Forgot username?     |     Forgot password?

Show Blog Categories
Hide Blog Categories
February 29, 2016

Customer Success Story: Mike Machula

Written by Ashley Benson

mikemachulaGuest blog post by Mike Machula

Starting my journey with runcoach was a lucky accident – using their training program this last year I not only set two PR’s in one race but I blew them away.  There must be something to the program when you run your fastest half marathon ever during the second half of a full marathon.

I first met the runcoach team at the Houston Marathon Expo in January 2015 and they told me this incredible story about how the average runner training on their program improved 7%.  They even claimed some runners felt strong at the end of their race and could have kept going.  I wanted to believe it, but I was little skeptical because I had trained so hard using a lot of other programs and never seen results anywhere close to that.  My goal for the 2015 Marathon was to break 4 hours. While I felt I could do it if I had a very good run (ran 3:56:57), I was not confident.  Thinking I might not make my goal, I figured runcoach might be the way to make it the next time, so I decided to give the program a shot.  I told them if I had anywhere close to a 7% increase I’d give them a glowing review.  I am now more than happy to keep that promise. I think my training story and results will speak to the success of the runcoach program.

When I started the runcoach program in February 2015, I decided I just wanted to maintain my current fitness level for a little while and ran three days a week.  Everything was going fine and I stayed with it consistently through the beginning of summer.  Vacations, kids activities and the hot Houston weather made it difficult to maintain the schedule in June, July and some of August.  In September, after chatting with coach Ashley about the Marathon being a little less than five months away, I ramped up my training to four days a week.  At this point I followed the schedule pretty religiously.

The training to me never felt overly strenuous.  That actually concerned me a little because I held the typical male belief in the back of my head that if you aren’t pushing yourself 110% and feeling it then you can’t be improving.  However, I really trusted the runcoach team to know better than I did and so I kept following the program.  The long runs were just that, long but not strenuous at all. I figured I was getting my improvement on the threshold and speed days.  Those runs were challenging but never to the point where I felt incapable of doing it.  Just when I felt like it might be too much, I completed the fast pace portion and had enough recovery time between sets that allowed me to keep going for the entire workout.

In November, two months prior to the marathon, I had a run that convinced me the program was actually working.  The day was supposed to be an easy 5 mile run at a 9:30 pace.  It was a pleasant evening but nothing special. I set out my 5 mile loop around the neighborhood and I didn’t pay much attention to my pace.  At mile 1, my GPS watch vibrated and I looked down to see I just ran an 8:00 pace.  I didn’t think much of it and kept going.  At mile 2, the watch vibrated and showed a 7:35 for the previous mile.  At that point I was a little surprised because I felt really good – like I was running my normal pace.  I kept going and at mile 3, I completed a 7:40.  Now I’m thinking to myself, the last time I ran a sub 8:00 pace over 5 miles was 5 years ago (I remember the day well because I’d accomplished a goal). Knowing I had 2 miles remaining I decided to keep up the pace and ran the 5 miles in 38:30 (7:42). Five years of running and I had never been able to repeat it and on that November day I did it without really even trying.

A month later, during my longest training run, I knew the training was working because at mile 20 I felt like I had a lot left in the tank.  I had two more miles to go and I decided to pick up the pace by a minute per mile and see what would happen.  I had no problem finishing at that high pace and could have kept going for much longer.

Race day in Houston was a perfect January day (45 degrees, light wind and sunny).  I started out intentionally slow for the first few miles to conserve energy.  Everything felt great as I picked up the pace to around 1:10/mile faster than my training pace.  I kept it there for the rest of the race.  At mile 8, I remember thinking to myself this can’t be right because it feels like I just started.  I had to remind myself to take my energy Gu and often was surprised that the next water station came so quick.  Halfway though I continued to feel good and missed setting a half marathon PR by 1 second (1:50:24).  At mile 17 nothing happened.  The previous year that’s the point I really started to become aware of my legs. At mile 20 I started thinking I hope I can keep this pace up.  I had no idea what the wall would do to me at this pace or when it would come.  Around mile 23 I felt the energy drain, but it wasn’t that bad.  The previous year I slowed way down, but this year I managed to keep the same pace. I just had to concentrate on doing it.  I would compare it to the same concentration it takes to force yourself to walk as fast as you can. Not bad at all.  With a mile to go, I felt a million times stronger than the previous year, picked up the pace and ran my fastest mile of the marathon.  I finished with a time of 3:40:20 (which happens to be a 7% improvement from the previous PR).  Incredible!  Thanks runcoach!

Movecoach is a brand owned by Focus-N-Fly, Inc Copyright 2019