For Matt Bellows, fitness is not an after-thought—it’s a key priority and passion. The founder and CEO of Yesware and self-proclaimed former ski bum even made sure to include a yoga studio in his company’s office, at which staff members can drop in on daily classes. But there’s one physical challenge Bellows has yet to attempt: Running a marathon. That is, until now. On April 20, as one of four tech execs running on behalf on behalf of TUGG, he’ll be hitting the pavement for CareerVillage.
So, what inspires a tech exec to suddenly tackle the Boston Marathon? And how does a first-timer get prepped for the big day?
We talked to Bellows to find out.
Why did you decide to participate this year?
I grew up in Boston. I’ve known many people who have run the marathon. I was shocked and furious after the 2012 bombing, and so grateful when they caught the bomber three blocks from my house! One busy day, I got a call from Jeff Fagnan. Since I’ve been involved with TUGG for a few years, I thought it was either about a great startup non-profit party, or a chance to donate money. Instead, out of the blue, he asked if I wanted to run the marathon myself! The chance to do it with such a great team and for such a great cause made the decision easy.
And why are you running for CareerVillage?
I’ve known Jared for years, long before he started CareerVillage. He was one of the very first power users of Yesware and he always sent in these long and thoughtful suggestions. I was very happy to support his work as a member of the TUGG selection committee, and even happier to put some muscle into helping his team.
This is your first-time running a marathon — but do you have any prior running experience?
A few years ago I ran the Run to Remember Half Marathon. It was a really powerful experience, but it took this opportunity to get me back in my running shoes.
How often have you been doing practice runs?
Our team coach Erik Hajer said that one of the big mistakes that a first-time marathoner makes is running too much. I’ve limited my workouts to 1-2 runs during the week, and then a long run on the weekend. I also do strength and flexibility training at the Central Rock gym in Watertown with the awesome Lisa Andrews. Lisa also comes to our gym at Yesware for Thursday afternoon Pilates classes, but I’ve been missing those lately.
What is your go-to running gear/must-have running app?
Our whole team is using Runkeeper to track our runs and encourage each other. I’m rocking Adidas Adizeros, wool socks, gloves and hat from Ibex and a shell from Black Diamond. In terms of sustenance while running — I’m a strict Salted Caramel Gu and water type guy.
Have you been making any lifestyle changes in preparation for the big day?
I’ve been more careful with my diet for the year leading up to the marathon — even before I knew about the chance to run it. I’m basically on a low carb/alcohol/sugar diet six days a week. From Friday night to Saturday night, I eat whatever I can stuff in my face. Having that weekly escape valve helps me stay disciplined during the week.
What are you most looking forward to the day of the marathon?
We’ve been training on Heartbreak Hill, so I know that once we get to I-95, I can make it the rest of the way. I’m looking forward to seeing the bridge over that highway.
Eager to cheer on Bellows and the other Team TUGG runners? Swing by Startup Mile, an enormous spectator bash on the day of the race, which includes food, beverages, noise makers, bright t-shirts, games, and real-time GPS tracking of the runners on their journey to the finish line.