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Mike Portman ran a blazing 2:53 in his first marathon this year. Now, he's using Runcoach to train for California International Marathon and the Boston Marathon. And he's set his sights on a sub-2:50 finish.


Mike PortmanName: Mike Portman

Major milestone: I finished my first marathon in 2:53 at the 2016 Chicago Marathon. 

What is the secret to your success? To treat training like it is a 24/7 job. That means running, strength, good nutrition, hydration, sleep, and trying to keep your life as stress free as possible.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? Trying to prioritize what in my life is important that can be delayed till the training program is over. When the volume gets very high I focus on the big things that always need to be taken care of (such as work and family). Other things (like my social life), I push back till my racing has calmed down.

What is the most rewarding part of training? The satisfaction of getting the work done day in and day out.

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Stick to the plan, but don't be religious about it. The plan itself is solid but training is organic. If you can't hit certain splits, distances, or times once in a while don't be too down on yourself.  Just do what you can day to day and the results will follow.

Anything else you would like to share?  I’m training for the California International Marathon and then the Boston Marathon. Hopefully both will be solid PR's from Chicago! This plan for CIM has been lot harder than Chicago's but that's probably because now I know what I can do and so far my form is coming along. I’m definitely way more prepared than anyone I know currently training for that race. I’m hoping to go sub 2:50 and right now I think that's doable with 10 weeks to go.




In the spotlight: Visa Moves 300,000 Miles Challenge
Stephen Tsoi-A-Sue
Stock Plan Analyst/Human Resources

mc_success_stephenFavorite Fitness Activity: Rock Climbing and Bouldering

What is the secret to your success? Finding an active hobby. That way it feels like you're having fun and not exercising.

What is the biggest obstacle to moving more and how do you overcome it? The biggest obstacle to moving more is finding the time. It's easy to get caught up with work and life in general. I consider my future health and see my actions now as the foundation for a long happy healthy life. With this in mind it's always a priority to get out and do something.

What is the most rewarding part of this challenge? Running more often. I started running again around April of this year, and usually run two to three times per week. I was really into distance running in the past but stopped for some years. It feels good to get back into a rhythm again. I was training for the San Francisco Half Marathon. I was doing runs on my own but the Wednesday runs hosted by Movecoach kept me on track and motivated me to keep training.  I am not training for any events right now but I would like to do another half marathon next year.


Share your Movecoach success story here! 

Click here to join the Visa Moves 300,000 Miles Challenge!

Download the Movecoach Moves Visa App for iPhone or Android.



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stepsrunnerWhen you’re pushing your body farther and faster than it’s gone before, details matter. Neglect the seemingly small things—nutrition, recovery, and sleep—and you could set yourself up for a setback. As you prepare for the J.P. Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge, here are some tips to help you stay healthy, get fit, and ready to run your best when the starting gun fires.

Sleep. Sleep deprivation can impact performance and raise your risk of injury. Studies have shown that sleep provides a critical opportunity to recover and heal from tough workouts, and get stronger. It’s the time when the body repairs strained tissue and regenerates bone and muscle so you get stronger. Plus it helps stave off weight gain. Sleep deprivation signals the body to produce more ghrelin—the hunger hormone—and less leptin—which signals that we’re full.

Warm up, cool down, and stretch. Take time before your workouts to do a dynamic warmup routine—watch videos of the moves Movecoach recommends here—to increase running efficiency and range of motion, and decrease risk of injury. These moves will help make you stronger, and prepare your muscles, bones, and joints to push on the final stretch to the finish line.

Hydrate. Studies have shown that even mild dehydration has been shown to make even easy runs feel difficult, and and impair your ability to run at an even pace. Sip small amounts of water throughout each day so that you start each workout well hydrated. Be sure to rehydrate after tough workouts to help aid recovery. When it’s hot outside, or if you’re a particularly salty sweater, reach for low-calorie sports drinks to help replenish your carbs and electrolytes. How do you know if you’re well hydrated? Do the bathroom test. If your urine is pale yellow, then you’re well hydrated. If it’s darker – say the color of apple juice – drink more. If it’s clear, back off. Use thirst as your guide; experts have established that thirst will guide you to water when you need it.

Listen to your body.  Training for a race should help push you out of your comfort zone, but it shouldn’t feel like torture. Some muscle soreness and achiness is normal after pushing yourself farther or faster than you’ve gone before. Rest and cross-train with non-impact activities when you need to. It is far better to take one day off of training to give your body a chance to recover, than to run through pain and turn a minor irritation into a full-blown injury that sidelines you for weeks. If you have pain that persists or worsens as you run, see a medical professional for an evaluation.

We’re looking forward to taking the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge SFO with you on September 7. You can see more training tips here. And be sure to look for us on race day.  Click here to get to know the Movecoach Team!



runningbuddiesWithout a doubt, one of the best parts of regular exercise is discovering that your body and your mind are stronger, fitter, and more capable than you ever imagined.

Naturally, we want to share those mental and physical benefits with our coworkers, friends, and loved ones.

But if you’ve ever tried it you know—helping someone else move more can be tricky, especially if they’re not already exercising on a regular basis.

Here are 4 tips on how to make help a coworker, friend or loved one start exercising on a regular basis.  

It’s easy to Invite a Coworker to join the Movecoach Challenge. Click here to learn how.

Start with small successes. If you’re well into your fitness journey, it can be easy to forget how frustrating, intimidating, and physically difficult it can be to start an exercise regime.  Try to remember how you felt on those first classes, walks, runs, and trips to the gym. From the gear to the special lingo to the feeling of pushing your muscles and joints in ways they haven’t moved in awhile, there are a lot of emotional and mental barriers to getting started. To increase the chances that your colleague will stick with it, set them up for success. Start with small goals—say a 10-minute walk, or by tracking movement with a step counter—and suggest that they increase their activity goals in baby-step increments. As the person accomplishes these goals, he or she will gain confidence and comfort with the exercise, and soon be eager to start pushing themselves farther and faster.

Start where they are. You didn’t get to where you are now overnight—no one else will either. While you may see that your colleague or friend has the potential to run for 30 minutes, finish a marathon or bike commute to work, understand when saying so that may feel intimidating to to that person. You also don’t want the other person to feel like if he or she starts exercising, that person has to run a marathon, or walk for an hour. Even small levels of effort and periods of exercise have big health benefits. Start with small goals. Once the other person has the experience of exceeding his or her own expectations, he or she will be eager to start raising the bar.

Keep ‘em company. One of the scariest parts of any new experience is going it alone, and not knowing what to do. Offer to keep your friend or colleague company on those first trips to the gym, lunch-break walks, or after-work runs. Let the other person set the pace. Take your workout with your own goals at another time.

Be careful about unsolicited coaching. So many pieces of game-changing advice can make or break your exercise routine—it can be tempting to pour all your good advice on the other person.  But you want to avoid overwhelming the other person with too much information all at once. You also don’t want the person to feel like he or she is “doing it wrong,” or being corrected. Obviously, you want to help the other person steer clear of injury risk—say, by running on the wrong side of the road, or attempting to exercise in old, worn-out, inappropriate shoes. But beyond that, let the other person’s questions lead the way. And when you do share advice, be sure to do it in the context of how you experienced similar struggles and got over them.

Any questions? Write to us at coach@movecoach.com.



A lot of people put off pursuing a goal, waiting some time to materialize when work is calm, home life isn’t hectic, and there’s plenty of time to train. Not Shanley Roach. She trained for Grandma’s Marathon, even as she navigated a major life change and a move. “My training wasn't perfect, but I trusted my body and just went for it come race day!”

shanleyroach 1Name: Shanley Roach

Major milestone: I recently just ran my very first marathon, Grandma's Marathon, whoohoo! It was amazing and so much fun and I can't wait to run my next marathon!

What is the secret to your success? Persevering through whatever comes at you in life. A major lesson I learned is that your training is not going to be perfect. Life throws things at you and it’s okay!

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? In the month leading up to my race, I graduated from my undergraduate college, moved cities, and started graduate school. I didn't train to as much mileage as I had hoped to do because of all this, but I still tried to run what I could leading up to the race and never gave up even when I didn't think I would make it to race day.

What is the most rewarding part of training? The moment that I increased my weekly training pace. I always considered myself a slower runner, so nothing felt more rewarding than realizing I could bump up my training pace. My long runs were still the same speed, but I was able to run faster during the week and feel comfortable with it. It was a major high point of training!

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Just keep running. And also do some lifting. Your hamstrings, knees, and IT Band  will Thank you.. Make sure your quads and hamstrings/glutes are proportionate in their strength! And Foam roll every day because it seriously will makes a difference after only 2 weeks.

Click here to learn more about the Grandma's Marathon & Half Marathon Training Program.

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Click here for details.

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rc_runcoachsuccess_houston_doncraig

Don Craig didn't even start running until he was in his late 30s, and ran his first marathon when he was 45.  In just five years, he's finished four marathons and qualified for Boston twice, including at the 2017 Houston Marathon. Now, he's headed for the 2018 Boston Marathon, which falls on his 50th birthday. He's also aiming for a sub-3:20 finish at the New York City Marathon in December.

 "There have been times I've looked at my Runcoach plan for the week, especially in the last third of the marathon training, and told my family 'I have no idea how I will do that,'" he says. "But when I do, it is an amazing feeling of validation of the work put in to that point."

Don Craig
Sport: Running

What is the secret to your success? The most important has been finding a plan and sticking to it, almost religiously.  The Runcoach program has given me the variety and challenge needed to get me to not be stagnant.  But also, there is not enough said about visualizing your success on race day.  For my first BQ in Fargo (my 2nd full marathon) I had visualized the clock reading 3:22 as I came down the last block. I thought of that for weeks.  Sure enough, I turned the corner that day and saw the clock ahead and it said 3:22.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? Life is the biggest obstacle.  With a family, a demanding job, travel, and spouse, just like all of us, getting in the hours is tough.  I've learned I do best if I get up at crazy hours (like 4:30 am) so I can get 'er done before the rest of my life has to begin. When I travel, the first thing I check is what running gear I will need, even before the work clothes.  And I hold myself accountable.  If I decide to sleep in when I was supposed to run, then I fit it in later that day.  Sometimes that means I am now running in hot humid conditions or it’s snowing (it's Boston), but that is my self-imposed punishment.

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Set high goals.  Everyone thought I was nuts setting a goal to qualify for the Boston Marathon, since I was 45 years old, and had only run one full marathon.  Now my goal is a sub 3:20 marathon in NYC in November and to BQ in Boston on my 50th birthday.  Set the goal, set the plan and execute. Anything is possible.

Have a running story to share? Click here for details.

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 With our system, you can design a training plan that's customized to fit your current level of activity and fitness. Get started with just 5 easy steps.

1. Identify yourself.  
Go to the Settings, and identify what kind of athlete you are.

2. Plug in your goal. On the Goals and Results Page, select “+NEW GOAL."

3. Tell us about a racing history. Click  “+NEW RACE” and plug in a recent race time.

4. Design your workout schedule. On the Schedule & History page,  tell us about how much exercise you’re currently doing, and tell us when you’d like to workout and rest.

5. Sync your activity tracker. Movecoach syncs with many popular activity trackers. When you sync your service, and your miles will automatically be uploaded to your Movecoach log. Movecoach syncs with Garmin, Strava, AppleWatch, RunKeeper, Fitbit, Nike+, and Jawbone. To learn more, click here.

6. Ask for help. Our experts and coaches are here to answer your questions about training, nutrition, and technical issues.  Reach out to us by tapping Support on your Mobile App or writing to us at coach@movecoach.com


rc_bryanveal_cropBryan Veal

Sport: Marathons

Major milestone: I have completed 40 marathons over the past 18 years.

What is the secret to your success? Finding something I enjoy, and having dear friends to run with.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? About 1.5 years ago, after dramatic energy loss in marathon about 1.5 years ago, I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. It's been very hard since to find strength after around 15 miles and my times have dramatically slowed. But I still fully train and have finished 6 marathons since then.

What is the most rewarding part of training? Being with friends of 13 to 14 years. Almost 1 year training with Runcoach and it has been my best resource in 18 years of marathons. It's consistent, fit to my goals, balanced, well rounded, well supported. Mostly it's always there.

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community? Find the joy and accept yourself.


Have a running story to share?
Click here for details.

Download our App for iOS or Android.


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Cassandra Wilson knows that the rewards of moving more transcend any single workout.  

“I am stronger, I have greater endurance, and I’m proud of all that I’m investing into my fitness while still feeling like I’m being a good mom, wife, and employee,” she says.


I
n the Spotlight: LinkedIn
Cassandra Wilson
Sr. Program Manager, GTO (HR)


   cassiewilson_b2b
Favorite Fitness Activity:
 
TRX classes and walking in the park with my family

What is the secret to your success? Signing up for workout classes and blocking the time on my calendar. It reduces the number of excuses I have and the classes keep me motivated.

What is the biggest obstacle to moving more and how do you overcome it? My biggest obstacle to moving more is a shortage of time. I set a goal to attend one workout class a day, Monday through Friday, and I sign up for the classes by Sunday night so that the time is blocked on my calendar. I try to do mornings so that I keep evenings for my family and unwinding after work. As long as I don't have to take early meetings, it works well!

What is the most rewarding part of this challenge? The most rewarding part of this challenge is seeing myself make progress and stick with it!  I can go up more flights of stairs, take longer walks with my family, carry my son around for longer, recover much more quickly from my workouts, clock the best time in my TRX-Circuit class, and, most notably, run the Bay to Breakers race this year with my best time ever—even after 3 weeks of not working out. I feel so much better and see results in my workouts as I add weight and improve my form and bounce back by lunchtime after working out really intensely in the morning.

What advice would you give to your fellow challengers? My advice is to keep trying and don't be afraid to adjust your goals if you need to. 

Share your Movecoach success story here!

Click here to join the Challenge, and help LinkedIn Moves 1 Million Miles!

Download the LinkedIn Challenge App for iPhone or Android.


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