by Jaime Stein
My life changed in an instant on December 11th, 2018. It was one of the first big powder days of the season on Whistler Blackcomb and I was eager to carve some turns through the fluffy goods. Late in the afternoon, I was floating down some fresh powder when my left ski got caught on a rock beneath the snow. I was spun around and ended up out of control in a double roll. My head collided with a boulder and I suffered a concussion – an injury that changed my life in ways I never could have imagined.
Four months later, after spending months on short term disability while recovering from my ski accident, I sat at a track watching my oldest son compete in some races. I was proud of him, but also a little envious of how much fun he was having. I thought it would be a nice father-son activity for us to start running together. He was eight years old and we were probably at the same ability level – or so I thought.
Twice in my life I have tried to run. Both times, I hated it. I felt sore, out of shape, and discouraged. At 5’9″ and 240 lbs. I didn’t exactly have a runner’s body. This time, I vowed, was going to be different.
I spent a lot of time researching how to run properly and put together a basic training plan where my son, Benj, and I would train three days per week at the local track. Our first week, we aimed to do six sets of 30-seconds running and 4-minutes and 30-seconds of walking. We also marked our first goal on the calendar – completing the 3KM Valley to Peak trail race together in late August on Whistler Mountain.
Benj and I ran for the first time on April 15th, 2019. He wanted to run faster, but I kept telling him to trust the process. Each week, we started running more and walking less. We also had some great conversations and it was fun achieving our modest goals.
By June, I felt it was time to attempt my first 5KM race. I signed up for the Whistler Half Marathon 5K and Benj, along with my other son, Max, signed up for the 1KM kids race. Through a combination of running and walking, I finished the race in 36:41 and was pretty pleased with myself.
Despite this modest success, I felt like I had reached a point where I could only improve so much on my own. I needed the help of an experienced coach to take my training to the next level.
A few of my friends were training with M2M and I really liked the community feel I saw on social media. I reached out to fellow M2M athlete Matt Diederichs and asked him if he felt I should get a running coach. Matt shared my story with his M2M coach, Rob Watson, who subsequently introduced me to Dylan Wykes and stated: “Dylan, let’s get this man a coach!”
Luc Bruchet and I started working together in mid-July. We were both travelling at the time, so we jumped on a video call and got to know each other over the course of an hour.
I shared my running goals with Luc and he outlined his coaching style. He helped me get set up with the Training Peaks app, which serves as the single source of truth for all of our training.
My 2019 Run Goals:
- Continue to have fun while running
- Continue to improve my long term health (physical and mental)
- Run continuously for a 5km race (no walking)
- Regularly run a sub 30-minute 5K race
- Successfully complete a 10K race
One of the best parts of working with a coach is that it ensures accountability. Luc sets out a weekly schedule for me in Training Peaks and if I don’t meet the targets, I see an ugly red box show up for that day. There’s nothing worse than the red box.
My goal is to have a “green week” where everything follows our plan. Through a combination of the Training Peaks app, text messages, social media, and weekly training sessions at the Point Grey Track, there is no shortage of accountability.
Working with a run coach helps me focus on execution. I have three young children and I travel for work most weeks, so having a workout calendar uploaded into Training Peaks is seamless. I don’t have to waste time planning runs or researching training schedules. Luc knows my goals and he provides me with the best workouts each week so that I can achieve them.
Lastly, working with a run coach has prepared me with sound race strategy. Luc has helped me understand the importance of tapering. He built me a proper warmup routine so that I hit the startline ready to do my best. He has helped me with pacing strategies so that I don’t burn out, and he has even coached me on what to eat and how to dress (M2M singlet is a must).
The results of working with Luc and the M2M squad has been nothing short of outstanding. In the seven months we have worked together, I achieved all of my initial running goals. I ran a 5KM race without walking. I ran sub-30:00 in two 5KM races including a PB last month at the Vancouver Chilly Chase (28:00). I completed two 10KM races and I even completed a Tri-it Triathlon this past September.
With Luc’s help, I am now training for the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon in May, and later this year I’ll be attempting my first-ever sprint triathlon at Westwood Lake.
I continue to have fun and enjoy the goal-oriented nature of running. Running has changed me both physically and mentally and I’m living a much healthier lifestyle as a result. None of this would have been possible without the support of Coach Luc and the encouragement of the broader M2M community. Thank you!