Q&A with Coach Eve

How did you become involved in running?

At age twelve I joined a youth running group and took my first stride into distance running. My youth coach taught me that beyond the arena of competition and maximizing speed, stepping out for a run can be just a normal and consistently fulfilling part of daily life. I applied myself on school teams with more great coaches, but after high school graduation I needed a new challenge. When I arrived at Harvard the legendary spirit of running in Boston enticed me to train for my first marathon. I was captivated by the distance. I have since run eleven marathons, and I’m a five-time Boston Marathon finisher.

Why did you decide to become a private coach?

In 2006 I had the opportunity to coach for the National AIDS Marathon Training Program. I discovered that I love coaching just as much if not more (if that’s possible!) than running. Sharing my passion and helping others achieve their running goals has turned into an amazing career path. I have since coached hundreds of runners, from beginners to advanced, for distances from the 5K to the marathon.

What do you enjoy most about coaching?

I love sharing my knowledge and experience and helping my runners realize their goals.

What can a client expect from private training sessions with you?

Prior to the first training session, I offer a complimentary in-person interview and consult to define running goals and discuss topics of interest, such as running form and technique, injury prevention, shoes and gear, cross-training, sports nutrition and hydration, and race preparedness.

Each training session starts with a warm-up, dynamic stretches, and then the run. The run is followed by static stretches. To help my clients prevent injury and improve their running economy, I also offer a number of mobility and stability assessments, as well as targeted exercises to optimize flexibility, increase postural stability, and increase strength.

What is your coaching style or philosophy?

My coaching philosophy focuses largely on maintaining and increasing one’s enjoyment of this sport. Experiencing joy during running decreases perceived effort and fosters relaxation, resulting in increased efficiency, persistence and success.

What is your favorite moment in your athletic career?

The 2003 Big Sur Marathon introduced me to the heart of the running community. Caught off guard by the cold and shivering uncontrollably before the race, a fellow freezing runner lent me his wool hat. Finally warmed up at Mile 9, I was buoyed up the steep two-mile climb to Hurricane Point by runners checking in with each other and proclaiming, “You look strong!” “You can do this!” “One last push and we’re there!” With four miles to go, trudging up hill after hill, I hit my wall. I asked a woman running near me if she knew how many more hills there were. She didn’t, but she stayed by my side, encouraging me through every last step to the finish. And what a triumphant finish it was! I set a PR and placed 3rd in my age group, inspired by the amazing kindness and generosity of those around me.

Do you have any success stories from coaching an athlete? Any example of the impact you've had on their performance times or skills?

So many stories…I coached a 72-year-old woman to complete the Honolulu Marathon, her first marathon ever. I coached a young woman new to the sport of running to qualify for Boston at the San Francisco Marathon. I helped a middle aged man, who had suffered as the last kid picked for teams in gym class, take up running and discover a hidden talent. I introduced a strong male runner to multiple types of speed workouts, resulting in some well-deserved personal records.

What other sports or activities do you enjoy playing or practicing?

I enjoy pilates – the perfect complement to running! I also love hip hop dance, hiking and backpacking.

What is your favorite sports related movie?

Spirit of the Marathon

What's your mantra or favorite saying (in the context of sport and/ or life)?

My personal race mantra: Stay in the moment, you’re fine, keep pushing.

What team do you root for most enthusiastically? (any sport)

U.S. Olympic Marathon Team

Do you have any special talents or a surprising thing someone might not know about you?

I grew up with llamas…not the best running buddies, but I just got a new puppy named Avalanche who promises to become my steadfast running companion.