If you asked Ben Kassel just 6-months ago if he could run a 2:38 marathon he would have said you were crazy. He only started running a few years ago with the intention of losing weight. He weighed 300 lbs and didn’t enjoy running until he did his first race. “Most of the reason I run is for the competitive nature of it,” says Kassel. He hasn’t stopped racing ever since with recent PRs of 2:38:34 at Jack and Jill’s Marathon (4th overall) last month, a 16:43 5k at NC USATF Champs and a 1:17:15 at The Scream Half Marathon.
I am amazed at how fast I am progressing. The program Jay is putting together for me is helping me reach new heights. One of the things I love about Jay, and how he is different than coaches I have had in the past, is he is ready and willing to support my unique running schedule.
Jay has been all in from the start, and I thank him for that. I know my schedule can be very difficult for a coach to plan around. But obviously he is doing a great job, I have dropped 20 minutes off my marathon time, and 45 seconds off my 5k. Jay always gives me feedback and asks which races I have upcoming and which races I really want to hammer. He gets me well prepared for it on race day, and all the runs he programs are manageable within my schedule. He looks at area’s I need to improve upon and we target those specific area’s to round out my running. I hope we can continue to work together for a long time and I look forward to reaching my new goal of running in the 2:20’s for a full marathon. I am actually shocked how well this program is working.
- Find the right coach and trust in their methods, run the workouts the best you can and don’t skip the easy runs
- Nutrition is just as important as running
- Strength training in the gym is key
- Staying healthy and consistent training is key
- Plenty of sleep
To connect with Ben’s coach Jay Bawcom, visit his coaching profile page on the VDOT Marketplace.