"I am not an athlete. I am not athletic. My biggest sporting feat is striking someone out in an adult kickball league. What I am is a normal guy who has motivated himself to get in better shape through changing exercise and eating habits. Three years ago, I weighed almost 230, and since I’m not 6’6”, I knew I had to change. The first year, I did the couch to 5k program, ran a handful of shorter races, and eventually made it to a half marathon. Last year, I was able to run both the Paris and the Chicago Marathons. That was a huge accomplishment, and something that made me respect running even more.

I signed up for the Chicago Marathon this year, and my training could have gone in two directions. I contemplated training less and accepting a slower time, or I could get more serious about it and try and crush my PR. I’m a pretty busy guy, with some sort of activity happening most weekends (thanks Air National Guard). However, I decided to go for it. I knew I couldn’t do it alone. Although the online training programs, like Higdon and those published in Runner’s World, got me this far, I knew I needed someone to customize a plan and to keep me accountable.

Enter Dan Walters.

When I met Dan,  I could tell that he has both the knowledge and the passion for running. We spoke about my goals, and how he could definitely help. We spoke about how he trains his athletes (he couldn’t be talking about me, could he?), and how to combine strength workouts with different running workouts. We spoke about his philosophy, and how each workout is important. Not just the weekend long run, but the easy short runs and the other cardio or rest days. I knew then that Dan was the coach for me. Dan has been able to update my workouts on the fly whenever my schedule changes or to help when I ding myself. He is always available via phone and email, and makes me feel like a priority.

Since I began training with Dan, I have gotten stronger, faster, harder, and better. I have PRed my 5K, 10K (twice), 10M, 11.5M, half marathon and marathon times.

If you want to become a better runner, bust some PRs, and get super fit, Dan will show you the optimal route. It’s still up to you to move those legs of yours."