Early this year I signed up to run the mb full marathon as it was on a bucket list of mine and I knew at the beginning of my training I could not do it alone. Having Jonathan coach me was probably the best decision I made for my running career.
As most people life can get pretty crazy when it comes to balancing full time job, home, and just life in general .. then throwing marathon training in the mix.. yikes! Jonathan and I had a chat then he took the time to work out a schedule for me that was flexible and doable.
Jonathan was encouraging from the start always checking in and offering advice. The day before the marathon I stopped by wfps marathon booth at the expo to say hi and he had some genuine motivational words that eased my nervousness and got me pumped for the manitoba full marathon!
Coach JT thanks for helping me cross that finish line ... it's been slice!!!
I had registered for the lululemon Half Marathon, Seawheeze 2015, and wanted to make sure I was fully prepared this time around. I knew to get the results I wanted I would need the help of a solid plan and coach to support me along the way.
I chose Jonathan's support because I had seen some amazing results from fellow runners in the community and the fact that he himself was an extremely competitive runner and working towards some lofty goals!
Something I really enjoyed about working with Jonathan was how he began by getting really clear on the results I was striving for and making sure I was fully committed to putting in the expected work to reach my goals. This way we were on the same page from the start.
What I appreciated most was the weekly checkins for progress updates and most of all the motivational coaching throughout the process. This was the game changer for me and getting me to the next level when I thought it wasn't possible. He gave me space to share my frustrations and hard times and was then able to coach me through these times to come out on top!
This was my second year at the lululemon Half marathon Seawheeze and I went from a 2hr35min half to a 2hr7min! Holy crap! The results got me back to when I was a high level university athlete 5 year ago! I wouldn't have crossed that finish line with the strength and pride with out the push and commitment of such an inspiring dedicated man! Won't train for another race without him!
In January 2015 I began training for my first marathon. Jonathan offered to set me up with a training plan. He made me a 16 week program that detailed my distance and speed. We talked about nutrition and hydration pre and post runs. As a coach he was incredibly knowledgable, encouraging and very supportive. The week of my race he shared all of his best practices and ran several scenarios with me. It was thanks to Jonathan's support that I was able to run my first marathon in 3:48 after setting a goal of 4 hours!
I wanted to become a faster, stronger runner but didn't know how to get there on my own.
This lead me to Jonathan Torchia. He is the Race Director of the WFPS Half Marathon|10k|5k, he co-leads the Winnipeg Run Club, and he is hugely respected in the running community. We sat down, talked about running goals and from that moment on, I knew he would play a large role in my life. I started to train with the plans he sent me every two weeks. He would often check in with me to see how I was doing, assess how my runs were going, and based on all that information he would tailor my training plan. He always made me feel like he was accessible via email, phone, text. He had my back, 100%. He made me feel like I was doing amazing, there was never any room for doubt on his end, and his confidence in me was so motivating. I could do it he kept telling me. Well guess what? I did. I PR'ed seven minutes faster at the 2016 Fargo Half Marathon despite a race day that brought adverse weather conditions.
It didn't end there. Before I barely realized what I agreed to, we continued our athlete/coach relationship, and he had me start to train for my very first full marathon. I can honestly say that if it wasn't for Coach Jonathan, I would have never run a full marathon. Everything about the training taught me so much and I am so grateful for his wisdom, his dedication, his kindness, and exuberance. As I approached the Finish Line at the 2016 Grand Forks Full Marathon, there he was, cheering, clapping, and he ran along side me the last few metres to the Finish Line. How fitting considering he got me there, he owns part of my accomplishment.
No doubt. Because of him, I can now say, I am a full marathon finisher! He is my coach, my fellow runner, friend, and I am so grateful for him.
Jonathan did a tremendous job of preparing me not only physically but mentally as well for my first ever half marathon. He is extremely knowledgable and set me up with a challenging schedule helping me meet what I thought was an unattainable goal. Jonathan checked in on me weekly and responded to any questions and concerns in an extremely motivating manner. I started to see significant change in my ability to run further distances in faster times and in the end I went into race day feeling great about my training. I am so happy to report my official time of 2:10:06 and can confidently say I would have been nowhere near that without the help of Jonathan.
River City Run Coaching
I started running with the Winnipeg Run Club and Jonathan and I had run together on several occasions. One night running at the Pan Am track during the winter of 2015 we were doing speed workouts and Jonathan and I got to chatting about my wanting to get to Boston. During that speed session Jonathan asked me what I needed for a time, and I guess that led to my age, which took him by surprise and I recall him stopping mid run with a shocked response at my age. Since that moment Jonathan got very excited about my potential to BQ and he started talking to me about the coaching plan he could put together for me.
Jonathan is a very motivating guy, and he had me ready to start getting serious again for qualifying. I was already registered for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, and my intention was to attempt to qualify, but with Jonathan in my corner, I felt like this would be a tremendous asset.
And so we began the process, with Jonathan customizing a plan for me and constantly evolving that plan every two weeks, based on how I felt, how well the runs were going, and what was going on in my life at that time. As it turned out I had a bit of an injury to contend with, so while I did my part doing the exercises and seeking athletic therapy throughout the training process, Jonathan adapted my plan to try to manage the days I was struggling due to the injury, and adapting it so that I could actually function when I would be most effective, ultimately benefitting my training, allowing me to not miss out on any of the crucial long runs.
I also benefitted form discussions Jonathan and I had regarding nutrition and fuelling, tactics to train stronger, and of course we discussed race day strategy. In the end I benefitted immensely from his tutelage and experience, I excelled because of his encouragement, his belief in me and his support.
One of my training runs included the Manitoba Half Marathon, and at mile 6 a guy from the crowd comes running up beside me in pants, jacket and an umbrella - ‘Hey man’ - he says - ‘how you feeling? You look totally fresh!’ This guy was of course my coach Jonathan. At the finish line there he was again, and we discussed how I felt, how my result positioned me in the training process, and how he was so pumped at the good conditioning I was in for my ultimate goal. That’s the kind of dedication you get from this guy. I can’t say enough about him.
Ultimately I did not BQ that day in Minneapolis, but I had a PB. No excuses, it just wasn’t my day. The hills were killer for that pace, but I will be back one day. What I’ve learned from the coaching from Jonathan will now be a practice I can put in place for every race going forward. He taught me what I needed to know going forward, to someday get that BQ.
But the one thing I got out of this journey with him that I did not count on or expect was I can honestly now call him my friend. When the marathon was all over the first message I received was from him. That message was not a message from a coach. It was the most heartfelt message a guy could receive from another guy. It was a genuine message from one runner to another, from a friend - filled with hope, encouragement, and brotherhood.
I appreciated that message the most.
Working with Jonathan and River City Run Coaching has been an instrumental part of helping me train for my first marathon.
It's given me the motivation I needed in times when I felt my goal was impossible. Having Jonathan personalize my program and knowing he is available whenever I need to talk it through will be what gets me to the finish line!
- Jessica Kerzner
In November of 2015 I began training with River City Run Coaching. I had self trained and ran my first half marathon at the WFPS Run just a few weeks beforehand and my next goal was to train and run my first ever marathon. Along the way I had some medical/personal setbacks, this affected my training and was quite discouraging for myself. I had fears, doubts and lacked confidence in my ability to reach my end goals.
If it wasn’t for Jonathan I would not have been able to push myself past my setbacks. Week after week he had my training plan ready for me and he was always a text/email or a phone call away to answer any of my questions and to give advice.
I did not run that marathon I had began training for, I was not ready. I did however run the half at the Manitoba Marathon, it was a blistering hot, humid morning and although I didn’t PB like I had planned I came in just one minute over my best time and for that I am happy given the challenging weather on this day. Jonathan was a phone call away and offered a lot of advice to me on nutrition, hydration and fueling for such conditions.
I trained with Jonathon for 7mths, what I took away was just how much I am capable of as a runner, I learned to run 13 miles with no walking breaks and have improved my pace immensly. I also learned how far I can push my limits and I came away from this experience with so much more confidence than I went into it. I have now been running for 18mths and never ever dreamed I would accomplish what I have. I have ran 3 half marathons to date, 3 trail races and now my goal is to train and run a marathon and my first ultra in the next year.
I highly recommend Jonathan as a coach, he is knowledgable, encouraging, supportive and inspiring.
I have been a runner for most of my life, but after a series of injuries and a lot of mediocre races, my running had gotten stale. Jonathan understood how important running is to me, and his coaching helped me get back on track both physically and psychologically. His coaching program helped to renew and refresh my enthusiasm for running, and as a result, my speed, strength, and stamina improved.
Coaching is both an art and a science. Jonathan understands the concepts of periodization, phases of training, adaptation, and variety. But he also understands the psychological needs of his athletes, and provides encouragement and a shared love of the sport.
There is magic in Jonathan's coaching, he is extremely motivating and really seemed to care about how I was feeling, not just how far I was running. Jonathan has a wealth of experience and was able to offer on-the-fly adjustments to my schedule if necessary. He had excellent tips, strategies, and advice about training, rest, tapering, and racing. Working with Jonathan far exceeded my initial expectations. His positive attitude is unparalleled and I cannot wait to work with Jonathan again for my next half marathon! With Jonathan's support and expertise you will become a stronger runner with the confidence you need to succeed!
What can I tell you?!! This is my testimony, my truth, my, blood, sweat, my tears, this is my story…
I started my weight loss journey at 415lbs, never thought I would loose any weight, never thought I would be a runner; never mind run a half marathon with my 14 year old son!!!
But on October 18th 2015 at 245 lbs I ran my first half marathon… with the help of friends, family, and my coach jonathan Torchia.
When I first decided I was going to be a "runner" it was because I had something to prove to the world; big girls can run too!!!!. When i first starlet running I could only run 30 seconds at a time then walk for 2 minutes. I was going nowhere FAST!
So I messaged Jonathan and said I am a runner! I am going to run your half marathon and I am going to do it in 2hrs and 15 minutes. I didn't even believe myself that I could run a half marathon, never mind 30 minutes at a time!!!
Jonathan had faith in me- he wrote me out a running schedule and said "stick to this" we will get you running! Just follow the plan and believe in the process.
With blistered toes, swollen feet, and uncertainty I started running, 5 minutes at a time, with a minute break, then 10 minutes, then 15…..
Wouldn't you believe that I ran for 30 minutes straight- without any breaks, no walks in between.!!!!! I was estatic and so was my coach and so were my peers.
The next step was to consistently run for 30 minutes without any breaks 5 days a week to build myself up to 5k!!! This man Is fn crazy I though, there is no way!!! No way I can do this.
With encouragement from co-workers and friends I accomplished this goal- 6am runs- with two co-workers, daily encouragement from my peers and weekly updates and encouragements from my coach I became the BIG GIRL that can run!!!!! I hated running, with a passion!! But boy did I love how I felt afterwards and the way my today was changing; I was getting stronger and leaner!
On October 18th on a cold Sunday morning I started my journey to run 21.1 k; my first half marathon. I was going to complete this if it killed me…
My fellow lemons met me at the 3 mile mark! I was hurting and didn't think I was going to make it… A blistered toe, sore calfs, and hurting body I kept running- I knew Jonathan, my coworkers, and my son would be waiting for me at the finish line!!
3 hours and 38 minutes later I crossed that finish line……third last person to cross that line
and who do you know was waiting for me at the finish line… my coworkers (lululemon) my son… and my coach!!!!!
Thank you Jonathan for believing in me when I didn't believe in myself- what do you know? BIG GIRLS CAN RUN- and i will continue to run- because not trying isn't an option for me anymore!!!