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Jason Gordon

Favorite Sport: runningjasongordon_ab2

Major milestone: Since my first marathon 5 years ago, I've taken nearly 60 minutes off my finish time. The first time, I crashed and burned to a 4:15 finish. Last fall, I ran 3:23. I wouldn't have thought it was possible for a 45-year old. Conventional wisdom seems to dictate that middle age is when we should ease off of the throttle. I feel like I still have room for improvement. I look forward to seeing who is right.

What’s the secret to your success? Consistency and drive. As cliche as it sounds " just beat yesterday" is always my mindset. Run everyday your supposed to, know your limitations, and work hard to achieve the goals you set.

What’s the biggest obstacle and how do you get over it? Injuries are the biggest obstacle I face. Every training cycle I've completed has taught me something about what I shouldn't do.

What’s the most rewarding part of your training? It's hard to say that achieving a new PR takes a backseat to anything else, but since races are few and far between, I get the most positive feedback from long threshold efforts.

What advice would you give to other members of the runcoach community? Trust the training. Do the work exactly as it is assigned and you will see the benefits within a few weeks. Enjoy the process as much as possible. The long hard training session will wear you down either way. Embrace it, you've earned it. Besides, a rest day is right around the corner. The Runcoach process will make you a stronger runner, period.

Have a running story to share? Click here for details.  

In the spotlight: Shea Companies

Howard Ballardhballardab
Assistant Supervisor

Favorite fitness activity:
 taking long walks

What’s the secret to your success? After starting movecoach I found that if I don't get at least 5 miles in a day I feel like I missed my own personal goal I set for myself.

What is the biggest obstacle to moving more, and how do you get over it? Where I live, the weather is a big factor in getting out to walk. So when the weather is nice I get out there and go. Also watching other people move helps me keep going.

What is the most rewarding part of the Shea Moves 750,000-Mile Challenge? When there was a company-wide challenge to move 50 miles in 13 days, I pushed myself to see how fast I could do just that. I walked 15 miles in one day. We have a lot of fun at work see how many steps we all get each day, we push each other to get more steps.  I even walk back and forth at the light-rail station while I’m waiting for the train.  I get about 1.5 miles that way!

Share your movecoach success story here!

Click here to join the Shea Moves 750,000-Mile Challenge

Download movecoach moves Shea app for iPhone or Android.

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In the Spotlight: Jazz Pharmaceuticals

monmartinesMonica Martines
R&D Operations Excellence Manager

Favorite fitness activity: spin class

Incredible comeback: In 2011, I was 10 days out from the Seattle Marathon, my 10th, where I was hoping to shave 2 minutes off my PR to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I had just completed my last 10- mile run. I was on the phone, distracted for a split second and fell down a flight of stairs. I broke my fibula in the places and my foot was dislocated from my ankle. It was one of the worst breaks the ER doctor ever saw.  Once released from the hospital I started physical therapy. I had a wonderful physical therapist and a trainer who helped me to use crutches, learn how to walk, and slowly get back to my regular self.  Although they told me running career was over and I was devastated about that, I knew my body was taking a beating from the 160 and more miles I logged every month.  My orthopedist kept telling me that I MUST stop running and heal my body.

The accident was the end of a great running career. But then I rediscovered cycling,  which I had given up decades ago when I became addicted to long-distance running. Cycling made me feel whole again. Swimming helps too but the permanent titanium plate and 10 screws in my ankle cramps up quite a bit when I’m in the water.

What’s the secret to your success? Being VERY disciplined by planning my day to include working out, eating well, and getting rest. I prep my nutrition needs the day before for my next day's activities.

What’s the biggest obstacle to moving more and how do you get over it? My work schedule can be very hectic and sometimes I have to rearrange my daily morning workout to later in the day or defer it to another day. Even a quick 15-minute walk or climbing stairs at my office is better than nothing.

What’s the most rewarding part of the Challenge? Getting high fives from my colleagues from all over the world is a lot of fun. I really enjoy updating my training on a daily basis and seeing my and my colleague's achievements. I love getting the kudos and the recognition.

What advice would you give to your fellow challengers? Plan to succeed and you will. Don't sweat the small stuff and get right back into the program if every goal is not attained. Get a routine so that good habits are formed. Don't harp on getting sidelined. Be patient, add variety to your daily routine, and try joining a group. Having a great social bond with others is so much fun.

Join the Challenge, and help Jazz Pharmaceuticals Move 100,000 Miles!

Download the App for iOS or Android



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In the Spotlight: LinkedIn
Sam Parker
Partner Account Director

samparker_resizeFavorite fitness activity: Sailing 

What’s the secret to your success? You have to be passionate about what you do in sport, work, life, love - everything! Work is a big time commitment. Luckily where I work is brilliant at encouraging exercise and movement. From a state-of-the-art wellness programme to motorised desks so you can stand up and work.

What’s the biggest reward of participating in the Challenge? Feeling more energetic during the working day whilst feeling better prepared for a weekend of sport on the water.

(Parker above, with his wife, racing their RS400 in Lake Garda, Italy. Photo Credit: Paul Wyeth)

What’s the biggest obstacle to moving more and how do you get over it?
Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going. Get into a routine as quickly as possible and no matter how short the duration of each commitment. What matters is that you're building up a base of regular exercise - which is key.

What advice would you give to your fellow challengers? It MUST be fun. If you don't like doing it then you will not keep going. I have just started doing a circuit with a colleague so now the responsibility is on the both of us which means we are much less likely to drop out.

Share your movecoach success story here!

Click here to join the Challenge, and help LinkedIn move 1 Million Miles! 

Download Challenge App for iPhone or Android.

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Julia Neilson

julianeilson_cropped_resizedFavorite Sport:  Running

Major milestone: After 4 years of running, I have a half-marathon PR of 1:36:10, and a 10-K PR of 42:25. But I'm not done here!

What's the secret to your success? Consistency! And big dreams :-)

What is the biggest obstacle  and how do you get over it? When an injury hits, patience proves to be a virtue. Rest, sleep, good food, water, cross training, strength and core work and deep tissue massages help as well. 

What is the most rewarding part of your training? The joy of racing well.

What advice would you give to other members of the runcoach community?  Stick to your plan! Trust your plan but also listen to your body whilst keeping your long term goals in mind. It's better to go easy and rest than pushing those shin splints through a hard workout. Keep your easy days easy so you can run your hard days hard.

Follow Julia's running adventures on her blog,  On Twitter and Instagram: @GetKarmly. 

Have a running story to share? Click here for details. 

In the Spotlight:  Visa

thumbnail_jpmc cc sf 2016Celia Tang

Favorite Fitness Activity:   Running

What is the secret to your success? Signing up for races and telling key people about them keeps me motivated to train regularly.

 What is the biggest obstacle to moving more and how do you get over it?  Having a desk job.  I set a regular reminder on my calendar to stand up and take quick walks down the hallway.

What's the biggest reward of the  Visa Moves 300,000 Miles Challenge? Your body feels younger and stronger!

What advice would you have for your fellow challengers? Get coaching if you need extra help to meet a stretch goal. Sign up for some fun races for motivation, find someone to walk or run with for accountability, and put it on your calendar so that it’s a priority! Use the app daily to track your progress and get daily coaching! 

Share your movecoach success story here!

Click here to join the Visa Moves 300,000 Miles Challenge

Download movecoach moves Visa for iPhone or Android.

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In the spotlight: Shea Companies

2abluisfernandezLuis  Fernandez
Facility Manager

Favorite Fitness Activity:  Hiking and walking with my kids. (This photo was taken on a hike with my 10-year-old son, Louie.)

What is the secret to your success?  I have three kids ranging from the ages of 17 through 8. I want to make sure I'm healthy enough when the youngest wants to play catch or any other activity. I can't stop age. But I can at least better my health!

What is the biggest obstacle to moving more? Tiredness. There are days I think I just can't. But then I open my movecoach app and look at the standings! Health and family are my motivation...and trying keep my top 5 position [on the leaderboard].

What is the most rewarding part of the Shea Moves 750,000-Mile Challenge? Feeling good about yourself, and seeing what you can accomplish when you set your mind to it. I love this app and this challenge! I've lost 10 pounds since I started it.

What advice would you give to your fellow challengers? Keep moving! I know there are days you think you can't. But anything is possible! Before you know it, walking 6, 7 or 8 miles are just part of the day.

Share your movecoach success story here!

Click here to join the Shea Moves 750,000-Mile Challenge

Download movecoach moves Shea app for iPhone or Android.

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In the Spotlight: Genentech
Edited May Wittke
May Wittke
Biomarker Operations Project Manager
PD Clinical Operations

Favorite fitness activity: Running with friends

Recent Milestone: I have lost 65 lbs since I had joined Weight Watchers in Feb 2016.

What is the secret to your success? I am a bit of a competitive person, so I get motivated by seeing others and having my own competition with them. I also started Weight Watchers when I signed up for movecoach, and running became a big part of my weight- loss journey. I had started a Couch to 5K app in January 2016, then two months later, once we had the movecoach app available to us, I started using movecoach for tracking my steps, running, strength training, circuit training, and other workouts.

What is the biggest challenge to moving more? After awhile, exercise becomes boring. I try to find new ways of doing exercises besides running. I started taking a circuit training class at our gym and doing HIIT videos.

What is the most rewarding part of participating in a movecoach Challenge? I get motivated by seeing all the new people signing on. I like that we are very much supported by our company to have a healthy lifestyle.

Best advice:  Don't give up! When you're not feeling up to working out, just don't think about it, and go for the run, walk, class...whatever it is to get you up and moving.  You never regret working out...but you do regret it when you don't.

Next goal: I’m training for the Mermaid Half Marathon in May, the 5K Bubble Run in July, then the Rock n’Roll Las Vegas 10K in November to celebrate my 40th birthday.

Share your movecoach success story here!

Click here to join the Genentech 500,000-Mile Challenge  

 Download movecoach moves Genentech for iPhone or Android.                         

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Originally posted by Dena Evans on Feb. 6, 2014

Don’t let your running and training be hampered by arbitrary tales that may lead you off track.  If you find yourself caught in the trap laid by one of these myths, it is time to set yourself free!

Myth #1:  If you don’t have time for the entire prescribed XXworkout, you should just skip the whole thing.

We all know the nagging pain of a day where the alarm didn’t go off, your toddler is sick, work is a fire drill, or the weather is garbage. The scheduled workout is Just. Not. Going. To. Happen.  In frustration, it can be tempting to bag everything and sulk.  Don’t.  Your schedule is the best-case scenario, and every single runner has had to punt and pivot now and again.  If the track workout isn’t an option, an aerobic run can still help clear your head, and keep you on track for either an adjusted workout day later in the week or next week’s tasks.  If the schedule calls for 45 minutes and you only have 25 minutes, your body will get a significant benefit from doing even half the work.  If you are taking an unplanned “zero” in the log, focus your mental energy on the positives – more freshness for the next session, accomplishment of the tasks and issues that have stolen your run time, and the confidence that a day or few off does not have to have a significant impact on your fitness level.

Myth #2:  Days off are for wimps.

Training hard is important to get toward your goal, but without recovery, your muscles don’t have the ability to adapt and recoup after the stress you have placed on them already.  Recuperation time allows your body to return to preparedness for the stimulus ahead and in doing so, get the most out of the upcoming challenge.  Running hard every day drives your body into a deeper and deeper hole from which it eventually becomes impossible to escape.   Build your schedule with some planned and regular rest, and the chances of you making it to the start line of your goal race will increase immensely.

Myth #3:  You will set a personal best every single race or you are not trying hard enough.

There are many, many factors that contribute to a personal best day.  An accurately (or inaccurately) measured course.  A tail or head wind.  Hills.  A bad meal the night before.  How well recovered you are.  Your bout of flu last week.  Neglecting to hydrate along the route or beforehand.  The list goes on and on.   These are not excuses, but factors which can both enhance or diminish the yield from your training up to that point.  Your actual fitness plays the largest role, but smart training includes a slight cyclical effect where recovery periods are interspersed with hard training and tapering for goal events.  100% effort each time can be a good way to practice the significant demand your body will require when it is primed for a signature day, but even top level effort each time may not always result in a new level of achievement, particularly for experienced runners who have been through the train and taper cycle in the past.  Concentrate on the quality of your preparation, the execution of your plan, and when your body is ready, you’ll have good racing habits and attitude down pat.

Myth #4a:  The more cushioning in your shoes, the better chance you have of avoiding injury.

Most athletes do not need to purchase the shoes with the maximum potential padding, structure, or stability in order to stay injury free, and in fact these shoes can sometimes impede your stride from operating at its greatest efficiency.  Each foot and every person is different.  Consider getting a gait analysis from an experienced staff member at a reputable running specialty store in your neck of the woods, and adding that info to your reasoning as you choose your next pair of shoes.  Well-cushioned shoes have indeed helped many non-runners become runners through the years, but for many athletes, other choices may serve the body better.

Myth #4b:  The less cushioning in your shoes, the better chance you have of avoiding injury.

In recent years, thousands of runners have become enamored with the “minimalist” segment of the running shoe market.  These are typically footwear with much or all of the heel lift eliminated, or shoes meant to simulate running barefoot with various ways of wrapping around the foot or articulating the sole.  While incorporating barefoot running or minimalist footwear into a larger program to strengthen the foot and lower leg can be very beneficial, these decisions must be made in context.  Injury history, the restraint to gradually incorporate this type of running, and the availability of suitable and safe terrain must all be considered.  Again, minimalist footwear have been invaluable tools for many runners, but just because you want to be one of those runners, doesn’t mean you are.  Get some input from your experienced local running specialty retailer or a podiatrist, and don’t do anything all at once.

Myth #5:  Training for a marathon is a great crash diet.

Physical fitness is a great by-product of decision to train for a half or full marathon.  Weight loss may result, but the “goal beyond the goal” should always be sustainable, healthy habits.  Athleticism, strength, endurance are all aspects of your best self that need to come to the fore in order for you to reach your race finish line.  Explicit, short term dieting and caloric reduction while maintaining a schedule of challenging running tasks can be detrimental to your training and health at best, and dangerous at worst.  We want running to be a life-long, rewarding pursuit, but we also know it fits into a larger context of healthy diet, sleep, lifestyle, and fitness choices.  Incremental changes you can live with, while adjusting to training, can help ensure that this goal won’t be the end of your training, but just the start.

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