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January 07, 2019

Runcoach Success Story: Oren

Written by Neely Gracey
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Oren ran his first marathon and felt supported throughout the training program. He discovered that he saw progress in fitness and mental approach too.  He is an amazing example of how you can reach for your personal goals despite the work/life stresses surrounding you.

    7d01b88Marathon-medalMajor milestone: Completed my first Marathon!

    What is the secret to your success? Great training plan and support by Runcoach and the entire team! Hiruni, Ashley, Tom and everyone else. We created a plan that worked and I stuck to it. Was prepared for the highs and also the lows of the race day. Hurray, I'm a Marathon runner!

    What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? There are always inner and outer obstacles. Inner is always the most challenging, with self motivation, self discipline and "coach-ability". Even on race day. The outer obstacles exist for everyone... Career, family life, physical health all require a great balancing act. Learning comes from persistence, miles and suffering it out (with a smile). I'd try not to look at a single training day or even a week, but always keep the long term goal ahead. For me, it's a process of moving forward, making the most out of the balance of internal and external forces.

    What is the most rewarding part of training? It's really great seeing how seemingly long distances have become easy. A half Marathon? No sweat! Let's blast it out!

    What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Training an executing a marathon is a completely different ballgame than shorter distances simply since there is much less tolerance for error on race day. I think my most valuable advice is to learn from the long training sessions (over 30km) during buildup and after every workout what needs to be adjusted and then apply it on the next. Trying a new strategy on race day is too late. Marathon is also very sensitive to execution: Nutrition, pace, and pace consistency. Bottom line, it's easier said than done to have everything under control especially for the first race. While avoiding a meltdown is best, I think it's best to prepare for it, at least mentally. It might and will happen, and you need to have faith to endure even if it lasts for a good part of the race.

    Anything else you would like to share? Training with Runcoach was a positive experience! I've trained with personal coaches for many years, and this was the first time going virtual. I found that the adaptive training plan together with personal email support (on my "entry plan") really works, and is definitely cost-effective.

  • What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience? There are several rooms for improvement: - Adaptation of the training programs to the metric system. An example: a workout calling for for 3.2 kms (2 miles) sessions. - Adaption of the website and email literature to the metric system. For example: minutes per mile pace in various communications.
Last modified on January 07, 2019
Neely Gracey

Neely Gracey

Neely was born into this sport, literally. Her dad (Steve Spence, 1992 Olympic marathoner and 1991 World Champs Bronze Medalist) was running the Boston Marathon on the day she was born. She grew up in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and in 8th grade set some big goals for herself.

While running for Shippensburg University, Neely broke Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) records, won 17 PSAC titles, and was named the conference athlete of the year for every season while at Shippensburg from 2008 to 2011. She is an eight-time NCAA DII Champion and still holds two NCAA records.

In 2016, Neely debuted at the Boston Marathon and was the first American finisher in 2:35. Later that year, she took it a step further with a 2:34 and 8th place finish at the NYC marathon. In 2017, Neely clocked victories at Rock ‘n Roll’s Arizona, New Orleans, and Chicago Half Marathons and was Runner-Up at the USA half marathon and 25k Championship races. She is excited for what the next year will bring as she pauses from her running career to start a family. She ultimately hopes to build towards the 2020 Olympic year.

Today, Neely lives in Boulder, CO with her husband Dillon and their Vizsla, Strider. They are happily entrenched in the running community. Between training, and competing, she enjoys coaching and helping other runners chase their goals!

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