My name is Patrick Gildea. I’m an avid runner and a former professional athlete. And, I’m also the Head Coach at the Knoxville Distance Project.
Running is my passion. And helping people start running or improve their running is one of the greatest joys of my life.
When I was training and running professionally it was my goal to get the most out of my ability. Always pushing to get that last drop out of myself. Striving to get another personal record … a top 10 finish.
Now … I run for fitness.
Running is an act of self-care. It gets me outside the house in the fresh air. When I go for a run, it clears my mind and gives me time to think about my day.
When I run, it gives me great satisfaction. But I’ve discovered the greatest satisfaction is helping others find and maximize their running abilities.
I’ve had some great coaches and mentors that have helped me become a better runner. I relish the interaction and the communication with runners, of all ability levels. It’s fun and energizing, yet challenging to try and put together a training program that is designed in the person’s best interest.
I love every aspect of coaching.
When a person sets a running goal and then accomplishes their goal, there is no better feeling as a running coach.
I enjoy motivating people in unique ways. Everyone loves a good quote … but quotes can only get you so far.
When you’re struggling in a race, the quote on the mirror that you stared at every day may quickly be forgotten. But, the principles that I teach as a coach can be more lasting during those difficult times in a race.
I like helping people overcome challenges.
Nine times out of ten, it’s more than a run. Sometimes it’s therapy and other times it’s a gathering of friends on a chilly morning.
Whichever it may be, I genuinely enjoy the process of getting to know each person I work with individually, trying to map out what works best for them and implementing those pieces into their training.
The magnitude of reward in the coaching profession is where the thrill is. When I see people make improvements, it draws me closer to them and makes me their biggest cheerleader. I want to see them succeed just as much or more than they want to succeed themselves.
In closing, I believe in a holistic training approach to running. You have a family and friends in us who will support you and your running goals.
Training needs to be all-encompassing though it shouldn’t be all-consuming. Your training requires flexibility and balance and structure. Those are the three pillars that Knoxville Distance Projects stands on.
I am really excited to have this opportunity to be a guest blogger for KnoxvillePage and bring my expertise to you about running. Whether it be in training for your first 5k, improving your 5k time, running a marathon, or keeping overall good health … I can help you achieve your running goals.
I’ll submit regular articles about training, tips, and tactics … and I’ll share some personal stories about my own journey as a runner.
If you have anything in particular that you’d like me to cover, let me know. I’d love your input.
Thanks, Knoxville … let’s get moving in 2020!
Knoxville Distance Project