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Author Archive | Henry Howard

The road to Boston is paved with MTA coaching

A couple of years ago during a business trip, I went to see the Boston Marathon finish line. I did not step on or pass the famous blue and yellow street decoration. I will run through it at another time, I told myself.

I repeated the same scenario last summer during a family vacation to Boston. At that time, I was going through a mix of emotions. I felt confident that my qualifying time from the November 2017 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon would be strong enough to get me into the 2019 race.

However, on that Boston trip, I was only a month out from emergency abdominal surgery. I had not been cleared to resume full activities at that time. Gentle jogging was as hard core as I was able to get at that point. Would I be able to regain the speed, endurance and fitness that I had developed since I began running in 2011? Would I still find the joy in the struggle? Would I still answer the alarm at oh-dark-thirty for training?

It did not take me long to answer my own questions. Continue Reading →

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Meet new MTA coach Nicole Hart

By Henry Howard

Running was the furthest thing from Nicole Hart’s mind until her mid-20s. She started running at age 26 when she met her Army husband.

“He was really fit and active and I decided I wanted to be that too,” says Hart.  

But her “why” goes deeper than that. Much deeper.

When she was in nursing school, Hart experienced tachycardia symptoms, and was diagnosed with Wolffe-Parkinson White Syndrome. After seeing a cardiologist, she had the problem surgically corrected by ablation at age 24. Continue Reading →

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A Big Audacious Goal!

Andrew Lorenzo has carved out a big audacious marathon goal for himself.

The goal — a 2:40 finishing time — is a nearly two-hour improvement from his only previous one at the Melbourne Marathon, which he completed in October 2018.

But it represents so much more. It represents his escape from a difficult time in his life when he struggled with severe eating disorders.

Continue Reading →

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Powered by the MTA Community and Coaching

Mitch Goldstein after the Berlin Marathon

By Henry Howard

At Mile 18 of the Berlin Marathon in September, Mitch Goldstein came up with a new mantra to keep plowing forward: “There is no wall.”

“It seemed like it fit well in Berlin especially and it mostly worked, just not quite enough,” says Goldstein, who ran just barely over 3:30 in the race.

Goldstein, who ran in high school and for the last nine years consistently, has worked through various mental walls and hurdles thanks to his experience, dedication and the power of the Marathon Training Academy (MTA). Continue Reading →

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7 Marathons in 14 Months and 2,577 Injury-Free Miles!

Ryan Hoffman heard the common Marathon Training Academy motto, “You have what it takes to run a marathon and change your life.”

He did run a marathon — seven and counting, actually. And it did change his life.

Hoffman says he has always been a runner. During his fifth-grade field day, Hoffman ran a 6:55 mile — wearing jeans. In high school, his favorite event was the 800-meter run (in shorts) and in college, he ran to keep in shape. Continue Reading →

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Meet new MTA coach Athena Farias

Running helped her overcome a traumatic childhood. Now, she gives back and motivates her clients.

By Henry Howard

Describing her childhood as “pretty traumatic,” Athena Farias found her escape through running.

When she was age 5, she considered herself to be all alone in the world. Farias says her parents were set to physically harm one another. She vividly recalls seeing her mom trying to shoot her father, and another time when he held a knife to her mother’s throat.

Farias was kidnapped briefly during a custody battle. And suffered sexual abuse as a child.

At age 12, Farias decided to go for a run, a decision that would be life-changing and life-affirming. “Running was my drug of choice at that time in my life and I am so thankful that I chose it.”

Immediately, she felt a sense of calm amid her chaotic life.

“I was gone for an hour or so and when I got back home I felt in control, empowered and at peace,” she recalls. “I knew that I could get through what life had handed me. Let’s just say it was my safe haven and I am here today because of running.” Continue Reading →

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Finding and dishing out running inspiration

Cari Masek
Cari Masek started running in seventh grade when two of her friends thought they should all do cross-country together.

Her friends never showed up but Masek did. And she continues to show up as a runner (completing 34 races in 2017) and as a coach (eight teams and counting).

It was a slow beginning for Masek. She didn’t have running gear so she wore jean shorts to practice.

“My race times were slow,” she recalls. “I got picked on for how I looked, and of course, those jean shorts, but I didn’t give up. Continue Reading →

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Semper fi — Marine loses 100 pounds, finishes MCM

Eric HammBy Henry Howard

When Eric Hamm was in the Marine Corps he was a runner. He just didn’t realize it at the time.

“Running was the main source of physical training in the Corps,” says Hamm, who left the service after five years in 2009. “We ran every day in boot camp and almost every workday in the fleet Marine force. I really enjoyed the cadence, it’s very helpful with controlling breathing.”

Hills. Circuit training. With — and without heavy equipment — on. Sometimes three miles. Other days up to nine miles. Running was routine for Hamm. But after returning to the civilian world, life took over and running was set aside. Continue Reading →

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Putting the bottle down, lifting her running spirits up

Judith DahlBy Henry Howard

When Judith Dahl first sipped alcohol she knew it would be a problem.

For many years, she was able to contain her drinking to weekends.

“But eventually, it got to be a daily thing,” says Dahl, of Norway. “The last two years it really escalated, I did not manage to hide it from my kids and my extended family any longer. I have always worked, but it was getting hard to keep up. I began to have trouble attending and when I did, I was sick big parts of the day.”

She hit rock bottom, separating from her husband and feeling depressed. But fortunately she reached out to get help through her doctor, who connected Dahl with someone who could help.

“He signed me up with a counselor, who I went to for almost two years,” Dahl recalls. “But the job was mine to do, I had an amazing family who wanted me back. That was my motivation.”

As drinking moved out of the picture, running moved in. Continue Reading →

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Runner Returns to Marathons After Heart Attack

Marc PesseMarc Pesse, who played rugby while attending his university in Switzerland, enjoyed the pre-training runs. He even considered himself a casual runner for several years.

But then his priorities shifted: heavy travel demands from his job and then starting a family. The combination of added stress and limited exercise took its toll, and Pesse decided to embrace running again in 2011 “to shed some of the accumulated weight and spend some time with myself.”

Not only did he rediscover his love of running and lose weight, Pesse found that the physical activity helped him “function properly socially and professionally. There is a meditative quality to running outdoors which I find truly regenerative.” Continue Reading →

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How to Crush Those New Year’s Resolutions

By Henry Howard

Each year the most popular New Year’s resolutions revolve around health and fitness: Eat more healthfully, lose weight, work out regularly, start running, etc. Vows proclaimed before the new year dawns often don’t outlast winter.

In fact, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February.

While runners have integrated training into their lifestyles, they can also fall short of their goals due to family obligations, work commitments, lack of motivation or other issues.

Whether runners are revealing resolutions, creating race calendars, plotting epic challenges, or outlining their goals for 2018, the coaches at Marathon Training Academy (MTA) offer some sound advice on how to be successful. Continue Reading →

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