“What could be worse than running? Why do these people do it? I never see someone happily running down the street. They all look miserable.”
It was 2009 and I distinctly remember saying something very close to that to my wife as we drove by a runner with, at best, a stoic expression on their face. At the time, my competitive outlet was soccer – a sport I started playing in 1982, and one that I was not ready to give up. I was in very good physical shape – better than most guys in their mid thirties. A short time later, my wife suggested that we run a 5K in Disney World with a group of her friends. I thought “Why not? It’s only 3 miles”. Heck, I probably ran 3 miles or more every Sunday morning on the soccer field.
Needless to say, I soon found out that road running is a lot different, and I struggled through a few 2-3 mile training runs ahead of the 5K. I think that I ran something like 26 minutes in the 2009 Expedition Everest 5K in Disney World. I don’t run that slow on easy days anymore, but back then I was the fastest in our group and I was proud of it. Furthermore, my dedication to a new sport was off and, uh, running.
By the end of 2009 I had run several more 5K races, and my personal best was down to 20:50. I wasn’t yet 40 years old, and I felt that if I committed to training, I could get faster. Little did I know that I would still be getting faster 10 years later. Since that first race in 2009, I have run countless 5K’s, a whole bunch of 10K’s, more than fifteen half-marathons, and seven full marathons. I’m not, and may never be, an elite runner. Right now, I am what you’d call an age grouper. That means that I’ll often hear my name called in the top-3 in my age group during awards presentations after I race. It’s more than enough to keep my competitive juices flowing.
The Road to Improvement
How has my road racing improved so much in the last ten years? Sure, I run a lot, but I have also benefited from some great coaching and mentors. In addition, I’m an avid reader and information seeker. When I get into something, I get way into it. I’ve read dozens of running books about training and sports psychology. One book that really resonates with me is Daniels’ Running Formula by legendary running coach Jack Daniels, PhD. While there is not a “bible” of distance running books, Daniels’ is an incredibly useful tool with valuable science-based information about how to properly train and race. I retained so much information from the book that I easily passed the exam to become a VDOT O2 Certified Distance Coach.
I would very much like to use my knowledge of and passion for distance running to help you reach whatever goals you have for your running career. Whether you’re looking to break 30 minutes in the 5K or qualify for the Boston Marathon, I can help you train smarter and achieve success. I am married with three children. I work hard. I know that life can get in the way, and I will work with you to build a personalized plan that puts you on the path to a PR. You will not get a “one size fits all” approach to coaching. I relish working with different abilities and personalities, and I look forward to starting with you on the road to improvement.
In the meantime, if you happen to see me out there logging some miles with a look of determination, just know that inside I’m smiling because there’s no place I’d rather be.
My only requirement is that you are motivated to be the best runner you can be within whatever the constraints are of your daily life.
I offer custom training plans for beginner runners, recreational runners, high school runners, and competitive runners.
I can help you improve in most distances including the mile, 5K, 10K, 20K, Half Marathon and Marathon.
How it Works
Phone call or in-person meeting to discuss your experience, goals, time constraints, and just get to know you.
Workouts designed specifically for your schedule and fitness level
Training plan centered around goal race(s)
Free access to your training schedule at vdoto2.com and in the VDOT app
Comments by coach and athlete (me and you) are private on VDOT app/site
Nutrition advice for race week and race day
Strengthening and cross-training advice when needed
Frequent communication (check-ins) by phone, text, email