Alec Blenis, CSCS, has been coaching runners and lifters since 2012. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology but turned his scientific interest towards the human body and athletic performance. Alec specializes in helping atypical endurance athletes reach goals that other trainers might consider impossible. Whether you're a nationally ranked powerlifter training for a marathon, a time-crunched executive preparing for a multi-day ultra, or a military athlete attending SFAS, you can rest assured that he has worked with athletes like you. In addition to developing endurance in strength athletes, Alec also takes a unique approach to improving speed & endurance performance and mitigating injury risk through resistance training.
Alec's athletic achievements include a sub-8 hour 50 mile trail run, multiple sub-3 hour marathons including Boston and New York City, and two years as a member of the Spartan Race Professional Obstacle Racing Team. With dozens of ultra marathons and a sub-5:00/mile under his belt while training for physique and strength sports, Alec understands the complexities of a concurrent training program and the challenges of pursuing simultaneous speed, strength, and endurance.
The focus is always on the athlete, not the sport. It's easy to think of an athlete as a "5k runner" or as a "powerlifter" and be limited by those definitions in the ways that we communicate with and train them. Instead, we take every athlete's strengths, weaknesses, unique physiology, and even their personality into account. Rather than only prescribing the classic workouts for a given event, we focus on how to morph the athlete into a better version of themselves, not try to turn them into a different person altogether. Practically, this means that we can't take a cookie-cutter approach to event-specific training. Even for two athletes with the same height, weight, and age trying to improve their 5k time from 21:00 to 20:00, the path for each of them to get their could be wildly different. At the end of the day, coaching is personal; a good training program is designed for the individual first, then adjusted to meet the needs of the event, not the other way around.
Don't make unnecessary sacrifices. Sport-specific training means doing workouts to improve your sport performance, but it doesn't necessitate giving up everything else. Every endurance athlete should be able to do a pull-up and every strength athlete should be able to climb a flight of stairs without gasping for air. There is room in every athlete's training plan for balance, health, and fun.
A great training plan is flexible. Remote coaching allows for personalized programming at a fraction of the cost of in-person training, but feedback from our athletes is inherently limited and we can't be there in person to adjust your workout as you go. As such, it's important for athletes to know how to adjust workouts on the fly when needed. This often means giving goal ranges for your workouts, not hit-or-miss targets, so that you have the freedom to push harder or pull back based on how you feel. Since we check for feedback daily, we can adjust the rest of your program at a moment's notice and make the best out of every circumstance. You should also have flexibility within each training cycle; whether you need to shift training forward a day, back-off during a stressful work week, or plan a spontaneous vacation, you should be able to do it all without wrecking your program.
At the end of a training program, I don't just want you to be stronger and faster. You should be smarter too. My goal as a coach is to teach my athletes how to listen to their bodies, make intelligent decisions about their training, and ultimately, how to coach themselves. It's important to know the "why" behind the workouts. If you don't know why you're doing something, you probably shouldn't be doing it.
Rage Geringer - April 2018
"We just hit 9 months of working together. A year ago last weekend, I ran my first ever 5k. I mainly swam occasionally and did Crossfit. I ran a 23:37 and was stoked because I broke 8min/mile pace and wanted to run more and try a Spartan Race. I weighed around 175. Fast forward to now, I just ran a sub-20min 5k, don't bat an eye at 10 mile runs, and qualified for the Obstacle Course Racing World Championships. I'm down to 162, lean, and lifting heavier weights than when I was big and Crossfitting a lot."
Courtney Scarberry - November 2017
"I was looking for a training plan that incorporated strength with endurance training as I was a chronically-injured runner. I was ready to give up on marathon racing and I was tired of high-mileage seasons that left me drained, hurt, and weak. However, Alec took my running ability to the next level with 'low mileage' and smart, progressive gym work. I PR'd my half marathon by over 5 minutes while training for a full marathon. I never got burnt out. I never wanted to skip a workout. I enjoyed every day of training. Besides getting stronger and faster, Alec restored my love for the sport and changed my perception of what a successful running training plan looks like."
George Kratz - January 2017
"Alec has been awesome! Been hitting PR's all around. Recently hit a 485 back squat and a 20:41 5k while moving up in weight from the 74kg to the 83kg class. I've always been a lifter, but... I finally became a solid runner as well."
Eric Guzman - October 2016
"Alec was great at putting together a program that worked around our travel schedules and allowed us to train together while peaking for the upcoming race. Even with just six weeks to prepare, the training we did was tremendously helpful... we both met our goal times. I ran it in 1:27:45 and Megan ran 1:44!"
Matt Howie - May 2016
"I've found this to be a positive experience. I've learned a lot, particularly about the use of lower intensity work as a "low risk" means of developing greater workload capacity... I was amazed at (for me) how much mileage I was handling while not really being all that sore most of the time and not being affected in squatting, etc."