Negative Splitting His Way To A Personal Best

Chris Brennan of Brooklyn, NY ran a personal best at the Berlin Marathon last month. In 3-years, since working with The Run SMART Project as part of the New York Flyers’ Marathon Training Program (MTP), Chris has now dropped his marathon time from 3:31 all the way to 3:00!

His official time in Berlin was 3:00:44, just over a minute under his VDOT Plan Predicted time! [Official result] After starting a little slower than planned due to early traffic (and he was wise not to weave through it), Chris breezed through the half a little off pace in 1:31:40. But then he closed in 1:29:04! Yowsers!!! We should note that Chris supplemented his plan with a lot of cross training this time around so his extra credit clearly paid off late in the race.

Rowan Jones Cracks 2:50 In Chicago

Back in January of 2013, Rowan Jones completed his first custom training plan from Dr. Jack Daniels when he finished the Disney Marathon in 3:12, a 37-minute PR at the time! 3-years later after much hard work and dedication, following several more training plans and setting steady PRs, Rowan has now erased 1-hour off his marathon personal best.

Got Grit?

We love this picture! With a beautiful backdrop, Andy McGhee of the UK, is literally kicking it in the final stretch of his first marathon to reach his goal of sub-3-hours. His official time was 2:59:54. [Full results]

I would like to personally thank you for writing my program for the Bournemouth Marathon. I achieved a 2hr 59min in my first marathon and I’ve qualified for Boston which is a dream. I hope now is that I’m lucky enough to get a place for the 2018 race.

This has been my second training plan now and it’s been incredible. In 10 months I’ve run a sub-1:30 half marathon and now sub-3 for a full. This having only started running one year prior. I can’t wait to start my next plan! – Andy

Papadakis Wins Balkan Masters Champs

At the 26th Balkan Veterans Athletics Championships in Nadi Sad, Serbia, Stamatis Papadakis took home the gold medal in the Men’s Half Marathon. Stamatis is currently following a 24-week marathon plan on VDOT O2 geared towards the Athens Marathon. The Greece native traveled to the Balkan Masters Champs to test his fitness and it appears training is going really well right now. He ran a 16:40 5k (VDOT 61.6) the first day of competition to warm-up 😉 and then came back the following day to win the half marathon in 1:14:13 (VDOT 63.7)!

Afterwards, Stamatis commented, “I am 42 and this is my best time ever! Thank you for your program!!!”

I Cannot Stop Singing Ann’s Praises

Clients generally stick around for a long time when working with Run SMART coach Ann Alyanak. Amanda Hamilton has now been working with Ann for almost 3.5 years. She shares why she’s stuck around for so long…

I cannot stop singing Ann’s praises. Before working with Ann, injuries kept sidelining me. With Ann’s expert coaching, I set a half marathon PR on a training run and stayed injury free. Her workouts are fun, challenging, and easy to follow. Not to mention, Ann is incredibly easy going and super easy to communicate with. I highly recommend Run S.M.A.R.T. Project and Coach Ann! – Amanda

Hakim Earns New PR Along With World’s Largest Medal

Hakim Ghanem set a new PR at the Chicago Half Marathon this past weekend. His official result was 1:44:55, 4-minutes better than his previous best. [Full results]

Not sure which is more impressive, the new PR even though this was just a workout for Hakim as he prepares for his goal race (Chicago Marathon) in a few weeks, or the brand new hardware he received at the finish?!?!

Axel Mateo Is Having A Breakthrough XC Season

Axel Mateo of Marietta, GA is now 6 weeks out from his state meet and he’s already dropped roughly 1-minute off his cross country 5k PR. After following one of our 8-week summer cross country plans Axel has now improved to a 16:38 personal best. He’s currently competing as a Sophomore at Pope High School. You can follow Axel and all his progress at MileSplit.

Good luck at States, Axel!

Welcome Our Newest Coach

We’re super excited to announce Leah Rosenfeld (pictured with Run SMART Head Coach Dr. Jack Daniels) as our latest private coach to join the staff. Leah will focus her attention on athletes looking to improve their track, cross country and road PRs from 5k up to the half marathon.

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to join The Run SMART Project’s all-star coaching staff. As a current athlete working with Run SMART, I have seen significant improvements in my own performances through this training system and as a coach, I am excited to be able to share my knowledge of running, strength training and nutrition with runners as they pursue their goals.” – Leah

Peter Norris Hits Plan Predicted Time On The (V)DOT

Peter Norris of Howlong, New South Wales, Australia, set a new 10k PR by 1 minute and 20 seconds. Peter followed a 12-week 10k plan designed by Dr. Jack Daniels on the VDOT O2 app and hit his target pace on the dot!

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 10.58.26 AMAfterwards, Peter commented, “I just wanted to pass on some feedback regarding my 12 week program which I have just finished. I followed it without missing a session and certainly reaped the rewards. I have never run under 40-mins for 10k before and hit my goal race on Sunday still feeling a little nervous and uncertain.”

“I smashed that 40-min barrier and raced very comfortably with my only goal to stick to the 3:54 race pace you prescribed. A sub-39 looks like no hassles, maybe a sub-38 next.”

What Pace Or Effort Should I Run Hill Repeats?

We get this question a lot from clients since we have a clear purpose/intensity behind our main training types (Easy, Threshold, Marathon, Interval, Repetition, Fast Reps) but not for hill repeats. We see hill training as Repetition work but with added resistance. Just like Reps, hill repeats help improve speed and economy.

In general, you should run hills at the same effort as Reps (current 1-mile race pace). They should not be sprints so you want to focus on running with good mechanics and make sure you’re not tightening up a lot near the top of the hill. Run hills fast but strong and relaxed throughout. Our concern with hills is always regarding the repeated downhill running between the work portion. Make sure to be soft/quiet on your feet running down the hill to reduce impact and ensure that you are taking enough time so you’re fully recovered between each.