Nick Gornick Built His Life Around the Sport He Loves


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My guest today is a physical therapist and a running coach that I first connected with over social media.

Our conversation will cover all things running and why half-marathon times aren’t necessarily great predictors of marathon times.

I look forward to going a few easy miles with Nick Gornick today!

Nick Gornick

A Life-Changing Decision

Nick Gornick’s first experience with running was when he joined his 6th-grade cross-country team.

It didn’t take long for Nick to realize he had potential in the sport.

Even with his natural talent, he didn’t want to continue running in high school and college.

A good friend encouraged him to stick with the sport throughout his school years.

Nick took his friend’s advice and ran for his high school and college teams.

Now 20 years later, Nick is grateful he made that choice because running changed his life.

He can’t begin to imagine where he would be without running.

Team Environment

The high school running program that Nick was a part of was intense.

Following high school, he went on to run at a DIII school in Illinois.

Nick quickly realized that everyone playing sports at DIII schools does so because they love it.

There are typically none or very few scholarship incentives for sports at smaller schools.

The cross country and track teams at his college were quite large.

Nick usually ran around 50 to 70 miles per week.

He was a 1500-meter runner and didn’t fully understand the longer distances.

Running post-college was a difficult transition because all Nick had ever known was running on a team.

Changing Things Up

Following college, Nick experienced a bit of burnout when it came to running.

He was busy with post-graduate physical therapy school which didn’t allow much time for anything else.

Nick ran on and off during those 3 years.

Once school was completed, Nick began to get into cycling.

He found a group of other cyclists and his weekly Sunday long rides got him into the endurance side of sports.

Nick cycled heavily for 3 to 4 years before his focus shifted back to running.

The benefits of cycling during those years helped Nick to build his engine which made a return to running more seamless.

Learning As He Went

It was during a Chicago winter when Nick began to transition to running again.

The cold snowy weather was impossible to cycle in, therefore Nick began to run again.

During this time he also began to sign up for races, which quickly snowballed.

The first big race that Nick signed up for after college was a half-marathon.

As an experienced athlete, Nick found that he could fake his way through a half-marathon.

His general knowledge allowed him to complete the race without much thought.

Nick realized that his half-marathon times weren’t necessarily predictive of his longer races.

A training calculator is an indicator of one’s potential only if they train properly.

Nick Gornick

Coach Insights

As a coach, Nick has made a lot of observations about the everyday runner.

In his experience, most people tend to run too hard for easy runs.

People newer to running may have a more challenging time chatting and keeping it truly easy at first.

Fueling is another area that takes some time to get just right, often through trial and error.

Each person is an experiment of one and what works for one may not work for another.

Routines should be practiced during training and lessons can always be learned on race day.

Don’t Overlook Strength

Nick is a big proponent of strength training both for himself and his clients.

There are endless benefits including helping in day-to-day life, improving running performance, and preventing injury.

Heavy compound lifting has been shown to give a big performance boost.

Plyometrics is another area that should be added to a running routine.

Nick has learned that it doesn’t take much time each week to add up to big results over time.

Running has become an essential part of his lifestyle and his business.

If given the opportunity, Nick loves to explain how running can benefit almost everyone.


Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected to Nick Gornick by following him on Instagram and/or Twitter X.


Nick Gornick didn't always love running, but now it has taken over his life. As a PT and a coach he helps others keep running long-term. Click To Tweet


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