This week’s Tuesday Topic is:  Interview your favorite blogger.  You can write about this topic or feel free to post any running related blog post.   Feel free to post any running related blog post.  Remember to link up with Kim and Zenaida!  Visit at least two of the other linked posts – the more the merrier!  Remember to come back for later linkers!

My running coach is Juan J. Arrieta.  I’ve known him for a few years (we met when I was a BibRave Pro) and have been working with him for over a year.  I took a few weeks off last month because I was feeling tired and not motivated to run.  Now we are working together again as I train for a 50k.  

I enjoy working with him and love his workouts.  I love how he motivates and encourages me.  He also knows the right words to say when I have a great and a bad run.  For this post I decided to ask him a few questions so that you can all get to know him. 


What made you decide to start running?  I was looking for ways to develop my endurance and stamina to do better as a racquetball player, and someone recommended running could help me do that. Before long, I had switched entirely to running and stopped playing racquetball altogether!

What was your first race?  My first race ever was a charity 5k, the Fort Bend Habitat for Humanity.

What was your best or worst race?  My worst race was probably one of the most important ones in my growth as a runner; it was the College Station Marathon. I didn’t train or prepare properly for it, physically or mentally, and also did a lot of things wrong in terms of nutrition, pacing, etc.  I feel my best race so far has been the Glass City Half Marathon this past year in which I did the complete opposite of what I did in College Station.  It resulted not just in a personal best time, but also in pure enjoyment from beginning to end. It was an unforgettable day for me, one that I will treasure forever. 

What’s on your Winter/Spring bucket list?  Next year in winter I want to go to Hawaii and run the Honolulu Marathon; it is definitely a bucket race for me. 

If you could go on a run with any celebrity, who would you go with?  I feel it’d be Will Smith, not just because I believe he is a great actor, but I also admire him as a human being and feel that he’d have a lot of life lessons he’d share that I could learn from.  

If you could run anywhere in the world, where would you run?  Japan.  I’d love to get into the Tokyo Marathon one day and run it, but if I can’t, I’d still love to visit and run a few times there.

How do you stay motivated to run?  Running is now part of my everyday life and will continue to be until the day I die. It is simply part of who I am. It helps me keep things in balance in addition to being great for my health, both physically and mentally.  I also know that even on the days in which I may be tired or not feeling up to it, there are several positives that come from being disciplined and staying consistent, so that helps me stay motivated throughout the year.

What are you training for now?  Right now I’m training for the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon and the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon as well.

Five words to describe yourself.  Friendly, learner, passionate, driven, and caring.

You recently moved to San Antonio, what do you like about running there?  I love how well-developed the running trails are here and all the options we have all over the city, as well as the variety in the terrain they all offer. They serve as an excellent training ground and environment to be around.

What is your favorite and least favorite part about being a running coach?  My favorite aspect of being a coach is connecting with each and every athlete I work with, listening to them, and sharing the various things I’ve learned over the years in a way that helps them reach their goals.  My least favorite part is not being able to meet in-person more with those I coach. There are many things that are difficult to evaluate, convey, and understand through online, digital, and phone communications.

What are some of your running pet peeves?  Can’t think of any at the moment.

Is there a popular race you never want to run?  Ha! I don’t think I would ever do something like the Western States 100 even though it is extremely popular with a lot of people.  I admire those who compete in it, but that is just something which I never see myself doing.

Make sure to follow Juan on Instagram and Twitter!

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19 Comments on Tuesday Topics: An interview with my running coach

  1. Wow, what a cool coach you have, Zenaida! Juan is a very experienced runner and I like how he describes his worst marathon. He is quite right, mistakes help us to learn and grow.
    I heard that Will Smith is working on a book together with Mark Manson. I’m sure Juan will enjoy reading it.

  2. I enjoyed reading this. And good luck for your 50k – I did the distance back in 2019 and if I can do it, anyone can do it – if you pop to my blog and search for Race to the Stones you can find info on my training if that helps at all.

  3. Yes, Juan seems great! I love his passion for running. i know you’ve been working with him for a while- it must be a good partnership.

  4. As with the coaching, it was an honor to have worked on this blog post with your Z—keep up the great work you’re doing!

Thank you for your comment!