Monday, June 23, 2014

53 Word Fiction: The Supermarket

This piece was written for the Prime Number Magazine monthly 53 Word Fiction Contest. The prompt was: write a 53-word story about a reunion, welcome or otherwise. It didn't win, but I figured I would share it.
The Supermarket

Humidity or sweat, Mike and Meg were both resplendent in clammy stickiness. They’d eyed each other across the produce section—eyes stirring mental images of nights past, of idle days before children and spouses and societal attachments. Squeaking shopping carts past each other, their fingertips grazed, fondly, silently, before Mike inspected green bananas.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Online Running Coach for Hire

After flying under the radar with online coaching, going more by word of mouth than anything else, I have finally gotten around to doing a write up on what I do and why. First off, I coach for multiple reasons: I love running, I want to spread that love with others, I want people to train the right way, and most importantly I want to keep people healthy. These items can be spread to anyone and everyone, even if I cannot meet face-to-face.

"Before I would just run what I felt like running for the day, with no real plan, or understanding of how to change things up to get better. I always heard people talking about tempo runs, easy runs, intervals, etc.—before working with you I wasn't really sure what a tempo run actually was, and I definitely never would have done intervals." –Nathan, Orlando

Online coaching works in the following way: I design a plan around your life, if that is running four days a week, then fine, if it is seven days a week (my favorite), then I do that as well. Some people integrate their biking, others November Project cross training, yoga class, spinning, etc. so we alter and adapt. Ideally we shape a running based plan—for no one will hand you a bike in the middle of a marathon and say you get to ride for five miles—but leeway exists for many people are wed to their fitness groups and activities.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p><a href="">@JWLevitt</a> I think you know my answer to this...already love my coach&#39;s customized plan that will push me way harder than I would myself</p>&mdash; Jana (@NanasforBalance) <a href="">May 30, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//" charset="utf-8"></script>

Once you have the plan, we talk after runs, via twitter or email, and discuss what went right and what went wrong as if I was coaching you in person (if you elect for daily communication, or we talk weekly if not). While I can't deal with each interval as I do with the runners I coach, I consult and edit and discuss. Where your random internet plan will have runs etched in stone, I will alter things as we go. If your legs are baked, we back off, if your paces improve, the workouts evolve. If the weather goes wacko or a sudden life event pops up, same thing. Life is not static and a training plan is not either. An online plan you grab from a website cannot account for life, but I can.

"In April 2013 I ran 13.1 miles in exactly 2 hours. This was also the day I got my first stress fracture due to over training. 11 months later, I ran my first official half marathon (race) in 1:37. I had been working with Steven for a little over 3 months at this point, and there’s no doubt in my mind that the speed work he had me doing (plus the hills with NP… it was a VERY hilly course) attributed to a 23 minute PR." -Jonathan, Boston

So, why a coach? As mentioned above, specialization. Most people train for marathons and 5k's from standard plans. Plans are not person specific, they do not change or adapt to your needs. They don't transition or account for sudden aches, pains, or life events. Coaching helps in that we can build an adaptable plan, one that fits your wants and needs as a runner. Beyond that, I can think for you, allowing you to avoid injury, avoid training too much or too little, and thus work to reach your peak. The process is interactive.

About me, I have experience in all distances from the 800m to the marathon. I strive to build plans that accommodate your current level of fitness while working through various phases of training: building a base, early quality training, transition to quality training, and final quality (key fitness building workouts), and Taper/race time. Depending on time, I design a 6 week plan for each phase. I hit every facet from warmup to core to other forms of injury prevention. Proper, safe running comes from the ground up. You need to recover, strengthen, and train with appropriate paces in order to fully achieve.

So interested in bettering your 5k or running your first half marathon? Looking to take your marathon training to the next level or get through injury free? Email me here with the subject of "Coaching."