Today’s guest is a running coach, a proponent of easy running, and an orange mud ambassador.
It’s fair to say that he and I have a bit of an overlap in our Venn diagram.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Gerald Collins today!
In Memory Of Mom
Gerald Collins wasn’t introduced to running until after college.
He never viewed himself as a runner when he was younger.
After college, Gerald went to a church where the pastor was talking about training for a marathon.
He didn’t immediately go out for a run after the service, but the seed was planted.
Around the same time, his mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in her forties.
She fought hard for two and a half years before succumbing to the disease.
The loss of his mom hit Gerald hard and he sunk into a severe depression.
Gerald decided to sign up for a 5k as a way to force him out of the house.
Mental and Physical Benefits
Gerald followed a plan he found online and completed his first 5k in May of 2012.
Following that race, he connected with the local running community.
It didn’t take long for Gerald to fall in love with the sport which then led to a rapid progression.
Gerald took an unlikely path to his first marathon, skipping over the half-marathon distance completely.
His first marathon was 13 months after his first 5k.
Gerald is no stranger to adversity, having inherited a disease that affected the vision in one of his eyes.
Growing up, his mom always told him, “Don’t say you can’t. Find a way to do what you want to do.”
He applied that advice to training for and running his first 26.2.
The Importance of Mindset
A year after his first marathon, Gerald did the Air Force Challenge.
The challenge consisted of a 5k distance on Friday, and a 10k on Saturday morning, followed by a half-marathon.
Gerald was heavily into biking at the time and also biked 14 miles to the start of the races.
That race challenge taught him quite a bit.
He learned how to race on tired legs along with the importance of a proper mindset.
Mental prep is often overlooked leading up to races.
Gerald always has a plan prior to going into his races about how to handle it when things get hard.
Gerald came across a training group that focused primarily on using 80/20 endurance by Matt Fitzgerald.
Matt Fitzgerald is a coach and author who wrote a book on high-performance coaching.
The philosophy is to train at high intensity 20% of the time and low intensity the other 80%.
Gerald dramatically improved his running once he began following the plan.
He believed in the training theory so much that he joined as an ambassador.
The founders of the group formed a coaching certification class with people trained in the 80/20 philosophy.
Gerald wanted to give back to the running community what he had learned, so he immediately signed up.
In January of 2023, Gerald started his journey as a coach.
As a coach one of the first things Gerald learned was to not assume.
Initially, he had assumed that all runners knew the basics, but he found that to be untrue.
The 80/20 approach to training can seem counterintuitive, but research backs the method.
Gerald found that by running easy most of the time, he recovered better and therefore was able to push harder in workouts.
Learning to listen to your body is a key part of the program.
As Gerald looks ahead to the future, his next big race will be in May at the Flying Pig Marathon Weekend.
He is planning on doing the Flying Pig 3-Way which is a 5k and 10k on Saturday and a half-marathon on Sunday.
The weekend is extremely family-friendly with numerous challenges and distances available.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- RunRev Coaching
- Orange Mud
- Half Fanatics
- Flying Pig Marathon Weekend
- Air Force Marathon
- 80/20 Endurance: The Complete System for High-Performance Coaching, Book by: Matt Fitzgerald
As Always, I’d Love to Know What Stood Out to You From this Episode! Let Me Know Your Takeaway in the Comments Below!
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