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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Coaching

When I became a RRCA Certified Running Coach two years ago, I wasn't sure where it would take me.  My hope was that it would enhance my knowledge of the sport and that I would learn how to improve as a runner and maybe some day, when the time was right, I could share my passion, experience and knowledge with others who wanted to do the same.  I felt like it was a pivotal point in my journey as a runner, and I took so much more from the experience than I ever thought or dreamed I would.  In truth, it was only a weekend class, but the knowledge opened doors for me and I left it feeling excited about all that I had learned and was teeming with ideas about all I could do with that knowledge.  I couldn't wait to apply it to my running and to share it with others.

I took that class two years ago.  Since then I have run through my third pregnancy, running for the simple purpose of moving my body and staying healthy for both myself and the health of my growing baby.  I have run postpartum, fully familiar with that feeling of "starting over" with a body that felt completely out of whack and out of shape - every run a monumental struggle and triumph.  I trained for and ran personal bests in every single race distance from the 5k to the marathon (including 3 marathons, shaving more than an hour off my personal best in that distance and qualifying for Boston for the first time ever - a dream I never would have even dared to dream not long ago).  I have applied all that I learned and am continually seeking out and soaking up information on how to become a better runner - from books, articles, friends and other coaches as well as from my own experiences.  I am learning so much about myself as a runner, and about the sport itself.

My passion for running is a huge part of who I am.  I LOVE talking about it and sharing it with others and am so grateful to have the opportunity to guide, advise, motivate and support people through my coaching and teaching.  The joy and satisfaction I get from helping others is impossible to bottle up and describe.  It is one of the best feelings EVER.  I am so thankful to be able to make this such a big part of my life, because it fills my heart with such joy.

This summer marks the beginning of some truly exciting coaching opportunities for me!

=PR= Distance Training Program
Assistant Coach, Ashburn
Last summer I signed up with the =PR= DTP in Reston and it was hands down one of the best decisions I have ever made as a runner.  The team at =PR= is amazing - they are smart, experienced and passionate.  They are encouraging and supportive.  And I don't just mean the coaching staff - some of the participants in the program have become some of my best friends in running and in life.  I am so incredibly excited to be part of the coaching staff in Ashburn, alongside my sister Jodi and the super cool Coach Will!  Head Coach Meghan Ridgley is one of the most incredible runners and people I have ever known and I am both honored and thrilled to be working with her in this capacity.  The season kicked off a few weeks ago and we are already having a blast.  The W&OD Trail in Ashburn and Leesburg is GORGEOUS and the people who come each week are just amazing and inspiring in every way.

 

Youth in Motion
Age Group Lead, 5-6 year olds
Youth in Motion (YIM) is a non-profit, non-competetive summer running and fitness program for kids in Northern VA.  The idea behind it is to teach kids to ENJOY exercise - moving their bodies and taking care of themselves in a supportive, safe and FUN environment.  There are over 350 kids and their ages range from 3 years old to 14 years old.  The program has been recognized in the past as the best youth running program in the country by the RRCA.  I am having so much fun working with these kids!!  My own children are participating as well and they are still raving about their first session.  Being a coach in this program is already a major highlight of my summer!


Reston Runners 10 Weeks to a 10k
Program Designer and Coach
My town of Reston has a really wonderful running club called the Reston Runners.  Reston is blessed with amazing paths and trails - it is a PERFECT town for someone who loves to run.  When I moved here four years ago, I was beyond happy to discover such a welcoming and put-together running club.  They have weekly runs for all types of runners - new runners, trail runners, marathoners, ultra runners, walk/runners - you name it and there is something there for you.  Membership for an individual is completely affordable at $15/year ($25 for a family membership).  The club marks the trails and provides water for all of the weekend runs.  It is AWESOME.  I am so excited to be working with several other coaches to create a 10k training program.  I was tasked with the program design and put together two training plans - one for beginner runners and one for intermediate runners.  We are kicking off the program on July 23rd and it is 10 weeks long with the target race being the =PR= Perfect 10 right in Reston on September 30th.  We capped registration to 50 people and we will meet on Monday nights at Reston Pilates, which fits perfectly with the lululemon run club I am leading!  I am beyond excited about this.  And oh so grateful.


Individual Coaching Services
Working one-on-one with individuals to help them accomplish their running goals -- whether it's to begin a running program and run their first 5k or get faster at a certain distance or train for and race their first or their tenth marathon -- is SO incredibly awesome.  I am very excited to officially launch my services as a private running coach.  I design personal training programs for my clients based on their individual goals and lifestyle and give them the motivation, encouragement, support and guidance they need to get them where they want to be.  If you're interested, please visit my Coaching page to learn more about what I have to offer!

me with my first ever client and now good friend Paul after his first marathon!
My running dreams far exceed what happens on the track, on the trail and at a race.  I love the sport so much and it has brought more joy, satisfaction and happiness to my life than I can possibly express.  Becoming a running coach is a huge part of that dream for me.  I am so excited to be embarking on this new stage in my journey as a runner!!

7 comments:

This is fantastic Jessica! Running is such a lifestyle enhancement in so many ways.

Love! This is so exciting, good for you:)

Congratulations Jessica.. that is fantastic. PR has the greatest programs and runners.. you are a natural fit to lead the group. So happy for you! xo

So excited for you!
I'd love to see an online 5K to 10K program. Lots of 'couch to 5K''s out there, but how do you get to the longer distance?

So fun! I'm excited to follow along and see where this takes you! :)

Congratulations on taking this leap, Jess. Good luck on your new adventures!

Jess!! These are incredible opportunities and I'm so excited for you! I love that you're working with Kids in Motion. How fun to work with kids. I have no doubt that you are an awesome coach and kind of jealous that I don't live in the area!

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