I am a USAT Level I Certified Triathlon Coach, a Healthy Running Certified Running Coach, a Lydiard Level II Certified Running Coach and an RRCA Certified Running Coach. I am also certified in Personal Sports Nutrition and am working toward being a certified Obstacle Course Coach as well.My clients tend to be new runners and triathletes in the over 40 age groups that are looking to finish their first endurance challenges, reach for that first podium finish, or just strive to get better. I get such a euphoric high, watching clients, and friends, cross that finish line. The smiles on their faces knowing they just conquered their goals feels so much better than crossing the finish line myself.

In our last episode (I always wanted to say that), I mentioned the mistakes I made with the Sarasota Half Marathon.  I usually would never have a client race two weekends in a row and to tell you the truth I had no intention of racing either, but I did had a client who was supposedly running the Florida Beach Half Marathon as a training run, so my plan was to go and support.

At least, that is what I told myself the night before, but when the alarm went off and I found myself wide awake, I thought to myself.

“Self, I would really like to run today, but I want to support my client.”

“Brad, why don’t you just run with him.  He is supposed to do an easy aerobic run anyway.”

“You know, Self, that isn’t a bad idea.”  I then proceeded to get up, get dressed and head out the door.

Except for the long wait to park, it was pretty smooth sailing.  I was able to sign-up, go back to the car and drop my SWAG and head back to the start.

I was also lucky enough to see Jessica Crate and Jessica Perez, my business partners, out there as well which only inspired me more.  (More on the business thing in another post.)

I found my client, and another friend from TeamRWB, at the start and we decided on a 8:45 to 9 minute/mile pace.  He had just finished the first two weeks of a grueling strength phase, so I wanted to make sure that this was just going to be a nice easy run.  Right.

We started out and the energy took us, but I have to say we were talking the whole way.  Even though I kept trying to slow us down, we couldn’t seem to run over an 8:30 pace.


As the miles went by I kept re-assessing, the pace and how we were feeling.  The thing was, we were both talking comfortably without straining.

It was a little overcast and the temperature wasn’t bad, but the humidity was pretty high, so I just thought we will keep going and the minute the effort seems to increase we will slow down.

I accepted the fact, that maybe this was just our pace for the day.

Ft. Desoto  while still a beach and it was a road I had been on many many times while training was beautiful that morning.

There were well over 2500 people racing and everyone seemed to be having a great time, so I felt lets just see how far this pace will take us.

The first ten miles we ended up averaging around 8:25 and we conversed the whole way, but then we passed the 10 mile mark, meaning there was only a 5k to go.

I think we both instinctively picked up the pace.  He blamed me and I blamed him, but I think it was mutual.

We took the next three miles with negative splits, well under 7:50s.  When the last 400 came up I took off and while I still felt fatigued, I had it in me.

We crossed 1:50 just a few seconds from each other.  I had to cross first, right?  I mean while I pledge myself as a triathlon coach, but I am a run coach first, so I had to set the example.

(I know it isn’t going to happen when I start training my Olympic athlete later this summer.  For her I am going to have to ride a bike during road runs.)

I have to say, that it was a much more enjoyable race than Sarasota on the performance end.  Could I have run faster? Yes, but even though it was an aerobic run, I beat my race time from the week before.

My client mentioned that he felt great on the run as well, and he was only 3 minutes off his PR.

Lesson learned and applied – Start easy and remain consistent.  If the energy is available, start negative splits the last 5k.  That is what seems to work for me.

Have you ever consciously applied some lessons from a previous race?  Did you find you had a better race?

Carpe Vitam!