Nigel Mcgregor Progress and determination
- October 5, 2023
We’ve known Nigel for a while now, as we’ve crossed each other many times while on the pavement while running in New York City. One of the first things that stuck out to us was his drive. Nigel never settles and his consistency along with his work ethic when it comes to running is unmatched. If you’re in the NYC area there’s a very good chance you’ve seen him on the road running at a decent clip. We’ve finally gotten him to slow down his pace a little bit to tell his story about what drives him and his running.
MSM: Your progression has continued to soar over the years. One thing we like to do is to get to know the person behind the runner. When did your run journey begin and when did it become a lifestyle for you?
NM: It began in 2001, on my birthday in June when I felt the urge for change in my life. It started with only running one mile, 4 laps around the track. In College, my spirit needed a jolt from being stagnant and I needed another outlet to add resilience to it. Running was the answer. It helped to keep my lungs clear of carbon and dust from working at UPS at night so I could focus on getting my Engineering degree and staying sharp throughout the day. It increased my self-awareness physically and spiritually as I transitioned from the collegiate level to the corporate level.
MSM: We all start with our first run, essentially a jog just to get some cardio but I find that it’s always the same story with us runners when we first start running. It usually starts with simply getting that cardio in at the gym, then we usually find that run buddy which then presents the challenge of running a race which as we all know leads to that rabbit hole opening even wider. What made you get into marathoning?
NM: It was trial and error. I got inspired to run a marathon after watching elites run the New York City Marathon in 2008 on TV. While living in Fort Lauderdale, I decided to research online to see if they had any marathons in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area the following year. I ran my first marathon in 2009 in Miami. I registered the day before the race. I ran 4 hours 37 mins with no stretching or guidance.
MSM: Did I see 26.2 43 times? Did I read that correctly? A few things here. What have been some of your favorites along the way and let’s compare the first one to the last one just so we can really understand your progression from a time standpoint. And, while we're here give us a peek into your other run stats 26.2 43x how about those other races, how many half marathons, 10ks, 5ks etc.?
NM: Sure is, 43 marathons and each one of them feels like the first one from a fitness standpoint. I haven't officially counted how many short-distance races I've completed. It may be a good while for me to total them all up when it is all said and done. Some of my favorite marathon races were.
- 2010 Miami, my worst time, 5h:21min. That day, I could not make it back home to Fort Lauderdale without stopping to take a nap at a parking lot while my entire body was hurting, with cramps in my stomach and legs, and my feet were severely hurting. I wanted to give up running altogether on that day and took almost a month away from running. I came back, changed my shoes, started doing more leg workouts, and got back to fitness.
- 2012-2013 New York. I flew into town to run the NYCM in 2012 which ended up getting canceled because of Superstorm Sandy, and I never left. I ended up staying in New York, started a new engineering career, and rebuilt my lifestyle while running in the mornings and going to the gym at night. 2013 New York was my first NYCM and It was one of the best experiences in my life.
- 2018: New York. I Shaved my course PR by 39 mins after breaking 4 hours in 2017.
- 2019: Los Angeles Marathon was the Toughest Marathon I’ve run so far. Hills and various turns were very intense. This was the race set me up for the next marathon to aim for my first Boston Qualifier.
- 2019 Sri-Chinmoy: Regardless of how hot it was, I was focused and locked in. The wisdom and the training are what I used as my will to pull through the first BQ.
- 2022 Steamtown Marathon. This was the moment where I was the most locked in as an athlete in my life. I ran a 2:56:40 and that moment was a major mental breakthrough.
Another moment was 2023 Boston. It was rainy, cold, and emotional. From heartbreak to Boylston, all of the years of joy in pain were funneled into that moment. 2:58:54.
MSM: Are you chasing the SIX?
NM: It's not on my top bucket list but will happen eventually. The first International major I would love to do is the London Marathon because half my family is from and resides in England and to see me run in London would be good for them to get a chance to enjoy it.
MSM: You’re fast, let's keep it real. Most people that get into running think that that just happens when to be honest it doesn’t. It takes time, patience, years and people that you have to chase. For our readers give us a peek into your progression and how you’ve gotten progressively better throughout the years.
NM: It all starts with having a strong, fundamental base. In addition to consistent weekly mileage, It comprises a routine regimen in the gym, diet, nutrition, hydration, and habits that you can do regularly that you can build off of. It gives you time to arrange your footwear. For example, you must rotate sneakers as you do the base runs, speedwork, tempos, hill work, etc. As you progress in your base training, the long runs are like a “pop quiz”. On your long runs Start with a “time-on-feet” approach. Typically, 2 hours is a good benchmark for competitive runners and 90 mins is good for a beginner to keep things realistic and simple if you are first starting. Then, you can concentrate on building up on “distance” by increasing it every few weeks or however it works because our bodies vary based on lifestyle and genetics. It is also important to have days where you take it lightly and easy to have active recovery and Trust the training. Commit to your process.
MSM: We mentioned those that we need to chase to get better, and we’ve seen you on the track getting that work in with the wolfpack crew. How does that crew not only push each other but you to get faster and better. Also, what do those workouts consist of?
NM: We started the wolfpack four years ago with similar goals. The first major session was to Run Thirty-one miles around the perimeter of Manhattan in May 2022. Our bond grew stronger and then we began to meet every Tuesday at the track for speedwork. Speedwork sessions range from workouts we get from books, from coaches, notably Maria Romano from (Quicksilver Striders), from CPTC, or any variety that we come up with and agree with amongst ourselves. The cohesion was coming together based on that consistency and we started to meet up on long runs on Trails, hills, and parks. Out of 10 of us, eight of us in the crew have either BQ’d or run Boston once with 4 of us running under 3 hours in a marathon. The key component of our growth as athletes is that we are always there for each other by pushing each other the extra notch and holding each other accountable.
MSM: I want to talk about your preparation when it comes to marathoning. Let's talk pre-Boston qualifying and post Boston qualifying. Pre Boston qualifying you were already an above average runner based on where you started as you progressed through the years at what point did you know that Boston was something that you wanted to strive for. When was that race where you said to yourself that this was indeed obtainable?
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