Q&A with FastForward Director Scott Fliegelman

27 04 2009

The below comes from an interview I gave today for a running magazine.  I thought I’d print it here just in case they decide to cut me out of the actual published piece:)

Tell me a little bit about your connection to the local running community.

As owner and head coach of FastForward Sports, I’ve helped over 2,500 aspiring and perspiring athletes in Boulder and Denver to reach their goals from 5K to Marathon, and Sprint to Ironman.

How are you giving back/influencing others through your occupation/volunteer work/community participation?

In addition to my company’s direct influence on the quality of our athlete’s lives, I also provide an opportunity for 30+ coaches per year to share their knowledge and passion for running, triathlon, fitness, and fun. Many have only a few extra hours per week to dedicate to coaching, and as FastForward handles all of the business details, they are free to focus solely on leading fun and rewarding group workouts and a bit of e-mail follow up throughout the week.

Are you in your dream job? If not, what would it be?

I’ve often said that if I hit the lottery, then I’d still be doing exactly the same job… I’d just have more cool bikes!

What’s your own personal running schedule during a typical week?

As we have an amazing 9-month-old baby boy around these days, I’m limiting my own training and racing to a few local races this season, while supporting my wife’s desire to get back in the game after being pregnant last year. She just ran the Boston Marathon last week!

Who in the running community do you admire and why?

I have learned much about running, coaching, and being a mensch from Bobby McGee, who has the ability to make any level of runner feeling like an Olympic champion.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?

I played division one college and a bit of professional tennis, as well as competed professionally as a snowboard racer before becoming an endurance athlete. I did however, once leave in the middle of a college tennis match to go run the intramural mile (4:52), as my fraternity was really counting on me for the points.

Tell me a story related to your work that touched you or changed your outlook?

A few years ago, I chatted with an F4 participant and told him that he was coming too often to our group workouts and needed to take a break or become over trained. He told me that he didn’t have much to go home to after work each day, that he was divorced and his kids lived with his wife, and that looking forward to getting out and running with his FastForward friends was what helped get him through most days. I learned that the value of what we provide often has less to do with the exact number of intervals run, or percentage of lactate threshold attained, or a set of goals defined by others, but rather that by connecting an energetic and well informed group of coaches with an incredibly diverse group of eager athletes, the results will come and the definition of success is up to each individual.

What can people learn from running?

As running and most endurance sports results have much to do with genetics, our athletes have learned to compare themselves mostly with their own baseline fitness and potential as an athlete. F4 athletes race within their own bubble, paying little attention to other faster or slower racers, controlling only those things that may help them to reach the finish line within their own set of goals.

Can running change the world? The community? The individual?

I don’t get up on the soap box all that often, but I do believe that sustained weight management can not be done successfully without incorporating regular exercise; regardless of diet. The secret to sustained regular exercise is that it has to be fun, frequent, and quite likely involve a high level of social interaction. FastForward runners come back season after season, even though they already have last year’s training schedule, because they find a contagious level of fun and camaraderie, and the net result is usually improved self image and faster racing times

What’s your next challenge/goal/dream?

I believe I have the blessing/ curse of having just enough genetic potential to qualify for and race in the World Triathlon Championships in Kona, HI. While I’m taking a one-year hiatus from the sport this year, I do expect to resume my efforts in 2010 or 2011. As is the case for most Ironman competitors, the secret to success likely lies not in how fast I can swim, bike, and run, but rather how intelligently can I meter out my fitness on the day, while minimizing and responding productively to the inevitable challenges that will come my way during a 10 hour event. Stay tuned…

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One response

27 04 2009
Matt

Great interview! Let us know if it gets published.

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