Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Interview With Lou Ann Bakolia

Since April I decided I wanted to get serious about running and stay accountable. I felt that a coach would be the best route to go so I googled and came across Lou Ann Bakolia and her website, Off to Run. She is an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Trainer, a Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Certified Running Coach, and a USA Track and Field (USATF) Certified Running Coach. I looked over her website and thought she'd be a good fit for me. I got in contact with her and made a date at Starbucks after work. We sat down and talked for awhile about my running history, knee issues, goals, etc... What intrigued me the most was that she qualified for Boston at age 50! How impressive is that?  Lou Ann's website let's you choose what type of coaching you'd like. You can train with a group at Lake Lynn or Shelley Lake or train online. She helps kids, teens, adults and she coaches beginners, 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathons and triathlons. She was also featured in Runner's World in 2013 in the "Ask the Experts" section.

If you are interested in training with Lou Ann, you can email her at for a consultation. 

Picture from

What are you currently training for now and what are your goals?

Carolina Beach Half Marathon- under 2 hours; Autism 5K - under 25 minutes; Old Reliable 10K -under 54 minutes

How do you balance training, rest, friends, family etc?

I run (or cross train) early in the morning so I have the rest of the day for others and I don't run every day

Do you have a philosophy on diet and nutrition?

I don't diet; I just try to eat healthy and I do have my treats - just try not to over indulge

What was your lowest point in running and how did you learn from it?

Probably dealing with injuries. I learned to fully recover and there will always be another race and you can come back

Why did you decide to get into coaching?

I love to run and I think I'm a pretty average runner so when I ran the Boston Marathon, I thought anybody can do this with hard work and consistency so I want to help others.

Do you have any rituals or superstitions? 

I don't do static stretching before I run; I always take 2 puffs of my asthma inhaler

If someone asks you , why do you run, what do you say?

I started out runnng to get in shape but now I run because I love it and I always feel better after running

How do you motivate yourself when you don't feel like running? How do you motivate your clients?

If I plan to run, I just go out because I know I will feel better running

What is the best advice you can give new runners?

Be patient. Being a good runner takes time. You have to run 3 days a week consistently to get better.

Who inspires you?

All the elite runners who win races but also some friends I have in their 60s and 70s who are still running and winning their age groups


Race: Boston Marathon and New York Marathon

Running shoe: Mizuno Wave Rider

Running store: Capital Run Walk

Way to relax: Reading (sometimes Runner's World!)

Athlete: Shalene Flanigan, Kara Goucher

Recovery meal: Chocolate Milk or protein shake or Greek Yogurt 

TV show: Chelsea Handler until her show ended, Orange is the New Black, Mad Men

Movie: lots -The Blind Side and Forrest Gump (Run, Forrest, Run!)

Book: lots-Cutting for Stone

Singer/Band: Cold Play

Mantra: varies "If you finish, you win it"

Guilty pleasure: Dove's Dark Chocolates

Thanks for stopping by and reading, feel free to leave any comments or suggestions below. Come by on Sunday and read about my weekly runs! I've got 8 miles on tap for Saturday, wish me luck! 


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