduce the effects of sitting for long periods of time, Ive used a standing desk, tried sitting on a resistance ball, and taken 15–20 minute walks at lunchtime. You could also consider walking for part of your work commute.
TYH: Have you suffered from any workout related injuries, and do you have tips on how to avoid them?
EC: Fortunately, Ive never experienced a major injury from dancing or running. However, distance running does take a toll on my knees and hips. To avoid muscle imbalance or overuse injuries, its important to cross train for any sport. I strength train and practice yoga to stay strong and flexible as a runner. I also try to get one sports massage every training cycle and always take at least one rest day per week.
TYH: Have you had any special interactions with any readers?
EC: One of my favorite parts about blogging is connecting with other athletes and readers both in person and online. Im inspired by many of the athletes I follow on social media, so its always incredibly flattering to hear that Ive inspired someone else. Ive had readers tweet at me to tell me that I motivated them to register for their first half marathon. I also met quite a few readers at recent races in Toronto and Vancouver. Many of them are faster than I am! In the running community, speed doesnt determine your ability to inspire others.