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As we run daily, we always set goals and standards for ourselves and along the way we tend to pick up running brothers and sisters along the way as our consistency is what drives us to become better. To be consistent, strong, and focused daily usually means you'll have to find folks that will hold you accountable whether it be up close or from afar. Over the past couple of years, I've had the pleasure of watching this fellow runner explode to the next level when it comes to racing and training. We’d at times usually pass each other during a race or I'd see him during a training run zooming past us going in the opposite direction but from what I’ve seen his consistency and work has more than paid off and he continues to improve each day. I'm excited to chat with this brother Tival Williams of Team WRK. His IG quote says it best “THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION” let's talk about his journey as it’s been an amazing one thus far.

MSM: I feel like we always catch each other in passing and never while running, I am looking to change that as I go into my training cycle this year. Let's try to share some miles together, it’s a pleasure to talk about your journey and the process of improvement. Let's start with the obvious, you’ve been running for years but what was fitness like for TIval prior to running? Was running always a part of your lifestyle?

Tival: Thanks so much for that introduction. Before I answer, let me throw back a few accolades to you for what Mid Strike Magazine is doing for the running community.  A diverse perspective of what running looks like and means to people was needed.  It’s funny you bring up us always passing each other on the road running, I think at this point, most of my social interactions with people are from crossing paths running. Going back to your question regarding my fitness prior to running, I would have to say; horrible. I was not active at all; my life was very sedentary.  I spent a lot of time at my computer and consuming all the foods that were aligned with heart disease and diabetes. The last time being consistently active before running was High School.  Endurance running really saved my health.  

MSM: We as runners always have our eyes on our fellow runners. It's like we set the standards and goals that we’d like to obtain and get to. Let's talk a little bit about your run history as I’d like you to share some stats with our fellow readers to give us an idea of where you started, where you have been vs where you are now. We all know numbers carry a lot of weight.

Tival: My running history is interesting, it started back in High School on the track team. I got injured during the spring season and my coach suggested I join the X country squad in the fall of that year for recovery.  I was like really, nah, that ain’t happening. If you are wondering why I reacted this way, allow me to explain.  I went to High School in Buffalo, NY were there are only 2 seasons, Spring and Winter. There were times we ran our meets in the snow with singlets and shorts in 30-degree weather.  I decided to follow his advice and was positioned as a kicker on the team. I remained on the squad throughout varsity and held on to the passion for running outside of the track. That love for distance running continued as an adult but there was never a definitive place to express it. Amateur distance running teams is a relatively new concept.  

If there were organized crews 10 to 15 years ago, there were few black and brown runners present.  I got pulled back in seriously around 2015 when I was introduced to Lean Strong Fast, a run crew out of Brooklyn.  That year, I completed my first Half Marathon in 1:55hr.  I hit my goal to finish in less than 2hrs.  Every year since I’ve been manifesting a goal of a sub 3hr marathon.  

  • My current half best is 1:29hr 
  • My 10k best is 37:02min 
  • My best full marathon is 3:11hr. 

It should be noted that I finished my first full in 2015 at a time of 4:25hr. It has taken 7 years of consistent training to reach my current level of fitness.  

MSM: That journey is amazing. For you what was that moment like when everything started to click both mentally and physically?

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