How to Set Massive PR’s as a Master (coaching call – rerun)

No matter when you started running in life or what your current PRs may be, it’s possible to get faster as a master! Running after 40 may take more balance and diligence, but never underestimate what you can accomplish.

While runners often assume that their personal bests are behind them once they’re no longer in their 20s and 30s, that isn’t always the case. More runners than ever are finding longevity in the sport by learning how to make the most of their bodies at various stages in life.

This week on the podcast you’ll hear from Tom, whose success story as a master’s runner is impressive and inspiring. While I’m a tiny bit mad that his marathon PR is now faster than mine, he remains one of my favorite Strength Running success stories.

As a kid, Tom had an athletic background playing a variety of sports, but didn’t start running regularly until after college. Running 20-30 miles per week back then allowed him to feel the runners high and develop a lifelong love of the sport.

Tom Shanabruch on Setting Monster PRs in your 40s

After racing a couple of half-marathons, Tom dove headfirst into the marathon in 2010. While the first 20 miles were at sub-3 pace, the final 10k taught him about hitting the wall and he suffered greatly through to the finish. Despite vowing “never to do this again’” he went sub-3 four years later and qualified for Boston.

Tom joined a training group and improved as he learned about speed work, but ultimately his race times plateaued. As he was turning 40, he decided it was time to get a coach. While Tom had an excellent foundation to build from, he needed to upgrade his training to see a breakthrough in his upcoming races.  

Although my training plan sounded daunting to Tom at first, he was willing to push himself to the next level. Regular strength work, bigger mileage, longer long runs, and an emphasis on recovery were all key to his success as he worked toward his sub 2:50 goal.  I’ll let Tom tell the story, but he smashed his goal and then some!

While Tom’s speed may sound daunting to slower runners, the principles of his training are accessible to everyone and can help you discover your own training and racing PRs. On this episode we discuss:

  • Tom’s athletic background and how he got into running and racing
  • When and why Tom reached out to me for coaching help
  • What surprised Tom about his new training plan
  • Tom’s “a-ha” moment in training
  • The two most impactful elements of his training
  • How to take training seriously without being burdened by it

No matter what your running background, you’ll learn from Tom’s experience about how to upgrade your own training. Enjoy!

Note: this is a rerun of Episode 233.

Subscribe to the podcast in Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcheriHeartRadio, or Google Play.

Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank you Previnex!

We’re supported by our newest partner, Previnex. After resisting most supplements for the better part of my life, I’m cautiously changing my tune. I’m less than a year from being a Masters runner and in my personal life, I’m optimizing for longevity. I want to be my healthiest self for as long as possible and I’m excited to partner with Previnex to make that happen.

Previnex uses the most bioavailable, clinically tested ingredients, the optimal form and dose of each ingredient, pharmaceutical grade manufacturing, testing of raw ingredients and finished products. For every purchase you make, they also donate vitamins to kids in need.

I’ve been taking their Immune Support and multivitamin over the last month and  I feel great. I have more energy and clarity, not to mention peace of mind that I’m giving my body what it needs.  I believe Previnex works and I hope you experience the same benefits as I do. Use code jason15 for 15% off your order at Previnex!

Thank You InsideTracker!

We’re sponsored by InsideTracker, a company that’s been around for more than 10 years to help you optimize your health, longevity, and performance. To live your healthiest, longest life possible, you need to understand what’s going on inside your body. People age at different speeds. And generic, annual blood work doesn’t properly evaluate your biological age. But InsideTracker does.

InsideTracker is a truly personalized nutrition and performance system, designed to extend your health span and slow down the aging process. Created by leading scientists in aging, genetics, and biometrics, InsideTracker analyzes your blood, DNA, and fitness tracking data to identify where you’re optimized—and where you’re not.

With InsideTracker, you get a daily Action Plan with personalized guidance on the right exercise, nutrition, and supplementation for your body. Add InnerAge 2.0 to any plan to calculate your true biological age, and see how you’re aging from the inside out. For a limited time, get 20% off the entire InsideTracker store!

Get Stronger & Run Healthy

Join our free course to help you better prevent injuries, develop runner-specific strength, and avoid the big mistakes that get runners hurt