Embrace the Journey

I had a life changing event in February of 2009. My husband of 32 years, unexpectedly passed away at the age of 58. I had to create a “new normal” for me, as I transitioned into this new phase of my life without Jack, I was 57. I decided one of the things that would help “go on with my life” was to try new things, activities I never dreamed I could do.

So I signed up for AVC Elite training classes created by my good friend and fitness expert, Amy Van Cleve. I also began her trekking program.  Before, I was not at “outdoors” person. I preferred to be in a cool, air conditioned gym (with a TV), than be outside exercising.

Trekking was quite a new experience for me.  In 2010, with lots of training from Amy I trekked the Catalina trail for 30+ miles!.  I did it again in 2011, but did 20+ miles. Who would have thought that I could do this, certainly not me.

But Amy never doubted I was capable and was always so encouraging. I was older, slower, was usually at the back of the group, but I was steady at my own pace, and I was able to finish both Catalina treks.

After the trekking program, Amy sponsored a running clinic with the Newton Running shoe company in March of 2011.  Again I was hesitant to sign up, because as a 59 year old, I had never run…..or had any desire to run, plus I thought I was too old for this. But once more, Amy encouraged me to try it.

I was a “blank slate” as far as learning the correct techniques of running. I had no idea about form, foot placement, correct shoes, cadence, body position. I thought you just ran.

In the fall of 2011, Amy offered a running program for all abilities –  from seasoned runners to novices, like me. I decided to try it, with a lot of misgivings, but I was determined to continue my goal of trying new activities. So I became a part of this group, learning how to run correctly.

Throughout the fall and winter we met and Amy taught me how to run the right way.   I learned that good running shoes make all the difference and are a “must.” So, I bought good Newton running shoes, used my heart rate monitor, bought a small metronome for the 180 beats cadence, and actually did some running on my own in my neighborhood.

Each session with Amy was a learning experience, where, she observed my running and made corrections/adjustments where needed.

In December of 2011, I decided to try something really out of my “comfort zone.”  I entered the Phoenix Marathon 10K race that would take place in March of 2012.

With Amy’s running group, and her continued advice/help, I trained for the 10K……me, who never wanted to be outside doing anything, was running 3-4 times a week to get ready for the race. Oh, look where I placed….never in a million years would I have thought this was possible at 60 years old!

Next came the Tough Mudder training. I know my body’s limitations, and I knew Tough Mudder would be too much of a challenge for me, but I wanted to do the running training with the group.  So I joined team AVC Tough Mudders. I did what I could, and I was able to keep up with the team when they ran.

I was slow, but steady, and I had the endurance, thanks to Amy’s running training. It was quite an experience, and worth every early Saturday morning training session (in heat and freezing cold).

It has been quite a journey/adventure. I am so appreciative of my friend (hermana), Amy. She always had faith in me, even when I didn’t. Due to Amy’s expertise and encouragement, I was able to reach my goal of “trying new things,” particularly with my running. So, that’s my story……who knows where the road will lead me next.

~Helen H.

Ready to try something new like Helen? Check out AVC Elite Training Small Group Sessions, Newton Natural Running and/or Tough Mudder with Coach Amy. The only limit to your accomplishments are the hurdles in your mind. Contact Amy today and embrace the journey!

Breaking Bad…Running Habits

Back in 2001 I ran in two marathons for the Leukemia Society. I finished both events but they took their toll on my body. By the time I was done I absolutely hated running.

I swore I would NEVER run again. And I didn’t until about a year or so ago when Amy introduced us to Newton Natural Running. I was very skeptical about this whole natural running thing but because I have the utmost faith in Amy when it comes to my fitness I was willing to give it a try.

What a difference running the natural and correct way can make!  Amy spent a lot of time teaching us the correct form and technique of running.

I had a lot of bad habits that I had to break – can anyone say heal strikes – but with Amy’s expertise, knowledge and patience I learned to recognize and change those bad habits.

Now I run 2–3 times a week and run a minimum distance of 6 miles. The best thing is that I don’t hurt or ache when I’m done, like I did before. That’s the beauty of learning how to run correctly.

I’m not a fast runner but by learning how to run I have significantly improved my pace/time. I am happy to say that today I am a natural runner, and I absolutely LOVE it!

I encourage you to come out and give it try. Amy is an awesome coach and I bet you will be hooked too.

~ Kathy S.

Are you ready to discover the natural runner within you and learn how to run happy? Let Coach Amy teach you proper running form and technique so you too can break any bad habits and discover a newfound love in natural running.

Anyone Can Run….Better!

I began running in college and then sporadically until my late 40’s, where I took to it ritually. I never examined my running style.  Anyone can run, right?

Over time I began to develop some injuries and problems (plantar fasciitis, arthritis in my knees and feet and neuromas). I did the foot blot test (pronation, supination, etc.) and treadmill running gait analysis, which focused more on the type of running shoe rather than running style.

I was a heel striker and over strider. I thought this was ok since I saw this in many photos of runners.  Even with the “right” shoes, I was still experiencing problems.

Then Amy announced in her AVC Elite Training Class, a running style that aids performance and reduces the risk of injury.  Amy hosted a Newton Running Clinic. Along with the owners, they took us through drills and present a specific running posture and style. Amy followed up with a training program of her own.

I was skeptical at first. Could this really help me?  Also, these new funky shoes, looked more like a hindrance than an asset.

After Saturdays of drills and runs, and practicing during the week on my own, I began to see change. I must say it was a challenge changing bad habits, but the benefits were my incentive to change.

Amy would run along side or ahead and take photos of us so we could view our deficits and improvements. She provided information and insight that assisted in improving my running form. My knee was pain free and my feet showed a marked improvement.

By running more efficiently I was experiencing less fatigue and feeling more efficient. At times, I still revert back to old behavior s(like shuffling my feet), but I’m more conscious  and quicker correcting my self.

Thanks Amy for all your help and giving me more years of happy running!

~ Cynthia, age 58

Do you want to run happy by learning how to run better? You can enjoy the same benefits as Cynthia by working with Amy, your Mesa, Arizona Newton Natural Running certified coach. Contact Amy and lace up your shoes to run without pain – at any age.

Doing the Heavy Lifting

I have trained with Amy for 15 years. Every new venture ups the ante and challenges me anew.

Every program Amy heads has 3 constants:Step Ups Tabata

1) Prioritizing student safety.
2) Use of her constantly honing knowledge base to keep  workouts challenging and effective.
3) Individual attention and dedication to her students.

The program I am currently attending is the outdoor group training. I have never felt stronger in my life, yet more aware that I have far to go.

Tabata on CurbI am doing things in class that I would never have dreamed I could do. The one bad thing about this program is my husband now calls me to help with the “heavy lifting”!

Thank you Amy!

~ Chris

Are you ready to do the heavy lifting? AVC Elite Training group sessions are filling fast. Learn more and sign-up today!