The Peaceful Runner would like to welcome marathon success and owner of FitnessRevolution.com, Jill Bruyere for an interview. Jill is a personal trainer, running coach and motivational speaker. She helps others succeed in running, weight loss and sports performances (including marathons and triathlons), in the Seattle, Washington area. In her fitness blog, she shares her secrets for marathon success to help you run your best marathon race.
Please join us as we learn more about Jill's secrets to marathon success.
Q. Thank you Jill for joining us today. You have had great marathon success including a PR of 3:27 and you are obviously living and working your dream passion. When and why did you start running and what lead you to decide to make it a career to help others?
A. You could say that I’ve always been a runner. I started playing sports at age five. Soccer was my main and most favorite sport and I think it's because I loved to run and lots of running is required in soccer. After my competitive soccer career was over at age 23, I decided to get competitive with long distance running. I ran my first half marathon in 1999 (and loved it) so I’d say that’s when I really launched into my running career.
Since then I’ve run too many half marathons to keep count and I’ve run 6 marathons. Running is such a positive outlet for me so I wanted to help others get into the sport of running to see how it can positively impact their life. I love watching people finish at races. The joy, the tears, the pride--it's a lifetime achievement for so many to cross that finish line and I really want to help others experience such a wonderful accomplishment. Running is also a sport that anyone can pick up regardless of their past or current fitness level. It’s the most rewarding career and I love every day of it. marathon success
Q. You are continually running and training for races and events. How do you stay motivated to keep reaching goal after goal?
A. Well, I’m lucky in that my brain and body are just wired that way. It probably has something to do with participating in sports all my life. Exercise to me is just another part of my daily habit. I also love to push myself to the limits and find out how far I can take myself. I never compare to anyone else but me.
I like to stay motivated with some of my favorite quotes. In fact, I’m a quote freak. I have quotes all over the place. I put little note cards with my favorite quotes in my purse, in my car, on my bathroom mirror, and in my closet. One of my favorite quotes: “Someone busier than you is out running right now” or “Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.”
I also have a vision board. On this board I have my business and fitness goals along with photos of the things in life that I enjoy such as running, soccer, friends, family, good food, etc. I also have photos of professional athletes and business women who inspire me. The board is placed in my room so I see it every day and am constantly reminded to keep working hard and achieving my goals. It really is a powerful tool. I encourage everyone to have a vision board.
Q. You designed your own marathon training program which involves training just four days a week and promises marathon success with improved PR times. Many of your clients have had great marathon success following your training plan. What skill level do you recommend for this training program? Can a beginner follow this schedule?
A. Yes, my marathon training program, has been for sale for over a year and I am very excited about the accomplishments of my clients. I purposely designed this program to fit all levels of runners. Some would say there is no such thing for a program to fit any level or runner, but I disagree.
My program involves interval training once or twice a week. Some would argue that only advanced runners should do intervals, but I disagree. Faster and challenging runs (such as interval running) are one of the best ways to strengthen the running muscles as well as condition the cardiovascular system. These workouts are designed to be challenging and completed at a pace faster than the expected race day pace. This way, the body will be more comfortable sustaining race day pace.
The intervals are a gradual buildup each week so your body can adapt appropriately whether you are new or experienced to interval running. Also, I don’t set the pace for you. You do. Intervals are run at 70-80 percent of each individual's own pace. It’s a great way to train your body how to get out of the comfort zone. I also find that most of my clients enjoy these types of workouts because it keeps them from getting bored and they see noticeable results in their running fitness.
Q. Running injuries have become the plague of the modern day runner. What advice can you give our readers to help them prevent injuries?
A. Two pieces of advice to help prevent injury: Strength Train and REST. I created my four-days-a-week training program specifically because so many runners believe they need to run every day and that’s when they get injured. Being a successful runner means putting in quality runs over quantity. I can relate to this one. When I didn’t reach my marathon finish goal time the first try, I decided to try again and increased my training days to six runs a week. This resulted in a bad hamstring strain and another disappointing marathon finish. Since switching to four days a week of running, I’ve turned in some of my best times and have not suffered any injury.
The second piece of advice to prevent injury is to be sure you include a strength training program. It can be a simple 20-minute full-body routine two or three days a week. In fact, I include this in my training program. Running will get your muscles stronger for running, but it’s the strength training that will build real strength and help prevent overuse injury.
Lastly, I always recommend an ice bath for any run over 10 miles. Ice baths will help constrict blood vessels and decreases metabolic activity, which reduces swelling and tissue breakdown. Ice baths not only suppress inflammation, but help to flush harmful metabolic debris out of your muscles. Your body will recover much faster when you ice after long runs.
Q. In your blog, you have provided some excellent nutritional and weight-loss advice. What questions do you get asked most frequently about this topic?
A. Meal plans for weight loss. Everyone wants to know what exactly should they be eating and how much. I like to keep it simple when it comes to nutrition advice. I have 7 rules:
I am currently working on a nutrition and fitness book that I’m hoping to have published in January. Follow my blog as I will be making the announcement as soon as the book is released.
The next most common question is regarding carbohydrates. So many health and diet books label carbohydrates as “bad” foods and they really are not bad. I find that most people don’t know good carb sources. I recommend carbohydrates.
Q. We are all trying to eat healthier and stay fit as we age, but I believe we all deserve a treat occasionally. What is your favorite indulgence?
A. Yes, I agree! I love milk chocolate. My favorite indulgence is eating one half cup of Ghiradelli chocolate chips. I allow this once a week and typically on my long run days so I don’t feel so guilty.
Q. You have competed in many races, including six marathons and a number of triathlons. As you look back, do you have a race experience that is more memorable or more special to you in some way?
A. My first marathon (which was my worst) is my most memorable. I did the Maui Marathon. I was well trained and well prepared for this marathon. However, I made all the rookie mistakes come race day! First mistake was that I started off way TOO fast. I was running my first few miles at a 7-minute mile pace. By mile 15 I hit a wall and I hit it big time.
Second mistake: I wore cotton and got the worst chaffing you could imagine.
Third mistake: I waited until I felt thirsty before drinking at the water stops. I was playing catch up on my hydration from mile 10 onwards.
Fourth mistake: I wore new shoes that hadn’t been broken in.
This was not a fun race for me and I was so disappointed when I finished. However, we learn best from our mistakes so I was much better prepared for my second marathon. When I look back I kind of laugh at myself. What was I thinking? Well, Obviously, I wasn’t. One of my faults is that I’m a perfectionist and I set a high bar for myself.
If anyone is running their first marathon, I always recommend going out and just enjoying the race without setting a time goal. It’s a huge accomplishment to cross the finish line regardless of how long it took you.
Q. You have participated in the soccer nationals and a number of other races. Do you have any scheduled event in the near future that you are excited about?
A. I’m running the Las Vegas half marathon on December 4th. I’m excited because it’s a night race and the course runs up and down the strip. I think this could be entertaining.
I will take it easy after this race and in January I will begin an intense training program to help me break 1:30 in the half marathon next Spring. I’m considering the Rock ‘n Roll San Diego half marathon in June.
Thank you Jill for so generously sharing your time and knowledge with us. Your dedication is so inspiring! We have enjoyed our time with you and we look forward to the release of your new book in January. Enjoy and best of luck in the Las Vegas half marathon!
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