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Runcoach Success Stories

Runcoach Success Stories (57)

Highlighting the successes of our awesome Runcoach athletes

French is coming off a sensational month of racing. However, it took him months of hard work, trust, and patience to reap the fruits of his labor. Read about his journey and top tips for all runners to reach a new personal record in this month's Runcoach Success Story below.


Running Major milestone:
I ran a PR in 10K and 5K within same month!french_lewis2


What is the secret to your success?
Realizing that my job is to follow the training plan Runcoach provides, not to exceed it. Be consistent with the training and getting enough rest.


What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?  The biggest obstacle was my misconception that if the training plan called for a certain distance at a certain pace, running faster would, of course, be better. This led to a couple of injury filled years because my body was always working hard, never having time to recover and build strength.


What is the most rewarding part of training? The most rewarding part of training is feeling good. For me, I run because I enjoy it, I like being fit, I like knowing I am doing what I can to be healthy. About a year ago, after I messaged Coach Hiruni about a particularly tough speed workout she prescribed, her response stuck with me. The heart of the response was “Remember, tough workouts don’t last, but, tough people do.”


What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Follow the plan. Learn from my mistakes of believing, no matter what I read on Runcoach’s website, that I always needed to work hard to get faster. Easy days should be easy, hard days hard. Your body needs time to recover from the hard efforts. This is especially true as your body ages.


Anything else you would like to share? Again, listen to your body. I give Runcoach a huge amount of credit for my two fastest races taking place after I turned 50. However, I can not minimize the importance of having in person guidance in selecting shoes that match your running type. I was stubborn in thinking that the 0 drop shoes that worked well for a 42 year old me would still be good for 49 year old me. My local running store finally told me, after years of self denial, just try these 6mm drop shoes. That was the start of injury free training and racing.


What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience? It might sound simple, because it it. Follow the plan. This should be easy, the coaches tell you what to do, just do what they say. For people who are using the free service, I started there. It works very well. For those using the paid service, talk with your coaches, they all want you to succeed.


Laura and Colfax have a special relationship. If you are on Instagram @runswithcolfax is sure to brighten your day, especially if you’re lucky enough to catch a photo with Colfax staring at the camera!

 laura1

Laura is a Mom, Veteran, Dietitian, Triathlete, Runner and many more. So you might wonder how she gets it all done in a mere 24-hours? We asked, she replied “It’s habit, beginning with planning and prep the night before”.
Below is an extended Q&A with this super woman. 

 

How or why did you start running? How did you find Runcoach?

-          I originally started running in high school, 24 years ago (eek!). I didn’t make the cut for my school’s soccer and softball teams, so I thought I’d give cross country a try, and then also ran track and field. I took a break from running competitively during college, and then decided to see if I could still run a 5K when my now-husband (fiancé then) was deployed to Iraq in 2004-2005. It turned out I could, and I’ve basically been running regularly ever since.

-          I honestly don’t remember how I first stumbled across Runcoach! I think I saw it mentioned on someone’s blog or Instagram feed a couple years ago and checked it out. After years of using free training plans I found online or wrote up myself, I knew I needed something a little more individualized to not only push myself a little harder but also be appropriate for my personal fitness level and goals.

 

What motivates you to get out the door each morning?

-          These days, it’s habit more than motivation. It’s just what I do, and I know the rest of the day I’ll feel a lot more relaxed and productive if I run (or work out) first thing. Also, Colfax pops up ready to go as soon as my feet hit the floor, and his excitement certainly helps.

 

laura2How did runs with Colfax become a regular thing?

-          It was initially my husband’s plan for us to get a dog that could run with me, since I run early in the morning by myself. We have another dog but she’s never been interested in long slow distance! Sprinting is more her style. He did a lot of research into the breed that would be the best fit for our family, lifestyle, and ability to run long distances, and decided on a Brittany. We got Colfax when he was 4 months old and started him out with walks. After he turned one, I started adding short running intervals – a quarter mile at a time to start, and then gradually built it up from there. At the time, I didn’t think he’d run EVERY run with me, but when I saw how much he enjoyed it, it soon became a regular thing.

**Important note: Colfax is a champion racer. Check out his first-place medal from Palmetto Running Company. Congratulations to Laura on placing first in her age group as well. A truly DYNAMIC DUO!

 

What do you enjoy most about your wellness routine currently?

-          It’s MY time. The rest of my day is often dependent on the priorities of others – at work and at home as a wife and mother of 2 young boys – so the time I spend running and working out is often the only time that’s completely within my control. I have always loved to be active (I’ve been an athlete since age 5), so spending my free time moving in ways that make me feel good physically and mentally is a high priority.

 

What are some of your personal wins?

-          I’m most proud of the times I tried something I’d previously never thought possible, like triathlons, marathons, reaching new training mileage/intensity milestones, remaining active through two pregnancies, and clawing my way back to even higher levels of fitness postpartum and now as I get older. I’ve never ceased to be amazed at what my body can do when my mind gets out of the way.

What are your future goals?

-          The half marathon has broken my heart the last 4 times I’ve run it, all due to situations out of my control. But I’m not giving up! Someday I hope to break my PR of 1:51 (set 8 years ago). I’m also looking forward to eventually running another marathon and breaking 4 hours, but in the meantime, I’m having fun focusing on what I’ve recently decided are my stronger distances – 5K and 10K – and hoping to continue setting PRs in those distances.

 

Laura and Colfax, we are rooting for you both to reach new levels of fitness, personal bests, and enjoy every second of your journey!
Photo cred: Laura from @runswithcolfax 



Audrey successfully completed the Marine Corps Marathon a couple times, but kids and life kept her busy and away from marathons for almost 21 years. This year, she virtually completed MCM using Runcoach training! 

“ I am a respiratory therapist and this pandemic has been very stressful on all of us healthcare providers. Spending time improving my physical health has helped my mental and spiritual health too.”aud_3

Major milestone:

This was my first Marathon in 20 yrs! The last Marine Corps Marathon was about 21 yrs ago when I was pregnant with my youngest who is now 20. I ran with a running club and all we did was run. I remember in the training we ran up to 24 miles and being so sore after each long run! After kids, I ran 3-5 times a week, but rarely more than 3 miles.

 

What is the secret to your success?

This time I followed Runcoach almost to the letter including the cross training and core. I only ran 17 or 18 miles before the race went virtual. I was worried and emailed coach Tom because I was concerned it wasn't enough running. He said it was, and I ran the virtual MCM with a local run group.

 

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

Since the man who plotted the course was an ultramarathoner, his course had all kinds of hills -- It was harder than the actual MCM course would have been. I was a little scared. Once I hit 18 and could still run, I relaxed a little.. then 20, then 24. It was in the 50s in Maryland, windy and pouring rain all day. I finished in a little over 6 hrs. I didn't think I would have taken that long but those hills were tough. I was prepared to be sore the next couple days. To my surprise, I was not! The training really helped and now my next goal is to run an ultramarathon in March 2021.

 

What’s the most rewarding part of training?

The accomplishments! Doing things, like push ups or planks, that I could never do before. I am a respiratory therapist and this pandemic has been very stressful on all of us healthcare providers. Spending time improving my physical health has helped my mental and spiritual health too.

 

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

For those training, follow the program. It helps! And if you have questions the coaches do actually answer in a timely manner and have great advice. I have always had knee pain after running. I learned it was the way I run. I watched a video, changed how I run, and voila... why didn't someone tell me that years ago?

Anything else you would like to share?

I'm using Runcoach to train for the ultra!



Jerric_blogJerric restarted his relationship with running after a 15-year hiatus. His return has been nothing short of remarkable. While juggling the demands of family, a career, and training, he recently set a 27 minute personal best while completing the NYRR NYC Virtual Marathon. Read about his "not so secret" tips for success!

Major milestone:

I started running around Christmas 2018 after 15 years! Then I completed by 1st marathon in Chicago in October 2019 (finish time 4:18). Just completedmy 2nd marathon the NYC (virtual) in October 2020, big personal best of 3:51

What is the secret to your success?

There really is no secret here - you must put in the time and work for training. But I also view my running time as my "me" time." I reflect on my day ahead, I catch-up on podcasts, I listen to audiobooks, I let my mind wander...

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

The biggest challenge is balancing running with family and career. There are days when I have an early meeting so I will wake up really early (4:30am) to get my run in. If it's important enough, you'll get it done.

What is the most rewarding part of training?

Nothing beats crossing the finish line. While overall health and wellness is the over-arching goal (and Runcoach shows how you are improving which is very encouraging), crossing a finish line is a tangible milestone on this journey. And thinking of all your family and friends who support you through the good times and bad as you cross that finish line is humbling.

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

Follow the schedule Runcoach gives you. If you stick with the schedule, you will hit your goals. Also, be honest with yourself. If you can only run three times a week, put that in your profile so your schedule reflects this and it's not a stressor.

Anything else you would like to share?

Runcoach has really been good at predicting race performance for me. I keep doubting I'll hit those times for a race but I've managed to. The app is great and has helped me reach my goals. My coach, Hiruni, is always there to keep me focused. And no big deal but she's an 11 time Sri Lanken national record holder :)

What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?

Runcoach has been key in my running journey. The free version gives you a training program that is flexible and will adjust automatically for missed runs and multiple races. The paid version gives you 1:1 coaching (mine is super-friendly and helpful!) and allows for even more customized training schedules. I'm very happy with Runcoach!



Virtual races and time trials have been the medicine of choice for athletes like Ward who are missing the excitment of racing. As the race scene is still uncertain, we encourage everyone to test their speed and endurance through a self-timed race. You are working hard, why not snag a shiney new personal best? 

Ward's Recap of his recent time trial to Coach Tom:
ward_V2"I took my local coach, Susan (also wife of 45 years!) to the local high school track. As we squeezed through the locked gate, I said "Welcome to my world!"

She was only mildly amused as she crawled free of the gate. Laughing

The weather conditions were good - partly cloudy, slight breeze and temperature in the mid to upper 70's. Track was empty. I had rested all week - no runs (although I do a lot of physical labor - I am the "custodian" of a log cabin and 31 acre piece of property).

I set my 400m splits up to run a 7:25 1,600.

Here are my actual splits (per 400 meters):

1:50.74
1:50.52
1:44.58
1:38.58   
Final time = 7:04.42 !!!!

My heart rate steadily climbed up to 150, 155, 160. My max heart rate during the run was 168. It peaked as I "sprinted" (a generous term) down the final 50 m.

It was a very good effort. I did not have much left in the tank at the end and was running very close to my maximum effort (as much as you can do by yourself).

I also had my assistant take some short videos of me running towards camera, away from camera, and from the side. I thought you might like to examine my stride (if not my wonderful Covid haircut and Dave Wottle golf cap!*)

Conclusions:
1. My stride, as I suspected, is where I have lost most of my speed. I guess because I am weaker, my legs don't propel me as far with each step. My tempo is the same, my stride is much shorter. I look like an OLD MAN. I am an OLD man!

2. My max HR is probably about 170

3. I can run a sub-7 minute 1,600 m

Thank you for the challenge Coach!

-Ward




Races as we knew them are indefinitely put on hold. So what now? 
Well there's actually many others way to challenge your self and stay fit. Case &  point, run a marathon in 25 hours.

Runcoach athlete Aimee shares her motivations behind this unique quaratine challenge! We're sweating just reading about it!

aimee3
1)What are your reactions to the COVID19 pandemic?

COVID 19 has been and will continue to be an extraordinarily difficult experience for many in our nation and around the world. Many of my close friends are on the frontlines in healthcare and I am so grateful for their sacrifices. They make it possible for me to do something fun, like run a marathon in 25 hours. 

2)How do you stay motivated to continue to be active?

I live in Florida with two young boys so inactivity has not really been a choice! I am surrounded by great weather and lots of energy! We have been doing lots of running, biking, swimming and kayaking through the quarantine which has been such a blessing. However, the biggest motivator  for me is that I truly believe in the mental and emotional benefits of exercise in addition to the physical effects. So even on days that I do not feel motivated or excited about exercising, I remind myself of the reason I stay active: to practice self care. Not only for myself but also to hopefully be an example to my kids and students. 

3)Tell us a bit about the quarantine challenge and how you completed it?

I completed the “Marathon in 25 Hours” Quarantine Challenge. My training partner Mellissa found the challenge on Instagram and we decided to try it! The challenge began on Saturday at 12:00 noon. The plan was to run two miles on even hours (12:00, 2:00, 4:00 …)  and on odd hours we would run one mile until we reached 18 miles on Saturday. Towards the end of the evening Saturday I was losing motivation so I modified the plan and ran 3 miles at 7:00pm and 4 miles at 8:00pm to reach 18. On Sunday, we began running 1 mile on the hour every hour at 6:00am. We completed 8.2 miles to finish the full 26.2 in 25 hours! 

Admittedly, when I first saw the challenge, it did not seem intimidating. We had just completed the Dopey Challenge in January which consisted of 48.6 miles in 4 days (5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon). Then I completed another full marathon in February. So this seemed doable. However, I grossly underestimated the effect stopping and starting would have on my body and mind. The first several rounds were great but eventually my legs started tightening in between runs. It was difficult to get them moving again! It was also challenging to find motivation to get up and start the next round as the day continued. This is why I modified the plan and increased my milage towards the end of the day. I knew eventually I would succeed in talking myself out of getting off the couch so I just got to 18 as fast as I could! Sunday was a little bit easier as it was just a mile per hour. But with 6 miles left, I found myself fatigued. I reached out to a friend of mine and she encouraged me to dedicate each mile to someone in my life and focus on them rather than myself. That was hugely beneficial in helping me finish out the last 6 hours. 

An additional component of the challenge that I did not anticipate was fueling properly. In retrospect, I should’ve had a better plan of what I was going to eat and when to eat it. Spreading the miles out over so many hours but running every hour made it difficult to eat enough calories throughout the 25 hours. 

One fun thing about this challenge was that I was able to run at a pace much faster than my traditional marathon pace. I completed this marathon 40 minutes faster than my PR!

4)How did you find Runcoach?

I am new-ish to running. I started running two years ago because of a deal I made with one of my students (I am a college professor). My first goal was to complete a half marathon which I thought was certainly impossible. I have never been a runner, much less a long distance runner. Once I completed the first half marathon, I fell in love with running. It has truly made me a better mom, wife, professor, friend etc. I then set a goal to complete a full marathon. I have now completed 2 ( 3 if you count the challenge) marathons, 5 half marathons, 2 10Ks and several 5k’s in a little less than 2 years. I had proven to myself that I can, in fact, finish. So I set a new goal to improve my time and become a stronger runner.  I felt overwhelmed trying to plan my speed workouts, tempo runs and guess my goal paces so I started looking into finding a running coach and that search lead me to the runcoach app. It was such a relief to find the app! I have been using the app for a little over a month and my speed has already increased significantly and I feel much stronger during my long runs! I plan to run a marathon in November and cannot wait to see the progress I have made with the help of the app and coaches. 

5)What’s your advice to folks struggling with motivation due to race cancellation?

My advice is to remember why you are running. Races are certainly one of the best and most exciting parts of running. However, the health and wellness benefits are undeniable and more impactful than medals and race shirts (which are admittedly awesome and the only things I collect!) 

aimee1aimee2



d747ee20C180EC5-D2A8-4A67-872C-D253DB3024D8_2Teresa shares her incredible journey with the Runcoach community. She encourges us to first and foremost "START". However small the gains are, there are improvements!

Major milestone:
I started with the desire to lose weight- started walking. Now I feel it is truly a miracle- I can run 10 miles. I lost the weight but the other effects are priceless! No more depression, or back pain, I have more energy and I feel like I look so much better. I can actually see muscles in my legs and arms.


What is the secret to your success?
I started very small. Jogging for only 30 seconds initially. I continue to incorporate walk breaks into my run


What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
My biggest obstacle was the weather and day light kept me from gettin in my runs. Bought a treadmill to deal with this.


What is the most rewarding part of training?
Seeing the success and improved health. My thinking has changed- other areas of my life I now use the same strategies. Start small and stick with it. Progress not perfection is what I strive for.


What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
Don’t give up. If a 200 pound woman can do it anyone can!


Anything else you would like to share?
You are worth it.





jo-houJoanna ran an incredible race at the 2020 Houston Marathon. She talks about her journey to the finish line, how she ran a "dream time", while managing a busy schedule, minimizing distractions, and  other obstacles. She encourages everyone to have fun and be kind to yourself through the process of gaining fitness.


Major milestone:

A major fitness milestone is definitely running my first marathon in January of 2018. I was going through a difficult time in my personal life so training was not a priority but I decided to still go through with the run. I did not feel ready for it but I proudly finished and I'm glad I went for it. As of January 2020 I have completed three marathons!


What is the secret to your success?

The secret is not being hard on myself when I have a bad day or training session. It's telling yourself it's okay not to PR and that I will get another chance at it tomorrow.


What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
Time management! It has been a learning curve over the years with minimizing distractions but I know watching less TV or no TV and packing my stuff the night before have really helped. Those two minor changes have stuck with me over the years.


What is the most rewarding part of training?
The community. I've met a lot of people over the years that share similar goals and it's nice to have others to lean on when I need advice or accountability. It's rewarding making meaningful relationships along my fitness journey.


What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
Don't forget to have fun!!


Anything else you would like to share?
All of us runners/ triathletes had to start somewhere. It was not an overnight success but more so a lifestyle change/process. Start at one mile and work your way up. You too can run a marathon.


What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
It works! Stick to your plan and schedule and you will see results.



Beth is a super grandma and mom. She advocates to find joy every day, and how running helped to create a better version of herself. Go Beth!! Beth


Major milestone:

In life...being the Mom of three amazing big people and grandma of four beautiful little ones! In running..making a daily effort to become a runner, mentally or physically, after signing up for the half marathon.

What is the secret to your success?

Believing in myself. Living with intention, and finding joy in every day.

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

I am by nature a private person, so one of my greatest obstacles in this experience has been sharing my goals with others. Asking for advice is another. I signed up as a charity partner for Children's Minnesota and because I want to do right by that charity, I had a reason to share my goal with others.

What is the most rewarding part of training?

I love the escape. I also love the feeling of strength and accomplishment To lose myself in music and training helps me to be a better mom and grandma.

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

Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Set your goal and do your best.
Anything else you would like to share?

My family tells me it is still an accomplishment to train and run, even if the bus picks me up, but I'd like to finish the Half Marathon, still running. My 6 year old granddaughter delights in saying "my grandma is a marathon runner" so I'd like to prove her right. I'd also like to cross that finish line not too far behind the son who tossed me a challenge to run with him!



kathy2Testimonials from the 2019 Marine Corps Weekend! 


"The Runcoach plan is hard and has a lot of volume compared to others. Many people said the mileage I was running was crazy, especially not having a time goal.

 I have pushed my son in one other marathon with 2 others. I knew how difficult it would be, on this course and with one less teammate, with my son being heavier and who knew the rain and wind that would ensue.

 Runcoach prepared me for it all. I did commit myself to it 100%. I did not miss one workout the whole 18 weeks...it's changed me and my running forever!"

- Kathy



 

"I want to thank you and your team for everything that you did for my success in the completing my first Marathon. I couldn't have done it without you and your team. All and all I faired very well considering weather conditions yesterday.

I'm a little sore but I expected that for being the longest run in my life 8 miles longer than ever ran.
Also thank you for the last minute tips for running in the rain."

- Donnie


 

"Hi Coach,

Race weekend was awesome!

I successfully completed my first Marathon and my dream Marathon the MCM. I feel great for the accomplishment!!!

Recovery is going well. Thanks for all the support!!"
- Karen

 



"Coach, I want to thank you for everything that you did for my success in the completing my first MCM. I couldn't have done it without you. All and all I faired very well considering weather conditions yesterday.

 

I'm a little sore but I expected that for being the longest run in my life. This has been the most motivating training program yet."

- Betsy



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