Welcome to the Omega Sports Podcast, hosted by Doug “the shoe guy.”

In this episode, we talk to MEGA Influencer Alicia Rider, running enthusiast and marathon runner. We learn all about her love of running, overcoming her health struggles and how running has saved her health.

Show Notes

Who is Alicia Rider?

Alicia is seen as a leader in the local running community and works with many young athletes who share the love of running. Despite some serious health setbacks such as being diagnosed with asthma in infancy and having metal braces on her legs as a young child, Alicia has been an avid runner for 22 years. She began her running in high school track and field and today, is an accomplished long distance runner. Although Alicia still has to manage her asthma , running has actually been beneficial for her lung strength and health. Further, as an adult, Alicia was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis but her positive nature and strong drive didn’t allow her to give up.

In the beginning, Alicia really just enjoyed running. Her love of running has evolved over the past 2 decades and she uses running as a platform to stay healthy and be a strong role model for her 8 year old daughter.

Alicia emphasizes how the running culture is an amazing community of positive and happy people that are supportive of one another. “It’s truly a running family.”

Alicia & Omega Sports

Alicia has been a fan of Omega Sports for many years due to their great staff, athletic expertise, extensive product knowledge, personal attention and inventory. Before becoming a MEGA Influencer for Omega Sports in 2018, Alicia won a series of races in Greensboro called The Greensboro Race Series. This great accomplishment lead her to meeting Craig Carlock, the owner of Omega Sports. Immediately, Alicia was impressed by Craig and his strong interest in the running community. Omega Sports has been very supportive of the running community, often donating gift cards, shoes and even sponsoring races. Alicia is proud to be a part of the Omega Sports family.

Alicia’s Running Shoe of Choice

Alicia’s shoe of choice is the Adidas Ultraboost and she actually credits this particular shoe as saving her running. Having been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alicia tends to have additional swelling in her feet and the mesh top allows for the additional give she needs to finish her run. This was actually the shoe she was wearing while running the Boston Marathon (more on that later).

In addition, the midsole of the Adidas Ultraboost allows her to have better ground contact feel. This particular model has a great balance between being heavily cushioned and still letting Alicia know where her foot is landing.

Alicia & Local Races

Alicia tends to use local races as training runs and tries to attend local races as often as possible. Local races are great since they allow you get out in the community and are usually supporting a great cause too. It’s also great to run with a group of people who love running!

Alicia, Asthma & Running

Alicia was diagnosed with asthma as an infant (she was born premature, weighing only 4 lbs and her lungs never fully developed). Doctors frequently told her to stop running, which only made her more determined to run. As determined as Alicia is, she is still very cautious as to not trigger an asthma attack due to poor weather conditions and other less than desirable environmental factors.

Today, doctors actually credit her running to improving her lung health. Alicia’s love of running has improved her lung capacity and she actually has less Asthma attacks as a result.

Alicia’s tips for new runners with asthma: (1.)Always check with your health care provider first and (2.)always take it easy in the beginning. Make it fun! Start slow and listen to your body.

Running will improve your cardiovascular system as a whole and your lungs will become stronger. Just start slow and give your body time to adapt to new exercise.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Alicia was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (possible triggered by pregnancy), an autoimmune disease that affects your entire body including your joints and organs. After her initial diagnosis, she received treatment via chemotherapy tablets and was using a walker to get around. Doctors weren’t sure she would be able to run again.

Alicia’s positive attitude and determination has allowed her to continue her running journey, but she definitely had a lot of setbacks in the beginning, including a broken metatarsal. Rheumatoid arthritis hasn’t stopped Alicia’s running but she has had to make some alterations in her running schedule. Since she takes a longer time to recover, she doesn’t run daily. While Alicia still runs 3-4 days a week, she cross trains and strength trains on the other days to give her body some recovery from running.

Boston Marathon(s)

Even with all of her health setbacks, Alicia has run 5 Boston Marathons with her first race being in 2014. She has managed to qualify and finish all 5 marathons. She continues to be inspired by runners of all levels coming together and reaching new goals.

Must-Have Gear and Accessories

From her running experience, Alicia highly recommends being properly fitted in the proper running shoes. Pink shoes are fun, but you definitely need to focus on being in the right type of shoe for functionality and stability . Not being in the correct shoe can cause a variety of injuries such as knee problems. Omega Sports offers a free shoe fitting service which includes a gait analysis to make sure you are properly fitted.

Alicia can’t live without her Garmin which allows her to track her progress, check her heart rate, and use all of the data to stay informed. Garmin also keeps you accountable and engaged in your health journey.

As a distance runner, It’s important to stay hydrated with proper electrolytes. So make sure you have a good water bottle!

Alicia also loves to run in a half-zip and her no-show Balega soc

How Important is Run Recovery?

Alicia emphasizes the importance of recovering after your run or exercise for everyone. Due to her body being in a constant state of inflammation due to her R.A., post recovery is a necessity that she takes very seriously. She likes to rely on natural remedies such as beet juice, turmeric & ginger capsules, electrolytes, rolling recovery and replenishing her body with protein. Recovery is very important to prevent injury and keeping your body healthy. Omega carries several recovery products.

Be sure to consult with your health care provider on the best recovery methods for you.

Alicia has an ongoing relationship with her rheumatologist who continues to monitor her health and keep her with an updated plan of action. We highly recommend all listeners to consult with their health care provider before beginning any new exercise program(s).

Visit Omega Sports online or in-stores for all your running gear and accessories.

Keep up with Alicia @rarunnergirl262 and aliciajohnsonryder