Mathew Freeman is a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach in Northern California . He has a degree in Kinesiology from Arizona State University and has been in sports his whole life. Mathew has coached every sport you can think of from youth level to high school, and had the honor of coaching Special Olympics Bocce Ball and Basketball in College.
He trains many ways, but his preferred styles is Crossfit with a Strength emphasis. Right now he is training for his SFG Level one Kettlebell Certification. Mathew started running in Junior high. He was not quite the sprinter nor was he that amazing at shot put or discus, so his track coach decided he should run the mile. It was not an instant marriage, but he did not mind it either.
Over the years Mathew has come to enjoy running at a deeper level and is continually improving. He attributes his improvements to the strength training and skill practice. He enjoys running in Annadel State Park, Armstrong Woods, and the Dipsea Trail in Mill Valley. He also LOVES running in Lake Tahoe. While Mathew has learned that he is a much better flat and downhill runner, he finds something very special about running in the hills among the trees.
Let’s see how Mathew answered our run questions:
Q: What drew you to The Run Experience?
A: I was drawn to the run experience because I was very into how Nathan Helming coaches. As a personal trainer and Crossfitter who follows what is going on at San Francisco Crossfit very closely I was intrigued by Nathan’s principles. Everything from the mobility aspect, to strength training and of course running pain free. The only thing that has kept me from running in the past is pain. I saw a post about pain free running and I had to know more.
Q: What is your biggest struggle with running to date?
A: My biggest struggle with running to date is handling the hills. If they are rolling or a long hard climb I tend to break down. If I can get a long enough flat recovery then I can manage. I also found that if I know exactly how far I have to travel uphill I can mentally be prepared to make it. Aside from that as I said earlier remaining pain free was a fight for a long time. I think that is getting better for sure.
Q: What is the best run experience you can remember?
A: When I was training for the Reno Tahoe Odyssey I went with 3 of my running buddies to the Dipsea Trail. Overtime I run with one of these friends we get lost and turn a shorter run to a longer run. The dipsea trail was no exception. From the moment we got out of the car and 2 of our buddies took off and said they warm up while running to our first wrong turn this was a memory I would not forget. Along the trail we ran into “Mary” who was a self proclaimed dipsea sherpa. She decided to lead us since we had already done an extra 3 miles. While leading she was teaching some “questionable running principles.” We listened and followed until the last little “detour” that led us straight through a poison oak grove. Upon getting out of that mess (I was the only one that did not get it) we followed for about a 1/2 mile until my friend had enough. We started to break free and as we did we heard her yell that we were going to get lost and we were making a mistake. 20 minutes later we collided at the same spot. 10.5 miles, getting lost, mary, and poison oak were capped at Parkside Diner with loads of breakfast food. This is a run I will never forget.
Q: What was you last run?
A: I competed in the Reno Tahoe Odyssey with 11 other amazing teammates. That was one of the best experiences ever. I was giving the “2nd hardest” grouping of legs according to RTO but we all did very well. We placed 26th in our division and 66th overall out of over 200 teams. I ran the 2nd, 14th and 26th legs. The 2nd was 5.5 miles in Reno in the heat and I ran under 8 minutes per mile. The second leg was beautiful as I ran the Emerald Bay leg in Tahoe. The downside was 1000 ft elevation gain over 1.5 miles. I still finished with a low 8 minute pace for 6.7 miles. My last in Carson City in the middle of the night was interesting. After almost getting hit by a drunk driver and killing my first 3.5 miles I hit a wall. I learned a lot about fueling for a 26 + hour event. I finished my easiest run with a 8:30 pace or so over 5.7 miles.
Q: What is the hardest run you’ve completed?
A: The hardest run I ever did was probably the second leg of RTO. I have ran longer runs like 15k at Hot Chocolate run, and 1/2 marathon for fun but this was a competition and hills kill me mentally. I had already been awake some 27 hours straight and it was dark. I had told myself that it was going to be tough for so long I almost messed that up. I also did not fuel the way I should have. So although I performed well above what I had hoped it was tough. As I was climbing that hill and a few of the elite runners passed me and disappeared I wanted to stop so bad. This is why I play team sports. I refused to let the team down and their encouragement along the way helped me continue to push.
Q: What is the most motivating song on your playlist?
A: My playlist is pretty extensive. I personally like to run to Stick Figure radio because I have found that Reggae keeps me relaxed and calm. It helps me remember to stay loose and breathe appropriately. However, Eminem’s lose yourself or Rocky’s Gonna Fly Now can always get me moving as well.
Q: What is your favorite post run treat?
A: I have found that I crave one of two things after a long hard run. Pancakes or Steak all depending on the time of the day.
Thanks for sharing Mathew! Cheers to many more miles of running strong!
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