NOVA Featured Runner – David Cole

By | December 30, 2019
David Cole

From Coach Jerry: David had a truly incredible fall.  When David returned to the team at the end of a summer of high mileage, he was an entirely new runner.  With the newfound confidence from his high fitness level, David set ambitious goals for the season, and not only met those goals, he exceeded them.  David has much more room to grow, and I’m excited to see even bigger things from him in 2020.  

1) What are your PRs (5k, 10K, Half/Marathon, any others?

Current (non net downhill) PRs (all from this fall)

5k- 18:52, 10k- 39:02, half marathon- 1:24:30,  marathon- 3:04:08

2) Goal race(s) for this year? Other races planned?

This spring I’ll run a series of races from 5k- half marathon, culminating in a marathon.

3) What do you consider your best race performance to date?

A PR at the 2019 Richmond half marathon.  I had run a 10k the Sunday before so had a good idea of where my fitness was.  In the 5 days leading up to the half I took it particularly easy.  I think for those reasons the half went really smoothly from start to finish.  It probably helped that this race distance happens to be my favorite.

4) How and when did you find NOVA, and what do you like best about the team?

I teach at T.C. Williams and noticed a NOVA workout years ago.  In 2017 I decided to take up running in earnest as a way to lose some weight.  After losing the weight I ran the Marine Corps Marathon for the first time & surprised myself by qualifying to run the Boston Marathon.  That sparked a desire to focus on improving fitness, so I joined NOVA in January 2018.  It’s the first running team I’ve been a member of. 

I like the positive attitudes and feeling of teamwork.  I also like the fact that Tues. night workouts are at Wakefield and T.C. Williams (because I live between the two). 

5) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from Coach Jerry, and/or another member of the NOVA club? 

Coach Jerry is spot on when recommending certain paces (and corresponding amount of time for recovery) for workouts.  The importance of taking it easy after running longer races. Appreciating achievements and not being so hard on yourself. 

I’ve learned a lot from members.  A few things off the top of my head: 

The balancing act of running up to 100 miles/week with workout and recovery days spaced out appropriately.

Greg Swiatocha and Pat Wheeler taught me the importance of running really easy before and after workouts/races.  On recovery days jogging/running at a really relaxed pace just to get the blood flowing and use different muscle fibers.                     

Mike Naff & Kelly MacDonald taught me the importance of regularly running hills… fitting them in whenever possible.  Especially in the beginning weeks of a running cycle.  As a result, running on the flat feels easier. 

Jessica McGuire taught me to use the online VDOT calculator as a tool to know where you stand fitness-wise.  In that way you can be sure to run workouts at the proper pace and set realistic goals/pacing for races.

6) What thoughts do you have on your performance at the Rehoboth Beach Marathon, or other recent races?

The night before and morning of the Rehoboth Beach Marathon I thought of not running it. I had a cold and had not been sleeping well leading up to it, and it was really windy the morning of the race.  But in the end was glad to give it a shot.  I don’t know if I’ll choose to run a marathon along/near the beach again (because of the potential wind factor).

7) What non-running fitness related (or other) activities do you enjoy?

In the off season (for me summer and over Christmas/new years) I love to go backpacking out west, hiking up to ~22 miles a day.  I started backpacking at age 13 and have done it throughout my life so am pretty wired into this.  After getting accustomed to physically carrying 30-40 pounds up and down mountains for periods of time, running feels easier.

I also like cycling in the off season… a favorite is riding Skyline Drive in Shenandoah.     

I also like to take naps with my right hand man, Dolce (he’s a cat).  Reading about personal finance (what I teach), exploring caves, board games, tennis, racquetball, and ping pong are other favorite activities.