Stephen Boulet Cracks 4-Hours For First Time

Jack Daniels Training Plan customer Stephen Boulet of Palatine, IL set a new PR at the Chicago Marathon this past weekend. Boulet started his plan with a 4:12 marathon PR and a goal time of 4:00. His result:  3:59:04!

After the race Stephen said, “I’m very happy with the strong finish. I ran the last 4 miles at 92% of my max heart rate. I credit the threshold and repetition training with that, an element missing from my training before stumbling across Jack Daniels.”

Mark Harrap Drops 1 Hour And 23 Minutes Off Marathon PR!!!!

Jack Daniels Training Plan customer Mark Harrap customized a marathon plan back in April geared towards the Chester Marathon in Chesire, England. His past marathon performances were 5:02 in April of 2008 and 5:28 in April of 2010, yet he listed a goal time of 3:40. Every once in a while we have to adjust expectations and email clients about how much time it’s reasonable to try and drop in 15-18 weeks worth of training. But Mark noted that he had lost 60lbs in the last 18 months and that he was training more seriously lately so we decided to gear the workouts and paces towards 3:40. What the heck!?!? We were inspired.

This past weekend Mark emailed us his results. 3:39! Are you kidding?!?!?! An unheard of 1 hour and 23 minute improvement from his personal best and a drop of 1 hour and 49 minutes off his last marathon 2.5 years ago. Since we started working with runners of all levels back in 2006 none of us have ever seen such a gigantic transformation. Earlier in the day Sean Hutchins had emailed us about his amazing performance dropping 56 minutes off his PR, which was the biggest improvement we had ever gotten, but this takes the cake. Mark’s full results here.

Thanks for letting us share your inspirational story Mark! We’re looking forward to working with you again soon.

Sean Hutchins Drops 56 Minutes Off Marathon PR

Jack Daniels Training Plan customer Sean Hutchins of Atlanta, GA set a new PR at the Chicago Marathon this past weekend. Hutchins started his plan with a 4:20 marathon PR and an ambitious goal time of 3:20. With the “World’s Best Running Coach” at the helm and some nice running weather anything is possible though. Sean emailed us after the race with some incredible news…
Very happy with my results. Finished in 3:24 which is a PR of about an hour. I went out pretty slow for the first half and negative split every 5k for the second half bringing my pace down to the assigned goal pace (7:25) for most of it. I’m sure I could have hit my assigned pace sooner but past marathon experiences made me a bit gun shy.

Marathon Recovery: First Week After Your Race

First week after race. No running. Hide the shoes, sleep in and enjoy some much-needed rest. It’s important for your long-term progression as a runner that you recover properly after a long build-up and grueling 26.2-mile race. In the first week limit your activity to non-impact cardio like biking and swimming to help speed up the recovery process.

For our complete marathon recovery breakdown, including: when to start running again, when to add in workouts and when to start racing again see our Long- Term Marathon Recovery video with Run SMART coach Mike Smith.

Is The Marathon Boom Over?

Seems hard to imagine but Erin Berisini of Outside Magazine posed the question and looked at the numbers last week.

We checked Running USA’s 2010 State of the Sport Report and also noticed that the number of finishers in 2011 (518,000) was only 2.2 percent higher than in 2010. That’s a measly rate of growth compared to the previous two years, during which marathoning enjoyed growth rates closer to 10 percent.

What do you think?

Chris Bernier Sets Three PRs While Following One Plan

Jack Daniels Training Plan customer Chris Bernier purchased a 15-week plan geared towards the Vermont City Marathon. He managed to set three new PRs for three different race distances over the course of his plan. This past weekend he followed up with his results

The race went really well.  I ran a 3:18 under tough conditions given the heat.  For me, that is a 12 minute marathon PR.  Throughout the 15 week training program, I PR’d in a 10K, half marathon and marathon.  It was an awesome experience and I look forward to working with you guys again.

Thanks for the feedback, Chris! Congrats!!

Mir Shafiee Gets Boston Qualifier At Ottawa Marathon

We’re excited to announce that Run SMART client Mir Shafiee qualified for the Boston Marathon this weekend at the Ottawa Marathon! He paced himself brilliantly finishing 30th out of 498 finishers in the M40-44 age group and 202nd overall out of almost 5,000 finishers. His official time was 3:07:03, 10 minutes faster than his previous best marathon. He split 1:33:15 at the halfway mark. [Full results].

Mir works with Run SMART head coach Jack Daniels.

Ann Alyanak On How She Coaches First-Time Marathon Runners

Another Run SMART coach comes out against the “magic 20 and 22 milers” for beginner marathoners. We all know Jack is very adamant about his 2:30 hour cap on long runs for beginners and we pretty much rest our case there but in an interview with Run SMART Media, Ann Alyanak says “20 and 22 mile long runs are not necessary” for a first-time marathon runner looking to finish the race.

RS:  When you get a client who wants to run a marathon but has never run a race before what do you tell them?

ANN:  I would not discourage a client from running a marathon even if they have not raced before but I would encourage them to run some shorter races first like a 5k and 10k and maybe even a half marathon. I would want them just to experience a race environment before jumping right into a marathon.