Marathon Training Alumni Tell All

Last year, our marathon training program took over 100 half marathoners and marathoners to the finish line. Hear what they have to say about the experience and how joining a training program impacted their success.

Yuraima (Yura) Rodriguez

Race Completed in 2019: Aramco Houston Half Marathon 

Goal going in: 2:40 or better

Result: 2:31:15. A personal record and first half without using Galloway method (run/walk intervals) 

What motivated you to join the RacePace Training Program last year? I’m relatively new to the city (moved from Miami in May) and didn’t have a running group. One day I pass by the studio, then looked it up on the internet. I joined RacePace’s 5K training program to get back to running and loved the coaches, the classes, and the welcoming feeling at the studio. When I knew they had a marathon/half marathon program I was totally sold. 

What elements of the training program did you find most beneficial?

The group training and an organized schedule. Knowing that you have the support from the coaches and your running group, they become your run fam, truly!! No matter if they run your same pace or not, you feel the support and like they have your back, with no judgement if you are not “as fast” as others. The goal is to give everything you can and it’s awesome to feel that you’re not alone along the way. 

What was the most challenging part of the training?

The commitment to be there for the workouts and the consistency. 

Would you recommend the training program to a friend?

For sure! You will have pretty much everything you need to reach whatever your goal is, no matter your pace. Even if you don’t know your pace, you will have the motivation from a group of people, your run family, doing the same as you: training to be the best version of yourself, whatever your personal goal might be.

What’s next for you?

I’m training for the Chicago Marathon on Oct 13 and already signed up for my second Aramco Half in 2020.

Carly Keating

Race Completed in 2019: Chevron Houston Marathon

Goal going in (just finish, specific time, etc): 4 Hours (Previous Marathon = 4:30)

Result: 3 Hours, 44 Minutes

What motivated you to join the RacePace Training Program last year?

I always enjoyed running and being active, and had already run 2 marathons training on my own. I previously only took one class in the studio, and started following RacePace on Instagram subsequently. My husband, Jameson, and I had signed up for the 2019 Race but were feeling unmotivated and uninspired to train, so I signed up for the program to kick start training and hold ourselves accountable. Little did I know what impact this training program would have on our lives in Houston!

What elements of the training program did you find most beneficial?

Even though I had run before, I didn’t understand what it took to improve and grow as a runner. I didn’t know about proper form, speed work, and training techniques. I learned about quality over quantity in mileage at RacePace, which helped me also learn how to balance training into my busy work and travel schedule. With Track Tuesdays at Heights High School and Threshold Thursdays in the studio, I pushed myself harder in 30-60 minutes than I had ever pushed before. In addition, the energy and community around the program, under the lead of Jeff and Shiva, is so beneficial for accountability, fun, and just overall pride and passion for running! Everyone is so friendly, inclusive, and welcoming, I left the program with lots of new friends and a new network in Houston!

What was the most challenging part of the training? Getting “uncomfortable” during my runs. I always wondered why I wasn’t a stronger runner; I learned that it was because I would jog along, with a steady heart rate, and simply get the miles in. To get faster, I had to get, in the words of Jeff, “comfortable with being uncomfortable.” This was built over lots of challenging workouts, massages from Kip, and support from the RacePace community!

Would you recommend the training program to a friend (why / why not)?

YES YES YES! Joining the RacePace training program was the best decision I’ve made since moving to Houston. It’s hard for me to express my love and gratitude towards the program and community but it really changed my health, fitness, life, and love for running!

What’s next for you? TCS New York City Marathon in November 2019!


Race Completed in 2019: Chevron Houston Marathon

Goal going in: 4:00-4:30 (prior PR: 5:15)

Result: 4:04:58 

What motivated you to join the RacePace Training Program last year?

My friend referred me to RacePace to take classes when I started to train for the marathon in 2017. She had taken some classes and said her time improved from the level of intensity of those classes. Based on her feedback, I started to take some classes and really enjoyed the energy. They challenged me to run past my comfort zone. So when I saw the post on IG about the RacePace Training Program, I was super excited! I had a lot of questions, but Jeff was so gracious in answering ALL of them! I didn’t know what to expect in terms of training with a group, but I thought that if the energy in the training program was anything like it was in the classes, I knew I would be in for a treat! And boy was I! It was way more than I expected and I enjoyed every moment! There were so many other runners that were better than me, but I continued to run with them so that I could get better… and I did.

What elements of the training program did you find most beneficial? 

The elements that I found most beneficial were the Track Tuesdays, Threshold Thursdays, Long Runs on Saturdays and information on nutrition. These training sessions were so instrumental in me improving my time in 2019. Additionally, the FB Group Page was helpful as it provided information on other topics and ideas to consider during the training program.

The Chevron Houston Marathon This Year Owes Me Nothing! I’m Still Reflecting on the Race and My Soul is Full! My goal was to run 26.2 miles in 4hrs and 30min. Welp!…I ran a solid 4:04:58 and shaved off 25:02 from my original goal. Last year I ran my first full in 5:15:54. I CRUSHED IT THIS YEAR WITH A PR OF 1:10:56!  What a Sweet Victory! Now this feat definitely came with some aches and pains around mile 21, but I visualized the FINISH LINE so I kept moving forward intentionally. It’s so amazing what the body can do when your mind is fully in control. I have some work to do but I KNOW I can get faster! Boston Marathon…you’re in my horizon! I can see you! 

And NONE of this success that I experienced on Sunday would have been possible without my @runracepace Running Fam! The support and encouragement is so real. I’m so so proud to be a part of an extraordinary running community. Thank you Lord for this blessing! At mile 23 I was uber excited as I knew they would be cheering me on at mile 25! I was even more touch when @shivzrunz jumped out and briefly ran with me for about half a mile of the last 1.20 miles of the race and impressed upon me her inspiring words. #teamwork#racepacegrit

@erinlee1690 thank you for running with me. Your energy kept me going! Can’t wait until our next race and next training season! We got this! 
Special thanks to @feastwithbeasts_hou Fam! The support is much appreciated! #ladybeaNew Goals! New Focus!


What was the most challenging part of the training? 

The most challenging part of the training was trying to fit in some level of weight training exercises and stretching on top of the independent running that my tailored running schedule called for.

Would you recommend the training program to a friend?

Absolutely! The RacePace running group offers training for all levels of running. During the long runs on Saturdays, runners are grouped according to their current time which is great because a 10:00 min/mile runner does not have to worry about trying to keep up with an 8:00 min/mile runner. However, as runners improve their time during the season they have the opportunity to challenge themselves by running with a faster group to gauge their level of improvement.

What’s next for you?

What’s next for me is to training very strategically this year so that I can qualify for Boston! I know there is a lot of hard and thoughtful work that will have to go into this and I am up for the challenge! By being part of the the RacePace Training Program, I am confident that my goal will be reached.

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