Culture

Why I Run: Brenda Martinez

This California girl trains with the boys! Elite athlete Brenda Martinez shares what keeps her moving.


This California girl trains with the boys! Elite athlete Brenda Martinez shares what keeps her moving.

Running is my life. I know in my heart I can compete with the best in the world, and not many people can say that. I’m very grateful for the life I have.”

I love New Balance 800 running shoes— but I really love any fleece sweater or hoodie. I like to be cozy and toasty all the time.”

NBX Windblocker Halfzip, $55, newbalance.com;  New Balance 800 Running Shoes, $75, newbalance.com.


“Where I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga wasn’t so great, so I started running for a club called the West Coast Gazelles to stay out of trouble. Many of the kids on the team were underprivileged, and our coach’s mission was to prevent gang violence and teenage pregnancy.”

“The night before a race, I’ll either have chicken with mixed greens and rice or steak with broccoli and mashed potatoes.”

“I train with a small group of all guys, including my fiancé Carlos. I try to chase them even though their paces are faster. They push me to never settle for mediocre and to not put limits on myself.”

“I had a blast racing at the Diamond League in Brussels, Belgium. The energy the crowd gave off was amazing. The stadium was so loud that it felt like I was going to war. I placed fourth with a personal best against the best women in the world.”

“In my gym bag, I always have a snack so I can eat immediately after my workout. You have to do that every day to recover and get better. I usually have an energy drink with amino acids and a Power Bar, mixed nuts or a banana.”