Today’s guest is a woman that has seen first hand how hard work and smart training can produce some pretty incredible results.
Since shifting her focus to the marathon, she has continued to make huge strides and qualified for the 2020 Olympic Trials earlier this year.
I hope I can keep up with Erica Weitz as we go a few easy miles today.
RUNS In the Family
One of Erica’s earliest memories is going to races with her family.
Her parents met through a running club, so it seemed inevitable that one of their children would take up the sport.
Though her parents were avid runners, they never pushed her to run.
It was while in middle school that Erica did her first 5k and began running on a team.
She continued to improve as a runner throughout high school with the ultimate goal to be a collegiate runner.
Erica never had the consistency of having the same coach for consecutive years.
She was confident that she had more potential to be unlocked during college.
A Pleasant Surprise
It was during Erica’s senior year that she had her first bout with a running injury that would continue to show up in the coming years.
With dedicated rehab and exercises, she got back to 100% and was able to run on her college team.
On the first day of practice, her coach quickly saw her potential and called her a “pleasant surprise.”
Erica’s collegiate running experience with coaches seemed to follow the same pattern as her high school running career.
Each new year on the team brought along with it a new coach.
Even with the inconsistency of coaches, Erica continued to improve with each passing year.
Erica attributed her improvement to a combination of good coaches, focusing more on nutrition, hill training, and higher mileage.
Immediately following college, Erica was feeling the effects of burnout and took a break from speedwork for about a year.
Her first marathon was a year after college and she ran it with minimal preparation.
Erica’s longest run during training was 15 miles, yet she still managed to run negative splits with a time of 3:05.
She went on to run Boston two years in a row with drastically different results.
Her first Boston was 87 degrees and she went out too fast.
Erica’s second time running that race she ran her first sub-3 marathon.
Each marathon has been a learning experience and she has walked away a better and smarter runner each time.
Erica had never considered hiring a coach until one approached her and said he could help her to run an Olympic Qualifying time.
The first marathon Erica ran after hiring a coach was a 9 minute PR.
She came within minutes of hitting the Olympic standard numerous times in the first year with her coach.
Burnout was once again affecting Erica and she decided to take a year off from running marathons.
When Erica returned to racing, she was more motivated than ever.
In 2017 Erica won her first race, The Napa Valley Marathon.
It was this past year that Erica was able to reach her ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials.
In preparation for the 2020 Trials, Erica will be focusing on shorter distances to work on her speed.
Career In Coaching
It was during 2016 that Erica was first asked to coach someone.
Word quickly spread and it didn’t take long for Erica to increase the number of runners she coached.
Erica took the leap to leave her current job and try to make a career doing what she loved.
She has had success coaching and her business continues to expand and grow.
Erica is adamant that what a runner does outside of running matters just as much as the training that occurs.
Some of the most important non-running things to focus on include:
- Static stretching after running
- Dynamic stretching before and after running
Erica’s goal at the Olympic trials is to break 2:40 and be the best she can be before her window closes.
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