High School History Teacher, Run Club Leader, and the Newest Runner’s World Coach


The moment PJ Thompson introduced himself to the Runner’s World+ community via his member profile page, it was clear he was, in his words, “ready to take over the world.”

The Austin, Texas, resident founded a local run community in his southeast corner of the city—the St. Elmo Runners—in 2019. It was a natural way for Thompson to meet his neighbors, strengthen town unity, and share his passion for running. Since the pandemic hit, the club has raised $5,000 for the Central Texas Food Bank in partnership with the Morning Jo’s and Austin Runners Club.

This past year has also inspired Thompson to pursue a career in education, hanging up his advertising and sales hat at least for now. As a full-time high school government and economics teacher, mentorship comes naturally to the community leader. When the pandemic canceled team sports for his students, he helmed the school’s cross-country team, adding basketball and football players to the roster in effort for all athletes to compete in an activity while staying safe.

And as if the new instructor and coach didn’t have enough on his plate already, PJ and his wife, Trisha, welcomed their first child last spring. Yet despite all of these commitments, there is not a more engaged Runner’s World+ member. On Instagram and the group’s community page, he didn’t just ask questions. He became an active motivator, using his RRCA-certified credentials to help fellow members with training tips or encouraging words. The editors noticed. Which is why he appeared on the cover of the first ever Runner’s World member issue last summer.

And yet, we still felt like he could change the world even more with a larger platform. Which is why we have invited Thompson to become an official Runner’s World Coach, joining Coach Jess Movold. Together, the duo will train, inspire, and challenge more than 25,000 Runner’s World+ members.

To get exclusive workouts, motivation, and expert tips from Coach PJ (plus a ton of additional tools and resources) join Runner’s World+ now. If you are already a member, keep up with Coach PJ on Instagram and stay tuned as he helps us all become better runners.

Here, Coach Jess gets to know Coach PJ a little better with a few questions of her own:

Coach Jess: Why do you run?

Coach PJ: Running brings out emotion in me that I don’t exhibit anywhere else. Those profound feelings stemming from buried memories, pain, etc. all come out during a run in addition to the joy of propelling myself forward on my own two feet. My run is the meeting place and marriage of every emotion I am feeling or want to avoid feeling in the moment. My run is therapy.

Coach Jess: What is your favorite time to get out the door?

Coach PJ: The earlier the better is great. I love to be on a run at sunrise. In Austin that is 7-7:30~ when the sun is breaking through the trees along the trails, over the lake or the hill ahead.

    Coach Jess: What comes to mind during a challenging run where you’re tempted to quit?

    Coach PJ: My simple mantra of 1, 2, 1, 2 and Run Baby Run keep me going when I am tempted to quit. In also dialing back the pace momentarily whenever a tough course, nutrition lapses or whatever the challenge is that arises changing my pace and repeating this mantra to myself allows me to continue my run.

    Coach Jess: What keeps you from hitting the snooze button?

    Coach PJ: My avoidance to hitting the snooze button goes to my internal motivation and sense of accomplishment that comes from simply moving my body. I know that I just have to get out the door, which is the hardest part, in order to reach that running happy place.

    Coach Jess: What’s your final-mile-victory song?

    Coach PJ: Cold War Kids ‘Miracle Mile’ has the beat to keep me moving and the lyrics to serve as a coach in my ear until I reach the finish line.

    Coach Jess: Favorite track workout?

    Coach PJ: I love 300 meter repeats. It’s a slow build into the 200 meter turn in which you think about coming off the turn like Usain Bolt. I can dream right? Build for the first 100, lean into a 5K pace over the next 100 before holding this pace for the final 100 home. Recover 100 before the fun begins again.

    Coach Jess: What would you like to see develop and change in the running community and how do you see yourself being a part of that?

    Coach PJ: What I see needing to change within the running community is a continued emphasis on inclusivity for all bodies, backgrounds and interests across distances, but on top of that and this is where I see myself is providing leadership and motivation for people to take up the sport who feel intimidated to do so. The “inclusivity phase” and open door policy of running hasn’t plateaued and it never should, but cheerleading the efforts of others with a dash of motivational coaching is needed to keep people moving today, tomorrow and next year. I’ll be the voice in your ear when you don’t want to run, fear showing up or think running is no longer for you. Let’s go, 1…2…1…2!

      Coach Jess: What’s on your running bucket list? Give us your top three.

      Coach PJ: To help hundreds of people complete their first marathon healthy and strong, to PR my marathon time in running any of the World Marathon Majors and to complete a road race while pushing my son in his stroller.

      Coach Jess: I’d love to know what your proudest moment in running so far.

      Coach PJ: My proudest moment in running was New York 2017. The wife and I used our shakeout run to head to city hall in getting our marriage license. Two days later, now married, we ran NYC in raising money for a local charity, the Flatwater Foundation.

      Coach Jess: If we were to race a mile, who’d win?

      Coach PJ: Coach Jess all the way if we’re talking roads. If we’re talking trails, I run with a “downhill with no brakes” mentality so without fear of face planting I think I would edge you out. Austin Greenbelt head-to-head maybe?


      Join RW+ with thousands of others who are chasing their goals with day-by-day training plans, expert advice from editors and Coach Jess and Coach PJ, and unlimited digital access. We regularly feature members online and in print.

        This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io





Source link

Get in Touch

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Foot Locker ‘Home Game’ is Bringing BIG Prizes to All-Star Weekend 2021

Foot Locker is spending all day rolling out crazy products and unique experiences to fans in celebration of this historic NBA All-Star Weekend....

Microsoft starts testing Edge Chromium browser on Xbox

Microsoft has started publicly testing its new Edge Chromium-powered browser on Xbox consoles. Xbox testers in the Alpha Skip-Ahead group can...

‘People want to see America change’

Mar 3, 2021Eric WoodyardESPN Earvin "Magic" Johnson is proud of this generation of NBA athletes. They're more versatile on the court and have...

Get in Touch

21,308FansLike
2,507FollowersFollow
17,300SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Posts

Foot Locker ‘Home Game’ is Bringing BIG Prizes to All-Star Weekend 2021

Foot Locker is spending all day rolling out crazy products and unique experiences to fans in celebration of this historic NBA All-Star Weekend....

Microsoft starts testing Edge Chromium browser on Xbox

Microsoft has started publicly testing its new Edge Chromium-powered browser on Xbox consoles. Xbox testers in the Alpha Skip-Ahead group can...

‘People want to see America change’

Mar 3, 2021Eric WoodyardESPN Earvin "Magic" Johnson is proud of this generation of NBA athletes. They're more versatile on the court and have...

Why Nikola Jokic is drawing comparisons to LeBron James and Luka Doncic

TIM CONNELLY SENSED something was off with Nikola Jokic. A year after selecting the center No. 41 overall in the 2014 NBA draft,...

From Jordan to LeBron, our experts pick every NBA franchise’s greatest dunker

A dunk is worth just two points, but the best dunkers in the world always find ways to make it feel like more.From...