Deb Quit Running for 20 Years… Now She Runs Ultramarathons (plus a new announcement)

Whoa – the response you’ve given me from this new focus on injury prevention has been awesome.

Thank you to everyone who has been inspired by Sarah’s story and emailed, tweeted, or messaged me with your questions and comments. I’m so happy this stuff resonates with you and I’m working hard to get back in touch with each one of you.

Deb-Marathon (640x371)

I’m so excited to help the specific problems you’re sharing with me. Not only that, but the enthusiasm for healthy running that bubbles through your answers puts a smile on my face!

To help you with some misconceptions and your injury questions, last week I released a presentation that a lot of people loved.

And as a special encore, I put together a new presentation with 5 more common Q&A’s:

  1. Do icing and NSAIDs prevent injuries?
  2. Will functional strength exercises prevent running injuries?
  3. What stretches should I do before and after I run? And what are their benefits?
  4. What is actually causing my injury?
  5. How do I incorporate injury prevention techniques without hurting myself?

It’s already been emailed to everyone on my injury prevention email list. If you didn’t get it and want to see both video presentations, just sign up here.

But before you watch the next Q&A video, I want to share another inspirational story that has a lot of lessons you can apply to your own running.

Meet Deb – she was “stuck, limited, and slow”

The other week when I profiled Sarah’s transformation from being chronically injured to healthy and pain free, there were predictably a lot of cheers for her success.

But many of you wondered if the same strategies can work for older runners (Sarah is a young buck, after all). So today I want to share Deb’s story. While she’s certainly not old, she’s middle-aged and like many runners, took a long break from running for awhile before starting again.

When Deb started running she was plagued with runner’s knee (patellofemoral pain syndrome) that ultimately caused her to give up running for twenty years.

Her previous program had no strength work, her training lacked consistency and variation, and she described herself as a seasonal “on again, off again” runner.

She was frustrated that her running was going nowhere. Deb even had a coach but the workouts were too intense so she had to take unplanned recovery days. It was very discouraging.

Instead of thriving and accomplishing her goals, Deb described her training:

I still had a very limited range of motion, weak aerobic system, and a slow pace and turnover. All the extra rest days and intense “catch-up” workouts made me so inconsistent and frustrated.

I felt stuck in a slow pace and limited by my core weakness. I didn’t feel I could handle quality workouts without breaking even though I could run slowly for many miles.

After just a month, I pulled a calf muscle.

Unfortunately, I hear these struggles all the time. Slow, injured, and weak. But there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.

Just like I broke my injury cycle, Deb was able to turn things around. We started working together through my 1-on-1 coaching program and she started feeling like a whole new runner.

What’s it like to feel “almost Injury-Proof?”

Deb definitely needed a running makeover. After talking about her running, goals, and injuries I made the decision to reduce the intensity of her training. She needed more routine before she could train at her best.

After running a balanced pattern of workouts and doing the right strength exercises for her weaknesses, she started seeing progress.Deb-Ultramarathon

I was able to run more consistently with much faster recoveries. With a balance of higher mileage and well-planned speed and tempo progressions, my running smoothed out dramatically and left me feeling almost “Injury-Proof.”

I’m no miracle worker, but almost Injury-Proof is as close as I can come!

Deb now runs all of her workouts consistently without feeling like she’s on the verge of breaking or being over-trained. Just last June, she ran the North Face Endurance Challenge 50-Mile Ultramarathon.

Even though the day of the race was brutally hot, Deb finished “full of energy and never lost steam.” I was blown away by what she emailed me the next day:

The great news is I feel really good today and know I could easily do a 5 mile recovery jog. Nothing aches except mild muscle soreness and I am ready to get right into marathon training. I won’t need an extremely long recovery period, maybe a week to 10 days, but I seriously doubt even that much time.

I was impressed to say the least.

With her experience in the 1-on-1 coaching program, Deb finally feels durable and injury resistant. She’s in a “perpetual state of strong, smooth running and have very few truly bad days anymore.”

What’s more is that Deb’s confidence is at an all-time high. She knows she’ll continue improving even though she’s approaching 50 years old. And the race distances barely matter anymore – she knows multiple marathons, a 50-mile ultra, and maybe even a 100-mile race are all possible now.

Working 1-on-1 to Prevent Injuries

Coaching Deb from a chronic over-trainer with a 20-year layoff because of runner’s knee was challenging. But to me as a coach, it’s deeply rewarding.

I look at her ultramarathon finish in challenging conditions and virtually non-existent injury history during the last year and can’t help but be ecstatic for her success.

It makes me think that to be truly effective at transforming a runner’s training – to set up the training that can help you run faster but also feel “almost injury-proof” takes a personal touch.

The last few weeks I’ve answered countless questions about injuries and how to train so you can stay healthy over the long-term. And like I mentioned, the response has been incredible.

You might know that my 1-on-1 coaching program has been closed for several months. While working with runners personally is incredibly rewarding to me because of the results of my runners, it’s very time consuming.

But the last few weeks I’ve noticed that I can do a lot to truly transform the running of a select few of you. Those of you with nagging injuries, chronic patterns of overuse injuries, and those who always feel like they’re going from injury to injury.

So I’m thinking of creating a special program designed specifically to help you with injuries. My goal with the program is to make an immediate and lasting impact on your injury profile and future training.

Basically, I want you to feel “almost injury-proof” too. Just like Sarah, Deb, and me.

Before I start, would you be interested in this program? If so, get on the email list and I’ll send you two Injury Prevention Q&A presentations.

For a few of you who are passionate about turning your running career around, I think I can help.

Until then, run strong and stay healthy!

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Comments

  1. Debbie Sanders says:

    I love getting the emails!

  2. Deb’s story is awesome. Kudo’s to both of you!

  3. Amanda Sella says:

    Hi!!

    I was wondering if you were still offering the 1-on-1 coaching program? I am a fairly new runner (3 years) and have been battling runner’s knee for the past year. I initially ran with a group and only increased my runs by 10%. I used to be a heel striker, but am trying run mid-foot. Strength training 2-3 times per week with a specific program for me. Changed my shoes to a more minimalist. Tried massage therapy, wasn’t a fan:-) Done some swimming, do lots of stretching before and after a run (including using a roller). Do lots of yoga and I am still battling runner’s knee. Funny, I was just wondering whether I should give up on running. But truth be told, I love it too much:-)
    Any help would be appreciated!!