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Second Chance Marathoner

Caleb Brown crossing the finish line at the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon.

Caleb Brown
Age: 28
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Occupation: Writer

The Challenge

Although he had participated in high school and college sports (football, track, lacrosse), Caleb Brown viewed running as his least favorite activity. While he excelled at sprinting, his asthma kicked in when he tried running long distances. In college, a teammate asked him to run, so they did 2 miles. When he attempted a third mile, he got sick.

This solidified his decision to eliminate endurance sports from his life. While sitting at home in Texas one day, he got bored and decided to get out and exercise. He walked/jogged 10 miles. For the next 40 days, he continued to walk/run 10 miles a day.

After relocating to Los Angeles, California, Brown continued running. He set his sights on the 2007 Los Angeles Marathon and joined a marathon training program. The pace was too slow for his liking, so he decided to train alone and run the Huntington Beach Half Marathon for practice. He finished in 1:45.00. With a good half marathon time and tons of advice (some good, some bad) from fellow runners, he felt ready for the big race.

At the Los Angeles Marathon, he was running well until mile 10. He’d been advised to start speeding up at mile 10, so he pushed forward and hit a wall a mile later. Determined to finish the race in under 4 hours, Brown ran until mile 22 when he lost feeling in his arms and legs. He fell, blacked out, and woke up in the hospital.

Brown had suffered three seizures as a result of dehydration and heat stroke. After recovering, he decided to give running another shot, but this time he’d do it the right way.

The Results

While looking for running books to help kickstart his training, Brown saw Core Performance Endurance. As soon as he started reading about proper running mechanics, he knew he’d found the right program. With guidelines from the book, he ran the Huntington Beach and Big Sur Half Marathons. A fellow runner asked him to do the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon, and he agreed. Unfortunately, his busy life soon became a roadblock to his training.

“I was running only on the long-run days, and it was harder and harder to keep up,” he says.

After a 13-mile run left him feeling over-extended (reminiscent of his botched first marathon attempt), Brown decided to visit the Core Performance Center. After an initial assessment, he learned that his left knee was collapsing inward when he ran instead of staying properly aligned.

The team put together a customized training program to help him strengthen his body to support his knee and work on getting him in better condition for the upcoming race. He trained for the next three weeks leading up to the marathon. He immediately felt a difference in his joint and muscles.

When race day came, Brown used the lessons he learned during his training program. He worked hard to pace himself, and when he wanted to go faster he listened to his body. With an even tempo, he successfully completed his first marathon. He didn’t finish in under 4 hours—his goal from his first marathon—but he finished.

“One week after the marathon, my legs felt ready for the next challenge, and there’s another race coming up soon,” he says. “Thanks to the Core Performance Center, I know I can finish my next race without ending up in the hospital.”

Tags: Outdoor Recreation, Running, Success Story

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