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Runcoach Success Stories

Runcoach Success Stories (44)

Highlighting the successes of our awesome Runcoach athletes

Take hold of life's 3C's: Choice, Change, Chance. Make the choice, take the chance, and see the change... 

“You are built like a runner,” Christi said to me about a year ago. I rolled my eyes. “You could do a half marathon tomorrow.”

I’d been a gym regular for three years. At Christi’s class, I’d grind out burpees, stack up squats, and groan through pushups. Showing up got me in fair shape for guy almost 49 years old.

But running? No one ever said I looked like a runner. I finished last in sprints during baseball practice.  “Somebody didn’t beat the clock, so we’re all going to run again,” Mr. Claussen said day after day. “I won’t say his name, but his initials are Joe Kolman.”

I never ran for fun or fitness, let alone competition. Yet last month, in the shadow of Glacier National Park I stood on a podium for the first time holding a silver medal like a baby chicken.  I ran 13.1 miles up and down a mountain with 1,827 runners of all shapes and sizes.I beat 1,737 of them, including all but nine my age or older. My 1:49:38 beat My Run Plan projection by 22 seconds.

Joe_k_glaicer

By God, I looked like a runner.

Here are the cliches of which I’m guilty. Like a lot of guys who approach a half century, I look in the mirror and see mortality with crows feet around the eyes, gray hair, and a mouth that frowns more than it should. Christi is smart, young, and pretty. She’s engaging, enthusiastic, and positive. If she told me I could teach a grizzly bear to polka, I’d hike into the woods with a frilly dress for my partner.

I am also at a point in life where I need to prove that I can do something alone. I gravitate toward team sports and team professions. I work hard and contribute to a team effort with my middling abilities. But as I faced the Grim Reaper’s nephew in the mirror (he wears button down shirts and khaki pants, by the way) I figured it was time to take charge of myself.

As I mulled becoming a runner, my wife Kris signed us up for the Glacier half marathon. She spontaneously does things that sound fun. A 13.1 mile run near our favorite place in the world and a cool t-shirt? Enough said. She also knows I need goals.

Christi uses My Run Plan and suggested I try it. The doubt came in waves as I answered the questions. Current miles per week? Zero. Average miles run per week in the last year? Just a smidge under none.

I have a great support network. And the Runcoach team is always online to help. But only one person can make you run. On day one of my life as a runner, the assignment starred up from my phone. Run 1.5 miles easy at a 13 minute mile pace. My Run Plan takes the research, guesswork, and hearsay out of training. By nature, I question things. That first run of 1.5 miles in 20 minutes? I ran 3.2 in 39 minutes. It was easier than I thought. And fun. For that first month, I ran faster and longer than the plan. Then I got hurt. My left knee ached. The right one had sharp pains. Unlike the algorithm, my ego is a biased source. I didn’t double check myself. I was out for more than a week and deep in the doldrums. I needed to run.

Running makes me happy. I am an introvert by birth. I speak to people to succeed at life and work, but it often exhausts me. Except when I run. I wave to people.  I offer words of encouragement. I try to be funny. “Hey, only three miles to pizza and beer.”  People who know me don’t believe it. This is not me; at least not sober.

I recently got caught in a  downpour. It was fantastic. I was healthy and free, running on a mountain. Lightning could have killed me on the ridge. I would not have traded places with anybody.

Running forces my mind to focus. Spine straight. Gut taut. The focus sets me free. It allows me to push beyond what I think is possible. In the rest of life, I fear failure and often stop when I reach good enough.

I make running a series of little victories. My Run Plan makes it easy. Run 5 miles in 50 minutes.  Where’s my medal? Run four sets of 200 meter sprints in 52 seconds each. Two beers. Run up the hill before Prince gets out of that Little Red Corvette.

I will run where life takes me, for no one but me. I’d like to win a more gaudy medals, but I will run because it makes me alive. My feet hitting the earth is at once humbling and powerful.  Running demands I be good to myself.  Eat well. Get sleep, Treat myself to massages and physical therapy. Work to make my mind agile and at peace. Being a better runner is very similar to becoming a better person.

People frequently tell me now that I look like a runner. For a while, I was miffed. Why now? I’ve always looked this way. Here’s my theory: You want to look like a runner? Start running. Short, fat, tall, skinny. Genetics don’t mean jack. Use a training plan or don’t. Someone, including other runners, will help and encourage any newbie. But in the end, it’s you against yourself.

I’ve cried for pure joy three times: the day I got married, the day I got my current job, and about a mile from the finish of my first half marathon. Alone on the trail, a middle-aged man weeping. Despite all I thought I knew about myself and what I could not do, I did it. I made myself a runner.



Melissa ran a big personal best in her half marathon. Running personal bests is hard. Imagine doing so after a heart attack, and having to start from scratch, while overcoming major self-doubt. She has a simple but powerful message: "Follow the training plan. See Success" melissa_oliver


What is the secret to your success?
The secret is to follow the training plan. Doing something better

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
For me time. Schedule conflicts are tough but I made it a priority to just do it mentally. I have to overcome worrying about my heart. I had a heart attack 15 years ago. I have 8 stents in my LAD. Not letting fear get in my way has been something I've overcome with time. I was a recreational runner before my heart attack. I was considered a healthy person when I had my heart attack. Try feeling confident in your body when out of nowhere it fails you :/ Not easy.

What is the most rewarding part of training?
Hitting my goal. Not dying, HAHAHA! Sorry, that may not be funny to others but without humor I wouldn't get through it. On a serious note, the most rewarding part is the accomplishment of the goal. I ran a half marathon PR!!

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
Use the program. Follow it. See results. You can adjust it as you go. Email the coaches, they will help answer your questions. Laughing

Anything else you would like to share?
I didn't think this App would be that much help. I was really surprised at how helpful it was to me. I enjoyed every aspect of training and the motivation.


helen_blogHelen has persevered through physical set backs and anxiety running on roads, to complete a fast marathon just before her 60th birthday! She shares inspiring advice to "never give up", and "you get what you put into running".



Major milestone:
Completing a marathon just before my 60th birthday in a time of 4:01:05 following a serious car accident in late 2015 (just after running the DCM) when I didn't think I would ever walk properly again never mind run a marathon!

What is the secret to your success?
Determination and a will to exercise and get back on track. I still have nervousness crossing roads and being afraid that I might fracture my tib and fib again while running on uneven surfaces

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
Fear and loss of confidence which I had no issue with prior to my accident. I just wanted to get back out again with my friends from my running club who had kept in touch with me during my year off from running

What is the most rewarding part of training?
Sense of achievement always when a run is completed. Delighted with my progress and times at my age. Running with a group of friends. Being able to train to participate in races



What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
You will only get out what you put in! To achieve success running you must run....simple as that! When training for 2018 DCM, I had to go out on occasions when I didn't have company because of my work schedule but I still did it



Anything else you would like to share?
Never give up! It is worth the effort to get back if you have been injured, but be patient as you must listen to your body. If you can't run do something else like the bike indoors or cycle outdoors



What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
I've had great chats online with Coach Lindsay!



chris_blogChris made a successful return to running after having a kidney transplant in 2018. He shares how he found a way to pay it forward and run with a purpose. Prepare to be inspired and learn how you can also be the best version of yourself! 

Major milestone:
My major milestone is getting back to running after having a kidney transplant in January of 2018. So far since returning to running I have ran the Veterans Day 10K  in DC this past November, and recently the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. This coming Sunday I’ll be running the GW Parkway 10 miler.


What is the secret to your success?
The secret to my success is more than one thing that I do to run races. First it’s the desire to keep my living donor’s kidney healthy. I run for my wife, kids, my living donor, her family, my friends and family, and for the individuals I put in the back of my shirt during races that are in need of an organ donor. From there it’s diet, rest and meditation. Those three factors are just as important as the mental aspect. I eat a plant-based diet, get my rest and meditate when I can.


What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
My goal is to get out and run, right now it’s a basic goal. At times work, family, and my health will prevent a run I have planned. I have to be mindful with the medicine I take that if I start to feel under the weather, I may have to pull back and skip a run. While I may think I can still do it, I’m very in tune with my body. I know others might not like missing a run, and while I may feel that way it’s a brief feeling. I temper it with reminding myself it’s better to miss one run than multiples and a race I may have planned.


What is the most rewarding part of training?
The most rewarding part for me in training is getting out for a run considering all that has happened over the past 3 years. When I get close to race day, I’m excited to run with someone who’s in need on my back to show one can live a full life after a transplant. I also hope my last race that I ran with my living donor Ana, showed people after donation they can still achieve great things.


What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
Enjoy your runs, find joy in them, and when you don’t have the energy or mental strength to run find a purpose in your run. If you can find a way to pay it forward in your runs or races, please do as that’s running with purpose. For me it’s the impact of organ donation and the need for more organ donors. Be a version of your best self.


Anything else you would like to share?
For me it’s you can be a living donor as Ana was for me, and go out and run 10 miles. I’m in no means unique either, I know there are other individuals out there that have received a kidney and doing marathons. The real heroes are the donors, and without them we wouldn’t be able to go out and run again. Also, please consider being an organ donor whether living or deceased. Every month 3,000 people are added to the waitlist for a kidney, and every 13 minutes someone dies waiting for a kidney. By becoming an organ donor you can impact not just one person, but multiple lives. Please sign up to become an organ donor: https://www.donatelife.net/register/


What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
The experience and app was helpful to see where I was in my training. Having run cross country when I was younger, I could still gauge how I was doing, but the feedback from the app and training suggestions were helpful in the process of running only my second race since having been on around a 10 year hiatus due to my chronic kidney disease.



Having a goal is one thing. Accomplishing the goal is another. David was able to complete the Seacoast Half Marathon in just under 8:00/mile pace (reach his pre race goal in flying fashion!). This was the first time he had help from a structured training program. Runcoach is now helping David train for a full marathon!b0c19b4david_running_seacoast


What is the secret to your success?


No one thing in particular, but I do want to give some credit to the Runcoach training schedule I followed for the two months leading up to the race. It was great to have a personalized schedule based on my past running data from Strava -- It gave me a plan I had more confidence in than just winging it on my own, and I did accomplish my goal!


What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?

Time -- still figuring out how find enough time. Wake up earlier seems the only solution I can come up with. Injuries. Fortunately I didn't get any. I think the warm ups suggested by Runcoach helped.
What is the most rewarding part of training?

Seeing progress and thus having the satisfaction that the training is paying off, and being part of communities -- online as well as local offline communities -- of runners supporting each other's goals.


What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?

If the mileage of the Runcoach training schedule seems to increase too quickly, don't be afraid to back off or skip a session. I followed the training schedule which, besides providing needed structure, got me to do some speed and interval training which was great, but I skipped a run occasionally when I felt like the mileage was too much and my training plan didn't really change and I was still "on target" most of the time.


Anything else you would like to share?

I've only been running for two years and using Runcoach to prepare for the half-marathon last fall was the first time I had tried a more structured training regime with a particular performance goal in mind. That in itself was a milestone for me, and the experience was positive -- enough so that I set another Runcoach goal for a marathon this fall!


What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?

As someone on the free membership, I was happy to use the algorithmically generated training plan based on my goal and running history, but never reached out to the Runcoach coaches. I guess I wasn't sure how make valuable use of that option. Maybe some suggestions on ways to use that resource would motivate me to try that.



    Stephanie took 32 minutes off her Marathon time in one year.   She followed her Runcoach plan and paces religiously, stayed consistent and took it one step at a time to her Boston Qualifier for 2020!
  • Taking 32 minutes off my marathon time in one year and Boston Qualifying for 2020!


  • Consistency. I hear people say that they aren't "athletic" enough to run long distances. And honestly, neither am I. But with consistency and regularly putting one foot in front of the other your small gains will grow to become huge achievements. Also, friends that share your same crazy passion. Without my local running club I'm not sure I would have achieved what I did. Company on long runs and people to keep you accountable is worth its weight in gold.
  • Summer in Texas. That's a joke . . . kind of. Summer in Texas is quite brutal, but it makes you strong. The true obstacle, for myself at least, was and has been feelings of doubt. Why aren't my long runs as easy as what I perceive other's to be? Why didn't I hit each one of my intervals at the pace prescribed? Why does everyone seem to run so effortlessly and my legs feel like lead? Then I remember, these are my PERCEPTIONS. My perceptions are not reality. Every run is not going to be perfect. This is the real world and there will be good days and bad days. And at the end of the day, as long as I gave it my best effort, I'm still making progress. So there is a lot of come to Jesus conversations with myself and being conscious of the times that I'm being too hard on myself.
  • Looking back and seeing all of the progress that you've made. And realizing just how many people have supported you along the way and are happy for you. The running community is a phenomenal one, a place of camaraderie and where lifelong friendships are made and for ounce of energy I have given it, it has rewarded me 10 fold.
  • Trust the plan. It works. And be consistent. Don't skip workouts and don't skip long runs. Adjust dates and times, but get out there and do the work. The progress may seem slow when you're in the thick of it, but it is happening and you will make huge strides when you compare the beginning and end!
  • Running provides an individual goal. It is not dependent on coworkers, your boss, a team. It is all about what you put into it and what you want to get out of it. It's the most amazing sport with an amazing community. Take advantage of all it has to offer. I have made life long friends, run in foreign countries, and proven to myself there is nothing I can't accomplish when I put my mind to it and am consistent. Everyone has this same potential in running - to be a little better at something every day. And there just aren't that many things in life that provide you with that feeling.
  • I ran two marathons years and years ago. With zero desire to run another. I was talked into running Marine Corps and through the marathon came upon Run Coach. Since that time I took my marathon from a 4:10:00 to a 3:38:00. In my running club many people use many plans, and most of them involve determining paces and running according to 5k, 10k, half marathon pace. It's all too much math and too much thinking for someone like me. Run Coach does it all for you and I cannot say enough times how perfectly it fits my schedule and personality. The progress is real and I'm so excited to see what new accomplishments await me in the future!




Big breakthroughs don’t happen overnight. Steve shows us the importance of realistic goal setting, diligent training, and investment to physical and mental conditioning goes a long way. To qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon is a goal for many. Read about how Steve grabbed his fifth BQ, on a hilly course in Atlanta, while finishing 1st in his Age Group!

  • Qualifying for my 5th Boston Marathon and placing 1st in my age group at the marathon distance for the first time since I started running marathons 11 years ago.

  • Staying true to the Runcoach training plan, support from my Runcoach coach, Hiruni, and terrific support from my wife who would drive a few miles to meet me midway through my long run and provide hydration, nourishment, and a word of encouragement.
  • My biggest obstacle in reaching my goal was gaining enough confidence that I could once again run the distance at a speed sufficient to qualify for Boston. For the last few years, I’d been coaching myself and usually finished the marathon running on fumes and 5 to 10 minutes over the qualifying standard. Signing up with Runcoach gave me a more informed training plan which was challenging, but achievable. Having a highly trained and motivated coach to confer with really put me over the top.
  • Week after week I could feel the difference in strength, speed, and endurance. As I worked through speed workouts, tempo/threshold runs, and long runs on Saturdays, my confidence that I would accomplish my goal grew dramatically. Daily training plans are focused on preparing ones body to reach new capabilities, but the sum total of weeks and weeks of training prepares one’s mind to support the body during the race. There will be times when you start to doubt the body can keep going and that’s when your mind speaks about your training and that you can do this.


  • Unless you are sick or injured, push yourself out the door and get started. There may be days when your energy is low and you really don’t feel like working, but if you just get started, it’s amazing how quickly that changes. More than once, I was convinced I would not be able to complete the prescribed workout, but the outlook changed after getting that first couple of miles completed. Focus on the element of the workout you are performing and don’t think about the next element until it is time.


  • Knowing my goal race was a bit hilly (Atlanta), I sought out some hills to incorporate into my training, but there was no linkage in the training plan to the elevation changes of my goal race, nor any specific hill workouts included in the training plan. Also, there is no option to edit a workout uploaded from Garmin to indicate the workout was actually a race and not just another run. In order to post my results for races, I’d have to manually load my finish time and then I’d have to delete the details of the run data that came over from Garmin or it would double up the mileage.


  • As a newcomer to the sport of running, Miriam finds an abundance of enjoyment on the trails and roads. She's 20 kg (44 lbs) lighter and minutes faster than when she started. Read about this University Mathematics Lecturer's "accidental" start and now long-term relationship with running! 


    What is the secret to your success?
    miriam_blog
  • Though sometimes it is hard to get up and go out running, I know that it's worth making effort and start training. And indeed, after the first 10-20 minutes, it feels just great! Also, I try to follow the training schedule, and, in particular, to do workouts according to the schedule. In fact, till recently (i.e. till I joined Runcoach raining program) I just skipped workouts since they did not sound much fun to me. Now I have realized combining different kind of runs (easy, workouts, long urban runs and trails) is a right strategy and that it works for me.

  • It is always hard to start doing workout, but I remind myself that it will help me to enjoy the types of runs which I really like, such as long urban and trail runs. After 15 minutes of training, it starts to feel good.

  • I am lucky to live in Jerusalem, very close to good and beautiful trails, and also challenging urban routes. For me, the best treats are trail runs in the Jerusalem Mountains, with incredible flora and fauna. Also, running on Saturdays and holidays in Jerusalem, when it so quiet, peaceful and almost no traffic. This as close to paradise as I can imagine.



  • Do not give up when it feels not fun. If you approach a difficult stage in your run, say "start a long uphill part, try to smile and think that the life is beautiful. Smiles really help in uphill runs" I have checked it experimentally. 

  • Having training program which is created by computer system is great, but all of us have our individual circumstances (say, stormy weather, illness or injury,  other race events) and also our own tastes and preferences. So it is good to take a computer program as some general direction, and to adjust it to your exact needs. In this matter, communication with "real" coach has a great value, and personally I gained a lot from it!

  • It definitely helps to feel that the Runcoach team values the achievements and encourages moving towards further goals (which includes a help finding proper future goals). I would suggest to increase flexibility in calendar.  Ability for the runner to move future activities one-two days before or after the planned date. Also, it would be good to have a possibility to create a training program which includes trail runs, with respective assignments in terms of timing and running type in different stages of the trail. Though, creating such computer program is a very sophisticated task or just impossible, and perhaps one should just apply his/her own intuition and experience and, of course, consult "real" coaches.


  • Ron is a former competitive Road Cyclist who set a goal to complete his first marathon in 2019. Read about Ron's training experience, and how his determination to succeed led to a stellar, well executed 3:33 marathon debut in Tel Aviv!
    c314bf8Ron_Ayal_TLV_marathon_2019_copy
  • Completion of my first Marathon (in 03:33:52hrs)
  • A perfect training plan and amazingly accurate and personal support by Runcoach's team ( in my case - wonderful coach Hiruni Wijayaratne) that I followed with determination, dedication and faith in myself, in the coaching team and the application that proved over and over to be right to the point.


    What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
  • Going over the top.... Every time I tried to go too far, too fast, too early - I paid the price. physically and mentally. I learned to trust the plan, follow the coaches advises and listen to my body. I learned to recognize my limits while not letting them to hold me back and most of all I learned to look at the long term goal...
  • Being able to accomplish the goals I set every time anew. Follow my dreams and doing so in a most enjoying way. Also the new PR's the plan helped me to set again and again were a very nice bonus ;)
  • First decide what your goal is. It might sound obvious but setting the right goal(s), especially on an application based plan, is a tricky game that would influence any aspect of your training. Consult the team! - They have the experience to help you set the right goals and the dedication to take you there. Follow the plan and have faith in it but also listen to your body. If you're heading for a marathon take the time to build up and prepare. Runcoach will give you the best plan and coaching but this up to you to execute the plan while taking care of your physical and mental health - Nutrition, Hydration, rest - they all has to be carefully taken care of. And most important - Don't forget to enjoy... A goal race is a single event on a given day with a rewarding outcome. However in long distance runs it's the way leading to this day which is really is the most important...
  • I was amazed by the accuracy and the effectiveness of the application in terms of improvement and projection. It prescribes precisely what you should do - not too easy and not too hard with proven outcomes. But what really impressed, and later also motivated me was the personal attitude in the email support - I hadn't expect it to be so personal, dedicated and caring. I discovered not only professionals but also great people who really cares about you.



    What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
  • 1. Adaption and fine-tuning for the metric system. The app does all sort of funny things when it comes to adapt for meters/km both in plan and in communications. 2. Allowing choice of different setting of weekdays - not anywhere in the world the week begins on Mondays... 3. Trail runs and ascents/uphill runs - The application doesn't offer any reference to those conditions which requires a whole different kind of training


  • joe_successsstoryJoe is a former linebacker and lineman, who found his running legs in the past year. Through personal and family motivation, he lost 30 pounds, and recenly completed an incredible half marathon at the 2019 Houston Aramco Half Marathon.  Read about Joe's journey to fitness,  and how he found a way to quite the voice that wants to stay in the "comfort zone" below. 


    Major milestone:
  • After an 18 year fitness hiatus, my daughter asked if I could wear a 'skinny suit' at her wedding last year. Being far from 'skinny,' I began a fitness and diet regimen. I got to my goal by the wedding, then decided to keep going and run the Houston Half Marathon. I finished in 2:10, which was awesome for me.
  • I signed up to use RunCoach since the last time I ran a half marathon, I trained for it by myself, and it was very tough. The guided workouts and increase in speed and tempo work, along with the rest and cross training days worked wonders! I felt so great running this half.
  • Laziness, pure and simple. Finding the energy to start. My family and I had a crazy couple of years and I felt no desire to try and get fit. When my daughter handed me a goal, that's what got me moving.
  • Just to be able to say at 57, I did it. And I was pretty proud of my time. I'm a former linebacker and lineman from high school football in Texas, I'm not the typical runner type. But, after losing some 30 pounds, it became much easier as the fitness returned.
  • Watch the Little Voice in your head, that's very loud. It showed up a lot, especially towards the end. "Stay in bed. It's too cold." etc. I found 1,000 excuses to not get up and train, but no good reason, so begrudgingly, I moaned and pouted, and hit the road...grateful in the end that I did.
  • The coaching response was awesome when I had a question. Thank you again. I truly think I would not have been able to do it without the help of RunCoach.
  • I always found it amusing when the coach in the app, monitoring my pace, would say "that last mile was a little spicey..." I found myself pushing to get that response occasionally. Thanks again.


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