Juan Diego Pena lives and trains in Bogota, Colombia at 8,500 feet of altitude. He raced the Berlin Half Marathon on April 3rd because it’s a flat course at sea level, which represented a great opportunity to test his fitness and altitude training.

How was your training leading into the race?

Training leading into the race was almost perfect. I followed coach Michael’s plan to a T and that always proves to be successful. Very consistent and a lot of Threshold efforts.

Did the V.O2 app provide benefit to your training and racing? If so, how?

V.O2 app for me is key, since I train at such high altitude, coach needs to adjust the score to reflect that, and for race day we have a pretty good indication of what would be possible thanks to the exact efforts we have been putting throughout the buildup.

Talk to us about the race! How did it go? What were your goals going into it and did you meet them?

The goal was to break my PR which was 1:19:58. Coach had set 1:18:00 – 1:18:30 as the target for the race, ended up racing 1:17:36. A +2 minute PR.

Did anything unexpected happen during your training or race?

At the start of the race, literally minutes away from the gun, it started snowing lightly and everybody there was surprised and kind of nervous on how it would play out.

Who is your coach and what have you learned working with them?

Michael Crouch from McKirdy Trained. I have learned a lot from working with him, mainly to trust myself more and that if I enjoy the process and do my part everything will turn out okay.

What is your handle on Instagram?