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Athlete Spotlight - David Miller

Questions for David

How long have you been racing?

I started running in 2011, the year I turned 56. I vaguely remember running a 5K that year on a lark; I didn't even bother to write it down. For my first real race, in 2014, I just decided I needed a challenge. I signed up for a half marathon, ran 104 miles total to prep for it (longest run 10.5 miles). We can say that I finished the race, and not even last in my age group. We can also say I had no plan and no discipline. And that pretty much characterized my running until I got a coach (at the end of 2017).

What are your goals for this season? Long Term?

Before 2020, I had settled on three half marathons as my goal races. They are all back in 2021, though clustered toward the end of the year. I plan to run all three, with some shorter races along the way. My plan is to PR at 5K (done), 10K (coming soon) and at least one of the halfs. I lost 30 pounds during the pandemic lockdown -- I'm still learning what it's like to run with this new body. For the long term, I plan to retire within the next two years and move from Chicago to a place with hills and trails. I'm looking forward to hiking and running trails. And I have a vague thought of trying to something at an ultra distance before I hit 70.

What is your favorite workout?

There are several interval workouts that I like. If I had to pick one, maybe progressive intervals at 2x5min, 3x3min, 4x1min, finishing at mile pace, embedded in a long run.

What brought you to running? I thought I was headed for an early grave. I had always carried more weight than was healthy, since quitting smoking in my 20s. But I had maintained a certain level of fitness. However, as I entered my 50s, I became more sendentary and was dealing with a lot more stress in work and life, and it was showing up in my biomarkers. Blood pressure, cholesteral, glucose response -- pretty much the checklist for metabolic syndrome and worse. So I started walking more to deal with stress, and then decided to start picking up the pace. I had thought for a long time that running was not possible for me. And I could barely manage 100 yards at a time when I started. But I kept at it.

What did you do in 2020 to keep yourself motivated?

Fear of losing all the fitness and health I feel I've gained was motivation enough. Working from home and not having to commute actually made it easier to keep to my schedule.

When did you begin with The Run Formula?

November, 2017.

Why did you decide to train with The Run Formula?

My coach decided that for me. I was becoming discouraged from making no progress in my running, I decided that I needed a coach. I did searches for "running online coach" with one of "mature" and "senior", and decided to talk to Jack Pilla. He was independent when I first started talking with him. By the time I was ready to commit, he had joined team at The Run Formula.

Who is your coach?

Jack Pilla.

What do you like best about working with your coach?

Jack always prepares very thoughtful plans both to improve overall running fitness and to prepare for races. I always feel ready. And enough positive feedback to get me through the rough spots. Anything else you want to tell us about your running? Unless there's salt on the pavement or it's below freezing, it's (almost) all barefoot.


Questions for Coach Jack

What do you like most about coaching David?

David has been a real pleasure to work with.  He's great at following his running plans and puts tremendous efforts into his workouts.  He loves to race anywhere from the 5k to Half Marathon distances.  And his race results show his hard work has paid off as David is still getting PR's in his mid 60's!
What is one thing which stands out most about David?

When I first started talking with David, he told me he was a bare foot runner.  I wasn't sure if this was a "phase" as some runners went through after reading a certain running novel.  But quickly learned he was the real deal and never looked back.  David has great running form and a desire to do well and really loves to run.
 


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