SeePhillyRun Friday Chat with Philly's Top Running Coach
This week we spoke with John Goldthorp, who was voted Philly’s best running coach by Philly Mag. He tells us all about his business Fix Your Run, his favorite places to run in Philly and more. Enjoy!
SeePhillyRun: What is Fix Your Run all about and why is it successful and unique?
John Goldthorp: Fix Your Run is all about ensuring that people who love running are able to run and get the most out of it. So many runners take up running, fall in love with it, then, at some point encounter injury or performance plateaus. While often we all can figure out how to adjust and make progress, sometimes we need an outsider's perspective.
The reasons people have running-related injuries are multi-factorial. Injuries can be one of the most frustrating things a runner can experience. Sure, one could be making training errors, doing too much, too soon. But if it were as simple as tweaking the training, people wouldn’t have a use for what we offer, which is a deeper dive into why certain runners tend to get hurt or stuck on plateaus.
Sometimes we need to get stronger, so we can tolerate the running we want to do. Sometimes we aren’t recovering (even though our training may make sense on paper) between workouts because we aren’t sleeping enough or absorbing too much stress outside of training.
Most often, however, runners are showing up to running ill-equipped to absorb and adapt to running. Yes, you need to train smart and yes you need to be strong enough, but the number one thing we are finding is that running exposes your weak links. Nearly every single joint in the body needs to move in 3 planes of motion when you walk or run. The problem is that most of us, due to previous trauma, lifestyle, or habit, have developed movement compensations that make this an impossible feat.
The amazing part, is that it only takes 1-5 sessions to completely resolve most clients initial complaint. And to be clear, I’m not a medical professional, so I do not diagnose or treat injuries. During an initial consultation, I always steer people towards the appropriate professional. To sum up, I think Fix Your Run is unique because we look at the whole picture and succeeding because we’re getting results that are beyond what people expect.
SPR: Do you run yourself and what is proudest running achievement? Any runs coming up?
JG: Absolutely! I never broke 5 minutes for the mile in high school, so I’d say my proudest running achievement was running a 2:05 for 800m and a 4:41 mile, both personal bests, at age 39. This summer I’ll turn 41 and I think I might be able to beat those! So, longevity is my goal! I’m most excited about running the 4x 400m at the Penn Relays in April, then racing the 5th Avenue Mile in September, which is my favorite race every year.
SPR: What runner do you most look up to and why?
JG: I’ll give you two. Bernard Lagat and Met Keflezighi are amazing people first and foremost, but they helped me see that, if you do things right (i.e., take care of your body), you can run fast for a long time. As long as you’re willing to do what it takes.
SPR: What is the best place to run in Philly and why?
JG: It’s hard to beat the trails of Wissahickon Park. If you want a fairly flat bridle path along a river, you got it. If you want lung busting climbs and roller coaster hills, you got that, too. Best of all you don’t feel like you’re in the city, yet you’re only 7 miles from Center City. It’s a total oasis for me.
SPR: What are your goals from 2019 and beyond?
JG: Well, as far as running, I’m training hard to try and improve my 800 and mile personal bests from 2017. My appendix ruptured in January of 2018, so since then it’s all been about ‘getting back’ to where I was. I’m nearly there now, which is exciting, and feel like there’s more in the tank.
Professionally, I’m looking to expand Fix Your Run beyond myself and offer more online services. While I currently coach runners online, to this point I’ve only been able to offer my assessment services in person. I believe I’ll be able to offer that online later in 2019.