Kevin Beck has been a runner since 1984 and is currently a senior writer for Running Times magazine. He has also written about sports and health-related topics for Marathon & Beyond, Men's Fitness, The Roanoke Valley Sports Journal, and numerous other publications.
After running cross country for the University of Vermont, Beck ran 2:39:37 in his first marathon in 1994. Since then, the New Hampshire native has steadily carved his personal best down to 2:24:17, placing seventh among Americans and 28th overall at the 2001 Boston Marathon.
In 2003, Beck placed seventh at the USA Track & Field New England Half-Marathon Championship and ran 1:49 to win the Eastern States' 20-miler. He kicked off 2004 with personal bests in the half-marathon (1:08:22), 10 miles (51:33), and 5,000 meters both on the track (14:58.2) and on the road (15:16). In November 2004, he placed second at the USA Track & Field National 50K Road Championship, running 3:06:22.
Beck has served as a distance running coach at various levels and is coached by two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner Pete Pfitzinger. He also helped coordinate a research study on exercise and diabetes at the University of California at San Francisco, where he was a diabetes researcher and exercise technician for the Mount Zion Medical Center.
About the Contributors
Chris Chorak is the owner and founder of Presidio Sport & Medicine in San Francisco, California. A physical therapist for nearly two decades, Chorak is an Ironman triathlete, endurance coach, and injury consultant for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program. He is also a lecturer on various topics including sports medicine, injury prevention, race-day nutrition, and competition psychology. Chorak holds two bachelor's degrees, one in physical therapy from Northwestern University and another in athletic training from Purdue University.
Gwyn Coogan was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic 10,000-meter squad. After taking up running upon entering Smith College, the former swimmer, field hockey player, and lacrosse player became an All-American. Her first marathon was a 2:32:58 victory at Twin Cities in 1995. She also competed in the 1991, 1993, 1994, and 1995 World Cross Country Championships and was a member of the 1997 U.S. World Championship 10,000-meter team. Coogan holds a PhD in mathematics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a teacher and coach at Phillips Exeter High School in New Hampshire.
Mark Coogan is a 1996 U.S. Olympian in the marathon who also qualified for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in four events: the 1,500 meters, 3,000-meter steeplechase, 5,000 meters, and 10,000 meters. A graduate of the University of Maryland, the Massachusetts native debuted in the marathon in Boston with a 2:13:22 and placed second the next year at the Pan American Games marathon. He also ran 13:23 for 5,000 meters, placing second at the 1995 U.S. Championships. Coogan and his wife live in Exeter, New Hampshire, with their three children.
Scott Douglas is a former editor of Running Times and coauthor of four books on running, including Advanced Marathoning and Road Racing for Serious Runners. He is a regular contributor to Runner's World, and his articles have been published in outlets as diverse as the Washington Post, Slate.com, and Continental, the in-flight magazine for Continental Airlines. Douglas has logged more than 80,000 miles since he started running in 1979. His personal records include 30:48 for 10K and 51:01 for 10 miles. Douglas lives in South Portland, Maine.
Mark Elliott is the director of high performance for Triathlon New Zealand's elite triathlon program, where he coordinates and educates athletes and coaches performing at the Olympic and World Championship level. He actively coaches triathletes and runners at all levels, including World Champion and Olympic triathlon silver medalist Bevan Docherty. A keen multisport athlete and dedicated runner, Elliott is also a qualified sport physiotherapist with a specific interest in strength and conditioning for endurance athletes. Elliott's interests include coffee, chocolate, and spending time with his wife, Jude, and son, Hamish.
Kyle Heffner is an exercise physiologist with more than 20 years of experience in exercise science, research, sports medicine, and lifestyle health management. He was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic marathon team with a personal best time of 2:10:55, and he represented the United States in the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan, finishing 11th in 2:12:35. Heffner has a master's degree in exercise science from the University of North Texas and a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Texas A&M University. He frequently makes presentations to companies and organizations on health-related topics such as health and sports medicine, musculoskeletal concerns, and alternative therapies.
Colleen Glyde Julian is a 1997 graduate of the University of Colorado, where she was a three-time Division I All-American in cross country and track. After receiving her master's degree in kinesiology and applied physiology in 2001, she worked alongside coach and scientist Dr. Jack Daniels at the Sports Medicine Institute International in Palo Alto, California. Her research has involved using simulated high-altitude exposure as a performance-enhancement tool and clinical exercise testing analyses. Julian is pursuing a PhD in medical anthropology at the University of Colorado, focusing on physiological adaptations and health issues among high-altitude populations. Julian lives in Boulder, Colorado, with her husband, Pete, who is a runner for Team adidas.
John Kellogg is a full-time professional running coach. He has trained in the United States and in Europe with runners of all ages, abilities, and nationalities. For 15 years he has coached numerous elite athletes who have competed internationally. He is the coach of Weldon Johnson, who has twice finished fourth in the 10,000 meters at the U.S. National Championships and holds a personal best of 28:06 for the distance. A runner for 28 years, Kellogg was nationally ranked in the marathon as a junior (under age 20), has logged more than 70,000 miles, and holds times of 14:22 for 5,000 meters and 30:46 for a 10,000-meter cross country course.
Michael Leveritt is a lecturer in human movement studies at the University of Queensland, Australia, where he also earned his PhD in exercise physiology. An NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist, Leveritt has served as a consultant for many athletes and sporting organizations. His research has focused on concurrent strength and endurance training. Leveritt resides in Brisbane, Australia.
Greg McMillan is a USA Track and Field–certified coach and holds a master's degree in exercise physiology. He combines his experience as a competitive runner with his knowledge of exercise science to coach other runners. As a runner, McMillan has excelled at a variety of distances—first as a high school state champion in the mile and most recently placing 25th at the California International Marathon. His elite athletes have competed in the 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympic Trials; the 2001 and 2003 World Track and Field Championships; and the 2003 Pan American Games. McMillan has successfully coached beginning runners and veteran runners through his online coaching program at www.mcmillanrunning.com.
Pete Pfitzinger, the top American finisher in the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Marathons, is currently a distance running coach and exercise physiologist. He established himself as one of the best marathoners in U.S. history by outkicking Alberto Salazar to win the 1984 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. That same year he received the Robert E. DeCelle Award for America's best distance runner and was named Runner of the Year by the Road Runners Club of America. As a coach, Pfitzinger has more than 20 years of experience with athletes ranging from beginning runners to 2:10 marathoners. As an exercise physiologist, Pfitzinger specializes in working with runners, triathletes, and other endurance athletes. The coauthor of Advanced Marathoning and Road Racing for Serious Runners is also a senior writer for Running Times, which features his monthly column, “The Pfitzinger Lab Report.” He is a graduate of Cornell University and earned his master's degree in exercise science from the University of Massachusetts. Pfitzinger lives in Auckland, New Zealand.
Joe Rubio is a two-time U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier with a personal best of 2:18:06. He holds a master's degree in physical education from Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo, and he has served as the head coach of the Asics Aggies running club since 1999. Rubio has also worked with several Olympians and members of World Championship teams, including Linda Somers Smith and Jill (Gaitenby) Boaz. An NCAA Division II All-American in the 5,000 meters, Rubio is the founding partner of Venue Sports.
Jack Youngren received his PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles with a major emphasis in cardiovascular function and adaptation and a minor emphasis in biomechanics. His research on exercise and carbohydrate metabolism led to a faculty position at the University of California at San Francisco, where he is investigating the effects of aerobic exercise on insulin action and glucose metabolism. Youngren is a lifelong competitive runner and has raced distances ranging from the 400 meters to the half-marathon. He has also trained and competed as an enthusiastic cyclist and a reluctant triathlete. Youngren provides coaching for members of the storied West Valley Track Club.