Wanting to shed a few pounds, Caleb Sumrall began a running program late last summer, and he’s enjoying his newfound stamina and that he is inspiring others.
“I was heavier than I’ve ever been,” the 32-year-old from New Iberia, La., said. “Just from snacking all day in the boat. I was still in shape, but I was heavier than I’ve ever been, and I wanted to do something about it.”
An all-in kind of guy, Sumrall said he would push himself on some of those first forays then come back with minor injuries or major soreness. But he had the dedication in his head and kept on.
“I just tried to get to 1 mile,” he said. “After about a month, I could get a little bit farther, a little bit farther. When I had more time in the offseason, I realized I got 3 miles, 5 miles. I try to run four to five days a week and hit the gym on off days.”
With ankle issues, good running shoes were a must, Sumrall said, and now he’s working toward his ultimate goal of competing in a marathon, a 26.2-mile race.
“I run half marathons at home — 13 miles on some stretches,” he said. “I try to do that 13-mile stretch once a week when I’m home, and I want to do a marathon within a year.”
Sumrall has found his health regimen has benefits beyond shedding 25 pounds to a fit 215. He’s of the opinion that it benefits him on the boat.
“I can stand up all day in the boat and maneuver to catch a fish. Nothing hurts,” he said. “I wake up the next day and nothing’s sore. I wake up feeling better. I’m not as tired at the end of the day. I feel like my endurance is better.”
And he believes that allows him to concentrate better on the fish, what he needs to get done after leaving the water and planning for the next day.
“It’s not so much all the physical aspect, it plays into the mental aspect,” Sumrall said. “If I’m not thinking about how much I hurt or how tired I am, that’s more time I can think about what I’m going to do tomorrow, what I’m going to tie on, the game plan, the homework.
“It helps me stay in it, and that’s the guys who do well in this deal. It may or may not ever really benefit me, but I believe it does. It’s become a big part of what I do.”
Not wanting to injure himself, Sumrall did take a break from his runs leading up to and during the 2020 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, where he finished 4 ounces outside the cut at 26th.
“I don’t run tournament weeks,” he said. “I get to feeling a little guilty. When I get back, it’s going to hurt a little bit more, but I’m going to push myself to get right back to where I was when I left.”