Q & A with Steve

I’ve been working with Steve for quite a while now (all online). He recently finished a marathon, took some time off and is now back training. I felt it was the right time that the rest of the blogosphere learned some interesting facts about him. Below, you’ll see some questions I asked him about training, running, motivation and more!

Motivational Answers from Running Shuster
Q & A with Steve Shuster

How long have you been running?

I started running track in 10th grade.  My ‘main’ events were the 4×100, 4×400 and the High Jump.  I was terrible at all of them!  Then in my junior year, I was coming back from a finger injury.  You know, one of those devastating track injuries.  The whole distance team was punished for not doing something coach wanted, they had to run the 2-mile but because of my injury, I was exempt.  I thought I am part of the team, I can do this and then I had a bet with a guy that if I could beat him in the two-mile that I would run cross country the following year (what a nerd bet!).  Turns out I beat him and then my distance career started.

My first 5k was a Labor Day run prior to my Senior year of high school (2001).  In my Senior year, I went out for Cross Country and ended up being the third runner on the team consistently.  After that, I ran one year of college Cross Country and then took some time off.

Since then I have been training on my own or working with a coach always trying to get better and stronger!

The short answer is: about 18 years

What are you currently training for? Why did you pick this race?

Currently, I am in a cycle training for an October half marathon.  I figured it was the right time of the year and I would have plenty of time to train to do something special.  I also have a half on the calendar for September (tune-up) and one in December (trying to PR this course).

Questions about running, motivation, training and his racing goals
TrainwithMarc interviews Steve Shuster

Half marathons are my favorite race distance, so I try to keep my calendar full of them!

What does your monthly running consist of? What type of runs are you doing and what do you prefer the most?

Every month seems like it is different for me. I reviewed my last year and a half of training and my miles range monthly from 0 to about 110. During a month where I am not injured and training in a fairly consistent way, I have about 2 basic 2-5 mile runs, a speed/tempo run, and a long run. My favorite runs are tempo runs. I love them and hate them all at one time. They are hard and hurt but I feel like they give you a great idea of where you are and show that you can do more than easy runs. They are a special kind of inspiration.

Roughly how many miles do you run a week?

I usually live in the 20-30-mile week range.  I would love to live in the 30-40 mile per week range, but my body doesn’t always allow for that level of mileage. I find that I start to break down once I hit that 30-40 range. The most miles that I ever logged in a week was about 70.

TrainwithMarc Interview with Steve Shuster
Running Interview with Steve Shuster

What are your running and racing goals?

Currently, my goals are simple to say but will be difficult to complete. One is to run a half marathon in under 1:30. My PR is about 1:34 right now so this is something that I can attain but I will need to put all the little things together to get it right.

My other goal is to run a half marathon in every state. This is a long-term goal, but I want to make progress on it as often as I can. This year, I plan on running in two new states (Delaware and West Virginia). Once I finish these, I will have 5 states completed.

What’s your favorite race distance?

I think that I am a half marathoner until the end.  I enjoy the occasional 5k just to be able to see some speed, but the half marathon is my calling.  It is far enough you need to be disciplined and want to work, but it isn’t so long that you risk too much.

Interview with Steve Shuster
Interview with Steve Shuster

What’s the best part about using TrainWithMarc as your running coach?

Having the structure that I am not trying to put together. I don’t always trust myself to put together a great plan. The other great thing is Marc always knows when I need to back off. There are times that I can feel things are wrong, but he can always tell me if it is something to push through or something to get help with.

Without his help, I never would have completed a full marathon!

What have you learned about yourself because you’re a runner?

The biggest thing I have learned about myself is that I cannot rely only on me. I lean on Coach Marc for advice, training plans and support. I trust my wife to take care of my son, allow me the time to get my training in, and for all her support. She is an awesome woman who understands me and is always supportive of me and my crazy endeavors! I rely on God to give me all my provisions, without Him, I wouldn’t have anything. I would lack strength, wisdom, and the ability that I do have.

Learning to trust and rely on others is not something that ever came easy for me. Through all of the years of running, it has been revealed to me numerous times that someone is always there to help and all you need to do is ask.

What are the top 3 “little things” you do to prevent injuries?

I feel like this question should be phrased, what are the top 3 “little things” you should do, to prevent injuries. I have always been very bad about maintaining myself when it comes to the little things. As I have aged though, I find it necessary to do more of the little things. I have tried to add strength and core work to my weekly routine. While I need to do it more, I have added foam rolling to my routine (about 2-3 times a week). I also have made sure that when things start acting up, that I get back to the basic stretches and exercises that have been prescribed by numerous physical therapists and doctors. This seems to make the issues go away.

How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

I don’t think that there is really a time where this happens.  I know that might sound kind of nerdy, but I just love to run.  I feel good when I run, I feel disciplined when I run, I feel focused when I run.  I just had a 5-6 week break after my marathon and I didn’t know what to do with myself.  I started getting antsy and didn’t know what to do with the extra time.  I think I ended up spending much of the time on the couch sleeping or watching tv.  While I got to spend some extra time with my wife and my son (which was amazing), the other parts of the time were just lazy, and I couldn’t stand that.

How have you invested in yourself to get better as a runner? Read any books?

The first thing I did was to get a running coach.  While I can make training plans myself (and I did for many years), there is just something special about having a coach.  Marc understands me as a runner and that has helped so much.  Without his help, I would have never run a marathon.  Having him has saved me from so many injuries and quite possibly from giving up.

Q & A Running Interview
Q & A Running Interview

Some other things that I do are read books and magazines.  I am in love with Runner’s World. Each issue always has something that I can take away and learn from (cooking, exercises, tech gear). I also work with a chiropractor so that I can reduce pelvic tilt issues. I also love to read books about runners past and present. My favorite historical runner is Eric Liddell because of his passion for running and his passion for serving others. I recently heard that Ryan Hall is writing a book, which I look forward to reading! Reading books about other runners gives me inspiration and helps me to fall more in love with the sport.


There you have it! A great variety of questions thrown at Steve and his responses. If you’d be interested in doing a Q & A with Marc (different questions, of course), let me know! I’d love to have my readers learn more about you – and of course, promote what it is you do.


Running Coaches Corner
Running Coaches Corner

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Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT & USATF Certified Running Coach
Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT & USATF Certified Running Coach

I am a USATF Track and Field & Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT O2 certified running coach. I have more than 19 years of experience running and more than 10 years of experience coaching runners. Click for more information!

3 thoughts on “Q & A with Steve

  1. deborahbrooks14 August 15, 2018 — 7:14 AM

    Having a detailed plan and a coach sure does help a lot. Sounds like he is in a good spot right now!


  2. Debbie Woodruff August 15, 2018 — 8:42 AM

    It’s always interesting to read about other runners and their goals. Steve is a smart man, he has a good coach!


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