October 01, 2009

Michael Shafto

Written by Dena Evans
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Michael Shafto is a 39 year-old engineer at Applied Materials in Austin Texas. Michael has been married for 15 years, with three kids, ages 5,7, and 8. He began running in middle school PE, when one of the track coaches saw him running and asked him to turn out for the team. He competed in track and cross country in high school near Houston, managing a 4:52 mile on a sprint focused team, and during which time he “got my butt kicked a lot.”

Unlike many runners who take up longer distances in adulthood, Michael began doing marathons in high school. His first marathon was Houston, returning five or six times afterward. An approximately 20 marathon resume includes New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and Honolulu, but after some Achilles surgery and about a five year journey back to fitness, Michael hopes to debut as a 40+ Masters level runner with a 2:40 marathon in the first few months of 2010.

FNF: Tell us about your upcoming marathon training. I know you are familiar with both the Houston and Austin events.

It (the Chevron Houston Marathon) is local and flat, and I want to run a fast time. Austin is extremely hilly, and so unless you travel out of state, it is hard to get a flat course. I did 2:40 in 2000 in Austin, but I am hoping to get sub 2:40 this time.

FNF: How has the training from FNF helped in this process and what are you looking forward to between now and race day?

FNF has been really good. I’ve done a lot of the training techniques that FNF uses and have coached other people, but never have followed my own advice. Usually, I start pounding too many hard workouts. Now I get up, do exactly what I am supposed to do, and I know that it works. I have enjoyed it and I like the way things are automated – a lot of the local guys use different books or things to calculate different workouts, but it is neat that everything is automated, and it updates based on your actual fitness

FNF: What ups and downs have you had in this training cycle?

I think I was over-trained before starting FNF. All the paces seemed too slow, so it took a bit of adjustment, but clearly my performance was not pointing to how fast I was running, so that is probably why I was over-trained, and after three to four months, now everything is coming together.

FNF: What is next following your marathon attempt?

If I don’t get my 2:40, then that will be my goal for the following year. I know I will get there eventually and I know what it takes to do it. I also know if I do it too fast, I will risk being injured. These days, I am just keeping up the running to inspire my kids. I used to have bigger goals like going to the Olympic trials, but now we’re older, so I just want to inspire them to run.

FNF: Do your kids run?

They do Marathon Kids – run a mile every week for 12 weeks. I try to encourage them to be active, play soccer, etc, but not actually do too much running – just watching and learning while they are young.

Last modified on October 10, 2010
Dena Evans

Dena Evans

Dena Evans joined runcoach in July, 2008 and has a wide range of experience working with athletes of all stripes- from youth to veteran division competitors, novice to international caliber athletes.

From 1999-2005, she served on the Stanford Track & Field/ Cross Country staff. Dena earned NCAA Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year honors in 2003 as Stanford won the NCAA Division I Championship. She was named Pac-10 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2003-04, and West Regional Coach of the Year in 2004.

From 2006-08, she worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative, helping to expand the after school fitness programs for elementary school aged girls to Mountain View, East Menlo Park, and Redwood City. She has also served both the Stanford Center on Ethics and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession as a program coordinator.

Dena graduated from Stanford in 1996.

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Latest from Dena Evans

back to top