Transforming the lives of runners is why I love this job. Hearing the successes of my athletes gets me up in the morning and excited to get to work.
Nearly every day my inbox is flooded with success stories – runners who have run unbelievable personal bests, stayed healthy for longer than ever before, or are now excited and confident about their training.
It really is a dream come true – and it’s now a part-time job to keep track of all the feedback from my training plan runners!
It’s even more exciting when you hear about a runner who experiences every one of those benefits. Not just feeling strong, but running faster than you ever thought you could while being free of the injuries that seemed to always bog you down every few months.
DeAnne is one of these runners. I received this note from her last month:
I just wanted to write you a quick email to thank you for your coaching, and to report back on what a huge success it has been for me:)
In January I stumbled on your blog as I was scouring the internet for information on injury recovery and prevention. I’d been running for 5 years and without fail had managed to injure myself every few months. I had myself pegged as injury prone and slow. Your blog gave me hope and I took a chance and signed up for a PR Race Plan.
My original goal was to run a marathon but because I was injured I ended up scaling it back to a half because it took me longer to heal. The first few weeks I couldn’t run but I diligently did the strength routines and eventually was able to follow your complete plan.
Just to give you some perspective, in early January of this year, I ran a half in 2:24 and felt beat up after. My personal best for a half was 2:19 and that was 2 years ago.
I was running more than ever and feeling stronger than I thought I could be. I’m thrilled to report that a couple of weeks ago I ran the Fontana Half Marathon and felt amazing. I felt strong through the entire race and for the first time ever I was actually passing people! I finished in 1:57:10. I never thought I would break 2 hours!
I can’t thank you enough Jason! Your training works. My husband and I got into the St. George Marathon for October of this year, and thanks to you and your training plans, I know that I will not only get to the starting line injury free, but be able to finish strong.
Powerful stuff, isn’t it?
I was so impressed with DeAnne’s story that I asked if she’d explain more of her journey so we can be inspired by her progress and learn from her success. And I’m thrilled to share it with you today.
“Maybe, just maybe, I could break the cycle and run injury free”
When DeAnne was “scouring the internet” for injury prevention information, she was beyond frustrated. Like many runners, it seemed like she just bounced from one injury to the next. She told me:
For five years I was constantly struggling with injuries. Every few months I would get injured then have to take time off to recover. When I would start running again it was almost like starting over as far as my fitness level was concerned. When I found Strength Running I was once again injured and so incredibly frustrated. Jason gave me hope that maybe, just maybe I could break the cycle and run injury free.
As I like to say, consistency is the secret sauce of good training. And the most pernicious aspect of being injured is losing consistency and time – time that’s better spent training and gaining fitness. But instead, you end up watching that fitness go down the drain.
When you finally get healthy, running feels hard because you’re out of shape. Starting from scratch is never fun and it prevents the progress that can help you get faster and feel better while running.
Before her PR Race Plan, DeAnne was running 3-4 days per week, but never on consecutive days because she thought that would help her stay healthy. But the biggest problem I noticed was that all of her runs were at a moderate-hard effort (she needed a nap after her long runs…) instead of varying her effort. She remembers:
After purchasing my PR Race Plan my running became much more deliberate. Jason had me running 4 days a week at first and added in tempo runs and strides in addition to my long runs. At first I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do my faster workouts at the pace Jason recommended.
But by slowing down my easy runs and speeding up my tempo runs I was fine. I also stopped needing naps after my long runs because I slowed them down and saved my speed for my faster workouts.
Isn’t it funny how a few small tweaks can make all the difference? Imagine how much better you’d feel with just a few minor changes to how you approach your training?
Progress Ain’t Easy…
DeAnne didn’t magically start running faster with no injuries as soon as she began her custom training plan. In fact, she realized she didn’t even like the strength exercises I prescribed in the plan!
But accomplishing your goals requires you to step outside your comfort zone and do things you don’t necessarily love. Like Jay Johnson has said before, “To do something you haven’t done before, you have to do something you haven’t done before.”
So DeAnne committed to the strength work, even if that meant a toddler sat on her back during her planks (she has four boys!). Here’s how she described the transition to her new running program:
The transition from how I was running to following my new PR Plan wasn’t too bad. Jason asked lots of questions to find out where I was at and made my plan based on my current fitness level so that I could ease into it. I knew when I needed to run, how far, and at what speed.
I’m a mom to 4 little boys and time is a precious commodity around here. Just getting in my runs is sometimes a challenge with so many little people around. In the beginning I think the only thing that kept me motivated into doing those strength workouts was knowing that I had paid for my PR plan and I did not want to waste my money. So I faithfully did my strength work, even if it meant that I had a toddler sitting on my back during planks 🙂
Accountability can’t be overlooked – and sometimes throwing down some cash is the best way to keep yourself on track (Joel Runyon uses this strategy as well).
What Has DeAnne Learned From Her 22 Minute PR?
Today, DeAnne is an entirely new runner. She’s no longer frustrated with being hurt and trying to get back in shape after losing so much time to injuries.
How does she feel now? Here’s how she describes it:
I purchased my PR Plan in January and now just 6 months later I’ve seen incredible results. I’m injury free (yay!!) I’m running more than ever before, and I’ve even gotten faster along the way!
Shortly before I purchased my PR Plan I ran my 5th half marathon in 2:24 (my PR was 2:19 two years prior). I was miserable through most of it, and felt beat up for days after.
Just a couple of weeks ago I ran another half marathon. This time I felt strong and loved every minute of it. I finished in 1:57:10 with a smile on my face. I never thought that I could run a sub 2 hour half marathon.
Now that’s the type of progress that gets me jacked up to coach!
But the real value of a custom training plan is what you learn from it after your goal race. You have a snapshot of what sound training looks like so you can continue using it and refining the principles within the plan over and over again.
DeAnne realized this and calls it her “arsenal of tools:”
Using a personalized training plan has taught me a few lessons. First, I’ve learned that strength training is crucial!! I feel like this has been the biggest contributor to me staying injury free. I’ve learned that I can’t be a runner and just run, I have to do strength training.
Second, not every run should be done at the same pace. You need slow runs, and tempo runs, and strides in order to improve.
Lastly I’ve learned that consistency is huge! Because I’ve been injury free for 6 months, I’ve been able to run consistently and that’s why I’m seeing so much improvement in my running. I can’t wait to see what I’m capable of in the months and years to come now that I have this amazing arsenal of tools to use 🙂
I would definitely recommend the PR Race Plan to any runner! I’m willing to bet that no matter what your fitness level is, or what your running goals are, Jason can help you improve as a runner. I still can’t believe how far I have come, and only wish I had found him years ago!
DeAnne’s success story is an incredible tale of transformation and I’m so proud to showcase it on SR. Please join me in congratulating her for her progress and improvement from a 2:19 half marathon to a 1:57!
Remember that THERE IS HOPE if you are stuck with your running. There’s no need to feel frustrated with injury after injury (get multiple videos of free injury info here) or like you’ll always be in a rut with the same race times.
You can improve.
You can run faster.
You can break your “never-ending” injury cycle.
It won’t be easy – and it will certainly take some work – but it’s entirely possible. You just need to make a decision.
To learn more about how a custom training plan can help your running, see all the details here.
Thanks again to DeAnne for sharing her uplifting story and reminding us that we’re all capable of achieving more than we think we can.