Why I Coached Him Out of Running a Marathon


Running a marathon is a big commitment.

No matter where they are at in their life, I focus my practice on helping my clients understand how to have the life they’ve always dreamed of.

“I’m running the NYC marathon this year,” is what Jay said to me this past February that got me excited, as a fellow registrant for the 2015 NYC Marathon, to not only know someone else that was participating in the race, but maybe share a long run or two throughout the training process. That soon changed and our relationship took a major turn.

The first time I met Jay Jacobs was at a 5K and like any other fan of the Biggest Loser, I was a bit reality star-struck with inspiration “knowing” what he overcame on a reality show. It was a brief encounter and one that I shared with my sister who I always would talk with about each episode, but never did I imagine the bond Jay and I would have now, almost two years later. In February I was hosting an eight-week workshop with my colleague Jessica, a registered dietician who had the established relationship with Jay and invited him to be a guest speaker to our group.

Although Jay and I knew each other at this point through our local chamber of commerce health and wellness committee sharing a few conversations about running the marathon, training for it and maybe going on a long run together he seemed disinterested and would seemingly brush me off with a “sure” and that would be that. It was after his talk at our workshop that I had the chance to sit down with Jay to really talk about training for the marathon and who I am as a life coach to athletes of all levels.

Jay was on a kick of wanting to run every day and post on social media, which many of you probably have seen, what he accomplished, whether 1, 3 or 5 miles. I asked him if he actually had a training program prepared to complete the race at the goal time he kept talking about wanting to achieve.

His response, “no but I’ll figure it out.”

It was at that moment I started asking Jay a lot of questions to gain some insight into his energy toward his performance and why he was running every day instead of having a training plan in place. As a CORE Performance Dynamics coach, my passion is to show people that they are greater than they know they are by helping them eliminate distractions and increase focus, build their self-confidence, and overcome all internal and external challenges they face to achieve their goals in life, business, or sports.

No matter where they are at in their life, I focus my practice on helping my clients understand how their core energy, stress influencers, and ability to tap into their potential can give them the life they’ve always dreamed of. After an hour-long conversation, Jay realized that he wanted exactly what I described, and so our relationship began for him to reach 26.2 miles under 5 hours.

I coached him right out of wanting to run the marathon during our very first session; I must be a horrible coach…..or an awesome one!

I created a customized detailed training calendar for running, cross-training, and rest days, exercises focused on being a strong runner and in general, and a journal to capture the “inner CORE Jay” to have the awareness to what he was feeling mentally, emotionally, physically, etc. Together we believed having the plan all laid out for him was going to make it very easy for him to “comply” with (his word) since all the hard work of trying to figure out what to do, when to do it, understand what’s going on at the CORE, and having the ability to track it was already done.

When we had our first session to discuss where he was at that point and his plan going forward, he primarily talked about “once I hit this specific weight, I will be my authentic self and I want to use the training for this marathon to get there.” With one question, everything changed – “who is authentic Jay if there was no number?” That question is the driver to Jay’s CORE, who he wants to be, how he wants to show up in life and how he wants to share his gifts with the world.

By our next session, Jay decided that he wasn’t going to run the marathon because he wasn’t doing it for himself; it was to prove to others that he could lose the weight. Jay wants to learn who he is and be the person he always wanted to be but for himself and nobody else. Yes, that includes losing 100lbs, getting into a fitness regime, following a nutrition plan; but what’s most important is for Jay to understand what works what doesn’t work, and why he makes the decisions he does about food, exercise, and other life decisions. You see, in truth, how you are in one area of your life is how you are in every area of your life and Jay was ready to take control of his.

This is what I’ve learned about Jay in the past six weeks:

Jay wanted structure because he was living in chaos; managing through it but at the cost of himself. He has an incredibly huge heart and puts everyone before him, especially his family. His CORE values are family, freedom, fun, and community and this is why he hates the structure that he wants so much – it doesn’t respect his values at all. Structure creates a feeling of being forced, as mentioned above when he said, “comply.” He’ll procrastinate (sometimes forgetting to take notes) to the point he overwhelms himself. And he loves his Starbucks a bit too much.

Here is an example of what we’ve learned together:

Together, we decided he would journal, answering predetermined questions on a daily basis. We even discussed how he could take small blocks of time such as 5-10 minutes to answer a few questions as the day progressed. Because this wasn’t 100% his choice to want to write certain specifics down, he would procrastinate, putting family, friends, going out to eat at new restaurants, etc. before logging anything. By the end of the day he would want to just write it down tomorrow and by the end of the week, he was completely overwhelmed and feeling defeated because he didn’t want to do it.

[Have you ever felt like this? Do you wish you could just get things done at that moment but don’t understand why you always procrastinate? Take a moment to sit down and think about what your values are? Is freedom or fun on that list? Keep a lookout on Couch Kills for a hangout where Jay and I will have a discussion on how to become aware of why you procrastinate and how to overcome it.]

He told me he’s not going to journal because it doesn’t work for him and when things don’t work for him, he beats himself up and he doesn’t want to do that.


That is the stage our coaching relationship is in right now – creating awareness to what works and what doesn’t work on Jay’s life marathon journey to becoming vibrantly fit. Jay is learning how to get present in everything he does. Seeing how he shows up in every action he takes to achieve the greatness he deserves to have and BE. We invite you to share in his marathon for the ups and downs, confusion and clarity and learning along the way to become and be the person you’ve always wanted to.

Last modified: November 9, 2019

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