Burn out is real. Boredom is real. Injuries can happen fast for people who spend a
majority of their day sitting. I snuck into the run coach scene in 2015 when I broke
through with a run less, run faster strength training approach to distance training.
As a D1 collegiate pole vaulter, in one week you would find me in a pool, gymnastics
room, weight room and on the track. Variety kept me strong. It increased my
performance, decreased the likelihood of burnout and ultimately allowed me to be
successful while staying injury free.
After the birth of my second daughter, I jumped into the obstacle racing scene. A
sport that requires you to be able to run over long distances while also having the
physical strength to hang, pick up heavy objects and swim in some cases. You want
to be fast, but you also need to carry enough muscle to be successful in obstacles.
Enter cross training. Run three times a week. That’s it. Spend the other days cross
training: pool, bike, weights, or resting.
As I started to pick up more strictly road race clients, I continued to apply the same
methodology (both on myself and them).
Three mandatory runs a week: Intervals (track and speed work or hills),
tempo/recovery runs, and long steady state runs.
One ride a week at Flywheel Sports – the metrics Flywheel offers are similar
to a Garmin watch. See power output, either work less or work harder. This
is low impact interval or recovery training that is strength training at the
Strength train two times per week – PICK. UP. WEIGHTS. Yes, you marathon
runners. Heavy weights. Weights that make you feel like you might not be
able to finish a set. I make my marathon runners hang, do pull ups, kettlebell
swing, curtsy lunge, single arm carry, lie on the ground and do isometric
Here’s the biggest catch. I train everyday people. The people who have kids. A 9-5
job. They will likely never win a road race. They are chasing personal bests, but
also the good feels exercise gives them. They are having babies. They are
postpartum. They don’t overthink their week (because our weeks never go as
planned). They value community. They need variety. It’s so easy for people living
the lifestyle of those mentioned above to get in a routine of doing the same thing or
absolutely nothing when life gets in the way. Sometimes doing the same thing can
be just as bad as doing nothing.
On November 16th, I toed the line of the Charlotte Marathon with over 15 women
who had taken part in this form of training in one way or another. They would go on
to cross the finish line of the 5k, relay, half marathon, and marathon with personal
bests in almost every event. Even better, they were full of JOY. I have watched
people show up to track workouts and be discouraged (because they are not as fast),
only to show up to a subsequent strength workout and realize that is what they
excel at. Spending time in various workout environments allows one to really see
where they need to challenge themselves more while also giving themselves the
grace to see where they excel. Seeing it all come together not only makes them live
life better, but allows them to see JOY in doing things they never imagined with
people they have grown to love.
So how do you even start? I can help! But, the easiest thing to do is start trying new
things. Whenever I start the process of putting together a plan for someone, I ask
the following questions:
What are your goals? Someone who wants a healthy pregnancy is different
that someone who wants to run a marathon.
What do you currently do? And do you like it? I never want to take away
something from someone that they like to do. When you like to do something
you are more likely to go.
What do you not like to do? Hate running? Okay, we won’t run. Can we get
you to Flywheel? Can we get you in a pool? Can we get you doing some
anaerobic weights somewhere?
What day do you like to take off? Yes. Recovery is necessary. Pick a day or
two to take off depending on your goals.
Do you rely on a community or are you self motivated? Some people can do
workouts on their own. Most can’t. If you need accountability, find a way to
get it. Sign up for stuff where you will get charged for no showing. Tell me
you are coming to see me. I’ll text you at 4:30A for a 5A workout to make
sure you show up.
Do you have any injuries? Some places just don’t do a good job giving
modifications. They probably own that. If you need more, be willing to ask
What is your budget? SweatNET is an amazing tool to find free workouts
weekly and drops in to make a variety of boutique workouts affordable while
also seeing a similar community.
The New Year is a perfect time to start thinking about ways to switch things up.
Surround yourself with new people, while also not forgetting about the old people.
Beginning December 17th, every Tuesday 5:30P at Flywheel, I will be leading a
community class for SweatNET members. Drop in rate is $18. Be prepared to have
fun, learn something about yourself, meet new people, and “never coast”.