At Gym Source, we appreciate the importance of personal trainers. That’s why we regularly spotlight local trainers making a big impact on their clients’ well-being. We’re proud to feature Rick Muhr from Grafton, Massachusetts. Rick is a marathon runner and coach for the Boston Marathon and Octane Fitness. He has coached more than 15,000 runners. His marathon personal best is 2:33:13 and has shown his versatility in distances from the 5K to 24-hour ultramarathons.
GS: Tell us about the work you do coaching runners for the Boston Marathon and Octane Fitness.
I’ve been coaching runners for the past 20 years, focusing on the Boston Marathon. I work with charity runners mostly, but I also train qualified runners interested in improving their personal bests. I also coach runners hoping to qualify for the Olympic Trials. I get the most satisfaction out of helping runners realize their potential. I’ve learned there’s nothing stronger or more compelling than the human spirit, particularly when it’s tested. Running a marathon can test your personal, emotional and spiritual limits – it’s extremely empowering when someone overcomes a significant challenge. My running career began with the sole focus of trying to improve my running times from the 5K to ultramarathons. Coaching others has completely overshadowed all my personal accomplishments. True greatness is not what we accomplish ourselves; it’s the greatness that we inspire in others!
GS: What are your favorite pieces of fitness equipment?
The Octane Zero Runner is the most innovative training tool I’ve seen in my career. It allows me to run with zero impact, utilizing my running form. In fact, it has actually improved my running form because it activates my posterior chain better than running. I believe so passionately in the Zero Runner that I was an ambassador for several years and recently joined the Octane Fitness team to promote the commercial version to trainers and members of health clubs throughout the country. I use the Zero Runner for active recovery from a higher intensity workout. When I’m training for a marathon or beyond I complete most of the miles beyond 10 miles (when my form has diminished and I’m greater risk of injury) on the Zero Runner. I still benefit from the additional miles but experience zero soft tissue damage. I have clients that have had hip and knee replacements or runners that haven’t been able to run for years, they can run again on the Zero Runner. Also, I purchased a Schwinn indoor cycle from Gym Source over 20 years ago and it’s still a mainstay in my fitness arsenal. It looks as good as the day I purchased it!
GS: How did you get involved in fitness and training?
I was an extremely active child and had an interest in testing my physical limits from a very early age. I participated in baseball and basketball through high school but always enjoyed riding my bicycle long distances. I started running my senior year in high school to prepare for the United States Air Force boot camp in San Antonio, Texas and discovered my love for it. I attempted my first marathon in Richmond, Virginia after being assigned to my first duty station. I ran 2 hours 59 minutes and 55 seconds and just qualified for the Boston Marathon by 5 seconds. I have since qualified for the Boston Marathon in each of my 35 marathons spanning 4 decades. I have also been a cyclist for most of my life. Being an endurance motorcyclist requires as much physical training and mental fortitude as any activity I have participated in. After the bombings at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon, I was reminded how precious life is and the importance of chasing my dreams. I completed the Four Corners Tour of the United States by riding my BMW motorcycle 12,000 miles circumnavigating the United States. During that ride I tested my limits by riding cross country from Jacksonville, Florida to San Diego, California in 40 hours and 35 minutes…without sleeping.
GS: What do you think about the state of the fitness industry?
It is such an exciting time to be in the fitness industry. Crossfit and Spartan races have added an entirely new dimension to strength, conditioning and endurance training. There’s so much more creativity and science behind training that will fuel the future of the fitness industry. Most importantly, I consider it an honor and privilege to be involved in this industry and help others to live healthier and more productive lives and inspire them to test their limits and chase their dreams.
GS: What’s your motto when it comes to training?
Consistency and moderation are the cornerstone of remaining injury-free and motivated. A well-timed rest day is as important as a great workout. Recovering properly, receiving sufficient rest and proper nutrition are the areas that represent the area of greatest opportunity for improvement for most athletes. I encourage people to get comfortable being uncomfortable and try new things. Completing essentially the same workouts relative to time and intensity isn’t nearly as beneficial as incorporating new activities and various levels of duration and intensity.
GS: How does Gym Source support your work with your clients?
I ALWAYS recommend Gym Source to my clients. Gym Source carries the most revolutionary equipment in the country. Couple that with the best product knowledge, customer service and maintenance team and they quickly become a very compelling arrow in my quiver of taking care of my clients.
Location: Rick lives with his wife Lori, and two children Rider and Macie, in Grafton Massachusetts. Visit him on coachrickmuhr.com , themarathonsolution.com and marathoncoalition.com for more information.