Luke Gavigan’s Season Of A Lifetime


Luke Gavigan of Tappan Zee runs away with boys 1 mile race at the NYRR Millrose Games Trials. Photo credit: Pearl Gabel

When we launched the Jack Daniels’ High School Summer XC Training Plans back in May of 2012, we marketed them as ‘preparing for your season of a lifetime.’ Ok…maybe a little dramatic…but our friend and client Luke Gavigan of Tappan Zee took that message to heart.

After signing up and following his custom summer training from Jack this past year Luke set himself up for huge breakthroughs in XC and indoor track.

This past winter he won the NYRR Millrose Games Trials Boys 1 Mile race in a new PR of 4:15 (fastest time in US at the time). [Full results] This past fall he set PRs in the 3-mile (Bear Mt. New York course 15:23), 5K (New York’s Bowdoin Park course 16:19), and Van Cortland Park (2.5 miles course 12:47).

We want to wish Luke a successful finish to his indoor and upcoming outdoor seasons.

*Update: A successful finish indeed…we were lucky enough to watch Luke go on to win the Millrose Mile in a huge PR of 4:08.96. Coming in to this year he had not broken 4:20 in the mile!¬†He won the race with a huge last lap and ended up with a sub-60 second last 400m! [Full results] [Video of the race]


Take Your Shoes Off!


Caroline Varriale of Finish Line PT wrote a great article highlighting the Benefits of Being Barefoot.

Being barefoot on a regular basis provides important cues to the bottom of your foot (and simultaneously to the rest of your body) that benefit your ability to withstand repetitive, everyday activities as well as respond optimally to sport-specific training.

Not only is it courteous to remove your shoes when visiting friends’ homes (yes, you probably walked in dog piss) it’s great for your running! Free those feet – let them breath a little by taking any opportunity you can during the day to remove your shoes. The return on this small investment is huge so get over it if those beautiful feet of yours are an eye sore ūüėČ

Read full article.

Rowan Jones Keeps The Trend Going With Sub-3 Marathon

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Run SMART client Rowan Jones, of Waverly, KY, ran 2:58:25 last month at the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, AL. He was 28th place overall [Full results].

Coming into the race Rowan and his coach Rod Koborsi were shooting for anything under 3:10 to get a BQ. As his training progressed they knew sub-3 was within reach. Sure enough, they were right… he got his BQ easily along with his first sub-3 performance ever.

This continues quite the trend for Rowan…check out his improvement over his last three marathons:

  • 3:46:12 5/6/2012 (not coached, run/walk method used)
  • 3:12:22 1/12/2013 (Daniels’ custom plan)
  • 2:58:25 12/14/2013 (Daniels’ custom plan with private coaching from Rod)

“I Want To Give Props To Ann Alyanak”

Turkey Trot 2013

We’ve kindly been granted permission from longtime client Scott Mersiowsky¬†to share his recent progress with coach Ann Alyanak. Guy is 48 and just ran his fastest half in 8 years! Whut? Here’s Scott in his own words:

I want to give props to Ann Alyanak. Today I ran my 3rd fastest half ever in very cold and 19+mph winds, at the Charleston Half Marathon in South Carolina. I ran 1:22:45 and was first place masters finisher. I just turned 48 on the 15th of this month. This was my fastest half in 8 years! Here are the results:


Ann is keeping me healthy and I am getting stronger and faster all the time. Just want to give credit where credit is due. Ann is a fantastic coach and motivator!

2014 Retreat Dates Are Set!


We’re dreaming of summer running amongst the aspens in beautiful Flagstaff, AZ. We hope this thought brings solace during all those chilly morning runs this winter. Today, we’re publicly announcing our new dates for the annual Run SMART Retreat – August 3rd-August 8th.

We’re only offering one week this year due to our commitment towards building our new high school camp¬†in Colorado. We expect this to fill up fast so save your spot today! More information available on our retreat page below:

Run SMART Rebranded

Scientific Approach

Last year our team began the arduous process of developing a custom login training app – VDOT O2 – which is also the new platform for our online coaching services. During that process we dug deep and decided it was time to rebrand. Today, we are thrilled to finally share the latest updates with you.

A Fresh New Look
We’re bringing in the new year with a sleek new look thanks to the almighty Sascha Mombartz! We apologize to any longtime Run SMART fans now suffering from whiplash upon seeing the new homepage! It’s a big change but what we’re attempting to do is quite the undertaking.

Scranton Half Training Partnership

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On April 6th, the 1st Inaugural Scranton Half Marathon will take place and it looks like they’re quickly approaching their race cap of 2500 runners. It’s a great course that tours the old scrappy mining town and finishes along the scenic Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. As the race says, “we’re going over the river and through the woods, literally,” and we’re excited to have the responsibility of getting runners there with our new training partnership agreement.

All participants can now customize a 12-week training plan designed by legendary coach Dr. Jack Daniels on our new VDOT O2 training app. 10% of each plan sold will be donated to future development and expansion of the river trail which is transforming Northeastern PA and helping to promote a more active/outdoors lifestyle.

For more information on the plans visit:

Winter Running Advice Featured On Well And Good


Our Winter Training Program with Finish Line PT was recently featured in Well and Good NY! Founder Brian Rosetti dropped some timely winter weather running tips as well!

Here’s the top 5…with more info about each over at¬†Well and Good.

  1. Wear the right shoes #softrubber #widertread
  2. Run by time, not distance
  3. Run against wind first on out and back courses
  4. Don’t lose quality, take advantage of “dread”mill
  5. Say no to cotton!

What’s Your Spring Marathon Plan?


Run SMART client Erin Strout flexing her way down the home stretch to a new PR at the 2010 Boston Marathon.

We’ve compiled a list of the most popular spring half and full marathons our clients are doing in 2014 if there’s still enough time to customize a plan on our new app. We’ve also included when your¬†custom training plan¬†would¬†start for each race.

If you don’t have a race scheduled yet sign up and customize your plan before the dates below.

  1. Scranton Half Marathon – April 6th, 2014
    1. 12 week plan starts 1/12
  2. Boston Marathon – April 21st, 2014
    1. 15 week plan starts 1/6
  3. Big Sur Marathon – April 27th, 2014
    1. 15 week plan starts 1/13
  4. New Jersey Marathon – April 27th, 2014
    1. 15 week plan starts 1/13
  5. Country Music Nashville Marathon – April 26th, 2014
    1. 15 week plan starts 1/11
  6. Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon – May 4th, 2014
    1. 15 week plan starts 1/19
  7. Vermont City Marathon – May 25th, 2014
    1. 18 week plan starts 1/19
    2. 15 week plan starts 2/9

Any questions about which race would be the best option for you please email us at [email protected].