Meet Mike Messina

I’m not an official coach or anything like that. I’m not certified or have a license. But I do like to help people if they are interested in training for a race or just trying to get some running into their exercise routine.


August 4, 2013

Recently, I signed up for the 2013 San Francisco Giant Race (Half Marathon) and Mike, my friend’s husband, decided he wanted to do it as well. He’s a big SF Giants fan and sports fan in general, so I think this is the perfect race for him. It will have great energy and fans along the entire course. He asked me for a training plan to help. I have many training plans for half marathons and marathons that I’ve run. Once I sent it over, he said it was a “serious plan”, but he was down to make it happen. So, I decided why not feature him on my blog! Since it’s his first half marathon, I wanted to show his progress and his experience.

The race is August 4, so we are still several weeks out. I check in with him periodically to see how he’s doing and get feedback and answer questions he has. I was a little worried a few weeks ago when he mentioned he was having issues with Planter Fasciitis. This is not pleasant and some runners have a harder time with the pain and not being able to run. But he seems to be okay now.

Mike also ran 7 miles the other day and felt “weak” and wanted to know what he should be eating. I gave him some tips on what to eat before the run and what he should be carrying with him on long runs – Shot Bloks, Gu, etc. I recommended he start training with these before the race so his body is used to it.

Mike and his dog Gracie

Mike and his dog Gracie

Here are some questions I asked him to get to know him better -

1. How long have you been running?
“Have run off and on for 20 years.”

2. Have you run a 1/2 marathon (any races) before? Which one?
“Never ran a half in a real race. I have only ran 5k fun runs.”

3. Why do you want to run this race?
“As a big Giants fan I think it is cool to finish in PacBell AT&T Park.” Me too!!

4. What keeps you motivated?
“Reaching goals.”

5. How do you like the training so far?
“Training has been fine; it has taken me a while to get used to it. I am used
to running like 5 or 6 miles a day everyday (with) very few days off. Now with the training I have days off and really only 1 DAY of a long run.”

6. What have been your challenges?
“Only challenges have been fighting foot injury (planters) and have to switch days around due to my basketball tourney schedule.” Mike’s a high school basketball coach.

7. What is your goal?
“My goal is to run my race and not worry about any other runners faster/slower, etc. Time goal – not sure, prob 9 [mins] per [mile].”

8. How old are you?
“50 years old.” But he assured me that he’s not your “typical 50 year old”!

9. Do you do any other cross training besides running?
“A little rowing machine box, jumps, b-ball.”

I’m really excited for Mike and can’t wait to see him cross the finish line! More updates to come…

Here’s the link to the race –

Any of you have tips for Mike?

If you are ever interested in running or training for a race, let me know. I’d be happy to help!