Jun 6, 2024

Zipper Podcast Episode 4: The Importance of Failure and Community ft. Co-Founder of The Track Club, Evan Schwartz

Evan Schwartz, co-founder of The Track Club and Professional Running Coach, shares his story to becoming a full-time running coach and lessons learned.

Zipper Podcast Episode 4: The Importance of Failure and Community ft. Co-Founder of The Track Club, Evan Schwartz

Quick Summary

Evan Schwartz, head coach and co-founder of The Track Club, a Boulder-based elite and community running team, shares his journey from being an athlete to becoming a successful running coach and entrepreneur. He discusses the impact of community, the importance of failing as a learning experience, and the rewards of seeing people grow and enjoy their running. Evan also emphasizes the significance of community and the value of trying new things in the fitness industry.

Key Takeaways:

  • Community plays a crucial role in the success of a coaching business, fostering a sense of belonging and support for athletes.
  • Failing is an opportunity for learning and growth, providing valuable information for future success.
  • The most rewarding aspect of coaching is witnessing personal growth and happiness in athletes, beyond just race results.
  • In the fitness industry, community engagement and trying new strategies are key to building a successful coaching business.
  • Planning and forecasting are essential for the business side of coaching, ensuring financial stability and growth.
  • Evan's journey from athlete to coach and entrepreneur highlights the importance of community, learning from failure, and the rewards of seeing people grow and enjoy their running.

Full Transcript

Chris Alto (00:01.149)

Hey, what's going on? This is Chris with the Zipper podcast. Today we are lucky enough to have Evan Schwartz, who is the head coach and co-founder of the Track Club and has also built a thriving private run coaching business. So we are pretty excited to have him on. Evan, thanks for joining us.

Evan Schwartz (00:29.262)

Yeah, thanks so much for having me. It's good to be able to catch up and chat about stuff again. I think it was, I mean, like a year and a half or something when we first started working together and you first like said, Hey, we should like talk about some stuff. And then I have had nothing, but like you said, thriving success using zipper to build things up. and I'm a full -time running coach now, very much thanks to using zipper and I'm pumped to be able to talk about it.

Chris Alto (00:57.469)

Great. Well, appreciate the plug there. But yeah, today, I mean, we'd love to hear a little bit more about, I mean, you are a pretty impressive athlete yourself. You've Olympic trial qualified for the marathon. You ran in college. But I think we'll let you just hand it off to you and learn a little bit more about your background and what brought you to where you are today. And then we can dive into some more specifics if that works.

Evan Schwartz (01:22.51)

Yeah, for sure. so right now I'm based in Boulder, Colorado, and I was doing the math and I think in about two months from now, it'll be my six year anniversary of being in Boulder. I visited in early 2018 when I was living in Columbus, Ohio. I grew up there. yeah, ran at Ohio States, got

cut my sophomore year from the cross country team. And that turned out to be the best thing ever for me. It got me like really, really into learning the whys and the hows of sports science and training. I started running a lot and I was finishing out my college degree. I worked in a running store, the Columbus running company, ended up getting pretty good at running ran a lot.

like up to like 140, 150 miles a week. Cause I had nothing else to do besides work in a running store. and then I remember after my marathon PR at the California international marathon, 2017, some friends that I ran with in Columbus were visiting Boulder on spring break. And I was like, I've heard of Boulder. I've read running with the Buffaloes. I know all about Colorado, and their, you know, prestigious cross country and track and long distance.

Chris Alto (02:19.037)


Evan Schwartz (02:43.566)

stuff. And so I visited and then a couple months later, I ended up moving out here. and I've been here for six years. yeah, I ran the 2020 Olympic trials and then I was reflecting earlier this year, that I coached at the 2024 Olympic trials and I had two athletes there, Laura three and Mick Isofano. and that was kind of a really fun full circle thing. you know, going from 2020 where I was, you know, really all in.

on running and I had worked in the running industry for years from the running store to moving out here to Boulder, working at Stride, the running power meter foot pod for a couple of years. And then eventually going into full -time running coaching. And I feel like I've seen the sport from all different angles, but I have had the most fun over the past year and a half being able to create my own business and be able to do.

What I love every day, like waking up at 5 30, getting ready to go out and meet people and watch people run at seven o 'clock most days of the week. And then coming back home, if I can get in my run, doing that before looking at all the training data, talking to people on the phone or like meeting up, talking about running and then doing it all again the next day. It has been such a cool journey to kind of go through and see.

how my relationship with running has changed, but it's been really consistent and focused on running, which I feel super lucky and fortunate to do. I couldn't imagine anywhere else right now, to be involved in the running community. It's been amazing even to see how Boulder has changed with the track club. Like you said, kind of at the intro, we started a group social run once a week called Soft Hour, and it's on Wednesdays at 7 a

in early 2020, it was just four of us and we were meeting up, running on soft surfaces. And now, this past week before the Boulder Boulder 10 K we'd over 60 people meet up at scratch and go for a run on the Boulder Boulder course. we had a bunch of partners like scratch was giving out, you know, free coffee, free burritos afterwards. We had a partnership with gooder this month, giving out free sunglasses. Our team is.

Evan Schwartz (05:01.55)

lucky enough to be supported by ASICs with some like high performance standards. And they were able to chip in some shoes for like wear testing and stuff. And so to see that come out of, you know, a transformation over the past four years, and then go to Boulder Boulder and watch people actually be pumped to run a 10 K at altitude on a really hard course has been like such a huge change over six years that I've been here.

and I would say that's probably my really long spiel that I could probably extend, much longer too, but it's been really cool to see that journey in Boulder. but then also specifically with my relationship with running and now being, you know, my own boss and being employed, coaching people and talking about running all day.

Chris Alto (05:47.037)

So cool. Such a cool story. One thing that struck out to me through that is, you know, you're a division one runner at Ohio State, you got cut and that really forced you to learn a lot about the sports science of running. And I'm sure that's made you be a very, very effective coach. Can you talk to us a little bit about that process and how, I guess, what you learned from that? I mean, I'm sure it was a difficult time, but like what you learned from that and how it's impacted your ability to coach today.

Evan Schwartz (06:10.158)


Evan Schwartz (06:15.406)

Yeah, for sure. that is something that I usually try and touch on. Like I try and touch on the subject about what I learned, but I feel like the whole, like maybe chronological timeline is helpful. just because it's good context. I was an okay runner in high school. I ran like a little bit under 16 minutes for cross country, five K and like four 34 in the mile. so like I was pretty good, but not like.

making the state meet not super, super good. I was lucky enough to walk on at Ohio state. And then I had a roster spot my full freshman year. I had a amazing coach, Robert Gary. he left after my freshman year to go to Furman university. He was a two time Olympian in the steeplechase. He ran at Ohio state. He was an amazing coach, fantastic runner, you know, in his own career, but,

able to like look you in the eye as a like 17 just turned 18 year old college freshmen and make me feel like I belong there. He made me feel motivated. And the thing that I feel like I learned starting then, was, you know, he was my college coach freshman year. I had a high school coach, great coaches names, Joe Monda. He was a math teacher at the school. he just retired this year too. And he was a great coach looked at the.

Jack Daniel's training method. So pretty easily printed out book that had, you know, performance lists based on, you know, whatever distance you raced, it would give you exact workout paces. And at the high school level, you just need to get kids to show up and run. and he was a great motivator. My college coach freshman year, great motivator. Sophomore year, a new coach came in. He had coached multiple NCAA champions. I...

people that ended up going on to win the Boston marathon. so he had a bunch of great runners. He approached things a lot more from the sports science side. So he had like a full spreadsheet. You did a three K time trial at the beginning of the year, and it spit out the exact paces that you would run for everything in every workout. And he was able to coach in a different way. And I feel like that was the first time I learned that, you know,

Chris Alto (08:12.541)


Chris Alto (08:21.373)


Evan Schwartz (08:29.454)

there were different approaches that people had in terms of mixing this Venn diagram of training theory from the long distance running side and then coaching. And you could have somebody like go out and run easy and do like a long run, do some workouts and stuff. But if you could like figure out them as a person and really coach them, you didn't have to know like the exact, exact sports science. And I feel like that was my first introduction to that.

I ended up not being fast enough to retain a roster spot. I think I ran 3212 in the 10K and this was in the big 10 super competitive conference. and it was a hugely inspirational thing for me to learn about running because I definitely had like as a 19 year old college sophomore, what felt like my world upended being told like, you know, everybody has.

Chris Alto (09:04.381)

too fast.

Evan Schwartz (09:21.838)

their time that they have to hang up their shoes, your time is now. I really didn't want to do that. And so I learned the basics. I read like every book I could. I went online and I searched as much as I could. And this was like 2012, 2013, 2014. I tried a bunch of things. Some things didn't work. Some things really worked. And I took it upon myself to figure out the process. And part of that process was coaching myself, but then also knowing...

when I had to turn outside of myself and find a coach for myself too. So I had a couple good coaches over that time too. When I worked at the running store, one of the co -founders and co -owners of the Clemus Running Company at the time, Jim Djersovich, he was the biggest reason for my transformation from a pretty good runner into a really good runner. At that time he...

Was the third runner at the original Hanson's project before they got sponsored by Brooks. He was a two 14 marathon or back when people ran in Fila running shoes. he made a world half marathon team. He was a fantastic runner, but he was such a good coach too. He understood the training theory. but he really knew how to talk to people individually and all of those collective experiences. When I decided to finally move out to Boulder and then.

Yeah. Over the past year and a half, two years, when I got more into the full -time coaching side, I really took all of those past experiences to really evaluate how I approached the balance of sports science and the balance of coaching, because people are not just numbers. People are not just data that comes through a training log and people are not just, you know, machines that solely execute a workout and then build up from there.

People have lives and they have jobs and they have stressors outside. The thing that, you know, if anybody is listening that I work with, they've probably heard me say like, life stress does not show up on the training calendar. We have things that get imported from your Garmin watch or from your Strava, but we can't necessarily see all the extra things that come into your life that impact how you might be recovering, how you might have emotional bandwidth to handle a hard session today or.

Evan Schwartz (11:42.318)

Maybe you feel really, really good and we do need to push. those are things that you have to be able to interpret and see from a coaching side. And I feel, like all of those experiences, some of them really negative, like getting cut as a college sophomore, being told that like, I shouldn't run anymore because I wasn't fast enough, to being really positive and, you know, qualifying for the Olympic trials in my second marathon, all of those.

moments in between there were super impactful to inform how I approach coaching, which is a blend of using really informed sports science and constantly striving to find, things on, you know, PubMed or like the latest research from industry experts, the latest trends, even though I don't have anybody to double threshold workouts right now, being very aware of kind of what's going on and then really identifying.

the individualization and the specificity that I can for each person that I work with too. And so that really long buildup and all those experiences have been super impactful for my approach. And it's constantly evolving too. I don't just have a set routine and a set method. I feel like every day is something that I can learn about even like Boulder Boulder, you know, over the weekend, the long weekend at a Memorial Day, we had 25 people run.

A lot of people had great performances. Some people really wish they did better. And I feel like that's a huge opportunity to identify like areas that we could grow for everybody too. And so the process continually evolves. And that's the most exciting thing to me that it's not just like boring, clock in clock out every day.

Chris Alto (13:24.381)

Totally. So was there a point when you're going through this journey when you realized that you wanted to coach professionally and try to be an entrepreneur? And what was that process like or what was that transition like?

Evan Schwartz (13:35.982)

Yeah, I have a couple of friends that have had this experience. So I feel like this is a shared experience. Usually if people are pretty good individual runners, they will have friends that they run with or people in the local community like reach out and say, Hey, do you coach? Do you like know of any coaches? Like I see you, you know, finishing in the top couple spots or like winning local road races. I see you on all the Strava leaderboards.

Do you coach? And I feel like that was something that started happening in like 2015. I had friends that would like reach out and be like, Hey, could you write me a training plan? I know you kind of write stuff for yourself or you have a coach, but would you be willing to like help me with training? And that is a commonality that I've seen over the past 10 years even. I had coached people and back then I said, like, I don't coach, I like can write training and I can talk to you about training, but I don't feel like I'm a coach because.

I was still learning kind of that balance of what I felt comfortable saying coaching was. And it just happened that after I left Stride in 2021 into 2022, I worked at another local running company for a couple of months. And then I felt really motivated and things were moving at the right speed with the track club local group that

that needed to take more of my full -time attention. And so spun it up into just going full -time and it was so scary to start. I had been a part of small local businesses, the Running Store and Stride were both really cool, different ends of the spectrum. Like one online retailer, one very in -person, but really small scale businesses. And so I had seen success growing from really small.

things initially, but it was terrifying and I questioned everything for a couple of months. even still now a little bit, even though I feel a lot more bought in a lot more secure now. I feel like it was just a, yeah, I should probably do this and I probably need to go about it like very officially and not just like have people like offhand requests that I write training for them. And like people say like, I could like send you.

Evan Schwartz (15:59.022)

you know, some nutrition stuff to like cover coaching payment or like I could Venmo you and like, I decided to really take it seriously. And it just so happened that, we kind of overlapped at the same exact time that things were revving up too. So I'm so thankful for that. Cause that made the starting up the business side so easy. So I could really focus on building up, you know, the team, the community focusing on the things I really loved focusing on. but at no point was I like,

serial entrepreneur on my like fourth thing that I was starting. But it was scary at first, but it's been so worth it and so fun from from beginning to.

Chris Alto (16:36.893)

So it sounds like it was pretty organic. It's just over time, you just started to think, okay, maybe I can do this. What gave you confidence? Cause I'm sure, I mean, most entrepreneurs face this, I face this, anybody I'm sure running coaches, personal trainers, gym owners, whatever. They may have like an imposter syndrome. What gave you confidence over time to feel like, wow, now I can really do this?

Evan Schwartz (16:59.246)

Mm hmm. People believing in me when I very outwardly don't believe in myself, like very vocal about not being able to take a compliment or take credit for somebody's performance because I do believe that like my job is to help people feel really confident in themselves, but I don't have a running coach coach, right? Like I don't have a coach necessarily that I work with. I have

a bunch of great mentors that I work with that give me inspiration and ideas on how to work through things. But I don't like, there's no running coach coach to be able to coach other runners who coach other people. To have people like we officially started as a team, like December of 2022 or like very beginning of 2023 to have people show up in Boulder when it is in the single digits and it is dark.

And it is just not feeling like a great time to run outside, but to be there because I am there helping them with the running to like be on the track or like be in communication about how we adjust these types of workouts and stuff, especially at the very beginning when it was winter. that was the thing where, like, I would get in my car afterwards, after I could like warm my hands up to be able to drive home. I would just like.

reflect because my usual process is like post -workout, I think back through everything. I can like catalog and organize and then look at data, when I get home. But like, I had so many moments where I was like, there were just like 10 people running on the track and we started in the dark and like, it's January. That's so cool. Like if I was not here, there's a chance that some of these people would be here running together, but everybody was there, you know, listening to what.

I said at the start and that helped me believe in myself more. It's still something that I'm definitely working on trying to believe in myself more. Cause I feel like then I can believe in other people more and then other people believe in themselves when they see me kind of reflect that. but to have that amount of support and consistency from the athletes I worked with at the start, was just transformational and it was absolutely necessary to be able to get things off the ground too, and not just be like, okay, well we tried it for a couple of weeks.

Evan Schwartz (19:17.582)

Nobody showed up. We'll see you guys later. and like recently we started a, you know, offshoot where we have a open community workout on Thursday evenings and we just put it out there and we had seven people show up for the first one. And by the third session, I think we were at like 18 people, over three weeks, kind of that growth has just been cool to see like, Hey, if we say we're going to be somewhere and people know to show up somewhere, people will be there. And that is so exciting.

Chris Alto (19:18.877)


Evan Schwartz (19:47.246)

to me that people like believe in that. And then when they see other people showing up, they want to be a part of it too.

Chris Alto (19:51.805)

Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. Okay, cool. And then, so when you did start, so you said, I'm going to go and start the business. A lot of times people are very hesitant to do that because there's a lot of unknowns. What were some learnings you had starting the business? Would you change anything if you go back to be more efficient at getting the business off the ground or just any advice you might have for someone who might want to dive in but might be...

a little concerned any pieces of learnings that you have.

Evan Schwartz (20:23.95)

Yeah. I think, I mean, one of the cliche phrases is what the opposite of good is great. So like if you aim to work on stuff way too much and really polish it before getting it out there, chances are you wasted like a couple of days where you might've been able to cast a little bit wider net and find the right person that just needed to see that there was an option. Right. And so, you know, conversations that...

We've had over the past year and a half, I tell you like, I just need to get my website up. I need to get a page so people see that I am a running coach and they can contact me and we can talk over the phone or we can talk via video chat or if they're local in Boulder, we can meet up. and I think for the first couple of months, I had a hundred percent conversion rate from anybody I talked to. And I remember being so excited with that. When I talked to you about that, I was like,

my gosh, like just because I put this like link up here for people to be able to talk to me, it means that I can get more athletes that I can help with their running and I can really grow my customer base and I can feel more secure. and I can feel like this is the right thing for me to be doing too. if I would have just waited and tried to make sure everything was perfectly polished and I had the right copy that I had tested and I, you know, had images that I had to wait.

a month for a photo shoot to do, I would have totally fallen flat because I would have just wasted so much time. And I think the thing that like, you know, I said at the beginning, cause it's honestly totally true, the tools for building my own site, it was so easy to do. And it is like very obvious to me when I look at the, you know, website stuff that I always want to make things look more polished. I want to like help it.

Chris Alto (21:51.709)


Evan Schwartz (22:19.182)

get off the ground more, but I'm not a website designer. I'm a running coach and I want to talk about running with people. I don't want to spend a ton of time making my own custom CSS, HTML, learning all these things to be able to slightly tweak the, or like tweak the spacing on a website. And I just want to have more time to be efficient with running coaching. And I feel like being able to use the right tools.

Chris Alto (22:24.701)

Mm -hmm.

Chris Alto (22:36.029)

All right.

Evan Schwartz (22:45.87)

And just get things up off the ground and help me connect with people really enabled me to build, like I said, a really good base of athletes that I work with. and that has been constantly growing ever since then too, just cause I have the right things in place. And I just need a place for people to know they can contact me to be able to talk to me as a running coach.

Chris Alto (23:01.149)

It makes some sense. Cool. And I know you've, so you started off like really social media heavy. I remember we were talking about that and I think you mentioned you use TikTok and Instagram. Can you talk a little bit about your social media strategy and how you think about creating content, showing your thought leadership? Because I know that's helped drive some new athletes for you.

Evan Schwartz (23:15.63)

Mm -hmm.

Evan Schwartz (23:28.462)

Yeah, for sure. I would say that's another thing that's constantly evolving. And I also still like being a running coach and I do not like being a running influencer, even though I recognize that is probably the biggest gap in the marketing that I have right now is not dedicating more time. And that's like a thing that I will probably say if we rerecord this a year from now, I wish I would have put more social content out there and just stuck to the plan that I kind of made. if.

And this like kind of relates to the first point too. If people don't know that you are out there and you do not put content out there for people to see, it is going to be so much harder for people to know that you are an option. I felt really lucky that especially early on, in Boulder, there's obviously word of mouth with like, I work with this coach. And then people really love sharing their journey with running and they love talking about what team they're on. They love racing with the Jersey.

They love being able to show off like, I'm a part of this team. This is part of my culture. I have a great coach that I work with. and I feel like the social media side, especially early, we have a, in my opinion, a very fun team culture where we run in like really cool spots. We have a variety of workouts. People look like they're enjoying themselves because they are enjoying themselves. I'm not just standing there with a camera saying, okay,

Like you finish your workout, now run another rep looking fast for the camera. I recognize how important it is to get the content out there so people can see that we are a team. We're a high performance team. We have community runs. We really like running. I, and in my mind, getting it out there on social is great. In my mind, that's been the huge focus of Instagram. And then for my own personal, like tick tock, I.

I definitely see all the benefit of making things more about me as a running coach. And that's what people want to see. And that's something that I'm still kind of playing around with and figuring out the right balance. I again, want to be a running coach and not a social media content creator, but it is so important to let people know that I'm there as an option and a running coach. And like, here are the three things that I think everybody could do to improve their running is like a genuine message that I want to share.

Evan Schwartz (25:51.694)

It just takes a lot of time and a lot of retries and like stopping the video and like restarting and like figuring out the right phrasing. and then again, it's just the thing of if you don't put stuff out there, people will not know that you're an option. You just have to put content out there to let people know that you're somebody that they can work with. If you're like a gym and you're solely, you know, relying on word of mouth or people just driving by your location.

Chris Alto (25:56.253)


Chris Alto (26:18.205)


Evan Schwartz (26:20.206)

how is somebody gonna know if that's not on the way to work, but it might be the best fit for them. And so I try and keep that mindset open of like, as a person who uses social media, I found a lot of great tools and resources because somebody put something out there. I feel like I can do the same thing too. And I have had quite a few people reach out via social media because they saw something I created and that's been nothing but encouraging the whole time too, just to know that because I decided to film a video and post it.

that I got an athlete that I could see PR over a bunch of race distances. And I got to really help them get better at running and help them enjoy their running too.

Chris Alto (27:02.173)

Yeah, I think one thing that's really, really cool is on Instagram specifically, you make your athletes through the stars, right? And so I'm sure like when you tag them, they're going to repost it to their friends and their friends like, there's Evan. So that's like a really, really good strategy. I feel like, and then your tick talk, it's really much more about education, showing your thought leadership and showing all the knowledge you have. And great. If someone can get a tip that helps them amazing, but.

Evan Schwartz (27:25.55)

Mm -hmm.

Chris Alto (27:31.293)

And at the end of the day, if you're showing your expertise, the likelihood of that person reaching out to you when they are ready to talk to a run coach is much higher. So I think that's been a very interesting strategy that seems to be very successful.

Evan Schwartz (27:38.606)


Evan Schwartz (27:43.374)

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. The education side in the running, I feel like there's so much to go for a lot of people. And I, yeah, I feel that way. If I can put out a video, like I, one of the recent ones I put out there was this like really simple plyometric routine that I found, with a bunch of research. And I started having our runners do it here in Boulder. And then I started having my remote athletes do it. And then I made a video about it and it had like.

a thousand likes, something like that, a bunch of people saving it. And if I could know that like at least a couple of people improve their running economy because they added this specific plyometric routine that took like five minutes a day and they ran faster because of it. Like that makes me so excited to be able to share that really well informed, like research turning into education that can then help people enjoy their running more.

Chris Alto (28:32.989)

That's so cool. I should probably watch that.

Evan Schwartz (28:34.702)

It's one of the recent videos for sure, but yeah, it's definitely one that I put a lot of intention into. I was like, okay, here's, I'm going to make a green screen. I'm going to pinch myself into the corner. I'm going to explain, I'm going to point and everything. So it definitely did well because I thought I should probably try to put effort into this and put it out there.

Chris Alto (28:54.397)

Yeah, awesome. Obviously, being an entrepreneur can be hard at times. What has been some challenges that you faced, one challenge or maybe a couple challenges that you faced and how have you thought about shaping your business?

Evan Schwartz (29:10.41)

I recognize that I am in a very specific niche, right? Like running coaching. It is pretty well contained. There's not a lot of like varieties of it. Usually people have either like training plans they write for people, or they have different levels, tiers of communication for coaching. I try and keep things super simple. And so I have felt lucky that I haven't had to keep like

bunch of products in stock. I haven't had to forecast like, keeping a lot of inventory at the same time. One of the things I felt like I probably didn't do a great job with, especially in the first year was forecasting potential attrition, just with the way that runners work. Like sometimes people get really excited about training and they train and then they decide they maybe want to switch gears and they want to take like a little pause. They want to take a little break. not building up a.

you know, really big user base at the start was something I wanted to be really intentional about because I did not want to fail to give quality information to people. at the same time, it meant that I definitely struggled a little bit, like financially, moving into being my, you know, soul. like I was the sole proprietor of my LLC that I made and I was the only one responsible.

for making sure that I got paid. It meant that things definitely felt more tough when I was, compared to when I was working at a more established company, when I had a lot of benefits supplied and everything. And so not forecasting and trying to really rev up from the business side was a little bit of a misstep, I think. My way I look at things is trying to be optimistic and like,

say that was probably good to make sure I didn't get too stressed out and just totally fold at the beginning. But then I also recognize that I probably could have done a little bit better job at planning from the business side, like creating a business plan. What are my targets? How much marketing do I need to do, whether it's via social or it's via like asking for referrals or it's like if I have a handy resource that.

Chris Alto (31:07.037)


Evan Schwartz (31:28.75)

tells me, hey, here are some keywords that you should probably look at including, or you should make a Google business account and get people to review it. Those are things that make a difference that I definitely felt like I was like an ostrich with my head in the sand at the beginning, where I was like, I'm a running coach. I'll figure that stuff out later. I'm too busy right now with this stuff. And so being able to feel more comfortable with the business side has been great. And I feel like I've definitely learned a lot.

because of some of the, I wouldn't call it like huge missteps, but some of the mistakes I made early on of not looking at things more as a entrepreneur, like a business person.

Chris Alto (32:06.237)

So creating a business plan, planning out like how many athletes are going to need, how much weight to charge, what does that stuff.

Evan Schwartz (32:12.654)

Yep, exactly, exactly, exactly.

Chris Alto (32:17.277)

What's been the most rewarding part about coaching for you and being a full -time coach?

Evan Schwartz (32:25.166)


seeing people happy with their running. Like it doesn't even have to be like a really big race result. Cause the thing that I've learned is that even if somebody PRs, they'll probably say like, I should have pushed earlier. I could have PR by like 30 more seconds to see exactly, exactly. To like actually watch people grow as people and not just like.

Chris Alto (32:42.201)

I buried myself for 30 minutes. Yeah. Great.

Evan Schwartz (32:56.75)

know that their red blood cell count is higher and their mitochondrial density is better. They might have like better muscle composition and their lungs might be able to move more oxygen. That stuff is stuff that like I'm always aware is something that's going on, but seeing the actual like personal change with people and then seeing people happy and pumped and like being like, my God, I just did that. Or to see somebody who, when I first started working with them, like,

had a really negative viewpoint of a certain type of workout or session, or they were really harsh on themselves. They were really tough critic personally. And to be there to watch them grow and learn about themselves and actually be able to pump themselves up and feel positive about their running, that is something that I feel like has been super rewarding.

being able to go to a couple elite races like Chicago Marathon, BAA Half Marathon, the Olympic Trials. Last year we sent a men's team and then one women's runner to the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago, which is a pretty big team race. And then I said, next year I want to come back with more people.

Chris Alto (34:10.077)


Evan Schwartz (34:15.31)

The next year we came back with more people and then our women's team finished sixth this year after having one runner the year before last year at Boulder Boulder, we had seven or eight runners. And then this year, yeah, we had like 25 or 26. We had two women in the top 10 and a couple of guys in the top 15. And to be able to see that growth as like a team culture too has just been amazing. And it's been so rewarding because.

Chris Alto (34:20.285)

Thank you.

Chris Alto (34:31.933)

Evan Schwartz (34:41.39)

It's not about the training that I write and it's not about necessarily like people running. It's about creating that community identity and seeing people get together and then be able to support each other through growth and just to be able to watch them change as people has been amazing.

Chris Alto (34:57.469)

So cool having an impact on people's lives like that. That's very cool. I guess last piece, we can wrap this up. Just any final advice you might have for maybe current athletes who might be thinking about becoming a coach or an entrepreneur in the fitness area. Any last things you'd recommend people think about?

Evan Schwartz (35:18.414)

Yeah. I think from my perspective, I say this definitely very, you know, very biased, but community is so important. I think that's the way that I operate best is not just again, looking at people as like in item on a training log that I just have to like update, but actually thinking about the people, and then being able to know that.

On any given day, like when I drive out to meet people for practice, we might have, if people are like tapering or in the off season, we might have five people, but we might have up to like 30 people at a long run. And that's like crazy to see, to just be able to go to a race and know that a bunch of people are really excited, there because of the community that they have is something that I have seen as a very important thing. So my advice would be specifically in the fitness area, community is so important.

I think that if it had to be a little bit more general, it would be, and this, I feel like applies to all business stuff. It's okay to fail and it's okay to try stuff because you get information. I look at it the same way as like a workout or a race. And I tell people that I work with all the time that like, there's no failing here. This is just information. Like if something felt hard or this felt like the wrong thing, now we know, and we can't know unless we.

try and I have definitely had missteps as a coach and like things that I feel like have given me really positive information, which means people have gone through some negative patches or things that I wish I could redo. but that means that it will never happen again. And it means that it's really good information. And so, the classic business advice of like, yeah, fail it's okay. And then just either pivot or just learn from it, grow from it. That is okay. and I would say, yeah.

community and it's okay to try stuff and just get started, get things out there, get started early is advice that I would give to anybody.

Chris Alto (37:25.469)

Failing is just information. I like that. I haven't heard that before, but that's good. It's really good. You heard it here first. That's great. Amazing. Well, yeah, I mean, I think this is such a cool story of hearing you go from an athlete to...

Evan Schwartz (37:28.43)

It is. Yeah. All right. I'm taking the quote. I'm putting it on Wikipedia. I'm putting on a t -shirt copyright. I heard it here first. Yeah. Yeah.

Chris Alto (37:45.597)

business and working for yourself. So it's super exciting and exciting to be a part of it. Where can people find more information about you and about the track club?

Evan Schwartz (37:53.614)

Yeah. my own personal website is Evan Schwartz coaching .com. I'm on Instagram and it's my first name, Evan, and then middle initial as in Michael and then Schwartz, my last name at Evan Schwartz. And then the track club is much easier and much more basic to find. It is just, the dash track dash club .com. And then we're also on Instagram at.

the underscore track, underscore club. And I would say those would probably be the best two places because we have other social media links that we've put in different places across those platforms too. But those would definitely be the best places to find us.

Chris Alto (38:41.053)

And Wednesday, 7 a soft hours. So follow the track club on Instagram for more information there. Yeah. If you're in Boulder.

Evan Schwartz (38:44.334)

Yep, Instagram and exactly. And now we have an email newsletter that goes out to every week. And that's been really fun to try and start up and just keep people more in the loop with stuff. And our website has more information of things that we're like constantly trying to expand as well too.

Chris Alto (39:07.389)

All right, Evan, thanks so much for coming on and talk to you soon. All right, see you.

Evan Schwartz (39:09.038)


Yeah, thank you so much for having me.

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