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Coach Kate Checks In

The final post in our series of interviews with local running coaches. Did you know that both of Lively’s owners, Anne and Kate, are RRCA-certified running coaches? We bring that knowledge to bear whenever we discuss training plans, running gait, or nutrition.  Lively Athletics is also planning on launching a coaching program in 2015, so stay tuned for more details! Here, older sister Anne sits down for a nice heart-to-heart with younger sister Kate. Enjoy.

Anne: So, what’s your coaching style like?

Coach Kate: If I had to sum it up in two words, I’d say: passion and reason.

That sounds contradictory, I know, but I love running very deeply, and spend nearly every minute of every day thinking about it. That’s the passion. That’s what I want to spark in everyone I meet. Reason comes in from taking a level-headed approach to training and understanding how to separate junk science from the real deal. I read well-researched articles about running, spend hours trying out the latest shoes and gear (the luxury of my job), and I get out there and run as much as I possibly can. I stay up-to-date on the latest news so that I can pass this knowledge on to clients, who I hope benefit from having a coach who is so immersed in the world of running.

A: Why do you think people should hire a running coach? Can’t I just buy a pair of shoes (from Lively Athletics) and a sports bra (from Lively Athletics) and hit the road?

CK: As co-owner of Lively Athletics, I really can’t argue with the totally solid strategy of outfitting yourself from head-to-toe in Lively gear and apparel. Like I said before, we are obsessed with running and we’ll take the time to listen to your running needs before we sell you anything. What we offer a 5K runner might not be what we offer a marathon runner.

That said, I think I have a unique perspective on this question. I started running as an adult and had to stumble around awhile before I found my stride (Anne: har har har). My training plan for my first marathon was basically just doing whatever my iPod told me to do, and it was insanely aggressive for a beginner, and my running shoes were from some sort of discount warehouse.

But when I realized that running was more than just a hobby and that there was somewhere specific I wanted it to take me (ahem, to Boston), I decided it was time to get serious about my training.

I hired Cindy Kuzma, an amazing coach and friend, and founder of Evidence-Based Running, who helped me reach my BQ time.

That’s what the right coach does. The right coach will help you reach your goals. More than that, they’ll help you reach goals you didn’t even know you had.

kate runs ultra

A: What’s your favorite race you’ve ever run?

CK: I’d have to say it was the Western Avenue Ultra.

Oh, you’ve never heard of it?

OK, so it’s not an official race. But at a time when I was really stressed out in my life (we were launching Lively, I was drastically switching my career path, etc.), I decided to get on Facebook and ask if anyone would be interested in running the entire length of Western Avenue with me. I had read in some listicle that it was the longest street in the world — which I know now is not true, and whoever that listicle writer was, she did not do a modicum of fact-checking, but it is still possibly the longest continuous street in America.

Anyway, the best part was that three good friends, whom I met through running, basically didn’t even miss a beat before replying. They were like, “Sure!” And then they were like, “Can we go a few miles into Evanston to make it an even 30 miles for Sarah’s 30th birthday?” And that’s what we did. Two other female running friends joined us along the way for moral support.

western avenue ultra

A: What’s your dream race?

K: I think I answer that question differently every time I’m asked. Right now, I have a pretty solid list of races that I’m dying to run; I’ll narrow it down to three for our readers:

1.  The Disney Dopey Challenge, which is actually four races rolled into one trip to Disney.

2.  The Wyoming Ultra Marathon. I just found out about this one — you get a belt buckle for completing, which is awesome! If you ever asked me what my dream participant medal would look like, I would tell you it looks a whole lot like a giant belt buckle.

3.  Big Sur. Big Sur may top the bucket list.

A: If you could train a celebrity, who would it be? (I’m really looking for you to pick Kim Kardashian as that would kinda boost the traffic to our blog. And use the phrase “Kim Kardashian’s butt” at least once in your answer)

K: Unlike Coach Deanna, I’m not afraid to admit a deep and abiding love of celebrities and gossip. I think I have to go with someone like Lindsay Lohan… someone who seems to have struggled and could benefit from some real coaching and training. I think there’s something to be said about the transformative powers of running. It’s changed my life, and I truly believe it can help others, in a way that’s hard to define and explain.

Also, totes any of the Real Housewives. Preferably one from Beverly Hills but I won’t be choosy.

A: How can clients reach you?

K: I’m at Lively most evenings, so stop on in! 109 North Oak Park Avenue. Or email me at

A: What do you think of the latest research showing that middle sisters rule, youngest sisters drool?

K: Sounds like solid science to me.

Lively Athletics


11 Jan, 2015



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