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Meet the Run Coach: Catherine Williams-Frank

In an effort to get fit as I approached 40, I fell in love with strength training and cardio workout home videos. One day, I decided I was tired of jumping around in my basement and I went for a run instead. It was exhilarating! I've been running ever since.

Broad Street Run is by far my favorite race. I just love racing through the heart of the city; it really gives you a sense of the diversity we have in Philly. This year will be my fourth Broad Street Run and I'm shooting for under 1:20 (my PR is a 1:23 from 2 years ago).

I decided to become a run coach in order to coach myself through my first marathon. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the science of training; so, in addition to reading every running-related book I could get my hands on, I took the RRCA Coaching Certification course. That was two years ago. Today, I work with about 20 clients and I'm in the process of obtaining my Newton Running Coach Certification.

My coaching style is both individualized and adaptive. I learn the strengths and weaknesses of the runners I work with and seek to coach and develop each runner on an individual basis. Training for each runner is based on the principles of changing volume, intensity, and specificity in the training cycle to build and maximize fitness. My goal as a coach is to help each runner avoid injury, meet his or her fitness goals and maintain a lifelong love of running. This mirrors my personal philosophy on running: to enjoy the sport and avoid injury while training intelligently to meet my goals.

The most common question clients will ask me is, "How do I get faster?" For most of my clients, the answer has to do with increasing the development of their aerobic base, either by adding volume or adding some type of effort session into their running.

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