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runcoach blog
Jennifer Van Allen

Jennifer Van Allen

In the spotlight: Shea Companies

Tim Moore has lost 46 pounds since starting the Shea Moves 750,000 Miles Challenge. He ramped up his mountain-biking miles, rebooted his diet, and he's felt a boost to his energy and his mood.

Tim Moore shea_timmoore
Information Systems Manager
Shea Mortgage 

Favorite fitness activity: Mountain Biking

What’s the secret of your success? The Shea Moves 750,000 Miles Challenge motivated me to make a lifestyle change. My wife and I began to eat healthier, and we both increased our physical activity. We  starting with walking the  dogs for a mile once or twice a day, and intentionally parking further away when we were out shopping. I increased my mountain biking from an average of 70 - 100 miles a month, to 200 miles or more a month. I have averaged nearly 250 miles a month for the first four months of the Challenge. I've always been active, but the Challenge definitely motivated me to up my game. Now that the weather is warming up, I will resume the regular dog walks. I also plan to add some strengthening exercises to my weekly activities. In terms of changes to our eating, I basically follow the Nutrisystem method (something my wife and I successfully did back in 1991), only with store-bought food. I have three meals and three snacks per day. I’m eating healthier foods, more fruit and vegetables, fiber, and less red meat. I’m also drinking 8 eight ounce glasses of water per day.

What’s the biggest obstacle to moving more and how do you overcome it? Dedicating the time each day to make it happen.

What’s the most rewarding part of participating in the Shea Moves 750,000 Miles Challenge? Seeing and feeling the results:  In the first four months of the Challenge I lost 46 pounds, and I've maintained my weight since. I have more energy, and an upbeat attitude.

What advice would you give to your fellow challengers? Find an activity that fits your lifestyle. Get your spouse or friends involved to keep you motivated to continue. If you miss a day or two, don't beat yourself up over it. Just be sure to get back at it the first chance you get.

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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Elliot Norman had a 3:16 marathon PR and a dream of getting a Boston Qualifying time of 3:05. He used Runcoach to train for the Paris Marathon, and finished the race this weekend in 3:00 smashing his previous PR, and accomplishing his goal.


What is the secret to your success? I listen to my body, if I don't think I can do a workout distance or pace I back off. I focus on form and try to think about how life decisions outside of running—in terms of things like diet, alcohol, and sleep— will impact performance.

What’s the biggest obstacle to reaching your goal and how do you overcome it? I think I have struggled in previous marathons to execute my success in shorter races and training runs through the last few miles of the marathon. This feels like a mental hurdle that I was hoping to push through by following an increased mileage plan with Runcoach.

What’s the most rewarding part of your training? Seeing the improvements in my times when it comes to race day and the feeling of satisfaction and achievement on a daily basis from completing my workouts.

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Everyone is different.  Train to your body and your capabilities, adjust your goals based on your progress. Don't ramp up distance or pace too fast, take your time and don't push too hard all the time. You're better off skipping a workout and resting to let yourself heal and recover than to push through and miss a lot more because of injury.

Tell us about your racing success at the Paris Marathon. I started with Runcoach with the goal of making my Boston Qualifying time. After completing the Marine Corps Marathon in 3:16 and having a half-marathon PR of 1:21, I knew I had it in me. But I hadn’t found the right training combo to execute well in the marathon. I tore my calf last May which ruled out my fall marathon and so I reset my goal for the 2017 Paris Marathon. When I registered, I was conservative and estimated a 3:15 finishing time. But after very closely following my prescribed training plan I thought I would be close to the 3:05 I needed to BQ. I knew that time was unlikely to get an entry but seemed like a good goal. At the expo I had to use race results to move up a corral and was actually put in to the sub-3 ‘preferential’ group. I started at the back of the group to ensure I didn’t get wrapped up in a group whose pace was well above my capability and to give myself some room.

It’s a beautiful course starting on the Champs-Élysées with the sun rising on the Arc De Triomphe. It was 50 degrees, with no wind and clear skies. The conditions couldn’t be more perfect and the further in to the race I got, the better I felt. During my training I would stop every 5K at water fountains. So I  walked through the water stops, while this cost me a little time it ensured I was well hydrated and able to refocus on the next few miles ahead. 

As I hit the half-marathon mark in 1:29 I felt good and was starting to think that if I could keep that pace up I had a shot of going sub-3. But I stayed focus on my original goal. I knew there were a lot of miles to go. Paris is a beautiful city but I was focused on being on the ‘green line’ painted to show the shortest way around the course the whole time. As I ticked off the miles waiting for the wall to come I continued to feel good. Having drastically increased my mileage since starting with runcoach, I was more confident and I could visualize those last 9 miles as one of my normal weekday runs. I kept focusing on the sacrifices I’d made and the motivation my family give me to push. I was frantically doing the mental math over the last 6 miles to see if I’d break 3 hours. In the end, I finished in 3:00:25. Still way below what I dreamed and shattering my goal and PR.

Those 26 seconds frustrate me but gives me motivation for Chicago in the fall and hopefully Boston next April. I’ve already put both into Runcoach and after a short break I am excited to start training for them again.    

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

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In the Spotlight: Genentech

Marcia Coyne

Associate Director, Cell Banking

marciacoyneambFavorite fitness activity: Walking.   I also enjoy rowing and am seeing the benefits of upper body conditioning. I'm trying a few new sports, like Stand Up Paddeboarding and Orange Theory,  to see what types of activities I enjoy.  ​ ​I've been tracking my steps for over three years now​, making sure to average at least 10,000 steps per day.I just finished my first half-marathon—with no pain and I'm ready to do another! 

What’s the biggest obstacle to moving more? Time is the biggest obstacle, however making movement a priority has helped.  Since last November, I've lost almost 50 pounds and over 35 inches (from the neck, arms, chest, waist, hips, thighs and calves).  I've gotten healthier. (No more blood pressure medications!), and I’ve gotten a whole new wardrobe to keep me moving!

What's the most rewarding part of participating in the Genentech 500,000-Mile Challenge? The company-wide challenge wasn't part of the picture for me, but I like seeing who else is participating and it adds a bit of accountability, but I really needed to step up and do this for myself.​

Best advice: Keep moving! Every little bit helps.

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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Gail Johnson
Fitness Instructor and AFAA/NASM Certified Personal Trainer
Blue Star Resort & Golf
In the spotlight: Shea Companies

shea_resize_cropgailjohnson 1

Favorite fitness activity: Definitely bicycling. I ride close to 150 miles per week and love every minute of each of my rides. The best ride is always the one I’m on. I love Spinning classes because they are great for endurance and are also a form of cycling. I also do weight training and stretching so I mix it up a bit.

What is the secret to your success? Passion for the sport I love, and my friends.  You have to find something that you love to do whether it is cycling, running, swimming, tennis, hiking, walking, fitness classes or whatever gets you excited. Cycling is my passion and when I ride I am doing what I love.  Just going out to my garage and looking at my bike makes me smile and long for yet another ride.  I also belong to a bicycle club with ongoing scheduled rides. I ride with all my friends and so each of us counts on the other to show up. We take turns leading, chat along the way and even race each other a bit. It is all about fun and stopping for a cup of coffee - those conversations keep us all connected.

I ride at least 3 to 4 charitable events a year and have spent vacation weeks riding my bicycle. During the last 12 months I was lucky to be able to ride three tours with friends in Canada, Switzerland and New Zealand. Wow! I have to stay in shape and keep up my training in order to do these rides, so it motivates me to keep riding.

What is the biggest challenge to moving more? Getting out of bed and getting going. It is too easy to roll over and go back to sleep. But if I missed a ride just to sleep in I would be unhappy the entire rest of the day.   I don’t do that very often unless of course, it is really raining or very windy (I hate the wind!). Besides that, my friends are waiting at the corner for me!

What is the most rewarding part of participating in a movecoach Challenge? I am a bit competitive so I really am enjoying this challenge. I love it that every time I turn on my Garmin for a ride that the data automatically transfers to movecoach. Up until the past few months I haven’t tracked most of my steps or walks, but I just got a Garmin watch in the past few weeks and so I guess that will upload in the future. I love how it is so easy to add activities, such as my weight training and spinning miles.

I also like seeing what others are doing and giving the “High Five” to other employees that are on my BlueStar team. I’m also impressed with folks that really kick it up achieving goals.

What advice would you give others who are struggling to move more? First, get out of bed and decide today is the day. Then set an achievable goal and work to get there. You don't need to do a marathon to set a goal. A goal can be as simple as just taking your first class or walking two miles. Whatever you choose it has to be achievable. Don’t be afraid to go to a class - t most people really don’t care how good you are. A good instructor will help to modify exercises to individual abilities and limitations.

There are also lots of charitable organizations that need help and they offer fundraising events for all levels of participants all over the country. You don’t have to be the fastest or even go the farthest. These events usually have lots of options. Finding one and training for it makes it a goal with a deadline. What could be better than riding 35 miles one year and the 65 miler the next - talk about an accomplishment! Both the participant and the charity wins.

Most important to me is being part of a group because the support and the friends are invaluable. Both my bicycle club and exercise classes count on me to show up. We share information about equipment, gear and even pictures of our kids.

I think it helps to try a lot of different activities to find your favorite. Over the years, I have tried both swimming and hiking. While I liked them both and did well with them, they just didn't ignite the passion and excitement that I get from bicycling. Not only can I do something fun while exercising but I can actually go somewhere!

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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Corie Smith

Favorite sport: Marathon 

cs_rss_amb2Major milestone: Reduced per-minute pace and injury rate!

What is the secret to your success? Runcoach, cross training and proper fueling. I've also weaved in Shaklee Pure Performance supplements to help build core nutrition!

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? Available time seems to be my biggest struggle. Runcoach has given me a longterm view of training schedule and even helped move schedules around to meet family and work demands.

What is the most rewarding part of training? For sure it's exceeding my target pace for the duration of the run!

What advice would you give to other members of the runcoach community? What and how you fuel is just as critical as sticking to the schedule! Consistency is the key to success!  After running 2 marathons with programs I found online, I was introduced to runcoach via Marine Corp Marathon. Training with the runcoach app, the community of runners and coaches was the accountability I needed to stay motivated through the many months of training. I knew at that point I would always train for marathons using runcoach!

In the Spotlight: Genentech

David Tsaidavid tsai_ab
Country Study Specialist
Country Clinical Operations (CCO)
PD Clinical Operations (PDG)

Favorite Fitness Activity:
Running with colleagues on the bay trail. 

What's the most rewarding part of participating in the Genentech 500,000-Mile Challenge? MoveCoach moves me to get up the leaderboard and helps me keep track of training!

What's the biggest obstacle to moving more, and how do you get over it?
I think mentally it's difficult to get out of work mode and go for a run or work out. But having friends and colleagues that keep me accountable (and not wanting to delay them or make them wait for me when we agreed upon a designated time) is what really helps me overcome mentally not wanting to work out.

What advice would you give to your fellow Challengers? Keep up the good work, living longer and being healthier and creating a better change for yourself! 

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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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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