PWR Lab Welcomes Vanessa Fraser to Ambassador Program
Bowerman Track Club's Vanessa Fraser joins PWR Lab's Ambassador Athlete Program to prioritize remaining injury-free, and spread awareness of preventable injuries in sport.
About Vanessa Fraser
PWR Lab is honored to welcome Vanessa Fraser as the newest addition to our Ambassador Athlete Program.
A California native, Vanessa developed a love for running early in life. While participating in a Girls on the Run program in elementary school, she would always ask the coach to let her run “one more lap, please” as practice came to an end. She ran her first 5k in 2004 at 8 years old, and has been in love with that particular distance ever since.
Vanessa attended high school in Scotts Valley, CA and was fortunate to have a coach who instilled the importance of a sustainable ‘long game’ approach (read Vanessa’s full article ‘Playing the Long Game
’ for more detail). She took this advice to heart, demonstrating the maturity of athletes with far more experience, and patiently put the reps in on the high school’s dirt track.
As someone who grew up so close to the prestigious university, attending Stanford was a dream come true for Vanessa. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in Symbolic Systems and Master’s Degree in Management Science & Engineering, she amassed incredible athletic accomplishments as a three-season runner, earning an athletic scholarship that was not part of her initial enrollment. Over the course of five years (12 seasons), Vanessa earned All-American honors an astounding 10 times. Other legendary highlights included Pac-12 conference champion (10k), school record holder (5k), and 2x national runner-up as the lead leg in Stanford’s distance medley relay. Throughout this entire period, Vanessa only once had to take as much as a week off from training—and never more than that—due to injury; testament to her long game approach, and the benefits she has been able to reap as a result of her consistency.
Vanessa signed with Nike upon graduation, and runs for Nike’s Bowerman Track Club under coach Jerry Schumacher. She continues to see progress after successfully making the transition to professional running, having run a new personal best 5k (and the Olympic Standard) in the summer of 2019. Vanessa’s resume as a professional runner continues to grow, and currently includes personal bests to date such as:
- 4:09.74 for 1500m
- 8:54.58 for 3000m
- 15:07.58 for 5000m
- 33:10.84 for 10,000m
Living in Portland, OR, Vanessa continues to focus on reaching new heights as a professional runner. Keeping the big picture in mind, she is enjoying the process and gearing up to have the most competitive year possible as the Olympics get closer and closer.
Teaming Up With PWR Lab
Together with its Ambassadors, PWR Lab will
- raise awareness of the prevalence of preventable injuries in sport
- equip coaches and athletes with the power to better influence development trajectories
- shift focus toward proactive prevention of injury rather than treatment of athletes who become unnecessarily broken
This is the part where I get to draw from my personal experience in working with Vanessa and watching her become an incredible person, both in and out of sport. I first met 14-year-old Vanessa when she walked into my clinic at the end of her freshman year of high school, and was immediately struck by three things about her:
- Pure love of running – she wore a necklace with a shoe pendant, and had a remarkably strong sense of identity for someone so young.
- Intrinsic motivation – her drive to get better was deeply internal, and needed no motivation from me. She worked hard because her goals were clear.
- Proactive nature – countless athletes fall victim to having limitless dedication but a complete lack of perspective, but Vanessa showed signs of being her “best CEO” as far back as I can remember. She understood early on the importance of showing up consistently and listening to her body.
It’s amazing to think back to a young Vanessa, walking into the clinic excited to just run and be her best self... and then stop to appreciate the front-row seat I’ve had in watching her develop over the subsequent (nine) years. Reflecting on her journey–and now being blessed with the opportunity to work professionally with that same passionate runner–makes it incredibly easy to see why Vanessa is a fantastic ambassador for the sport of running in general. Her strong sense of self, unshakable work ethic, and strategic perspective make her an obvious role model in nearly any context.
Yet more specifically, Vanessa is a true embodiment of PWR Lab’s mission. She continues to show up, year after year with very little interruption to the process, and is a perfect example of consistency being the primary driver of long term growth
. The availability to train is the fundamental ‘secret sauce’ that we collectively–PWR Lab, Vanessa, and our other Ambassadors–aspire to bring about for all runners who are striving to be the best versions of themselves.
Follow Vanessa Fraser
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