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July #makea180 Spotlight: Renee

My journey with Alamo 180 began in 2015 when I reached out to Coach Lexa and Alamo 180 for marathon training and guidance in preparation for my first marathon. Prior to joining Alamo 180 my training consisted of a few runs during the week and a long run on the weekend with no structured training plan. I had no idea what tempo, fartlek, and speed work runs were. With the help of a structured training plan, form work, and great coaching I was able to go from a 9 min/mile to 8:30 min/mile and complete my first marathon successfully!

Coach Lexa brought up the talk of possibly qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever see that as a possibility as I always said, “Boston is for fast people, not me.” My journey to qualifying for the Boston Marathon is a story for another day. To sum it up there were some ups, downs, and heartbreak along the way, but four marathons later, with the help of great coaching, a solid run plan, and strength training I finally achieved my goal! In January, at the Houston Marathon, I ran a 3:31:09 and with that qualifying time I will be running the 2019 Boston Marathon

Triathlon came into my life after talking with Coach Lexa; she said I would see
improvement in my running fitness from triathlon training. At first I was hesitant to take the leap into triathlon as the thought of swimming, biking, and running seemed like a formidable task. Being a total newbie to the sport I had to learn how to swim and cycle for long distances. I remember my first few swims I was frustrated thinking I was never going to get better and was second-guessing my decision to train for a triathlon. Cycling was tough for me too, at first I didn’t know how to cycle and use the gears on my bike properly making my life on the bike miserable. I was also feeling like the slowest person on the team, which I’m pretty sure I was, but no one on the team cared how fast or slow I was they were always supportive and helpful. I eventually improved with hard work, patience, and sticking to the training plan. The sport of triathlon can be a daunting feat for any new triathlete but Coach Bree and the Alamo 180 tri team were so awesome and they made the transition to triathlon seamless. I didn’t know what to expect after training and completing my first triathlon but the tri bug bit me and I am now hooked on triathlons and have completed several sprint, Olympic, and 70.3 distances.

Alamo 180 is unique in that a gym is available and strength classes are offered and incorporated into the run and triathlon programs. I had a gym membership and would go occasionally to get strength training in but nothing like the Iron XT classes offered at Alamo 180. Coaches Bree, Jeff, and Lexa spoke of the many benefits of strength training for
endurance athletes. I decided to try out the Iron XT classes and loved the combination of weight lifting and high intensity workouts. I have noticed a huge improvement in my strength and performance in running and triathlon. I have also noticed I am able to recover faster from workouts and have been able to stay injury free both of which I attribute to strength training and great coaching.

I was attracted to Alamo 180’s culture, the community, and the fact that they catered to athletes of all experience levels (beginner to advanced); no one has an ego, everyone is welcoming, helpful, and supportive of each other. I like that every workout is always scaleable with the focus being quality over quantity.

Training with Alamo 180 has truly changed my running and endurance sports hobby into a passion of mine. Alamo 180 has helped me develop as a better athlete in running, triathlon, and strength training. I am so happy to have found Alamo 180 and the awesome athletes I get to have fun, workout and train with on a daily basis.

Some final thoughts: Set big goals, huge ones! Don’t be afraid to fail! Test your limits! Your body can endure so much more than you think it can! Work hard! Have fun! Be patient! Don’t give up on your goals!

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