If you're someone who wants fitness and fun woven into their lifestyle, you have come to the right place. I am not an elite athlete, I am not a medical professional,... actually a list of who 'I am not' would be very long. Let's focus on who I am and why I made this website. I have always been up/down in my fitness. Always been able to bust out a few pullups or bench press more than I weigh. I always noticed, even as a child that some things I do in my leisure time give a serious joy - a joy to the core - like this is what I was designed to do. Do you know that feeling? ((and I don't just mean sex or chocolate!!)) I'm a 42 year old dude. I was a swimmer as a little kid. I got into bike riding looong distances as a 30-35 year old. As I began to notice I was decent at endurance distances on my bike and had muscle mass and strength from weightlifting, I also noticed that running was very hard for me. I mean, I could bench press 300 pounds and bike for 100 miles, but running for 20 minutes really tired me out and left me in pain!! I would need days and days to recover from even a short distance run. That helped me realize that I needed to run!!
All of my life, running more frequently or distances over three miles seemed impossible. My shins hurt so badly I'd wince with every footstep the next day!! I took two approaches to "fix" my problem(neither worked, and NOW I know why):
Get the right equipment. (but what?) I visited a "real" running store and was sized for running shoes via gait analysis. I assumed the high school kids watching my heels as I ran would be able to magically diagnose me with the proper shoe. Or that the fancy weight displacement machines (no doubt created by expensive shoe makers to sell various and sundry "corrective shoes") would spit out the solution to all that ailed me. I'd said money was no object; my goal was simply to be able to run better and be healthy. Like many other hapless runners who just want to experience the freedom and physical benefits that running can give, I spent more than $100 on support shoes, insoles, and other gear. I raced home to try the equipment out - surely I'd found the golden ticket! Unfortunately, I found I couldn't even run a mile with all my new gear and I limped home in pain. I never wore those shoes or any of that expensive gear again and was severely disappointed in me, thinking that I just wasn't built to run. In reality, most folks who sell shoes and perform gait analyses don't perform a proper evaluation - their main goal is to sell the shoes...They don't understand minimalist running and all its benefits and if they did sell minimalist shoes, they wouldn't know how to get a novice running without injury in them. I don't blame the shoe salespeople for this; it's all part of the marketing and sales of shoes. It wasn't until I learned about minimalist running and was coached endlessly on proper form that I regained my ability to run (more on that later).
Seek professional help. (but who??) I visited an orthopedic surgeon - a well-respected and well-known one who has Washington Redskins football players as clients. Surely he'd know what I could do to run without pain. He x-rayed me and from that surmised that I couldn't run - it was physically impossible - because my tibias were slightly bowed. He told me that he could get me running if he could "shatter those bones and let them heal straighter," which he said would cause me ankle and knee problems down the road. I left that office horrified and that's when I started cycling! I was around 33years old at the time.
Using my DR's advice I tried cycling and it was 'ok'. I tried a couple of races and interestingly found fellow cyclists to be very into their sports and not be very friendly (with few exceptions). Biking to my job was fun and for years I biked ~40 miles a day to / from work.
Then.... a coworker talked me into running a 1/2 marathon on trails with him. I was so unprepared. I limped through the end of the race with pulled muscles, it was the longest run of my life. I needed physical therapy after that. I tried a couple of other races with similar performances. During this time training was mostly just running 1.5-3miles and then needing days for my shins to heal.
Then I read the book 'Born to Run'. At 39 years old, it was the first I had heard of an ultra marathon. I had many logical realizations after reading this book, such as, the concept of supporting an arch being a horrible idea, the human form is ideal for endurance running. The author Chris McDougall had a similar DR experience as me. He was told he'd not "biomechancially suited" for running. With this new inspiration I tried to eliminate my raised heel in my shoe with a razor blade and upped my miles. I then tried to run a marathon. This also didn't go well, but I DID push my capacity into the ~20 mile mark! In 2009, I completed the Marine corps marathon in 4:20 - walking the last 3 miles(limping, actually).
A month later, I hired Eric Orton, the trainer from the book 'Born to Run'. I hired him as a personal 'email' coach. Eric got me to learn how to run slow and efficiently with decent forefoot/midfoot strike. He increased my cadence and programmed me to run within heart rate zones. In a couple months I ran a 50k, more marathons, faster 10ks, and my first 50 miler.
Beginning in late 2010, I started pairing crossfit, and crossfit endurance. Since this type of training, I've reduced my 1_mile time by almost a minute, taken an hour off my marathon time, reduced my 10k to >40 mins (still chipping that time away). I've also increased my frequency of ultramarathons, in 2012 I have done a race month and 8 were ultramarathons. (Full racing disclosure: http://athlinks.com/racer/results/60219531 note the 'pace' column, and most ultras aren't logged in this type of site :( ).
Now as a trainer at BCF, I get to share my 'secrets' to fitness and running. Natural running form; an appreciation of the mechanics of the human form and physics; the proper mix of high intensity interval training (HIIT); and sports specific drill and training. I love the thought of helping others get to where I am (and beyond) in a less convoluted path.