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Zac Clark Connects the Dots Between Running and His Sobriety

Zac Clark Connects the Dots Between Exercising and Being Sober

In 2021, Zac Clark crossed a slew of milestones: he celebrated 10 years of sobriety, opened the third location of his habit therapy middle Release Recovery, cast a pivotal partnership with Reebok, and ran his eighth marathon. One would possibly marvel how he juggles all of it with out slipping again into previous habits, however for Clark, these efforts appear to be interconnected. Staying lively helps him keep sober, which in flip permits him to be a extra supportive position mannequin for these nonetheless fighting habit.

Clark is nothing if not an open ebook. During his time on a bit of actuality courting present The Bachelorette, followers applauded him for candidly sharing his expertise with each habit and restoration. And whereas the stigma round habit nonetheless stays, Clark reveals no indicators of ceasing his efforts to smash it. In a world the place habit is sadly nonetheless typically related to disgrace, Clark wears his sobriety proudly like a battle medal or badge of honor.

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Below, Clark shares with AskMen why operating has performed such a pivotal position in his sobriety, what his Reebok partnership means, and the way he’s taking good care of himself bodily, mentally, and emotionally throughout a worldwide pandemic.

On Why He Runs

Clark participates in all kinds of various sorts of bodily actions, however operating has change into his go-to for good cause.

“Running kind of found me,” he tells AskMen. “10 plus years ago, I was in rehab and I had put on a bunch of weight. So I started walking, just like 15 minutes out and back. Then I slowly started jogging. And I just found it to be an unbelievably helpful tool. It’s meditative — it gives me the ability to reflect on my day, my week, my year, and some of my best business ideas come to me when I’m running.”

According to Clark, the so-called “runner’s high” could be very actual. He claims it makes him really feel “invincible,” like something is feasible. He additionally notes that operating has change into a handy ability he’s in a position to make use of wherever, which is useful when touring rather a lot.

On Training Before and After Marathons

When he’s not coaching for a marathon, Clark sticks to powerlifting 4 days every week. But even when he’s gearing up for an enormous race, Clark nonetheless makes it a degree to prioritize power coaching. He says he mixes 30–45 minute cardio periods with resistance coaching with a deal with lower-body strikes like squats and deadlifts all through the week. On Sundays, he’ll do a future to assist him construct endurance.

And when he’s on the street, Clark finds methods to remain in form.

“If I’m landing in a new city — like for example, this past weekend I was, I was down in Tampa watching the Eagles play — the first thing I do after I get to the hotel is go for a run because I  get to explore the surrounding area.”

But above all, he’s realized to not beat himself up and deal with the issues he can management whereas touring, like sustaining a nutritious diet and getting sufficient sleep. 

“Working out is just as much of a mental health tool for me as it is a physical health tool,” he provides. “So even if I get 20 minutes on the treadmill, that’s better than nothing.”

On Why He Chose to Partner With Reebok

“I’ve been pretty particular in identifying the brands and organizations that I want to work with,” says Clark. “ I grew up right outside of Philadelphia. And so, as a kid, I wore Reebok shoes on the basketball court. Allen Iverson’s one of my favorite players of all time, and he wore Reebok.”

Clark says he was launched to their trainers a couple of yr in the past, and given his private ties to the enduring model, he couldn’t say no to the chance.


“Reebok very much speaks to the everyday runner just as much as the professional runner,” he notes. “I was already on board when I got into marathon training last year. The Floatride Energy 3 — the shoe that I was able to run both London and New York in — has been just an unbelievable asset to my training. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to look back.”

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Clark says he seen his restoration instances are shorter since he started carrying the Floatrides, and furthermore, his ft aren’t getting coated in blistered after lengthy runs.

“I feel supported, and they don’t look bad either,” he provides with fun.

On Expanding Release Recovery

Clark co-founded Release Recovery with social employee Justin Gurland in 2017. The program is aimed toward sober individuals post-rehab who’re looking for a bit of additional assist as they transition again into actual life. Clark rapidly realized, nevertheless, that he wished to broaden their attain.

“It was around 2019, and we had just taken another phone call about a family that couldn’t afford our services,” he says. “We were really at this crossroads of not being able to get their loved one help. And I said, ‘we need to do something about this.’”

That led he and Gurland to launch their nonprofit, Release Recovery Foundation, which gives scholarships for individuals to take part in therapy packages. And in an sudden flip of occasions, being introduced into this shiny actuality highlight together with his casting to be on the sixteenth season of The Bachelorette, he out of the blue had a brand new platform for his mission.

“This past year, we raised over a million dollars,” he tells AskMen. “In the New York City marathon road alone, we raised $420,000. It was unbelievable.”

On Protecting His Mental Health During the Pandemic

Clark says Release Recovery acquired a variety of calls from individuals fighting loneliness and isolation throughout the pandemic, particularly throughout unprecedented lockdowns. For him, staying lively has been important, as has meditation and getting enough sleep.

“If I’m having a bad, bad day, which I have plenty of those, I’ll get outside and run and, and clear the mind,” he tells AskMen. 

There’s a rising physique of scientific proof for the advantages Clark has skilled. In reality, a small 2010 study discovered that many individuals who recovered from habit had been in a position to make use of train as a method to distract them from cravings for numerous substances. Other research has discovered that individuals who often train are much less doubtless to make use of and abuse medicine.

Beyond staying lively, Clark says staying linked to individuals in his interior circle has been key, which is why he extremely recommends that individuals name a good friend or beloved one and share after they’re feeling down.

Clark can be a robust proponent of remedy for self-care — actually, he sees a therapist himself.

As for what drives him ahead, he admits that he’s been moved by the affect of Release Recovery, and the sudden pleasure of watching former addicts have their very own households, attain success professionally, and finally go on to steer wholesome and pleased lives.

“I feel very blessed and grateful to have gotten sober,” provides Clark. “It’s not something that I really agonize over anymore or think about. It’s just a part of who I am. But I know that everything in my life has been a result of having that opportunity to change. So, being able to present that same opportunity to people on a daily basis is special. But the real gift is when those people come back years later and they’ve built this new life for themselves. That is really powerful.”

If you or somebody is looking for assist for an habit, name the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357)

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