Interview with Amanda Burrill: Model, Trainer, Navy Vet, And So Much More
Marc Pro Athlete Spotlight: Amanda Burrill
Amanda Burrill could easily be called a modern-day ‘Renaissance woman.’ In 2003, Burrill was deployed to Iraq and became an elite emergency rescue swimmer. After leaving the military, Burrill earned her Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts degree and journalism degree from Columbia University to combine two of her passions: cooking and writing. She is now an editor for Iron Man Magazine, and blogger on her own blog, Aprons and Sneakers.
And as for the training? Burrill infuses her cooking and writing with two workouts per day to get ready for marathons and Ironman triathlons. The Marc Pro team caught up with Amanda about working out on the road, latest recipes, healthy travel hacks and Burrill’s recent foot surgery.
How do you incorporate the Marc Pro into your training routine?
It’s more that Marc Pro is PART of my training routine. My jobs have me working out, hunching over a kitchen counter or typing away at my laptop. With “tech neck” and constant tightness in my traps, I’ve found Marc Pro invaluable for stress and tension relief. I’ve been nursing an injury and using it on my left calf muscle. After an intense lift, “Marc” (the nickname as I’m in love with “Marc”) goes wherever I am sore.
What are your favorite types of workouts?
I love to lift weights, run and bike. I do not like swimming, unless it’s to save someone or swim up to the pool bar. Some triathlete I am! I love HIIT and jumping rope, too.
Where are your favorite places to run?
My all-time favorite places to run are the Esplanade in Boston, “The Strand” in San Diego, Central Park in NYC, and along the Seine in Paris, alternating the sidewalk with stairs down to the riverbank ever so often to add some “hills.” Every place I’ve lived, country I’ve deployed to, and trip I’ve ever taken has a running or hiking element to it.
You post amazing photos of foods you make or discover. Would you consider yourself a “foodie?”
I absolutely consider myself a foodie, and it’s not because I have a French culinary degree. Food genuinely interests me on multiple levels. I love to explore new and indigenous foods, cook my own food, and I have an intense interest in how food intertwines with the economy, culture, sports nutrition, and much more. You won’t find me at the fanciest 5-star, you’ll find me exploring the underbelly, and I think that is what makes a real foodie. The wine pairing too… I’m into it.
What is your “go-to” dinner when cooking at home?
It depends what I am training for and if I’ve meal-prepped on Sunday. If I am going day-to-day, a stir-fry is always quick, easy and tasty. I usually make bulk rice and have vegetables galore on hand so it’s always a free-style party in a big wok.
When you are not working out, what do you like to do during your free time?
I like to cuddle with my dogs, cook, drink wine and binge watch good TV. My latest binges are “Narcos” and “Vikings”. When I’m on the road, free time equals exploring or “mandatory relaxation” with a magazine listening to some good music. Realistically, I am either in beast mode, having an adventure, or acting like an old man, with television and music choices to match.
How often do you travel for work?
I’m a travel pro! 2016 will be pretty intense. I anticipate 4-5 trips per month, be it for journalism, speaking engagements, races or the travel show stuff. I have a rule; no checked bag unless it’s a bike.
What do you do for workouts when you are on the road?
Without fail, I always run or hike. There is no excuse. As much as I’m spontaneous and all that, I always research where I am going and if there is a hotel gym, if not, triangulate the closest gyms and/or CrossFit boxes, and consider interesting “local workouts.” In Hawaii I won’t miss out on a paddle board excursion or mountain trek with waterfall jump, in Hong Kong I would hike the peaks and spend mornings along the waterfront with the folks doing Tai Chi, in Germany they go on daily afternoon or evening walks. Every place is its own unique experience, but at a minimum I need some form of cardio and functional strength training six days a week.
What snacks do you pack for #hotelliving?
These questions are right up my alley: fitness, food and travel! I am a big fan of nuts and dried fruit and make my own snack size portions. Nut-butter packets, protein bars and individual protein powder packets always come along with, too. It depends on the circumstance, but I tend to stick to a “one sit-down meal per day” routine on the road, so I make that big meal count. But, otherwise, I need to feed the machine and I find high-fat, calorie-dense snacks and meal replacements are what works for me.
You mentioned that you are having surgery this week, could you share some information about the surgery and your recovery?
I am having surgery on my left foot. I have been out of the game since the Chicago Marathon (October 11th) when a missed stress fracture went from bad to much worse at mile 18 (and yes, I finished). There is an underlying problem that needs to be fixed, and I will be back to 100% before you know it. Right after stitches come out I’ll be back in the pool and on the stationery bike. That’s all fine and good but it isn’t until I am back to running that I feel like “me”. My first race of the season is Ironman 70.3 Coeur d’Alene on June 26th. I’m racing for XS energy and I don’t even think they are worried. I’ll recover smart and show up ready to go. I’m working with a life-coach of sorts on scheduling my downtime, as opposed to going so hard that I run into unplanned downtime (like right now). It sounds insane, but while some need to motivate and plan to work out, I need to motivate and plan my downtime. That’s why they call me “Hurricane Amanda.” One thing I know for sure, my boyfriend MARC is always with me during downtime. On occasion we even sleep together.
The Marc Pro team wishes Amanda the very best with her surgery recovery, and best wishes for a healthy 2016!