Rachel VanHale Henke — Running and Endurance Coach
I ran my first marathon when I was sixteen. I decided to run it with three friends from my high school cross country team. Initially, we thought we needed to run 2 hours every single day to train. It wasn’t until my parents insisted I find a training plan that we figured out that wasn’t the way to go. We would stop for bagels and occasionally stop at the beach to “ice” our legs in Lake Superior during our training runs. We had it all figured out…obviously. Surprisingly, I finished despite only consuming a couple glasses of water and a stick of gum during the race.
Since that race, I’ve run more than 20 marathons, skied nine American Birkebeiners, and finished many triathlons (including two IRONMANs). Am I fast? Not really. I’ve had my moments of greatness, as defined by my own personal expectations. I’ve also had some really low points (ask me about it sometime, I’ve got some stories for you!). What keeps me signing up for these events is the camaraderie with other the racers, the rush of pushing yourself even when you don’t think you have anything left to give, and the satisfaction of keeping a promise you made to yourself.
Luckily, I’ve learned a few things about training and racing since that first marathon! I’ve become a RRCA-certified run coach, a NASM-certified personal trainer, and have always enjoyed helping people get started in endurance sports and sharing all this hard-won knowledge. We learn so much about ourselves and our self-imposed limits as we train and race. We are stronger than we think we are!
I transitioned from my former job as an ER nurse to pursue personal training to to help other people achieve their own greatness. After working out at Bodies by Burgoon for a last year, I knew I wanted to learn under their guidance. The fun, positive atmosphere, the friendly people, and the smart trainers all make Bodies by Burgoon the ideal place!