1-on-1 Coaching – Free for a Month

Today I turn 28.


I’m going to do something a little weird on my birthday – I’m going to give one of you a gift. I don’t want anything. I just want to help one of you who may be too strapped for cash to get into my 1-on-1 personal coaching program.

So I’m giving away a month of exclusive access to me, where I’ll write your training plan to help you reach whatever goal you have. Lose weight? Run a PR? Get over some obnoxious injury? I can help.

Plus, you’ll get unlimited communication with me (some online coaches have limits on email – WTF is that all about?). I tell my runners to consider me their personal running consultant – ask me anything, any time. Let’s strategize.

The reason I write Strength Running is to help passionate runners reach their goals. If you’re not passionate about running I honestly don’t want you here. There are plenty of other generic fitness sites that you might enjoy. But SR is for those who care deeply about running and have measurable goals like qualify for the Boston Marathon or finish your first 10k.

If you have a goal (or a few), it’s time that you accomplish that goal. So it’s giveaway time.

Here’s how to enter:

  • In the comments section below, briefly share your biggest challenge with running. Maybe you simply don’t have time, or you’re struggling with injuries, or you haven’t seen any improvement in months. Persuade me that you want to work with me. The more detail, the better.
  • To enter you need to be on my newsletter list, so sign up here before you leave your comment. This lets me get in touch about the giveaway and let you know who the winner is next week.

That’s it. Easy, huh?

If you want, I’d love it if you shared the giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or your own blog. It’s not necessary to enter, but it is my birthday…

The contest is open for the next week (until Monday, 11/7 at 11:59pm) so leave your comment soon. I won’t send out too many reminders, so submit your response now!

Your comments help me in 2 ways: first, they let me pick the person who really needs guidance and a coaching plan. Second, they help me see what all of you are struggling with so I can write about the topics you care about in the future. Win-win!

This is going to be the best birthday ever. Thanks for your support in helping make the SR community awesome over the last 1.5+ years. I wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for you.

– Jason.

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  1. Happy birthday.

    I actually considered your coaching after reading some really positive reviews and following your blog for a while, but I’m a teacher (read: broke).

    I just finished my first marathon and am training for Tough Mudder in a little less than 2 weeks. I finished the marathon, but I got really sick around mile 20 and had to walk a lot of the last few miles and ended up finishing with a disappointing 5:52. I had been running 12 minute miles and kept and 11 for the first 20 miles.

    Since the marathon, I’ve been running around 9 minute miles and I would love to be able to finish my next marathon (March 25) in the 4-4.5 hour range, but I feel like I could use some outside help to get their. Thanks and I appreciate the offer.

    • Well I’m one year removed from my biggest challenge and that was stopping smoking after 20 years. In this year I have started running, ran in 9 5ks, 2 10k’s and a half marathon. Each with a goal of finish and in some cases get faster.

      Now I’m in a “am I doing it right and can I get faster for the next year” stage as I want to see how much I can reduce my times, but the biggest hurdle now is a nagging knee issue, I’m thinking ITB. So for the winter I’m looking at fitness and reducing the injury. But I already have an eye on a few fun races over the winter. But would be more fun if the knee would play nice. I’m already trying to add in the ITB routine and core routines into my daily/weekly ongoing workouts, but those seem to be hit or miss at times. Would rather have a nice 3-4 mile jog as I’m less likely to be interrupted.

      Also can’t count how many times I have sent links from your site to other folks. Thanks again.

  2. My biggest challenge is knowing how many miles to run to reach my predicted potential in the marathon (McMillan and other calculators predict 4:07-4:15 based on other distances) – actual PR is 4:24.

    2nd is how to periodize strength training to properly benefit racing.

  3. Steven Wilson says:

    My biggest Challenge is the upcoming Tough Mudder in April 2012. It is a 12 mile event filled with obstacles. I was a runner in High School and then part way through college. Since then it has been sporadic with a few 5K’s over the years. I am attempting this longer distance race with some of the hardest obstacles I have ever seen. I want to reach a new level of fitness without the injury. I have had difficulty upping my mileage while avoiding injury. I have been following Nerd Fitness as well as Strengthrunning.com during my training. Having a 1 on 1 coach for a month would help me continue to excel and absolutely destroy the Tough Mudder. The thing I need help most with is balancing the necessary strength training and running. Long distances are not my strong suit and I believe the 1 on 1 coaching offered will assist me in reaching my goal. That and us social workers don’t exactly bring in the millions either!!

  4. Hi,
    first of all Happy Birthday.
    I’m currently struggling with injury.
    Here’s my story: I started running last year in august (after 12 years without any sports at all) with the goal to run the marathon. I enjoyed every second training, reading and preparing for the marathon. I finished the Paris marathon in 4h10 in April 2011. It was an amazing adventure and right after the finish line I was thinking about my next goals. Started training again for a marathon in October and made really, really good progress: I was considering running on a 3h40-3h45 pace. Unfortunately ITB injury came in september and I had to cancel my marathon. ITB pain seems gone but I still cannot run normally after 6-7 miles I feel a pain below my knee not were I had ITB pain. I already registered for Paris marathon in April 2012 and really hope I will be ready.
    I read every article here and started core workouts, ITB rehab routine, and much more.

    So my first short term goal is to be healthy again so I can train for next year and PR.
    Very long term goals for me are to run the following marathons in the next 5years : London, Berlin, Chicago, Boston, NYC Which means I need to get qualified in other words get closer to 3h pace or maybe even sub-3h…

    thanks for reading,

  5. Jason, I am 33 years old and seeking to break my high school personal bests. I have been back training for three years after over a decade off. Ive been gradually building mileage and hoping for that big breakthrough and would feel incredibly priveleged to have you guide me there and give me the honest feedback I need.

    I am training for the mile through 5k and have averaged about close to 60 mpw the last two months and shooting for a sub five mile nd sub 18 5k.

  6. Good Morning Jason!

    First of all.. I just love working with you- even tho I am grumpy sometimes. But seriously, my grumpiness is only because of the stupid trips, stumbles and toe bumps that I keep doing that render me injured so often in the last few months! Okay, so here is the deal– 6 months of mickey mousing with my training through these nigglies has been enough to drive us both crazy. AND- you realize that we are coming up to our one year anniversary of working together??? It has passed by quickly and I have seen such huge strides in where I have taken my running – all thanks to you and your commitment to me. My goal next year is great.. its a biggie and only with you can I get there, and I am talking about dominating a race or two- and I will be coming to your part of the US to do it.. I am talking about placing high (top of the top 3) in some of the Womens Masters categories next year.

    So.. lets get me on track, celebrate both your birthday, OUR pending anniversary (not stepping on Meghans toes here) and well, heck throw in your successful upcoming race for triple reasons to celebrate with a month of training!

    Happy days ahead… fast and strong!

  7. Happy birthday!

    I started running just over a year and a half ago, when I was still slightly obese but had already lost a substantial amount of weight. Now I am only overweight (current BMI 26.5). I have been able to successfully complete several 5Ks, one 10K, and a sprint triathlon, and I would really like to run my first half marathon (first planned one in April 2011, then in Septembe r 2011…) but it seems that every time I try to increase my distance over about 20-25 km/week something goes wrong. I have not seen a health professional but I self-diagnosed ITBS and posterial tibial tendonitis. I have tried some exercises but I was never sure whether or not it was actually doing anything for me, and I don’t enjoy it as I do running, so I have tried to recover just by resting, changing my shoes, things like that. I love running and would like to be doing far more of it. I have always been overweight and unathletic, so when I crossed the finish line of my first 5K I almost cried with the emotion. I never would have believed that *I* would be running in a race. Now I want to take it to the next level. I’d like to get faster and I’d like to do a half marathon in April. But to do that I need to increase my mileage and incorporate speedwork, without getting injured.

  8. Happy Happy Birthday Jason!

    I love birthdays, don’t you? I think I might like your birthday this year more than mine 😉

    Here’s the scoop: Started running in 2009, first race was a 10K, suffered from ITB injury in right knee, stopped running for 6 months (sad time). Slowly started to work on my core, stretching everyday and foam rolling before and after each run. I Became a spin addict in 2010 and slowly started to run again and build my base. In March set my sights on a half marathon and in August 2011 completed my first half in 2:20. I was overjoyed to finish because my knees were not loving the training BUT I had a lot more in me, I felt like I took it way too easy. Fast forward to today, I’ve got my sights on another half in June and a MARATHON in October 2012. The two races are 20 weeks apart. I need your help! Now that I know I can run a half how should my training differ from my original training plan where my only goal was to finish? Do I need to run more than 3 times a week? I want to do this and I want to do it right. I want to finish my next two races strong! Speed isn’t my number one goal but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to run a little faster!
    This is why I’d be a great client:
    I listen, ok, I might whine, but I listen and follow instructions to the T! (I’m a Capricorn)
    I’m super organized, pay close attention to details (maybe too much attention) enthusiastic and energetic and if you choose me I would be honored beyond belief. Did I go too far? I think I did, sorry.
    I re-tweeted your tweet this morning, subscribed to your newsletter and I will definitely be mentioning this on my blog’s FB page. Have a great day!

  9. Bethany Lannon says:

    Happy Birthday!!! I love that you’re having this giveaway — here’s what I’m struggling with…

    I ran my first marathon (!!!) 2 weeks & 3 days ago. I ran it as a training run, of sorts, for the upcoming Goofy Challenge in January. Since my marathon, all of my runs have included some form of knee pain, towards the front/outside of my knees, below the patella. It almost feels like something is tight, because when I get this pain, it feels like something that needs to be stretched out, so I will take a few running steps where I do some butt-kicks. But now I’m struggling with recovering from the marathon while getting into my back-to-back long runs for Goofy (which I have not started yet). I need to run a 10 & 20-mile run on December 16th & 17th, at which point I’ll start my taper. So, I’m trying to find a proper balance between recovery and training. I have no idea how much fitness/endurance I maintain during this post-marathon recovery period, so I don’t know what kind of long run mileage I will want to plan for when I am recovered. Will I still be able to go out and run 16 miles in 2 weeks for a training run, thus allowing me time for an additional 20 or 22-miler? I’m so hyper-analytical, that its driving me crazy… I know that a custom training plan for the Goofy challenge that also allows for recovery (whether it be via rest, XT, or whatever) would be a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. I find myself trying to figure this all out on my own… Even though I purchased a Goofy-specific training plan, it doesn’t take into consideration recovery from a recent marathon. I’ll be honest, I’m starting to regret running that marathon, and feel like I should have just done the 1/2 marathon, so I could properly follow and adhere to a training schedule that isn’t customized to me. But I do know that with proper TLC to my knees, and appropriate mileage advancements, I can still do Goofy. I just lack the knowledge and experience to do so!

  10. Right now my biggest struggle is going to be recovering from the toe surgery I had yesterday. Sadly it had to be done, and only 12 weeks before my first half marathon. It’s gonna set back my progress a bit but I’m going to do what I can to overcome it and get back running as soon as I can, and pick back up where I left off a better runner.

  11. Happy 28th birthday Jason!

    I too love that you are doing a giveaway on YOUR birthday!

    You recently heard from me, and know some of my struggles, but I’ve even felt a bit more since we talked last.

    I’m a stay-at-home mom of 3, have a husband that travels weekly, and running is basically the only ME time I get. I’ve never ran over a 5k distance (and have only done 2 of those) and would reeeeeeeeally like to do a half marathon. =D (can’t even imagine)

    My biggest struggle is direction. I don’t know where or what to do next since completing my 2nd 5k. I have big thoughts and dreams but am prone to injury, so I tend to stop at any little sign of discomfort. I can follow any cookie-cutter running plan but I **know** with my background, family life, injury history, and age (over 40 now – sigh), it needs to be very personalized for ME. And what I have found with these cookie-cutter plans is that I have so many questions and thoughts along the way, but no one to ask. Yes, I’ve been to the forums on several running sites – and some have been awesome – but they don’t *really* know me. I’ve been following your blog for sometime now and know that you are the one that can help me. This chick needs a serious plan. 🙂 I so want to be a better (…and faster would be nice) runner.

    Have a great birthday!

  12. Sam Robbins says:

    First, happy birthday! You share the day with my best friend, so I think that says a lot about you. 🙂 What an amazing thing to give away. I would love to have the opportunity to work with you, even for a month! I have been following your blog for a while, and hope to be able to sign up with you, but thus far, paying off four college tuitions has been a bump in that road. 😉 I’ve been training for my first full marathon at the end of this month, struggling with arthritis issues in my feet, and a tight left hamstring, and just suffered my first serious bonk on a 22 mile long run this last weekend. My biggest struggle and fear is that I got passionate about my running too late, and I worry about being too old. There. I said it. 😉 I’ve been pretty good about following my plan, though I tend to run more miles than I should. I’m a babe in the marathon woods, but have a goal of being able to bring in a 3:45 marathon. I believe it’s possible, but I know I’ll need a little help. Thanks so much for the opportunity, and a very, very happy birthday to you!

  13. Casi Leigh says:

    Yay, happy birthday!! 🙂 What a cool idea to celebrate. Reading through these is really interesting and encouraging to see that everyone has their own challenges to meet and surmount.

    Feeling a bit lost in my running just now. I’m still so, so new. I was training over the summer for a marathon scheduled in November and following marathon training guide from Matt Frazier over at No Meat Athlete. Then I started school again. I have decided to return to school to pursue a BS and subsequent MS in dietetics. Chemistry is my new co-pilot. Translation? I am learning to spend more hours at my desk than I am entirely comfortable with just yet. My training plan had to be scrapped entirely. Long run time on the weekend virtually vanished and, between my part-time job and teaching yoga classes, I couldn’t even fit in my speed and hill workouts during the week.

    I have since scaled back on some of my work commitments and feel ready to try again but I feel a little lost as to where to pick back up, when to select another race to register for, and I would love expert advice on supplemental strength training because the Ozark Valley Triathlon next June sounds really fun…

  14. Happy Birthday FITZ!

    I’ve recently run the MDI Marathon and only got a 1 min PB. It was kinda of a bummer. I have signed up for boston and really can’t wait to see what happens over the next 5 months of training, but with a left hamstring tear i still don’t feel up to snuff nearly 3 weeks later. i’d like to be able to strengthen my left hamstring, build an awesome base through the winter and run around a 2:50 at Boston this year. I’d love you input and your coaching. I did use your awesome plan for MDI but only for the last 8 weeks as you were having a deal and i just had to take advantage of it!.

    good luck to everyone!

  15. Happy Birthday!!

    I don’t comment much but your blog has been an tremendous resource for me and I thank you for that.

    4 years ago I decided to stop smoking. A friend of mine, suggested I take up running as my new coping mechanism….. it worked. I have been smoke free ever since. I started my running by training for a marathon. I know, a bit crazy when I look back on it, but it was a great way to distract myself and I am a goal oriented person and it gave me focus.

    I finished my first mary in 5:21. I then ran the Chicago marathon in Oct 2010 in 5:02. This Spring I ran RnR Nashville in 4:36. I love running marathons and I want to be better. After Nashville and celebrating my 36th birthday I decided I would start training with a bigger goal in mind, to BQ by the time I am 40. My next marathon is in 33 days in Las Vegas and I am excted to see how I do.

    My training has gone well and has been relatively pain free. I do all of my own training through books and online resources. I have never used a coach. I am a stay-at-home mom with limited finances. Having a coach, would be a dream come true for me. I would love to have you write a plan and work with me. I want to be successful, injury free and able to tell amazing stories of a stay-at-home mom and her victory of overcoming the everyday to become extraordinary.

    Thanks Jason for this awesome opportunity.

  16. Leo Castaneda says:

    My biggest challenge? Waking up at 5am to run. No not really, my body wakes me up at 5am so I can run. My biggest challenge is to run faster. Simple enough. I’m running my first full marathon on the 13th. Wish me luck! I’ve purchased your Plateau Buster and I’ve been following most of your exercises in it. I’ve been doing the Myrtl and the Cannoball. So far I’ve knocked down about half a minute on my pace per mile. I’m so thrilled with that. I’m looking into running my next full on March 22nd at the the New Orleans Rock and Roll Marathon. I still have to confirm with my wife if I could run it. Injuries none so far, but I’ve always been plauged with cramping on my long runs. Oh yes I wanted to lose weight. Who doesn’t? But I’m still taking high blood pressure medications and I suffer from sleep apnea and have to sleep with this CPAP machine. If I go down some more hopefully I won’t have to take medications and sleep with this machine. That is all.

  17. Happy birthday from a neighbor in Kensington, MD!

    I finally completed my first marathon, the Marine Corps Marathon, which was amazing. During taper week, I had a sick toddler, a husband in the ER (which means he slept when I took him in at 2am through 12 the next day, but I didn’t) and a 4 week old at home. That’s right – 4 weeks. No, I wasn’t that lady at Chicago. We adopted, but the cost is more astronomical than you’d expect, and so my training budget is zero. My motivation is limitless, though.

    My training plan had me going 2 minutes per mile slower than my fastest 10k pace, which is around 8:53/mile for the 10k (so I ran around a 10:40/mi marathon), which I did in April. I want to kill that time. I mean, OBLITERATE it. I’ve never run anything faster than an 8:20/mile 5k, and that was when I was 28 (7 years ago) and 20 pounds ago. I want to get back to that, in order to get closer to tying my mom’s record of a 1:43 half marathon. She ran through into her 50s, and having her cheer me on at MCM was worth every tempo, long, and junk mile I put in. Endurance I have in spades. Speedwork? That is where I need a taskmaster. Your posts help me do better daily, I can’t imagine how great I’d do with real personalized coaching from you.

    I’m running the first National R&R Half Marathon in March, and I’d beg, borrow, steal, or just make a dang fool of myself on your blog to get some serious coaching in.

    Hope you have a phenomenal birthday,

  18. In Feb. of this year I weighed 365 pounds. I started eating healthy and lost some weight. Then I started walking and lost even more weight. I decided that I wanted to be a runner so I did the Coach 2 5K program. I started at a mere 335 pounds in April and successfully completed my 1st 5K on July 4th. I then started the Bridge 2 10K program and did my 1st 10K on July 30th. I decided to see how far I could go with running so I decided to do a half marathon. I used a half marathon training app and started on Aug. 1st, the day after my 1st 10K. (fortunately it was a rest day) I successfully completed my 1st half marathon on Sunday, Oct. 23rd in a blazing time of 2:42. On Oct. 24th I started training for my 1st full marathon which I plan to run on Feb. 18th. I also intend to start training for my 1st Ironman which I plan to do in June 2012. I have lost over 100 pounds since starting this journey in Feb and I still need to lose about 60 more pounds. I follow your posts on DailyMile and am always impressed at your distance and pace. I want to be an overall better runner. I definitely want to be faster but I also want to be able to go greater distances. That’s why I’d love a month’s worth of your coaching.

  19. Happy Birthday mate, how was that antacid and early dinner? 😉

    I love to run, and run far. The problem that I have right now is 2 kids that are early risers and at home all day. I find that when I manage to find a slot where the kids are asleep, I’m too exhausted to run. 2012 is going to be a big year running-wise, with a half-marathon, full marathon (my first), and if my co-workers have their way, a 100km hike. I feel that my body is more than able to handle this, but I need to get on top of my shceduling to make sure I’ve put in the road miles.

  20. John Mosey says:

    Happy Birthday!

    My impulsive nature lead me to volunteer to run a 25k in May to honor the memory of a friend who passed away too young. We are raising money for a scholarship in his name and I thought, what better way to get myself in shape! I started in June at 271 pounds (I’m about 5’10”) and switched to a Primal/Paleo diet along with the Couch 2 5k program. At first I couldn’t run more than 30 seconds at a time and I have now successfully completed my first 5k. I’ve also started weight lifting 3x per week and am down over 40 pounds so far.

    My biggest problem at this point is not knowing where to go and how to best reach my goal of completing the 25k in May. I currently run 3-4x per week, usually 2 shorter runs without walking, one short speed work session, and then a longer run that mixes running and walking. As you can probably guess, my ‘plan’ is cobbled together from the various sources I’ve found online and I would LOVE to have some personalized coaching as I’ve never been an active person and know next to nothing about running.

  21. First of all, happy birthday. Very generous of you to offer US a gift.

    I’m a ‘new-ish’ runner – I’ve been running now for 15 months. I’ve run 6 half marathons in that time (recently set a new PR of 1:35:30) and soon, I’ll be a full marathoner. The challenge I’ve put forth to myself is to run a BQ time at my first marathon. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about strength training and as I continue to seek improvement as a runner my lack of core and strength is holding me back.

    Thanks Jason. Happy running.

  22. Andrew T. Arroyo says:

    Happy birthday, Jason.

    I’m a fellow DMer and I’m on the cusp of the next fitness level. Since my entry into running in August 2005, I’ve run races from 5k to 50 miles. On December 3 my goal is to break 1:10 at a 10 miler; and if everything clicks I just might break 1:09.

    I believe a 3:10 is possible by the end of March for the Shamrock Marathon. If not then, certainly I should hit that by next fall.

    Why do I need coaching? I have been at this fitness level for years. It’s a wall I’ve been unable to break through. I’ll run with the most guts and make you proud.

    So I suppose the question for you is whether you think I’ve reached my genetic limit or whether I can go to the next level. From my experience, training someone like me is the toughest challenge because I am really stuck, I have been for some time, and, though I’m not fast, I’m not slow by any means. You can see my workouts on DM to get an idea.

    Can you do anything with a hardgainer like me?

  23. This is a great idea. I am not training enough at the moment to warrant entering your competition but just wanted to let you know what a good idea I think it is!

    Good luck to everyone!

  24. Nichol Fanning says:

    Happy Birthday!!!!

    I have a huge problem with motivation an accountability. I can’t seem to beat the mental aspect of training. I need a push and someone to tell me what to do and expect more than what I’m giving. I’d love the chance to train with someone who loves running.


  25. My biggest challenge is getting started again. Ran a number of years ago and was not very fast or good back then. Time and age have past and I am ready to start again. I am older now and want to be sure I start out right and not injure myself. I am in good health but need to add more activity to my weekly workouts.
    I would love to work with someone I know can help me get back on track….

  26. Moiz Jafferji says:

    Hey Jason,
    I pulled my hip flexor muscles during a track workout this summer. Although it did not prevent me from continuing my fall marathon training, I never felt 100% afterwards. After running a PR at my fall marathon I decided to take a full two weeks off from running in order to allow my hip flexors to fully heal. To aid in my recovery and to prevent re-injury, I’ve been doing a lot of core strength work. I also massage my hip flexors with a foam roller 3-4 times a week. My two week recovery period is up and I can’t stay away from running any longer. However, my hip flexors are still not 100% and they continue to feel tender/sore after hard/long runs. I would greatly appreciate advice on how to transition back into my normal running schedule (50-70 mi/week) without doing any further damage. My winter goals include running a sub 17 5k, a 1:22 half, and a sub 2:50 at Boston in the spring. Thanks!

  27. Happy Birthday, wishing you the very best life has to offer.

    Just need help all over, so new to running and seem to be doing so many things wrong.

  28. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JASON! What a cool thing you are doing here. I recently discovered I need help and here’s why. I started walking to train for my 1st 10K 3 years ago. I never tried to run, as I was overweight and had spinal fusion surgery, after which my doctor advised me against running, ever. So I walked, I entered 10Ks, eventually halfs and did my first full marathon last March.In those events, there were short burst of running; a minute here, a minute there, but not much at all. I lost 25 lbs and very recently (last 3 weeks) got to the point where I cannot walk any faster, and found myself mixing in running (with no plan or strategy) more and more. Now I am stuck…I am not really a walker anymore and I’m definately not a runner yet. Here is my dilemma…I have a full marathon this weekend, and then two more this season, each 90 days apart. There is a half marathon in between each. My problem is this..One, I trained to walk, and have no idea how to slowly incorporate the running without going too hard too early. Two, I have NO IDEA what kind of training to do in between the fulls with only 90 days, let alone how much running to try to work in.

    I WANT to be a runner, but I also don’t want to get injured and destroy the whole season. I need a plan to not only get me through the tough schedule, but add in more and more running as well. Think you can help? I think you can! Thanks for reading this and for all your great help and advice on Strength Running.

  29. Stephanie says:

    Happy birthday Jason!

    I found your website while searching desperately for ITBS fixes. I did a half ironman last November. Had my first ever cortisone shot before due to an unhappy IT band, and (literally) couldn’t walk correctly for a month afterwards. It was about 6 months before I took my first stride.

    Since then, I quit graduate school and became a middle school science teacher. My biggest challenge is A) staying injury free, and B) finding the time (and motivation) to run. Waking up at 5:30 am, grading/planning till about 10 pm…sometimes I feel lucky that I have time to eat.

    I ran track in high school and college, and got really used to just doing what people told me to do. When left to my own devices, I’m lucky if I can peel myself off the couch more than once a week, mainly because I hate to “work out”…I need to train with an end-goal in mind. Which is why I signed up for a 10-miler in Austin in April.

    I need someone (like you!) to keep me motivated and injury free. In addition to the IT band, my lower back gives me problems (more so when I have out of shape abs) due to 6 years of a terribly inside pole vault plant position. The only strength training I’ve ever done is to “get big” for vaulting…not to help keep my body efficient.

    Anyway, enjoy your birthday! Keep up the good work on the blog (the ITBS treatment was a miracle for me!) and good luck with your decision on who to coach!

  30. Great idea. My biggest challenge is staying focused on running and maintaining a good diet during the holidays. December for me this year is a maintenance month, but I want to maintain higher than usual as I prepare for a half marathon in March. It’s the first time that I’ve done a marathon and not been injured, so some guidance in that area would be helpful, even if it’s “only” a blog entry. 🙂

  31. Let me first start off by saying that I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog, and without sounding like too much of a kissass, I have a lot of respect for you as a runner. And I’m sure if I knew you better, I’d respect you as a person but that’s neither here nor there. The reason we are all here is because we’re amateurs when it comes to running, and you’re not.

    I started running 18 months ago, in April of ’10. My first race was a marathon, last December in Dallas. I ran with a friend who hit the wall hard. I stayed with him through it and my time suffered–4:37:27. I ran two halfs in the Spring, with a best of 1:46:12. On Sunday, after 18 weeks of intense training, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in a time of 3:45:21. So why do I need your help? Easy, I want to get faster. Like BQ in the next 18-24 months faster. And I know you can get me there. So let’s do this. I’m all in. For this month and the months that follow. Show me what you’ve got and I’ll pass your name along to my more than 150 followers…stop laughing. Okay, well that’s my pitch. I’m looking forward to it, Fitz.

  32. Hey Fitz,

    I really enjoy strength running! It has been an incredible resource, encouragement and general kick in the ass for me.

    This past year has been a year full of tragedy, excitement, and plenty of life changing events. My grandmother passed away in may, I got married in July, just started back to school full time to finish my under grad, and just found out yesterday that my wife is pregnant! Needless to say, I’ve lost my way with running in my life. I ran a couple halfs last year, and went from running a 2:10 half to crushing it with a 1:53 three weeks later.

    I need help. With a baby on the way my life isn’t going to get any less packed, and finding the discipline and motivation to get on the road is not going to be easy. I need some structure, guidance and a lot of help.

    I think this is great that you are putting this offer out there. Win or not, I really enjoy all that you do!


  33. Stephanie says:

    Happy birthday (again). As I laid in bed, my mind started working a mile a minute, and all I could think about is what other things I could be saying to convince you to pick me! So, sorry to double post!

    As a teacher, I plan my days down to the minute. I figure out which activities and assignments will most effectively get the information to my students in a way they can personalize it and internalize it. I make manipulatives. I research best teaching practices. I attend weekend seminars on interactive notebooks and hands-on science experiments. I buy books entitled “Soda Bottle Science” and “Science Formative Assessment.”

    I don’t have the time to do the same for myself. At the end of the day, I don’t want to come home and research the best way to lift or the most efficient way to build mileage up. I don’t have the energy.

    I want (need) to be told what to do.

  34. Austin Hanks says:

    Happy Birthday!

    I’m 23 and in October I ran the St. George Marathon for the 11th time and also was on a team for the Las Vegas Ragnar relay. I can do these different races but I’ve never been able to motivate myself enough to kick it up a notch and reach my potential. I’d like to get stronger and faster, but now with no big race scheduled in the near future, and with a full load of school and work, I can feel myself starting to lose focus. I know having an expert coach like you would push me to not only stay in the good shape I’m in, but also help me to break free of my laziness and reach some of the personal goals I’ve yet to obtain on my own.

  35. This isn’t an entry to the contest. Just thought I’d share my goal and biggest obstacles since you said it would help you.
    My goal is to qualify for automatic entry to NYC marathon via half marathon finish (damn them for making it harder starting in 2013!). To that end, I am shooting for a 1:23 half in Dec. my previous PR was like 1:24 or something like that so I am hoping I’m not way off base thinking I can train up and hit that goal.
    My biggest issue is getting out of my flow for a couple days because of life/work. If I lose 2-3 days training, I start to get down about whether at that point I should just go a few more days without training since I’m already off pla. My eating nosedives too. What I’d love are some workouts that can bust me out of a short term funk. Get me excited to right the ship, so to speak.

  36. Happy Birthday to you. What a generous gift to give to someone- thank you for the possible opportunity to re-focus my life. I have been athletic my entire life. I tumbled when I was younger, and cheered in high school. I started to run then as well and really fell in love with it. I felt like NOTHING could replace a good run. I craved it- and it seemed to solve all of my problems then. I would run and suddenly life was better.

    When I got married- my husband wasn’t as active as I was at that time. Like everyone life got the better of me and slowly, I just lost it. I have tried year after year to get back into it. It has been about 7 years since I have run on a regular basis. I have run a few half marathons but I have never trained properly for them. Life is busy, I’m in school and we have 2 kids and my husband is in school and works full time… and I just have a hard time motivating myself to start.

    I would love to lose weight, and feel healthy- feel like myself again. I haven’t felt like myself in a long time.

    Anyway, there is my story. And I hope I win this opportunity because I would love to take it and run with it… no pun intended. 🙂


  37. Happy Birthday Jason,

    I wish you all the best and also to be healthy so you can keep on running and also helping us with your advice.
    I am running for a year now and I am not yet up to the point I would like to be. I started running 4-5 months before my wife gave birth to our son and I wanted to be fit and healthy for him. Before that I was for the last 6-7 years a “couch potato”. I am 37 years old now. Before that I was always doing some exercise like sailing, basket ball, squash, gym but never running.
    Any way, now I am hooked with running but because of the birth and an injury (ITBS) I missed my coal for the first year to be ready for a half marathon by now.
    I don’t know if I should make my next coal a half or a full marathon by the spring. What would you advise me?

  38. Happy Birthday Jason! November is a great birth month! My birthday is in a couple of days, so it would be cool to win your birthday giveaway on my birthday 🙂

    A bit about me. Before marriage and kids I loved going to the gym and working out. I’d spend hours there doing exercises classes, cardio machines, and weight lifting. But once I had children I just could not imagine leaving my precious baby (and later babies) in the hands of a stranger while I worked out, so my healthy took a back seat for many years. As a stay at home mom you would think I would be happy to be away from my babies, but I just could not do it! But my babies grew up and started school, and I turned 40 so it was time to do something for me. I joined a gym and started working out again. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t as exciting as it once was. Then I found running. Oh I love running, why did it take me so long to find it?!?

    While I love to run, but I’m not very fast. I’m pretty happy being a turtle, but I’d like to be a fast turtle! I’ve run a few half marathons and LOVED them (wish I could afford to run more races!). I have another one coming January 14th. BTW, I live in Chicago so the winters can be brutal, so this should be fun. I would love to be able to run a half marathon in less than 2:30, and would be super thrilled to run close to 2:15. If I can speed up my turtle pace, and train without injury, I plan to run the Chicago Marathon next year. *YIKES* did I just say that out loud!

    Jason, I need your help to get passed the bump in my training. Help me get to my 2:30 (or better) HM goal.

    Happy Birthday!!!!

  39. Márcio Martins says:

    Hi and happy birthday,

    I’ve just received your e-mail, and thought this is my lucky day. I’m 21 years old, I’m a runner since I was 16. In my first 3 years of running, I was a “good” runner I always finished in top 3, and I also did the nationals championship several times, I loved running and it felt good doing it. But then I got injured when I was 19, with a Tendinitis in my ankle.

    It took me almost 2 years to recover and now I started training again for about 6 months, I did my first race(13km) for a long time last Sunday, it was horrible, I felt slow and really down, I did it in 56 minutes. My biggest problem since I started training again is that I don’t have a coach anymore and my old club “dumped” me after my injury. My biggest goal this is winning a race again, and be the athlete I was before. Sorry about my bad English(I’m Portuguese). I need your help, to get back on track!

    Good races,
    Márcio Martins

  40. Nora Herwick says:

    Happy birthday!

    I’m recovering from my first marathon (Marine Corps 10/30) and struggling with my next goal. I’d like to work on speed- I want to consistently run 8 min miles with my long run pace cloer to 9 m/m than 10. I also need to set another race goal. Running goalless is foreign to me. I could use the help, Coach!

    Hope this is your best year yet!


  41. I am late to the game at 63. How can I get from my small but meaningful 5-10 km status to a marathon? I only need to do one but time doth pass.. Kate

  42. Happy fucking birthday, Jason. <3

    My biggest struggle for the past 4 months has been injuries. A brief history of my running: I started running in 2003 (high school track, 800m & 1600m). Ran cross country senior year with a 22:25 PR. Took a couple years off in between high school and college, but basically have been running since 2007, Ran my first (and only) half marathon in 2009 with a 1:47:something.

    In May, I PR'd my 5K with a 19:01 on a very loopy park sidewalk course. I felt like I was in the fastest 5K shape ever. I felt strong. I finished my first sprint triathlon two months ago and a month before that I ran a PR 8K + came in 4th place for a local race. I was doing cross training at a new gym that focused on exercises utilizing the hips and legs. I could taste that 18:30 I've dreamed for; a 5K time that "matched" my 5:07 1 mile PR years ago. I was injury free.

    Jump into June and I don't really have a direction. I start increasing my distance and the sharp pain hit me on a 5 mile run. 1 mile in and it felt like a very sharp piece of glass was in my shoe. I took off my shoe and nothing was there. I had to hobble home. I was sad. I was angry. Long story short, a podiatrist diagnosed me with Morton's neuroma in my left metatarsal. I took Advil, iced, and basically didn't run for weeks. I loosened the top/front of my shoe lace and all was well.

    Fast forward to middle of July. I resume running and take it easy pace wise. I started 3 weeks late into Hal Hidgon's Novice Marathon plan. All my long runs were at least 30 seconds/mile slower on purpose. I built up to 12 miles as my longest run by the end of August. As the miles got longer, though, my pace got slower and slower. Something was wrong. The Monday following a failed half marathon run (only got to 11ish miles before being forced to walk because of sheer exhaustion), I was in BAD pain in my left foot. It hurt to walk. Long story short (again lol), a podiatrist diagnosed me with peroneal tendinitis in my left foot. The doctor suggested inserts for my shoes/overpronation, but I wasn't so sure I believed in that. In 2010 I believe that the Vibram FiveFinger KSOs helped me strengthen my overpronation and I currently run in Saucony Kinvaras (1 and 2).

    Ever since this diagnosis my running has never been the same. I took weeks off of running and the daily/walking pain went away, but I still have never been 100%. Perhaps it's time for an MRI or something.

    I've never been a high mileage kind of runner. The most mileage a week I've done was 33 in a single week and ~120 miles in a month (and that was 3+ years ago). I need a direction in my running. I never really follow a strict running plan. I'm a great runner, but I see the potential in myself to be better.

  43. Happy Birthday!

    I am really struggling with my run times in triathlons. I seem to have troubles maintaining my run training when I am working so hard on the other two disciplines. I would love to get some help on some quality run training that would help speed up the run leg but not take up so much time that the other two suffer.

    I am hoping to really amp it up in my second triathlon season and I really need your help!

    Thank you for not only this wonderful offer but for all the amazing information you give us day in and day out!


  44. Bill Blair says:

    Happy Birthday Jason! May you have a blessed day!
    I would love for you to help me reach my goal of qualifying for Boston as a 60 yo. I turn 59 in November this year and plan to use 2012 to train for/run a BQ. I need a 3:55 or better to qualify. I’ve been running for 40 years and have done many marathons and races of various distances. My best time in the marathon is 2:54 done as a 30-something. After not running a marathon in almost 20 years, I ran Richmond in 2010 with a 4:25.
    The most difficult obstacle I have experienced now that I am older is doing marathon training while avoiding injury.
    Please select me.
    Bill Blair

  45. Erin Ritola says:

    Happy Birthday Jason!

    I started running as an additional and outdoor form of exercise to help me lose weight about 18 months ago because I was so tired of gerbiling on the indoor LifeCycle in the winter. Since then, I have done 2 5Ks (my very first in December last year in 3″ of snow) and one Half Marathon (2:40). Now, I am sort of…floundering.

    Since I started running, along with cleaning up my diet, I have lost 35 lbs, with around 20 more to go. I am very cognizant of my extra weight, not so much for body image reasons, as I am terrified of getting hurt. The Half Marathon was at the beginning of October and probably one of the best days of my life, but I found immediately afterward, without the fear of not being able to finish the Half with my family all there watching, I have much less motivation, especially because it seems like the day after the sun started to sleep late.

    To combat the motivation issue, I have signed up for another Half Marathon in February with my brother, and let myself be talked into the Florida Keys Ragnar relay with some work buddies in January. Right now, I am doing a combination of the beginning of Matt Frazier’s Half Marathon Roadmap and the Rebel Running Guide to build up a bit more speed and strength, but still maintain some semblance of distance in long runs. So far, it seems ok, but I am concerned I won’t be able to run the 20 miles over 2 days that I drew for the Ragnar (I am kind of freaking about this, although the team captain assures me that I can do it if I can do a Half) and that I will end up hurt.

    I would love the opportunity to work with you. I am really enjoying running, but am not sure if its sustainable for me, however I really don’t want to give it up.



  46. Lori Gortner says:

    Happy Birthday Jason,

    I’m 51 and in the worst shape of my life. However, I signed up to run the “Tinkerbell Half-Marathon” in Disneyland on January 29,2012 because the proceeds benefit Autism Speaks. My niece is autistic and her being so has seriously affected my sister and brother-in-law’s life, though they love her madly. I’m in terrible shape. I ran 3 miles in….50 minutes last Friday! That can’t happen on January 29. Help.


  47. Chris Starrs says:

    Happy belated birthday!

    I’ve just started following you on Twitter lately and I always enjoy your posts.

    I would like your help with the free month of training to get me started on my goal of breaking 3 hours at Boston this coming year. I’m 45 with 5 kids and one more on the way; and with a wife who is a runner as well – even now with one in the oven! So time is always a challenge for me. I also have a bit of a commute into D.C so sleep is a challenge as well. But I am very motivated and find great stress release and fulfillment when I run. I qualified with 3:18 at the National Marathon this past March. My training since then has been sporadic, struggling with colds over the summer. In any case I was encouraged recently by running 1:07:12 at the Army 10 miler. I was sick again for the week before the race yet ran better than expected and felt that I could have continued that pace for 3 more if it was a half marathon. I can run Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday (at night), as much as needed and can get a limited lunch time run/or cross train Monday thru Thursday.

    If you pick me I won’t disappoint in putting in the effort and would be happy to share the giveaway on Facebook and Twitter.

    Thanks for your generosity and have a great birthday week!


  48. It’s great that you are GIVING BACK on you birthday. Good lesson for all of us to remember on our birthdays as well.
    My story… Back into running after a long absence (I’m 53). Never feel quite comfortable with any pace (slow or… well… slower!) . Ran 4:59 in Fargo last spring and did a 4:46 at the Manitoba Marathon one month later. Now that I have more time to spend on the sport I love most, my goal is to beat my best time ever… as a 22 year old I ran a 3:57:12 (not great but it is what it is). Haven’t come close since. I think this goal is totally doable and from what I can tell from your website, I believe in your running philosophy. I need to put in the volume to get better (I’m proof that my past training once or twice a week just doesn’t work). Based on this, I’m starting over again to train for next May’s 2012 Fargo Marathon, and hope to break my best marathon time. Just need a little help. Thanks for the great offer!

  49. First, I’m an average runner. I’m not fast (1:40 half-marathon) but I’d like to be. I’d also like to finally complete a marathon. My biggest challenge is figuring out an actual weekly plan to help me accomplish my goals. Invariably I end up committing one of the deadly sins of running such as too much volume too quickly, hard workouts coming too close together even though I think they’re properly spaced, etc. It would be nice to have the advice of someone who is more informed with running work, rest planning, nutrition, etc to get me over the hump. I dont lack the motivation but sometimes my body does 🙂

    Either way, thanks for doing this, it’s an awesome offer. And Happy Birthday.

  50. First, happy belated birthday. I have been following your blog for a few months and signed up for your newsletter right after your site redesign. I have found a few blogs (including yours) that help keep me motivated as well as informed.

    On the cross country course at the age of 14, I fell in love with running and my current wife. Fast forward a few years and now I am 40 and have proven to be much more faithful to my wife than running. My wife is 9 states deep into her goal of 50 half marathons in 50 states. She has been averaging a race every 4-5 weeks. Two of our four kids have also caught the running bug. My oldest daughter (age 16) has a 21:29 PR in the 5k and my youngest son (age 9) runs a 27:01 5k. I have been an off and on runner for many years and have been on a good streak for about a year. I would describe my current fitness level as a respectable Clydesdale with a recent 5k at 24:02, 10K at 49:50, half marathon at 1:58.

    My point is that we are a running family and we could all benefit from some professional advice. I have two motivating factors: one personal and one family/community based. Personally, I need to continue running for both my health and sanity. For me, running is not only a good physical and mental activity; it is also something which keeps me balanced. For the family/community, we live in a rural but growing area where there are runners but no running clubs/teams. Through the years, I have coached soccer, football, baseball, softball, wrestling, and basketball teams. I’ve always talked abut starting a runners club/team but I have been hesitant until now. We would like to start up a runner club this spring but would need to start setting the foundation now.

    My specific goals for the next 6 months include:
    1. Continue losing at least 5 lbs per month through diet changes and increased exercise.
    2. Complete the Go St. Louis Marathon on April 15, 2012 under a time of 3:40
    3. Increase running knowledge so I feel more equipped to start a runner’s club.

    Thanks for the offer and keep up the great site.

  51. First off let me wish you a happy birthday and a congrats on all of the positive posts on this site about this give away.

    I have had an interesting running life and would like to explain a little about it to pitch myself as worthy of the coaching. In the 80’s and 90’s I enjoyed a good amount of success as a runner. I ran a 4:26 mile in high school, hit mid 15’s for the 5k up to a 1:13 half marathon in the 90’s. In 2001 while training for a marathon I ripped up my right quad tendon and had 2 reconstructive full blown knee surgeries. After a solid year of rehab and hard work I decided that I didn’t want to compete and/or train any longer. Over the next 10 years my wife and i have had 3 daughters and life has become very busy. I teach multiple handicapped students in a public school and find myself with very little time. Over the years I still run a little but rarely consistent or with purpose. This summer I have decided that before my 42 birthday in May I want to get in shape and compete again. Like many Americans I have put on 40 pounds( I have lost 17 so far in this comeback) and can feel the effects of being out of shape. Recently I have noticed I am slowly getting faster and still think I can compete at a local masters level. I ran 2 1.5 mile tempo runs in about 9:15 last week and felt ok. I believe I need the coaching because I feel like I am new to this all over again. I have limitations regarding mileage and # of days I can run but I can do runs up to about 10 miles and speed is my strenght as it was back in the 90’s. I can still run 400’s in the low 70’s during a workout, although I do take a while to recover now versus back then.

    As far as a financial need did I mention I have 3 daughters and am a teacher? I am happy and grateful to teach but in terms of spending extra money on myself for things like coaching I have to weight it versus things like the girls soccer leagues, or their ballet classes I will always spend the money on them. This is my pitch for myself and as I read through the posts there are a lot of deserving people so whomever you choose will be deserving.

    Bill W.

  52. Happy birthday!

    I’ve just become a first-time father as of Sep 21, and so my running the past six weeks has dwindled to basically zero. I’m trying to get back on the horse and regain my fitness, to learn to run consistently with this new (and wonderful!) addition to my life and my responsibilities.

    I’ve got the Brooklyn Marathon coming up, and then indoor season of track sprints.

    My biggest challenge is finding the time to run; this could be either at 5 am before feeding the baby, or post midnight when everyone else has gone to bed.

    My goals are consistency, increased core strength and ham flexibility, and running a sub-3:00 marathon, and a sub-16:00 5k. And staying healthy!

    Thanks for keeping the site full of good, useful knowledge,

  53. I’d love a 1-1 month with you! I’m looking to lose weight. I took way too much time off from running my marathon last year and I’m now looking into getting back into running, I am slowly but surely trying to build my mileage up for a half in feb and hopefully my next full in May!

  54. Happy Birthday to you and thanks for the opportunity. I have been dealing with injuries for the last year and a half, and as things are 1000% better, I still have this doubt in my mind that I will ever get back to my better days. Now I have only been running for 2 1/2 years, but I made some great gains when I was healthy. I have a lot of great running friends and training partners, but I will not even train with them anymore. I am always afraid that the piriformis will kick my butt again or that my heel problems will strike me while running with them. With that in mind, how do you over come all of that? How do you make yourself a stronger runner both mentally and physically? How do you find the time to make successful strides and improvements? These are the problems and concerns that I feel a coach could help me out on.

    Thnaks again
    Ed Owens
    MAry Esther, FL

  55. Happy Birthday Jason! Way to pay it back. 😉

    I have a lot of trouble with my both Achilles, left calf (Gastroc okay, the other one isn’t) and the lower right side of my back by my SI joint. The SI joint forced me out of the 2010 Marine Corps Marathon at mile 16. The pain was sharp in the back for every step taken with my right foot.

    I also need to lose weight and strengthen core.

    Lastly, I’m closing in my late 50’s and noticed that my body just will not cooperate like it used to.

    My goal is to return to a 7:30 mm pace over 5 miles, but will be happy with 8:30. (Currently at 10:40)


  56. Everyone has such compelling stories here, I feel a little intimidated, but I should probably throw my running beanie into the ring. (Happy Birthday! I remember 28!)
    My biggest struggle in running really has to be with building a large enough base to run well through longer distance races.
    I’ve been a runner since I was about 2 years old. (My Dad’s an old, almost 70 now, marathoner from back in the 70’s when Gatorade was considered “newfangled”). I was never a fast one, but one that really enjoyed the actual running. I’ve had fits and starts, and a spotty race performance record, and indeed have had many many injuries.
    In 2006, I started to run more seriously and started to actually participate in races, my half time ended up at about 1:36.
    After this, I created multiple stress fractures. It was determined by my Doctor that I did have poor nutrition (yes, an eating disorder). I went through the various therapies and pretty much conquered the eating issues, but continued to injure my left leg…one more stress reaction to the tibia, then a Quad strain, then a year off to let an inflamed Achilles tendonosis heal without surgery. My times slowed down no matter how much I trained. After all that I “ran” a horrific 6 hour Marathon, and it was finally determined that I had a malformed hip and that I had torn my hip labrum. In May, I had the hip reshaped and my labrum repaired. Post surgery, my hip muscles got sort of flabby! I did my first running this week, outside on a nice flat field. Everyone feels that this hip problem probably caused many of the left leg injuries as it tried to compensate over the years. My stride is great and the movement of the hip joint is very fluid. So, I am curious to see what I can actually do now that I don’t have the pain and impaired movement of the joint.
    My ultimate goal is to run Comrades Marathon http://www.comrades.com/ (the up in 2013 and the down in 2014.) It is not a race for the faint of heart. I fell in love with it when I was a volunteer for Medecins Sans Frontieres in Sudan and Liberia. To get from my current state of jog/walk/short acceleration/jog walk….to Comrades, I am going to need to build a monster base. The up course requires a lot of hill skills and the down a ton of quad control. I’ve never been able to get a base beyond really 35-40 MPW…and I struggle with the back to back long runs. While I had endurance,long runs took, well, a long time~ the longer you are on your feet, the less recovery you can do. So, I suppose it is a struggle with appropriate pacing, so I can run long and also getting the base where it really needs to be, so that while I may suffer at Comrades, I’ll be suffering well, rather than just plain miserable.
    Why on Earth would you want to work with me? Well. let me tell you!

    I am dedicated. I get up every day at 4 am on work days so that I have time for running or stationary biking. I always make time for running and the gym. On those non work days, I tend to roll into the gym after lunch, but…the workouts still get done.

    I Listen. I’ve been “coached” as it were for 5-6 months now in Physical Therapy. I’ve never missed an appointment or been late. I do everything I’m told to do. Always. Even if it seems weird, or humiliating, I do it. (And I’ve really gotten to experience weird/humbling/humiliation all the way to the sublimely ridiculous!)

    I ask questions. If I don’t get something, I don’t “make it up” I make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.

    On top of all that, I’m actually funny and entertaining! I’ll admit, the dragging on rehab process has pummeled some of my normally sunny disposition….but I still find people constantly laughing around me. I’m just fun to be around. I’m not at all afraid to laugh at myself or be ridiculous when the moment requires it.

    Financially speaking, I’ve just gone through a major surgery which required 3 months out of work (I am an Emergency Department Nurse), and almost 6 months of rehab. So my Cash flow is a bit stinted. I’ve always wanted to try coaching like this, but really have been so unsure that it would be worth it, that I’ve been hesitant to shell out the cash.

    So Interested in taking me on….from Rehab (I ran about 1 mile today, in about err 12:05 pace-hey they made me walk every other minute!) to “The Ultimate Human Race” (Comrades?) I promise to at the very least work hard and make you laugh a bit….what more could you ask for?

  57. Where do I begin?!! I’ve been running for two years and had no prior running experience. Last year I went from C25K to a Half Marathon 2:02. Dealt with calf pain, posterior tibialis up to my shins, ankle pain, achilles issues, changing my form, shoes etc. Now, I’m relatively pain free, just the usual soreness that comes with running. I even had to take a month off at the beginning of the year to recover from the PT and bow out of my 2nd half marathon. I’m ending this year with Half on December 4th. This week I’m running 9 miles. I would like to have a new PR, but I just don’t know if it’s going to happen. I worked with a long distance coach/friend last year and I loved working with a plan. Of course, the first year of running were all PR’s. This year I ran some of the same races and course PR’d except the MCM 10K. I like sticking to a plan, but I’m a whiner, very hard on myself. Never satisfied, but I stick to a plan. I’d like to get through this half and have decided that I would like to stick with the shorter stuff, 5 & 10K’s. My 5K PR is 26:43 and my 10K PR is 58:15. I didn’t wear my Garmin for the first time this last 10K race, the MCM10K and I was off 1 second from last years PR! I know I have the potential to be faster in both, my problem is pacing. I go out too fast and don’t have enough to kick it in the end. I have a 10K that I want to do in January. I’m a 5am runner and my current exercise schedule is 2 speed, 1 easy, 1 long with two days of Kettlebell strength training and Sundays I swim a mile. Thank you for the opportunity Jason.

  58. My biggest challenge with running is mileage injury. I would love to get my mileage up and attempt an ultra, but it seems like everytime I start to get serious into training, whether following a plan, or self coaching, I end up with an injury. This has been very frustrating, and limiting, in achieving this goal.

  59. Lacey Keel says:

    Happy Birthday!!! I turned 28 this year too!! Right before I had my second set of twins.. Yes my second set. My husband is a police officer and I’m a homemaker. We are lucky enough to have six children however that means I have very little time and even less money. I was running alot before my twin boys and loved it. After I had them I started back up but didn’t get any better and couldn’t lose the last ten pounds. My husband gave me a tredmill for christmas but I had a hard time running for very long on it (love to run outside). Three years later I found out I was having twin girls I was soo excited. They are three months old now and I am having a hard time getting my self going. I really really want to run a half marathon but even more then that I want to be fit maybe even a six pack (in my wildest dreams) well work for it. I have tried for years to lose those last ten but I can’t do it I don’t know how. PLEASE help me I am done having kids and want to get fit and stay fit.

    I hope you have a great brithday and enjoy all the birthday wishes!!

  60. Meghan Reynolds says:

    Hi Jason,
    I’ve reached goals before (3:25 marathon PR!) however, an injury has stopped me from progressing. I’m taking 6 weeks off to rehab and strength my knee. Starting back up is going to be painful and annoying. I’d love a plan and someone to hold me accountable. My goal is a 3:18 spring marathon. Thanks for the opportunity and consideration!

  61. I have been running consistently for about 3 years. While I have been improving, I want to push myself to see just how fast I can be. I am fairly self-motivated but still think that I get in a training rut of doing the same things over and over. Thanks and happy day to you!

  62. Happy Bday Man,
    I am a sophomore in high school and cross country just ended. I run a 18:45 5k but I am still behind a lot of kids. I am willing to work as hard as I possibly can to reach my goal of winning races and breaking records. You seem like a cool dude and obviously could get me to my full potential. I’m hoping to be able to keep in touch with you to reach my goals. Thanks and have a good day!

  63. My biggest challenge is the dreaded plateau! I had a baby a little over a year ago. I ran a 1/2 marathon 3 months after giving birth and finished in just over 2 hours. After that, I took several months off of running:(. Since then, I’ve joined an amazing running club full of military moms. I’ve gotten my 5k time down to 22:11 (without the stroller) and 23:16 (with stroller). I’m an everyday runner but I’d like to increase the distance in a safe manner and eventually pick up some speed. My husband is returning from Afghanistan in 2 months, and I’d love to surprise him with some of the new stuff you could teach me. (ok, that’s sounds much stranger than I intended it too!). Overall, I think I’d benefit from having a coach because as a mom, I take time for everything but myself. Running is my thing and this would be a gift I would definitely enjoy.

  64. Happy belated birthday, Jason!

    As you’ve seen from the other comments I’ve left on your blog, I am a 39 year old runner who has been particularly plagued by injuries this past year. I typically run one marathon a year plus a variety of races between 5K and 18 miles (long the better). I am not fast but on a good day I can place 3rd in my age group.

    Last year, while training for the St Jude marathon, I suffered my first (ever) stress fracture. It got misdiagnosed as a calf soleus issue, so I kept training on it. I got slower and slower and the pain kept getting worse. I had to stop running two weeks before the marathon and just cross train. I was able to finish the marathon but it was my slowest one yet. The next day I couldn’t put any weight on that leg. I went to a different sports doc who found a severe stress fracture. I had used Pftizs 18/55 plan. By my 2nd 20 miler, I was in the best running shape (since high school). But you have to get to the start line healthy… which I didn’t do.

    I slowly ramped up my running after a 7 week layoff (and being in a boot). I was running some good times. I was not running the mileage that I had previously which allowed more time for strength and core training (I wonder where that idea came from? I wonder!) I was only running 25-30mpw when I felt the same stress fracture pain in the same bone but a different spot. Sure enough, I had another stress fracture.

    I ran 1500 miles in 11 months last year (prior to my early December stress fracture). This year, I have only logged 500 miles due to the two stress fractures. I am interested in getting back on the road to recovery and running another marathon in the Fall/early Winter 2012.

  65. Sheila B Lewis says:

    Jason- It is so neat that you are doing this for YOUR birthday. Thanks for reading this!
    I am a 40 YO mother of three. Of course very busy. I have a wonderful group of people that I run with 3-4 times a week. I am working my way s-l-o-w-l-y through a marathon in each state. I have run 23 marathons and 16 states. I am pretty consistently a 5:15-5:30 finisher. My “PR” is 4:54 but that was back in 2002. I ran 5:01 last month- woo-woo! So I am getting close again.
    So what is my goal? I want to become a 4:30-4:45 finisher. Is that possible?? With the better temperatures here in Texas the past few months, I have been really speeding up my runs. Averaging a 10:15/ mile pace for most of the runs- long or short. Last year I had issues with Periformis (sp?) As I have been speeding up this fall, it seems to be happening again. Of course it doesn’t bother me much when I run. But after- OUCH! So the help I need is to get faster without getting injured. To me you seem like the PERFECT person to help with this. I am so excited to have discovered your website and blog. I would love it if you would consider coaching me to help me with these goals!!

  66. Hi Jason,

    I’ve been struggling to get back into running consistently since graduating college. With less free time due to work and roommates that refuse to run more than 2-3 miles, it has been tough to get in decent shape. I would like to do a marathon in the next couple years, but right now I am trying to just get a solid 6 months to a year of mileage.

    Happy Birthday!

  67. Julie Gravelle says:

    Hi there, I am 44 years old started running last fall. completed my first year of running and completed 3 5k’s and 1 10k. I originally started running to one of those ipod couch to 5k apps which was ok it helped a lot but now I’d like to know how to improve my endurance so I’m not walking at all during a long run and want to be able to complete 10k races next year and improve on my 5k times. My 1st 5k this year was 37 min and my last which was last week was 34minutes. I was amazed at last weeks result as I didn’t feel my training was that progressive. I did lose 10pounds over the early fall . Would love the 1 on 1 for the fine tuning to get me to the 30 minute mark for 5k for next year.
    Julie Gravelle

  68. Mark Murray says:

    Great of you to offer this, my greatest challenge with running at the moment is me, my body I seem to have no strength in my running at all. I have hurt my back my knees and my legs, I don’t know much about cross training and or marathon training. I started off on a treadmill and then went on to the roads doing a 10k a half marathon and now am due to run the london marathon in 2012. I don’t have much money for coaching etc but simply love running, completing the London marathon would be a lifetime ambition for me. Just crossing that finish line would mean so much. If I could just avoid injury, I am so fed up right now as I have a knee injury and can’t run.

  69. Hello Jason,
    Happy birthday and happy running. I began running at the age of 12 and have loved it ever since. I ran my first marathon in Tahoe during 2002. I finished with a time of 5:15. I enjoyed the hills that started at mile 13 and stopped at mile 19. I loved the challenge of that race. At the ages of 37 and 38 I ran on the local junior college cross country and track teams. This was an incredible experience for me. I was able to improve my running ability and knowledge through this experience, but in the last cross country season I twisted my right ankle twice; a week apart from the original twist. I still experience issues with my ankle and calf now and then. Now, I am 41-years-old and a disappointing 60 pounds over weight. I have been looking for a jogging stroller that can hold a 200 pound person. My son Travis was born with Down Syndrome and must have 24 hour care. He is now 22 and has aged out of the Office of Education programs and is on a waiting list for a day program. This makes running difficult. We both enjoy outdoor activities, but without a jogger for him I will not be able to even begin to get the miles of training started, Do you or anyone else you know have any idea were a safe and inexpensive jogger can be found. To help the situation out I do have a Bowflex weight machine and a Bowflex Treadclimber to get started. I am now a full time student preparing to graduated in a year with a B of S in Liberal studies. I will then go into the credentialing and masters program the teach Special Education at the high school in a special day class setting. As exciting as this new challenge is for me it is also time consuming. I would love to improve my time from 2002 and get back to a healthy weight and lifestyle. I realized the advantage of having a coach while at Shasta College and would greatly appreciate the opportunity to be coached again. Thank you for this opportunity to be considered for such a blessing and thank you for offering it to begin with. Congratulations to whom every you choose. Joy Orey

  70. Happy Continuation Day Jason!

    I had been a drinker and a smoker all of my life and 2 years ago at 44 I gave running a try. I never thought I would fall in love with it the way I have. Last year I completed 2 half marathons (both sub 2:) and this month I finished my first marathon (3:56). I have been doing Ok stumbling my way through by trail and error and some info online thanks to sights like yours and DailyMile. I guess I’m looking for guidance to be a smarter and stronger runner and looking for help to determine whats in injury issue and what is just normal aches and pains….but then again are you old enough to know about the extra pains of middle age….lol. Runners knee right now but thanks for the consideration Jason!

  71. Hi and Happy Birthday Jason!

    I’m very excited about the opportunity you are offering! I’m 37 and have well controlled asthma. I started running for fun about 9 months ago to help get back into shape after having a baby. It started as a fun activity to do with my little guy but turned into something so much more. I ran a 5k in October and a 10K two weeks later. I’m now training for a half marathon in late January and would like to shoot for a marathon in March.

    My biggest challenge is the asthma of course, next would be lack of knowledge. I read everything I can about running; like proper form, the right shoes, training schedules, but there is so much information out there it can be overwhelming. I am also a very slow runner; about a 12 min mile.

    I could really use your help and guidance on this wonderful journey. I am very dedicated and I don’t make excuses.

  72. Andi Wilder says:

    I’ve just recently picked up running. I have run 6-5k’s and 1 10k. My biggest challenge is increasing tempo while running distance.

  73. Hi Jason,

    I ran my first marathon at the end of February 2010. I loosely used an intermediate Higdon plan, but did little to no core or strength work. The marathon was an indoor marathon (204 laps around the track). The race went well, I was sore afterwards, but not major problems. I had signed up for 2 other marathons in 2010, one 6 weeks after in mid April and another the first weekend of June. I took a few days off and then ramped back up for the April race. I noticed some stiffness in my left Achilles leading up to the marathon. I ran the race and was fine until the last mile when something felt funny in same Achilles. I was able to finish (with a 20 minute improvement over my indoor), but was pretty sore afterwards. I took a week off, but walking was a bit painful. I went to the doctor about a week later. He recommended seeing an ortho doctor. He told me I had Achilles Tendonosis from over training. He prescribed PT and told me to not run for 6 weeks. My early June marathon was out the window. PT had me doing a lot of static stretching. Meanwhile, I was swimming and biking to keep active. I started doing some easy running around the end of May, beginning of June and was soon cleared by the ortho doc to run again. I continued with the stretching, but started to develop some lower back pain. I stopped the static stretching. After reading more online of what others were doing I started using your Dynamic Warmup routine and continue to as well. That seems to work nicely. I also developed some pain on the side of my left knee and sometimes behind it. I’ve wondered if it is ITB issues. So at one point I took 5 days off, doing your IT Rehab Routine, before starting back. I’ve also started doing squats after running, about 100 per day. Things seem to be a bit better now, but the knee bothers me occasionally. I’ve also gotten a lower back, upper glute pain occasionally (on the left side). Seems like all of these things are tied together on the left side. I’m frustrated as I have not had injuries in the past.

    I signed up for the indoor marathon again, at the end of February 2012. This year, though, I signed up to run it two days in a row. My approach will be different from last year and I want to incorporate more strength work into my training. I could definitely use your coaching to help me stay injury free and be as strong as I can be to successfully run 26.2 miles (204 laps) two days in a row!

    Thanks for this great give away you are doing. Happy Birthday as well!

  74. Happy birthday!
    Please pick me! I am have a dream goal – I am trying to develop a training program that will allow me to run the Cincinnati Pig Marathon this coming May (my first full marathon) with a time that will qualify me for the 2013 Boston Marathon. Completing both marathons has always been a goal of mine. Now that I have delivered my youngest of three beautiful girls, I am ready to get going. My biggest challenge is my limiting schedule – I am a full-time working mother of three with an even busier husband. Please help! I will be tracking my progress on my blogspot to keep me in check. I need this to keep my sanity 🙂

  75. Happy belated birthday!

    What is currently troubling me with my running is possible anemia/low weight. I am equally obsessed with optimizing my life, but when I started running seriously 5 years ago, I went too far and lost too much weight. Since then I have struggled to *want* to gain weight because I was racing well at 106-110 lbs and 5’6″. I was (am) victim to the classic weight-loss obsession, and I am now scared to “let go” of my current strict ways in order to gain, though I know I need to to improve my running. Talk about irrational.

    I am currently 113 lbs and 5’6″, which is a little better, but over the past month my body has told me “sorry, I can’t run on this little fuel anymore.” I am currently 1/2-1 minute slower/mile on all of my runs, and my breathing is way too labored. These symptoms also make me think it’s anemia or iron/ferritin deficiency (I am taking supplements), but whichever the cause, I think my diet needs a revamp. Despite being on oral contraceptive to regulate my menstrual cycle, I have not gotten my period the past 3 months (not pregnant, I swear!! :)). I know this is unhealthy and obviously needs fixing.

    Anyway, I WANT to overcome the issue, but I am worried about it spiraling out of control and me becoming overweight and therefore, less efficient. While my running is suffering, I have a “routine” (not really a diet) that I am used to. It used to work, so there is a small part of me that clings to it. I am scared of no longer fitting into my clothes, though I know that is a part of weight gain.

    So ultimately, I want to healthily gain muscle, not fat, and I want a plan (yes, I’m a control freak) more than I want someone to tell me “try adding a protein shake and some peanut butter and nuts to your diet.” I want to gain muscle with the RIGHT whole foods that fuel my running, eat them at the right times, and eat them in just the right amount (optimization!).

    Pleeeeeeeeease help me!! 🙂

    btw-GREAT blog.

    • One more thing:

      I have done my research and I know that I need a strength training plan along with the nutrition plan to increase muscle. So obviously, a plan that involves progressively increasing the weights.

      I have a few weight lifting “plans” but I struggle to do them consistently (and most of the exercises in them do not involve weights, they are just body-weight exercises). And if I am in the weight room without doing one of these routines I feel a bit lost/uncertain how to approach. I want to make sure to target areas to make me faster. I know you have strength plans on your site and in the “backpack,” which I do intend to consult.

      OK, that’s all! 🙂

  76. I discovered your website through your article on NoMeatAthlete and something seemed to resonate. I ran the NYC marathon 2 weeks ago and finished in 3:16. A big improvement from the previous time/PR last year of 3:39, but a bit poor considering that a month before the marathon I ran Grete’s Gallop Half in 1:29 on a hillier course. My quads and glutes hurt a lot after the race and I suspect it was the total lack of strength training. I am starting to train for a spring marathon and hope to BQ (3:10) in the following year. I tried following most of the schedule in Pete Pfitzinger’s book Advanced Marathoning (max 55 mile/wk program) … though I fell short sometimes. I have come a long way from my first marathon (Hartford 4:21) in 2008, but have been plagued by different injuries ranging from ITBS, Shin-splints, Achilies Tendonitis and now Plantar Fasciitis and think that if I could prevent injuries I could train/perform much better.

  77. Terry Kinsler says:

    I would defintely benefit from a month of personal coaching. Was once a fast runner and have been injured since March 2011! Thanks for all the tips and happy birthday.

  78. Caren Lipkin says:

    Happy birthday, Jason! I’ve been following you for some time now. My challenges are complex, but common. On one hand, I get injured a lot, because I put running first, injury prevention last. I know what I have to do in order to mitigate those injuries, yet finding the time to actually do those things is the hard part. I work more than full time, and have to beg, borrow and steal time to work out and strength train. Even trying to get the mileage in is a struggle, but it’s a priority to me. I would love to have a plan to put all the pieces into place: finding time to run, finding time to train and protect myself from injuries, and finding time for work and family. I think your philosophy is sound and makes a lot of sense, and I’d like to see how it could make me a better, stronger runner.


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