My guest today is a fellow running coach, so there is a good chance we will all learn something new to help us move toward our running goals.
She has run around 70 races ranging from the 5k distance all the way up to the marathon.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Linda Clarke today.
In Search Of A Challenge
Prior to becoming a runner, Linda participated in fitness and boot camp challenges.
After completing class, she frequently found herself yearning for more of a challenge.
Along with some of the other people in the class, Linda would go for a run afterward.
Linda slowly began to develop a love for running.
Oftentimes, she would run in the morning, complete a boot camp class, and then run in the afternoon.
Linda had finally identified herself as a runner.
It was only then that she made up her mind to train to run a half marathon.
Linda set a goal of running a half marathon in the Bahamas where she lives.
She was surprised to find out she was pregnant and due around the time she had planned to run the race.
Linda viewed the birth of her son, not as a roadblock to her goal, but as a detour.
She wasn’t sure what to expect when getting back into running after having a child.
It took her about a year to really get back into the sport.
Her body was slow to recover after a traumatic birth and being a first-time mom was challenging in a variety of ways.
Linda realized that running wasn’t going anywhere.
It was up to her to rediscover her love of running and really make time to train when she was ready.
Mentally and Physically Prepared
Crossing the finish line of her first half marathon gave Linda even more motivation to continue with the sport.
She gave herself an arbitrary goal to complete six half-marathons before she would consider signing up for a marathon.
Currently, Linda is training for her fifth marathon, having done the other four all in the last 3 years.
Her first marathon was Twin Cities in 2018 and it was an unforgettable experience.
Prior to the race, she connected with others that were running their first full as well.
That support from strangers going through the same thing was invaluable.
Linda’s training all went smoothly and when she toed the line she was ready and confident.
A Natural Coach
While training for another marathon with a friend, Linda got a suggestion she wasn’t expecting.
Her close friend thought that Linda would be a great coach.
Linda pushed the idea aside until she received an unexpected phone call.
Her friend had given Linda’s number to someone that wanted to train for her first 5k.
Linda relented and agreed to help her train.
Watching her cross the finish of her first race made Linda realize she loved coaching and was good at it.
Coaching slowly began to take on a life of its own and grow.
The majority of Linda’s clients are trained in a group setting.
They typically run 3 mornings a week and include an easy run, a tempo run, and a long run.
Recently Linda has also included a personal trainer along with a nutritionist in her coaching business.
Her intention in adding experts in various areas is to set her clients up for success.
Linda has been running for 10 years and credits her lack of injuries to consistent strength training.
The strength gains help to mitigate the risk of injury.
She has also seen firsthand how increased strength pays off in the form of speed and endurance.
Always Greater Goals
Running is a unique sport because there are always greater goals.
Linda constantly challenges her athletes to see what they are capable of and push through their doubts.
She ran alongside her group as they ran a half marathon in a torrential downpour.
Her consistent support and optimism helped them to not only complete the race but even with some PRs.
Running gives people the opportunity to surprise themselves.
Along with coaching, Linda is looking ahead to what goals she hopes to accomplish.
She is currently training for the Chicago marathon and hopes to train for her first ultra-marathon next year.
Linda has dedicated herself to helping others realize that the sky is the limit in running.
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