For her 40th birthday, Laura Phelps decided to give herself the gift of health, starting a run/walk program that has so far helped her lose 80 pounds after being over 100 pounds overweight. “Running has always intrigued me. I was never really an athlete, but always wanted to be a runner. I tried on and off over the years, but things got in the way and I would lose interest. In 2008 I was 39… the big 40 was right around the corner and I was over 100 pounds overweight.”
“I decided to do something about it so I started a run/walk program. I finally started running some local 5K’s and it was fun! I challenged myself to a 10K and love the game of trying for better and better finishes for myself. I have now lost 80 pounds and am training for my first half marathon in December.”
Along the way in this incredible journey, Laura has faced both challenges and triumphs. Through it all, she has remembered the importance of avoiding excuses and just sticking with it. “My proudest accomplishments come when I set a goal and achieve it – whether it is a new 5K time I want to finish under, or running longer than I ever have. I am just so proud of myself for getting out there and actually doing this! The challenges are getting outside and getting my runs in when it is really hot, really cold or when it starts getting dark early. It is easy to make excuses, but I just have to get out there and do it.”
Laura is dedicated to sticking with her training program, which includes both running and weight training. She is also excited about following one of the hundreds of training plans available on TrainingPeaks. “I run 4 days a week and weight train two days a week. In a couple of weeks I will start following Hal Higdon’s Novice Half Marathon plan.”
Being able to track her progress in TrainingPeaks is very motivating for Laura. “I love being able to download my Garmin info into my workout calendar and see the times, etc. I will be using Higdon’s plan that I have already downloaded into my TrainingPeaks calendar – I am looking forward to it keeping me on track.”
Not only does she enjoy the tracking functionality of TrainingPeaks, she also enjoys the novelty of being able to monitor her own fitness with such a great online tool. “Keeping things interesting is the best way to stay motivated. I am constantly learning about new workouts, new races, new “toys” to use in my pursuit of fitness. TrainingPeaks is one of the new “toys” I have discovered and I am looking forward to using it more and more as I get fit.”
In addition to the novelty of TrainingPeaks, the novelty of running itself has provided amazing motivation for Laura. As a relative newcomer to running, she really enjoys the motivation that comes with her dramatic improvement in training and racing, and the thrill of setting new goals to achieve. “Since I am a new runner I am setting PR’s with almost every race, so I am just hoping to continue improving! My half marathon is in December and my goal is to finish under 2:20.”
An inspiring person herself, Laura is also inspired by other athletes who give it their best. “I am inspired by all athletes that push the limit – I am fascinated with marathoners, mountain climbers and anyone that really gives it their all.”
To Laura and all the other athletes who push the limit: happy training!
Get started on your own fitness journey with TrainingPeaks today.