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helen_blogHelen has persevered through physical set backs and anxiety running on roads, to complete a fast marathon just before her 60th birthday! She shares inspiring advice to "never give up", and "you get what you put into running".



Major milestone:
Completing a marathon just before my 60th birthday in a time of 4:01:05 following a serious car accident in late 2015 (just after running the DCM) when I didn't think I would ever walk properly again never mind run a marathon!

What is the secret to your success?
Determination and a will to exercise and get back on track. I still have nervousness crossing roads and being afraid that I might fracture my tib and fib again while running on uneven surfaces

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
Fear and loss of confidence which I had no issue with prior to my accident. I just wanted to get back out again with my friends from my running club who had kept in touch with me during my year off from running

What is the most rewarding part of training?
Sense of achievement always when a run is completed. Delighted with my progress and times at my age. Running with a group of friends. Being able to train to participate in races



What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
You will only get out what you put in! To achieve success running you must run....simple as that! When training for 2018 DCM, I had to go out on occasions when I didn't have company because of my work schedule but I still did it



Anything else you would like to share?
Never give up! It is worth the effort to get back if you have been injured, but be patient as you must listen to your body. If you can't run do something else like the bike indoors or cycle outdoors



What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
I've had great chats online with Coach Lindsay!



chris_blogChris made a successful return to running after having a kidney transplant in 2018. He shares how he found a way to pay it forward and run with a purpose. Prepare to be inspired and learn how you can also be the best version of yourself! 

Major milestone:
My major milestone is getting back to running after having a kidney transplant in January of 2018. So far since returning to running I have ran the Veterans Day 10K  in DC this past November, and recently the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. This coming Sunday I’ll be running the GW Parkway 10 miler.


What is the secret to your success?
The secret to my success is more than one thing that I do to run races. First it’s the desire to keep my living donor’s kidney healthy. I run for my wife, kids, my living donor, her family, my friends and family, and for the individuals I put in the back of my shirt during races that are in need of an organ donor. From there it’s diet, rest and meditation. Those three factors are just as important as the mental aspect. I eat a plant-based diet, get my rest and meditate when I can.


What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it?
My goal is to get out and run, right now it’s a basic goal. At times work, family, and my health will prevent a run I have planned. I have to be mindful with the medicine I take that if I start to feel under the weather, I may have to pull back and skip a run. While I may think I can still do it, I’m very in tune with my body. I know others might not like missing a run, and while I may feel that way it’s a brief feeling. I temper it with reminding myself it’s better to miss one run than multiples and a race I may have planned.


What is the most rewarding part of training?
The most rewarding part for me in training is getting out for a run considering all that has happened over the past 3 years. When I get close to race day, I’m excited to run with someone who’s in need on my back to show one can live a full life after a transplant. I also hope my last race that I ran with my living donor Ana, showed people after donation they can still achieve great things.


What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?
Enjoy your runs, find joy in them, and when you don’t have the energy or mental strength to run find a purpose in your run. If you can find a way to pay it forward in your runs or races, please do as that’s running with purpose. For me it’s the impact of organ donation and the need for more organ donors. Be a version of your best self.


Anything else you would like to share?
For me it’s you can be a living donor as Ana was for me, and go out and run 10 miles. I’m in no means unique either, I know there are other individuals out there that have received a kidney and doing marathons. The real heroes are the donors, and without them we wouldn’t be able to go out and run again. Also, please consider being an organ donor whether living or deceased. Every month 3,000 people are added to the waitlist for a kidney, and every 13 minutes someone dies waiting for a kidney. By becoming an organ donor you can impact not just one person, but multiple lives. Please sign up to become an organ donor: https://www.donatelife.net/register/


What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?
The experience and app was helpful to see where I was in my training. Having run cross country when I was younger, I could still gauge how I was doing, but the feedback from the app and training suggestions were helpful in the process of running only my second race since having been on around a 10 year hiatus due to my chronic kidney disease.



shutterstock_191142425You just ran a huge personal best in the marathon and spent the past week enjoying some well-deserved down time. You decide it’s time to start up again, but realize that post-race excitement is starting to dwindle and it’s much harder to get out the door than you anticipated. “How can this be!?” You ask yourself. “I just had a fantastic race and should be beyond excited to start again, right?” If you find yourself to be in this situation, fear not, you have a case of the easily curable post-marathon blues.

After fully investing in your training program for the past 3 months and being laser focused, it makes sense that it might be tough to get started again. I, personally, have always struggled jumping right back into full training after a marathon because I just spent the last 4 months completely focused on my goal. Oftentimes, we forget that running can be just as mentally taxing as it is physically taxing and we need to be sure to give ourselves time to recover in both ways after a marathon.

Here are a few tips to shake those post marathon blues and get that pep back in your step.

1. Throw pace and distance out the window and enjoy some unstructured training. It is mentally quite freeing to run on your own terms for a few weeks without a care in the world about pace. You will be spending quite a bit of time in the coming months focused on hitting splits, so enjoy some relaxed, care free runs and soak in the nice spring weather. Simply getting outside for a few leisurely miles can do wonders for both the mind and body.

2. Meet up with friends to keep things light and fun. Running with friends is a great way to unwind and relax. When you are chatting away, you start to focus less on how heavy/tired your legs may feel, and more on the conversations you are having. Before you know it, the run is done and you are feeling much lighter and happier than before you started. Never underestimate the power of running with friends.

3. After a few weeks, start to look at future races. I like to switch things up after a marathon and run some shorter races, like 5&10ks. It’s fun to set my sights on a new challenge and mentally change gears. Getting a race on the calendar will give you something to look forward to and help that motivation and excitement return.

So lace up your shoes, enjoy the warm weather, and shake those post marathon blues. Set your sights on a new challenge and enjoy the journey one step at a time. Happy Running!

 



Having a goal is one thing. Accomplishing the goal is another. David was able to complete the Seacoast Half Marathon in just under 8:00/mile pace (reach his pre race goal in flying fashion!). This was the first time he had help from a structured training program. Runcoach is now helping David train for a full marathon!b0c19b4david_running_seacoast


What is the secret to your success?


No one thing in particular, but I do want to give some credit to the Runcoach training schedule I followed for the two months leading up to the race. It was great to have a personalized schedule based on my past running data from Strava -- It gave me a plan I had more confidence in than just winging it on my own, and I did accomplish my goal!


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

Time -- still figuring out how find enough time. Wake up earlier seems the only solution I can come up with. Injuries. Fortunately I didn't get any. I think the warm ups suggested by Runcoach helped.
What is the most rewarding part of training?

Seeing progress and thus having the satisfaction that the training is paying off, and being part of communities -- online as well as local offline communities -- of runners supporting each other's goals.


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

If the mileage of the Runcoach training schedule seems to increase too quickly, don't be afraid to back off or skip a session. I followed the training schedule which, besides providing needed structure, got me to do some speed and interval training which was great, but I skipped a run occasionally when I felt like the mileage was too much and my training plan didn't really change and I was still "on target" most of the time.


Anything else you would like to share?

I've only been running for two years and using Runcoach to prepare for the half-marathon last fall was the first time I had tried a more structured training regime with a particular performance goal in mind. That in itself was a milestone for me, and the experience was positive -- enough so that I set another Runcoach goal for a marathon this fall!


What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?

As someone on the free membership, I was happy to use the algorithmically generated training plan based on my goal and running history, but never reached out to the Runcoach coaches. I guess I wasn't sure how make valuable use of that option. Maybe some suggestions on ways to use that resource would motivate me to try that.



Speed Work Makes the Dream Work speed
A little speedwork can help you run smoother and faster



Improving foot speed is one of the best things you can do to improve your times. Regardless of what race your are training for 5K or Marathon, faster foot speed, means faster pace. 

Sure, speedwork can seem like a scary beast you don't want to meet or know. But it doesn't have to be. Runcoach's training system encourages at least 1 speed workout every two weeks. This setup can ease you into faster paces, and help your body adapt to a new stimulus. 

Some of the speed work you'll encouter on Runcoach:

Strides - Short burst of speed. Usually 100 meters ( or 25 seconds) 
Fartleks - Periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running
Short intervals - High intensity bursts of speed, with slow "recovery" periods
Mix - A tempo effort, sandwiched by short speed intervals

Speed training can spice up your training and lead to better fitness and performances. Have an open mind, and give it a shot!




Fueling for your First MarathonmarathonFuel

So you're g up for a big spring marathon and have been checking all the boxes. You are logging tons of miles, nailing all your workouts, and even have your race day kit and shoes picked out weeks in advance. But, have you considered your marathon fueling strategy yet?

One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of marathon racing, is mid-race fueling.  You body will endure a great deal of stress and will require carbohydrates and fluids to stay strong all the way to the finish line. The chances of hitting that "wall" are much less if you have been getting in a steady stream of calories and fluids throughout the race- But where should you begin?

Research shows that the body is able to process 40-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour during exercise. While it would be fantastic for everyone to have their own personal bottles out on the course, just like the elites, this is not possible. So…what do instead? I recommend taking water every 5k, about 6-10 ounces, and a bit more if racing in hot conditions. A trick I learned is to squeeze the cups at the top to get the most out of each.  In addition to water, I recommend taking a gel every 5k as well.  Gels contain about 20 grams of carbohydrates and are easy to stash in shorts, sports bras, and pockets. Gels, combined with water, are a great option to help keep you hydrated and fueled all the way to the finish.

If the idea of taking gels is not appealing to you, I recommend checking out the race website to see what sport drink will be offered out on the course. You can purchase this ahead of time and practice using it during your long runs to make sure everything sits right. Which brings me to the most important aspect of mid-race fueling, practicing your strategy ahead of time.

It’s important to practice using gels and fluids during your long runs and workouts to make sure your stomach is able to tolerate the calories. Your body will get better and better at processing mid-run fuel so nailing down a strategy early on in your build up is key. Without practicing ahead of time, you run the risk of experiencing mid-race GI distress-something no runner wants to deal with!

So hit your local running store and give a few different gel brands/flavors a try to see which one you’ll want on race day. You can also pick up many commonly used sport drinks at these stores as well. Practice your fueling strategy early on in your build up and often, then go check that final box! Happy Running!



    Stephanie took 32 minutes off her Marathon time in one year.   She followed her Runcoach plan and paces religiously, stayed consistent and took it one step at a time to her Boston Qualifier for 2020!
  • Taking 32 minutes off my marathon time in one year and Boston Qualifying for 2020!


  • Consistency. I hear people say that they aren't "athletic" enough to run long distances. And honestly, neither am I. But with consistency and regularly putting one foot in front of the other your small gains will grow to become huge achievements. Also, friends that share your same crazy passion. Without my local running club I'm not sure I would have achieved what I did. Company on long runs and people to keep you accountable is worth its weight in gold.
  • Summer in Texas. That's a joke . . . kind of. Summer in Texas is quite brutal, but it makes you strong. The true obstacle, for myself at least, was and has been feelings of doubt. Why aren't my long runs as easy as what I perceive other's to be? Why didn't I hit each one of my intervals at the pace prescribed? Why does everyone seem to run so effortlessly and my legs feel like lead? Then I remember, these are my PERCEPTIONS. My perceptions are not reality. Every run is not going to be perfect. This is the real world and there will be good days and bad days. And at the end of the day, as long as I gave it my best effort, I'm still making progress. So there is a lot of come to Jesus conversations with myself and being conscious of the times that I'm being too hard on myself.
  • Looking back and seeing all of the progress that you've made. And realizing just how many people have supported you along the way and are happy for you. The running community is a phenomenal one, a place of camaraderie and where lifelong friendships are made and for ounce of energy I have given it, it has rewarded me 10 fold.
  • Trust the plan. It works. And be consistent. Don't skip workouts and don't skip long runs. Adjust dates and times, but get out there and do the work. The progress may seem slow when you're in the thick of it, but it is happening and you will make huge strides when you compare the beginning and end!
  • Running provides an individual goal. It is not dependent on coworkers, your boss, a team. It is all about what you put into it and what you want to get out of it. It's the most amazing sport with an amazing community. Take advantage of all it has to offer. I have made life long friends, run in foreign countries, and proven to myself there is nothing I can't accomplish when I put my mind to it and am consistent. Everyone has this same potential in running - to be a little better at something every day. And there just aren't that many things in life that provide you with that feeling.
  • I ran two marathons years and years ago. With zero desire to run another. I was talked into running Marine Corps and through the marathon came upon Run Coach. Since that time I took my marathon from a 4:10:00 to a 3:38:00. In my running club many people use many plans, and most of them involve determining paces and running according to 5k, 10k, half marathon pace. It's all too much math and too much thinking for someone like me. Run Coach does it all for you and I cannot say enough times how perfectly it fits my schedule and personality. The progress is real and I'm so excited to see what new accomplishments await me in the future!




Big breakthroughs don’t happen overnight. Steve shows us the importance of realistic goal setting, diligent training, and investment to physical and mental conditioning goes a long way. To qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon is a goal for many. Read about how Steve grabbed his fifth BQ, on a hilly course in Atlanta, while finishing 1st in his Age Group!

  • Qualifying for my 5th Boston Marathon and placing 1st in my age group at the marathon distance for the first time since I started running marathons 11 years ago.

  • Staying true to the Runcoach training plan, support from my Runcoach coach, Hiruni, and terrific support from my wife who would drive a few miles to meet me midway through my long run and provide hydration, nourishment, and a word of encouragement.
  • My biggest obstacle in reaching my goal was gaining enough confidence that I could once again run the distance at a speed sufficient to qualify for Boston. For the last few years, I’d been coaching myself and usually finished the marathon running on fumes and 5 to 10 minutes over the qualifying standard. Signing up with Runcoach gave me a more informed training plan which was challenging, but achievable. Having a highly trained and motivated coach to confer with really put me over the top.
  • Week after week I could feel the difference in strength, speed, and endurance. As I worked through speed workouts, tempo/threshold runs, and long runs on Saturdays, my confidence that I would accomplish my goal grew dramatically. Daily training plans are focused on preparing ones body to reach new capabilities, but the sum total of weeks and weeks of training prepares one’s mind to support the body during the race. There will be times when you start to doubt the body can keep going and that’s when your mind speaks about your training and that you can do this.


  • Unless you are sick or injured, push yourself out the door and get started. There may be days when your energy is low and you really don’t feel like working, but if you just get started, it’s amazing how quickly that changes. More than once, I was convinced I would not be able to complete the prescribed workout, but the outlook changed after getting that first couple of miles completed. Focus on the element of the workout you are performing and don’t think about the next element until it is time.


  • Knowing my goal race was a bit hilly (Atlanta), I sought out some hills to incorporate into my training, but there was no linkage in the training plan to the elevation changes of my goal race, nor any specific hill workouts included in the training plan. Also, there is no option to edit a workout uploaded from Garmin to indicate the workout was actually a race and not just another run. In order to post my results for races, I’d have to manually load my finish time and then I’d have to delete the details of the run data that came over from Garmin or it would double up the mileage.


  • As a newcomer to the sport of running, Miriam finds an abundance of enjoyment on the trails and roads. She's 20 kg (44 lbs) lighter and minutes faster than when she started. Read about this University Mathematics Lecturer's "accidental" start and now long-term relationship with running! 


    What is the secret to your success?
    miriam_blog
  • Though sometimes it is hard to get up and go out running, I know that it's worth making effort and start training. And indeed, after the first 10-20 minutes, it feels just great! Also, I try to follow the training schedule, and, in particular, to do workouts according to the schedule. In fact, till recently (i.e. till I joined Runcoach raining program) I just skipped workouts since they did not sound much fun to me. Now I have realized combining different kind of runs (easy, workouts, long urban runs and trails) is a right strategy and that it works for me.

  • It is always hard to start doing workout, but I remind myself that it will help me to enjoy the types of runs which I really like, such as long urban and trail runs. After 15 minutes of training, it starts to feel good.

  • I am lucky to live in Jerusalem, very close to good and beautiful trails, and also challenging urban routes. For me, the best treats are trail runs in the Jerusalem Mountains, with incredible flora and fauna. Also, running on Saturdays and holidays in Jerusalem, when it so quiet, peaceful and almost no traffic. This as close to paradise as I can imagine.



  • Do not give up when it feels not fun. If you approach a difficult stage in your run, say "start a long uphill part, try to smile and think that the life is beautiful. Smiles really help in uphill runs" I have checked it experimentally. 

  • Having training program which is created by computer system is great, but all of us have our individual circumstances (say, stormy weather, illness or injury,  other race events) and also our own tastes and preferences. So it is good to take a computer program as some general direction, and to adjust it to your exact needs. In this matter, communication with "real" coach has a great value, and personally I gained a lot from it!

  • It definitely helps to feel that the Runcoach team values the achievements and encourages moving towards further goals (which includes a help finding proper future goals). I would suggest to increase flexibility in calendar.  Ability for the runner to move future activities one-two days before or after the planned date. Also, it would be good to have a possibility to create a training program which includes trail runs, with respective assignments in terms of timing and running type in different stages of the trail. Though, creating such computer program is a very sophisticated task or just impossible, and perhaps one should just apply his/her own intuition and experience and, of course, consult "real" coaches.


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