Run SMART client Jen Johnston, fresh off her new marathon PR and Boston qualifier, wrote a very thoughtful testimonial about her coach, Blake Boldon. She was kind enough to let us share it with you too. She’s been training with Blake for about one year now and managed to: run injury free, lower her marathon best three times while setting a new PR in every race she entered, and qualify for Boston, her longtime goal. Here’s Jen…
Now that I have had a chance to step back and reflect on the year that I have worked with Blake, I am struck by how much I’ve been able to accomplish despite a very “fragile” self confidence, a disposition for injury and an insanely demanding family and work schedule.
After Ironman in 2009, one of my goals was to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Problem was I was not a runner. I was trained for a 13-hour endurance event but running was not my strongest event – my Ironman marathon split was 5:25. I was frustrated and convinced I would never be a real runner nor would I get any faster.
Blake helped me find the key to getting faster, stronger, more self-confident and personally satisfied with my running ability. He was patient, listened to my needs and was the key to my running improvement. Blake showed a high degree of personal commitment to my success. He took the time to alter my workouts to meet the demands of my busy life BUT he never backed off of the hard stuff. More than once Blake gave me workouts that I didn’t think I could do but he knew I could do. Then when I was in doubt he always found a way to give me that extra mental boost I needed to keep me working hard even when I was fighting for air.
The real test of his experience and expertise came when I hatched the crazy idea to run two marathon’s 8 weeks apart (Chicago and Cal. International) in order to qualify for Boston. He never tried to talk me out of it instead he provided thoughtful analysis of my problem areas, created workouts that consistently challenged me to help me improve and listened but never let me give up.
No one has had more of an influence on my running ability and my goals than Blake. His support and enthusiasm has made me the runner I am today. Blake’s passion to tap my untapped potential to produce a PR at nearly every race, his personalize attention to detail as well as his professional yet caring demeanor has made all the difference.
I recommend Blake very highly to anyone trying to improve their running and set new personal best times.