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Runcoach Success Stories

Runcoach Success Stories (52)

Highlighting the successes of our awesome Runcoach athletes

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



kellyblogKelly is a woman on fire!
She just completed her second 1/4 marathon, shattering her previous personal best by over 14 minutes .
Now she has her sights set on the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Half Marathon this October.
Kelly shares tips on how she got started, set and surpassed various goals, and how to maintain momentum and personal accountability! 


Major milestone accomplished: 

Truly my biggest milestone was doing my first 5k, which was about 8 years ago. I was never a runner or an athlete (typical band geek, book worm high school and college kid!).
I was fortunate to work with a lot of teachers and friends who were avid runners, and they encouraged me to get started. Honestly, I could not run more than 1 minute at a time when I first started. Completing my first 5K was such a huge accomplishment, and I have continued to move forward from there.

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

My mind. The mental game is such a big part of this process. I am learning to beat that with each big race I complete. So much of success is in proper training and preparation, and surrounding myself with a group of people that keep pushing me to be my best!

What is the most rewarding part of training? Achieving or exceeding goals?

This past week I ran my second 1/4 marathon. The first I did in May of 2018 with a time of 1:20, which I was very pleased with. I have never been super fast, and just completing it was a huge accomplishment. I set a goal of 1:15 for this last one, and crushed it by completing in just over 1:06! I am still stunned at my success, but know that my consistency and perseverance definitely paid off!

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

Never give up on yourself! And surround yourself with like-minded friends who share your passions and enthusiasm for fitness and wellness. This is truly a journey, and it is so much more enjoyable when we do it together with friends!



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 engaging, enthusiastic, and positive. She almost makes the impossible seem possible. But it was still up to me to make it happen.

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.


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