Making Dreams Reality: The Future of Strength Running

Average people follow their dreams, distance runners chase them down and beat them into submission.

Future of Strength Running

For as long as I can remember, people have asked me:

What do you want to do when you grow up?

What can you do with a Government degree?

Is that job what you really want to do?

Are you getting a promotion soon?

These questions follow the typical “dream –> college –> career” path that most people find themselves on. It’s a natural progression to go to college, get a job, try to get promoted, get a new (and better) job, rinse and repeat.

It started for me when I went to Connecticut College and double majored in Government and Urban Sociology. I graduated and went to work for a major e-commerce firm in Boston in their Finance Department. I quickly learned that crunching numbers wasn’t for me.

My girlfriend (who is now my wife) Meaghan took a job as a teacher in Washington, DC and I moved in with her in 2008 right outside the city in Silver Spring, MD. I started working at an environmental non-profit doing work that I was more interested in pursuing.

Less than two years later, I needed a change of pace so I transitioned to an environmental consulting firm working on some of the government’s biggest efficiency projects like ENERGY STAR. It was interesting work and I learned a lot.

But no matter what I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about a joke my uncle made when I got my first job:

Uncle: “Hey, how’s the job going?”

Me: “Not bad; it’s a little boring.”

Uncle: “Well, only 40 more years!”

That stuck with me. Do I really have to work a job I’m not 100% passionate about until I’m old and gray? Apparently, according to conventional wisdom, I do. It’s how things work. It’s standard.

But it always irritated me. I could never answer the question, “What are you really interested in?” because my interests aren’t those that will get me a real job: I like running, coffee, partying with my friends, traveling, and spending time with my wife.

Some of my friends said, “I really like the financial analysis models I’m making now. Fascinating stuff!” That’s great, but it’s not for me. I was never passionate about that stuff.

You’re probably asking yourself, “Jason, you’re rambling – have you been drinking? What does this have to do with running?

I’m sober (I swear) but let me get to the point.

Strength Running Grows Up

I started Strength Running in March, 2010 because I thought I could help other runners succeed where I had failed. It was a tiny blog with no readers and an ugly design. I was embarrassed to tell my friends and family about it.

But since then, it has steadily grown and I’m fortunate to work with many talented, passionate runners to help them accomplish their goals. People like Ryan, Sam, Lydia, and Andy.

I’ve busted my ass over the last few years to make SR your best source of running information online. I’ve released a ton of useful guides, workouts, and resources:

The feedback I’ve received from these resources has been nothing short of humbling. The impact this site is having on real runners is the most rewarding part.

“I’m running without pain and stronger than ever. You also saved me the cost of physical therapy (time and money).” – Charlie

“After several months of ITB rehab I have not had a single problem. Oh ya, and I PB-ed my 10km this weekend (by over 3min!!) after 5weeks of including other strengthening videos you suggested through my training plan. BOOYA!” – Melissa

I love hearing this kind of feedback and it encourages me to keep working on building the best running site on the web (I’m coming for you Running Times!). But until recently, I’ve done it while having a full-time job, which isn’t ideal if SR hopes to continue growing.

To make Strength Running as great as it can be – which means more useful stuff for you – I’m excited to announce that as of today, SR is now my full-time job.

I can finally answer the question, “What do you want to do?” with a resounding “Help runners dominate!

Thank You!!

I could not be pursuing my dream if it wasn’t for you. Your support over the years has enabled this to become my reality and I am deeply grateful for your help.

Even if you’ve never bought a training plan or joined Run Your BQ, you’ve helped this site grow.

Every “like” on Facebook.

Every Retweet on Twitter.

Every link back to this site from your own blog.

These seemingly simple gestures are huge in helping SR reach new runners. I’m so appreciative of your help in supporting our shared mission of becoming better runners.

Those members of my private email newsletter will be getting a note from me later today with some additional information (and a new addition to the Runner’s Gear Bag!). Stay tuned!

But regardless of how you interact with this site, I want to thank you for reading these words and being part of this great community. Without you, I wouldn’t be here today doing what I love.

What’s next for Strength Running?

Strength Running

I’m beyond thrilled to work harder than ever to create more resources to help you crush your running goals. Expect a lot of new things around here in the next few months – get excited!

First, I’m going to keep busting my ass trying to write the best running articles I can muster. While I’m very proud of what I’ve done so far (check out the “Popular Posts” section on the right sidebar), I want to do even more.

Video is one medium that’s been lacking on Strength Running and my goal is to record more videos. They can be more useful than simple text and many people prefer video to text.

You may also see that Strength Running will likely grow even more quickly in the months and years ahead. I’m getting more and more requests to contribute to other running publications (both offline and online) including Active.com, Lifehacker, and a few that I have to keep secret for now 🙂

This doesn’t mean I’ll neglect any aspect of SR – it is and will always be my top priority. Just be nice to the newcomers and say “hi” in the comments!

As always, I have some projects that aren’t public yet that I’m really excited about. My newsletter readers will find out about them first and have opportunities for advanced notice and other benefits like I’ve done in the past.

For now, I just want to say thank you. I’m thrilled, optimistic, scared, excited, and hopeful for what the future holds and it wouldn’t be happening without you.

To your running success!
– Jason.

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Comments

  1. This is awesome, congrats Jason!

  2. Scotty M. says:

    Awesome! Congratulations on being able to do what you love to do full time!

  3. Congrats on the decision!! Been a reader for a few months and its helped triathlon a lot. I’m excited to see what you do 🙂 good luck!

  4. LIKE!!

  5. Jason, good for you, and keep up the great work!

  6. YES. Awesome. Such great news Jason – Strength Running is my go-to resource for running related questions – I’m definitely excited to watch it grow even more.
    Cheers!!!

  7. Thanks for all you do. I’ve referred a lot of friends to Strength Running and recommended your training programs as well. Everyone always comes back with good responses.

  8. Your passion and fearlessness (some might see it as foolishness, but not us) are admirable. I personally think you kick ass as a coach and I get stoked to turn other runners on to SR. May your road be lined with continued good fortune.

    Cheers!

  9. Great job, and best of luck!

  10. Meredith O says:

    Way to beat your dreams into submission, dude! 😉

  11. Very cool. Congrats!

  12. Congratulations! I’ve been lurking for several months and am not a long distance runner, but I’ve loved reading your product reviews and inspirational stories of those you’ve helped with training plans. That’s so great to be able to focus on something you love full time. Best of luck!
    Megan

  13. Congrats! I recently quit my full time “safe,” yet unsatisfying job to pursue my life’s passions, too. Scary at first, but I know I’ll be happier in the long run.

    I’m one of the Run Your BQ members and am on week 9 of my training plan to run the Portland Marathon the first weekend of October (my first full). I feel awesome and have followed the plan!

  14. As I said in my email, congratulations! Your career aspirations are as gutsy and inspirational as your running, and I wish you the best of luck. Happy to play whatever small part to help out how I can, I value our friendship and all that I’ve learned from knowing you.

  15. Rob McGalway says:

    Well done man, that’s inspirational! Best of luck, i’m sure of it’s continued success. I had ITB HELL for two years until I found your site and after doing the ITB program from jan 1st to april 14th (missed one day somewhere in march) I’ve never had that IBT hell again. Other things, yes, but dedication and perseverance pays off there too, just like it will for you.

  16. Joe Richardson says:

    Wow! Great news Jason! All the best! Can’t wait to see what’s coming up on SR/RYBQ!

    Joe

  17. Sherry N. says:

    SR is my favourite running resource! glad to hear you’re able to follow your passion! Looking forward to the exciting things to come.

  18. Congrations Jason!

    I am so glad I found your website as a beginner runner end of last year. I have learned so much, from how to structure running plans and make really progress instead of just *running* to how to keep from getting hurt. Getting ready for my second 10K in september and then my first half-marathon, Portland Rock ‘n Roll next April. You have my full recommendation!

  19. Congratulations on this next step in chasing down your dream. Just think, only 40 more years…

  20. Jason , I came to your website after I had ITB issues while training for my first half marathon . Since then I follow most of the routines and it has helped me so far . Congratulations on following your passion !! . I think this is of the best running blogs I have come across .

  21. Congratulations on your decision Jason!
    Sometimes taking that leap of faith isn’t easy, and sometimes it takes a long time to even discover what that leap should be about.
    I’m probably guilty for hogging 80% of your site’s bandwidth since I discovered it a couple of weeks ago. You have a clear and concise writing style. The recommendations and advice are already paying me dividends, and I find myself rereading posts and articles, each time looking for another nugget of info.
    No doubt your future endeavors will be successful and I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us!

  22. I was wondering when you were going to take this on full time. You definitely have the knowledge, knack, drive and passion. I sometimes think most runners have the same mindset. Run, party, hang out with friends and run again. Cheers to you. My first glass of wine tonight will be a toast to your new endeavor. Good luck!

  23. LOL!! It is Friday night and I just got done my 12 miler.

  24. Very exciting! Congrats!

  25. Congrats Jason, that is really great!

    You have put in the hard work and earned it! Enjoy your dream job.

  26. Sweet! This is awesome Jason. If everyone were as passionate about their work the world would be a different place! I am also proud to be one of your quotes!
    I will keep passing the word of this blog to my fellow runners. Strength running has really changed how I look at training and injury recovery.
    Congrats!

  27. Congratulations! What a great feeling to be able to dedicate your time to something you’re passionate about.

    I wanted to leave a thank you for you as well- I started using the warm up/cool down routines you recommend a few weeks ago, and I’ve already noticed a difference. All those niggling aches after a run? Gone. Stiffness a few hours after a run? Gone. It’s amazing and I’m hopeful that I can continue to build distance slowly without further injuries. Thank you!

  28. Congratulations, Jason! You’ve been providing a tremendous service to the running community. I am so happy for you that you can pursue your true passion in life.

  29. Jason – so excited for you. Congratulations, big, big things ahead for you.

  30. Fantastic news…you make me jealous, being able to take the leap and follow your passion is exciting. I’m a deciple I had ITBS pain for months, rolling, stretching yada yada yada and it never got even the slightest bit better. I found your video linked off of irunfar and within 2-3weeks I could run 5k, then 10k and it’s only gotten better from there. You saved me from a summer of frustration, and I now check your site daily because of that.

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  1. […] so happy to hear about people following their dreams. He wrote a great post about his decision here.  If any of you are in search of a fantastic, well-researched and thoroughly documented source for […]