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Team Endure Strong – finding the strength you didn’t know you had!

Disclaimer: I received an 4 month training package with Endure Strong to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you may have seen my post at the end of April about the amazing opportunity for me to train with Jared Ward and his Team Endure Strong training platform.  It was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.

We started about 6 weeks ago and I figured that it was time to pop out here and give you an update on the adventure so far.

Signing up was easy!  After entering basic information, I had to provide some basic stats on paces, goals and dates.  The System then calculated a variety of pace zones that I would be using over the next few months.  Once that was set, it was time to pick a training plan!  There are several plans to choose from, depending on what your goal race is (5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon etc).  Andrew (the coach that works directly with Jared and is our main contact) was there to help with any questions that I had about plans and helped guide me into which plan was going to work best for me.  They know that there is no one plan that is perfect for everyone, so all of their plans are designed with the ability to make adjustments along the way to make the work for you.

Because my target half marathon for this year is not until later and I had the Titletown Ultra to train for (which is coming up in just a few days!  EEK), Andrew helped me select a marathon training plan to get me through the first few months and then we will switch it up to a half marathon plan to work on more speed,

Before long I was off and running!  Literally!
The pans are easy to follow and I found quickly that I love the variety in the workouts!  Each run has a purpose and includes a detailed description of what the goal is for the day.  Both Andrew and Jared are available to answer any questions along the way and you instantly feel like part of the team.

But not only are they on your team, you have the entire Endure Strong Team there for you!  Online message boards and available to ask questions, post comments and share your workout or race details.  It is fun to be able to connect with other runners from all over the country and share ideas, help each other our and help keep each other motivated.  Andrew is usually quick to respond to any questions or concerns and Jared can also often be found out on the boards with answers, advice or encouragement.

One of the cool parts of the program is the Team Calls every other week.  Wednesday nights is Team Chat night!  We all gather at our computers (with our favorite beverage or snack) and chat running, nutrition and so much more.  Before each week’s chat, everyone is able to send in any questions they have or topics that they wish to discuss.  The chats are led by Jared and he takes the time to go through the entire list of questions, comments, concerns etc that are sent in by the team.  Each time we get together I learn so many valuable tips that help me on this adventure.

As I mentioned before, the plans are easy to follow and are designed to be adjusted to your needs or schedule.  Jared is a true believer in adjusting a plan based on how your are feeling, where you are going or what your body needs.  Yes, there is a strategy to push yourself to do better and run faster but learning how to do this, while avoiding injury is important!

So far, I have been following the plan for 6 weeks.  I love being able to see my plan for the next week or month if I need to.  My schedule is crazy and I love that I have the ability to shuffle workouts around to different days if it means that I can get them in, instead of just skipping them!

A few of the high points for me over the last month and a half:

The Hamster is getting faster!  Every few weeks, my plan has 800m intervals.  I used to HATE intervals because they always made me feel so slow.  I could never hit the paces that I wanted (or needed).  The below screen shot is from a workout just 4 weeks after started this program.  Before, I struggled to hit a 9:40 pace for 800’s… and here I was hitting low 9’s and even one sub 9!

One of my goals for this year is to PR my fall half marathon… my about 5 minutes.  This means I need to pick up the pace!  One of my favorite workouts so far are the ones where I am running 2-3 miles at (or close to) my half marathon pace) with a short recovery and then another 2-3 miles.  Each time, the distance gets further and the recovery gets shorter!

But, I will have to say that my absolute favorite part of this training adventure so far was not only being able to see Jared Ward win our local Bellin 10k here in Green Bay a few weeks ago, but I also had a chance to meet him in person, chat about my training and run WITH him!  Thanks Jared for being who you are and giving back so much of yourself in everything you do!

I am only part way through this amazing adventure, training with one of my favorite Olympic athletes and amazing runner and I can’t wait to see where the rest of it takes me!

There are levels of training for everyone, so don’t be afraid to check them out!  Whether you are training for your 1st half marathon, want to PR a 10k or anything in between, Jared and Endure Strong can help!  Check out more at Endure Strong!  I can’t wait to see where the next few months take me and I am already considering extending my training beyond what I have now!

Happy Running everyone!

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