PR Spotlight: How To PR Every Race Distance in 12 Months

Joe

It’s been a while since I featured a runner here. I am trying to get back into a better routine with blogging – and part of that is this feature which I think can help a lot of other runners!

I’m excited to share the store of Joe, a local runner from Staten Island, who I have had the absolute pleasure of coaching for the last year. Joe reached out to me last summer after running a handful of races including the Brooklyn Half Marathon and Scotland 10k. He was looking to improve his running – no specific times or goals – just wanted to improve.

He is now a few weeks away from his first marathon – the NYC Marathon! And he has set some pretty amazing PR’s along the way:

– Mile: 8:11 —> 7:22
– 5 miler: 49:31 (9:55 pace) —> 44:37 (8:56 pace)
– 10k: 1:01:59 (10:00 pace) —> 59:07 (9:32 pace)
– 10 miler: 1:42:12 (10:14 pace) —> 1:35:48 (9:35 pace)
– Half Marathon: 2:18:05 (10:33 pace) —> 2:08 (9:51 pace)

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    PR Spotlight – Sarah (Run Far Girl)

    Marni and Katie

    Marni and Katie

    Happy Friday!! Thank you so much for all of your comments and words of encouragement on yesterday’s post!  I’m getting ready to head up to West Point for the weekend – it’s my 10 year reunion and I will be spending quality time with some of my closest girl friends ! There is a dinner/social tonight followed by a parade, lunch in the mess hall, and football game on Saturday.  Sunday morning I will be racing the SI Half Marathon – I’ve done this race twice before and am excited to be running in my hometown again. I’m hoping for a PR, but it’s not the easiest course, so will be satisfied with a steady effort and strong finish!

    Lots of racing going on this weekend – including my triathlon coach, Marni and running coach, Katie who will be tackling Kona (the race I discussed yesterday) and the Hartford Marathon, respectfully.  Are you racing this weekend??

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    I am excited to share my good friend, Sarah’s, running story with you. We became acquainted through twitter/blogs a couple of years ago and became really close last year. We were due on the same day with our second baby and shared pregnancy, postpartum, and running stories. She has always been a speedy runner, but has begun crushing her previous PRs the last several months due to some changes in her training approach. Read below to find out how! =)

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      PR Spotlight – Beka K

      Brandon Half Marathon - Dec 2012
      I love stories of people who have been inspired to run/race after seeing a marathon for the first time.  That is what happened to Beka in November 2011.  She ran her first 5k a month later and tackled her first half marathon less than three months after that!.  Her first half-marathon time?  2:17!  AND just became part of the sub-2 club when she knocked over 12 minutes off her half-marathon time!  Beka know holds a 1:54 half-marathon PR and is anxiously awaiting for training to begin this summer for her first full marathon.  Did I mention that she’s only been running about 14 months?? =)  I think she is going to be setting some pretty nice PRs this year due to her natural speed + incredible dedication. Name: Rebecca (Beka) Kelley Age: 28 Hometown: Memphis, TN – now live in Tampa, FL Blog: www.rebeccaroams.com Twitter: @rebeccaroams How long have you been running? 1 year & 2 months Why did you start running? In November 2011, I tagged along with my boyfriend to his first marathon (which I thought he was nuts for even doing). While he ran, I grabbed a big fatty breakfast at Denny’s, lounged around, and waited at my spots to see him a couple of times throughout the race. It wasn’t until the runners began crossing the finish line that I started to feel incredibly guilty about that breakfast, but so incredibly inspired! Watching so many different kinds of people meeting life long goals and seeing their emotions ranging from tears to huge smiles, and even a few blood stained shirts or knees. I was absolutely enamored with what they felt with that accomplishment and made it a goal on the spot to start distance running. Even if that meant just starting with 1 small mile (which I could not do at this point). One month later in December, I completed my first very painful 5k,  three months later, my first half marathon and I haven’t looked back! Favorite Race Distance/Why? So far, the half marathon. It requires endurance and speed. Tests you in both areas (although I’m not as speedy as Michele!)
      PRs 5k: 25:57 10k: 56:28 Half: 1:54 Marathon: (tba in October!)
      First Half Marathon time/when: Gasparilla Half (March 2012) – 2:17. Still not even knowing what a “pace” was, or even how long a half marathon “really was”, I decided to challenge myself and see just how far I could make it. I had only run 7 really hard miles prior. I never stopped running! I slowed significantly and at one point was so angry at myself for putting myself in this much pain, but all that anger and pain disappeared (momentarily) as soon as I saw the finish chute and I was given my medal. I was in complete and utter amazement at how the body can complete such a huge task! I immediately started signing up for more races as soon as I got home.

      Previous Half Marathon PR/when: Women’s Half Marathon November 2012 2:06:58 – This was another total shocker for me. I had just gotten out of physical therapy thanks to a “learn my lesson about recovery and cross training” injury (hip) and really just wanted to finish. I was extremely nervous leading up to the race. I listened to my body and ran a smart race without giving up and without re-injuring myself! It paid off!

      What did you do differently in your training to drop so much time off from your last half marathon? I made a plan and I stuck to it – I trained hard – didn’t miss ONE WORKOUT (not even a cross training workout -i.e yoga or weights) – even if my plan was for only 5 weeks. I made the time, woke up early, stayed up late, put in the effort, and it made the biggest difference!

      What do you attribute the most to you PR’ing? Consistent weekly, hard tempo runs! A supportive boyfriend who also runs, and an amazing pacer – Meghann! If you have an opportunity for a speedy friend to help you meet your goal – accept it. Having her next to me made me feel accountable, and because of that I pushed myself to get that PR!
      What is your next race/goal? I have a few more races (5k, 10k, halfs) scheduled through April, and really want to get a huge PR in my 10k since I’ve only run one before! In June I’ll begin training for my biggest goal of the year – Marine Corps Marathon (held in Oct). I am raising money for a wonderful charity- The Little Things for Cancer. I’m also planning to run along side one of my Marine Wounded Warrior friends. While in Afghanistan, he lost a leg and function in an arm and is doing everything in his power to rebuild his strength and be able to run this race with me! (you can read the full story here)

      What piece of advice would you give to someone who is looking to PR? Train (consistently) well, recover better, and find running buddies to challenge you and hold you accountable. Definitely look toward those friends or the  blogger/social media healthy living and fitness community for the days you just don’t feel like getting out for that run. It is full of so many inspiring athletes! I know I have aimed higher and set higher goals because of them! Challenge yourself!

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        PR Spotlight: Steve L

        Going Green track Meet 2012 - Photo by Ken Trombatore

        I’m excited for this post for many reasons.  The first is that it should be a welcome change for all (5?) of my male readers!  The second is that the runner is crazy fast and dropped 30+ min off his marathon PR time from his spring marathon to his fall marathon – he went from a 3:36 to a 3:05:06.  And although he missed qualifying for Boston by SIX SECONDS, he is extremely upbeat, positive, and anxious to qualify the next time he runs the distance.

        Name: Steven Leibowitz  
        Age: 29 
        Hometown: Jersey, the north half  
        Blog: runnerontheright.wordpress.com  
        Twitter: @steverunner21

        How long have you been running? Competitively, I have been running since sophomore year of high school. My small school had just started its cross country program, but I really did not want to join. I was involved in other sports and this did not seem like something particularly fun. Running had, until that point, been a means to stay active. The day of the team’s first meet my best friend persuaded me to come try it out. After convincing our athletic director that I was in good enough shape and (probably) would survive the 5k race, she agreed to let me participate. Not only did I finish, but I came in second for our team. I stuck with it initially as a great way to get in shape for basketball, my main high school sport, but running became much more than a last minute teenage whim.

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          PR Spotlight: Hyedi N

          hyedi2

          Happy Friday!!!  Hope everyone has safe and easy travels home and/or a safe weekend with the wintery weather we have been having!!

          Today marks the end of Week 1 of marathon training.  I didn’t run as often as I wanted to because I am still recovering from the flu – but am overall pretty satisfied.  I used this week as a refresher for myself – no hard or long distance runs – I mostly wanted to get used to waking up at 5am and running every day.  I’m really excited for this training cycle and plan to go into detail about my training plans for my spring marathon  next week!

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          This week’s PR spotlight is on Hyedi.  I’ve been following her for a while now on Twitter but really started interacting a lot more when the Race for Recovery was being planned – she was enormously helpful in spreading the word and getting involved.  Read below to see how she went from a 2:12 half marathon in 2009 to a 2:03 in 2012.  She has even bigger goals for 2013 – sub-2 (which she TOTALLY has got!).  PS. Hyedi – hope you kick the flu and feel better quickly – we are all sending good thoughts your way!

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            PR Spotlight: Pamela

            pamela

            I’m excited to begin the new series on NYC Running Mama – the PR spotlight.  The PR spotlight will feature runners who have recently PR’d.  It could be on the treadmill, track, or on the roads.  The purpose of the feature will be to discuss what was done differently – whether it was pacing, fueling, hydration, training, mental preparation, etc.

            One of the things I love most about running is that I’m constantly learning – I learn just as much from the 4:30 marathoner as I do from the 2:45 marathoner. Hopefully this feature become a tool in which we all learn from each other.

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            Meet Pamela:  Not only is she my best friend (we’ve known each other since we were 13!), but she is the social media expert behind Sparkly Soul headbands.  Although she has run a good number of marathons, Pamela was stuck at the 5-hour mark for most of them.  This past spring, she revamped her training and began seeing immediate results.  The first time I really became aware of how much faster she had become was at the NYC Half Marathon in March.  I was used to Pamela being a 10+ min per mile runner so when I saw her run me at (I was cheering at mile 7) only an hour into her run, I was astounded!!  She continued her improvement through the summer and fall…and just PR’d the marathon by 53 minutes at the Philadelphia Marathon!!!  Here is how she managed to go from a 4:43 marathoner…to a 3:50!!! 

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