top of page

Alvina Begay - Diné/Navajo Woman, Mother, Olympic Qualifier x3 in the Marathon & 10K

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Alvina was brought up in a traditional Navajo running family and she has always loved to get outside in nature and run, she dreamed about being a competitive runner when she was younger and pursued this dream by heading off to Arizona State University to compete for them.

Alvina has made it to the Olympic trials three times in the marathon and the 10K distance. She runs a 2hr 22 min marathon time.

Alvina is a Registered Dietitian, and has a Masters Degree in Health Administration. In November 2020 Alvina gave birth to a healthy baby girl.

During this episode Alvina shares more about her passion for running; how she trains, what she eats and how motherhood has impacted on her running. Plus the women who inspire her. Listen now!

New episodes every Tuesday and Thursday at 7am UK time - Subscribe so you don’t miss out!

The Tough Girl Podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out


Listen to Alvina Now!

Click here if you can't see the link below.

  • Alvina introduces herself by her clan in her traditional Navajo culture

  • Explanation of her introduction

  • Becoming a mother in November 2020

  • Growing up in a small town on the Navajo Reservation

  • Life as a new mother to a baby girl

  • Just about getting enough sleep

  • The naming of her child with a traditional Navajo name

  • Being a high risk pregnancy

  • Sharing more about the Navajo Culture

  • What her childhood was like and her connection to nature

  • Growing up in a running family

  • Having a coming of age ceremony

  • Having a female mentor and being taught how to be a strong Navajo Woman

  • The importance of running to the East every morning

  • Thoughts while running and enjoying her run time

  • Knowing that she wanted to be a runner from a young age

  • Making the transition from running for pleasure to being more competitive

  • The Olympic Trials in 2008

  • Not being a super start in college

  • Working with a Native American running coach Mike Daney

  • Focusing on the 2012 Olympic Trials

  • The importance of a coach

  • Being a small town girl

  • What a typical training week would look like (120 miles weeks, speed work, hills)

  • Doing more strength training and helping to reduce injury

  • Diet, fuelling and nutrition while training

  • Making sure she got enough iron

  • Getting blood work done every 3 months

  • The hardest aspect of training and how she approached it

  • Changing her mindset and how her mindset evolved as she got older

  • Working with a sports psychologist

  • Running while pregnant

  • Having a difficult labour and needing to take 6 weeks off

  • Increasing her milage gradually and getting back into shape

  • Working on rebuilding her ab strength

  • The hardest challenge mentally with running and pregnancy

  • Needing to focus on herself and the health of her baby

  • Being surrounded by good people