Run, Frydman, Run!

Senior Tamar Frydman ran the 2021 Chicago Marathon, enduring months of training



Tamar Frydman (center), James Frydman (right), and Roberto Mazza (left) commemorate their achievements at the Chicago Marathon.


Some students used the pandemic as an opportunity to binge watch Netflix. Others turned to reading, checking off their To-Be-Read lists. Senior Tamar Frydman, however, dedicated his COVID freetime to running mile after mile in preparation for the Chicago marathon.

“It was the culmination of months of hard work, and while I didn’t do as well as I wanted, I finished and that was enough for me.” said Frydman. “ I learned from the experience and I totally wanna try again, do better next time, pace myself better, and listen to my body.” ”

— Tamar Frydman

Frydman ran on his middle school and high school track and cross country teams up until his junior year, when he decided to tackle a marathon after his father suggested it.

“My dad asked me last year if I was up for the challenge, and I knew I really wanted to try,” said Frydman. “It was something I could train for consistently, and dedicate myself to.”

To focus his energy on marathon training, Frydman stopped competing on the NT Track and Cross Country teams and instead concentrated on solo, long-distance runs.

“That was a great experience. I had a lot of time with myself, just running and thinking for like two hours straight per day,” said Frydman.

His training regimen, which he pulled from the magazine Runner’s World, consisted of an array of different training. During an average week, he was running six out of seven days––with one day of recovery––peaking at 65 miles per week.

“I’d have one long run on Sunday which got up to about 20 miles, then one speed workout which is just doing interval training of fast running, and then the remaining four days were either recovery, which is around 5 miles, or normal runs around 8 miles,” he said.

The intensity of his schedule was outweighed by the logistics of training, since he had to motivate himself for his first time going solo.

“For the speed training, I had to time myself and tell myself where to go and when. I had to worry about water and nutrition too. Sometimes there would be a four mile stretch without a water fountain, which was really tough on my body.”

Another portion of Frydman’s preparation was dedicated to fundraising, necessary for guaranteeing a spot at the marathon. With the help of his father, James, Frydman raised over $2,000 for Pediatric Cancer Foundation Endure to Cure.

“With donations from friends, family, and neighbors, me and my dad were able to help kids with cancer through Endure to Cure,” said Frydman. “We helped kids endure with the experiences and memories they get through the charity, and we endured while running.”

Frydman’s father, James, ran the Chicago marathon as well, however in a different group. He praised Frydman for his effort, congratulating him on his accomplishments.

“Alongside raising funds for Endure to Cure charity benefiting pediatric cancer patients and running with his father, Tamar dived headlong into his training regimen with the vigor, dedication and passion he approaches his life’s goals,” said James. “It truly made for a deeper and more fulfilling experience.”

After gearing up for about 20 weeks, Frydman’s alarm went off at 5:00 AM, signaling that the pinnacle of his hard work was about to begin.

“The morning of, I was really doubting myself,” said Frydman. “I was nervous and excited, but my calf was hurting, and it still hurts. The weather was way hotter than it was a few weeks ago, and I wasn’t prepared for that. It got up to 80 degrees and I could feel the sun beating down on me the whole time.”

Due to his nerves, Frydman took off right at the start, forgetting to pace himself. He sped through his first 13 miles in only an hour and 33 minutes, an amazing time for his first marathon.

“I went out too fast, so I pretty much lost all of my energy,” said Frydman. “I was already slowing down through the first half, and I really could not run anymore.”

For his second set, his time was a little over two hours, coming in at around 2:15.

“I was so nauseous after everything,” said Frydman. “I was just in constant pain from my calf, and it was really tough to run the whole thing. I didn’t feel the best because of the pain.”

Once he finished, Tamar was disappointed with his time, but Frydman’s mother, Revi, disagreed with his initial sense of discontent.

“​​Tamar, like anything else he takes on, dived deeply and absolutely into the cause, the experience, and the life lessons it came with,” said Revi. “Triumph was definitely there in each aspect of the training and the day itself.”

Once he took some time to reflect, Frydman realized he was satisfied with his results. The 2021 Chicago Marathon may have been his first, but he had no intention of it being his last.

“It was the culmination of months of hard work, and while I didn’t do as well as I wanted, I finished and that was enough for me.” said Frydman. “ I learned from the experience and I totally wanna try again, do better next time, pace myself better, and listen to my body.”

As of right now, Frydman has taken a step back from running to rest his body. He plans on registering for the 2022 marathon during November, which will decide when he gets back into training.

“I love running because of the introspection,” said Frydman. “I’ve learned a lot about myself with all of that time to think. When doing it, you have times where you just want to go home, but you also have times where you feel really good about yourself and you feel the rush though your entire body.”

This story was originally published on New Trier News on November 30, 2021.