Amanda Brooks Loves the Team Atmosphere of Running as Much as She Likes to Go Hard

Amanda Brooks is a mom, a runner, and has recently launched an app for runners.

Amanda Brooks

Amanda Brooks

Amanda started running when she was in 8th grade.  Her Industrial Arts teacher was the cross country coach and was recruiting, so she joined the team.

Then Amanda ran cross country in high school and really fell in love with the sport at that point.

Go Hard or Go Home

When I asked Amanda what her favorite distance to race was and why, she said the 5k because she has enough time to train for it and because it brings back fond memories of her years running cross country in high school.

She loved the camaraderie and the routes, and simply being a part of a team.

Amanda is also realistic about the 5k. 

“They are painful and they hurt but you know they are over soon.”

Amanda says she doesn’t have that dial down mode.

If she has an hour to spare, she won’t be using it for yoga or pilates.

She says, “If I have an hour, it has to be hard core, pound it out, get the most out of it.”

One Benefit of Working with a Coach

Amanda works with a coach now.

Amanda says she has a hard time doing the easy runs her coach puts on her training plan.

She says, “If I don’t run at a fast pace, I feel like I’m not doing enough.”

Amanda isn’t the only runner that has that mentality, but her coach is working with her to accept that an easy run has benefits for her body and her performance as well.

She is working on changing that mentality, but it certainly isn’t easy.

The Social Side of Running

When Amanda started running as a kid, the team aspect of the sport was very important to her.

Amanda still loves running with a group and being a part of a team.

She said that when she moved to Minnesota, running was her way of breaking into a social group and creating new friendships.

Running definitely helped her fit in.

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Filling a Void in the Running App Space

Over 10 years ago, Amanda was training for a marathon and traveling regularly with her husband.

While on the road in various cities, she was looking for a way to find a running route for a certain distance that would take you from where you are and bring you back.

Point blank, at that time that technology didn’t exist.

Since 2005, technology has changed rapidly.

Today, we finally have the technology available to bring to fruition Amanda’s initial idea. And Amanda has taken advantage of it!

She created an app for runners called FASTZach that allows runners to create a running route to cover a certain distance and run past various points of interest.

Enter FASTZach

Amanda Brooks and FASTZach Routes

When I asked Amanda what has been most eye opening facet in the creation of FASTZach, she said without much hesitation, the expense of it!

FASTZach is entirely self-funded, and the creation has been quite the process.

Working with the engineers, applying for the patent, and the many iterations that are needed has made the development quite the process.

And the initial feedback has definitely been positive!

In time there will likely be more bells and whistles added to the app, but for now if you’re looking for a new route to run in your town or are traveling and want to run by a certain landmark, FASTZach is the app for you!

FASTZach is currently available on iOS (another reason you should be an Apple person-because we get the cool apps first!) and will be released for Android later this spring/early this summer.


To stay up to date with the continued evolution and development of FASTZach, you can follow along on Twitter and Instagram for updates. And you can also connect with Amanda on Twitter, and thank her for taking the time to chat with us today.

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