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You are here: Home Jenny Spangler Running Programs Athlete Testimonials

Athlete Testimonials

Read what local area runners and triathletes have to say about working with Jenny and her programs.

Aleca   Highland Park, IL

I joined the Tuesday/Thursday workouts last spring while training for the Chicago Marathon. I had done two previous marathons training alone and needed a change of pace (pun intended). My first day walking onto the track I was a little intimidated- so many speedy people zooming by! The warmup is 2 whole miles?? But I soon realized how positive and encouraging Jenny is to all runners, no matter their splits or running backgrounds. I PR'd Chicago by 10 minutes and completed workouts I never thought I could actually do as a recreational runner. It gave me so much confidence and grit for future running. With COVID going on this year, returning to the track and tempo routes safely has brought a much-needed dose of normalcy back to my routine. Jenny built a 50K plan for me, my first ultra distance, and has cheered me on every step of the way. I am such a stronger runner both mentally and physically than I was a year ago, major thanks to Jenny. I highly recommend Team JSR to anyone looking to up their running game or just add more structure to their training.

Bets   Riverwoods, IL

Despite a busy work schedule, I signed up for Jenny's Tuesday and Thursday workouts this year. I didn't make it out the office door on time every week. But when I managed to get to the track or the college, I could always count on the structure from Jenny and the encouragement of the group to help me bring my best effort to the run. I was too busy last year to get a marathon onto my running calendar, and I figured this was another one of those years. My last long run was a 15 miler on July 5th, which included a nasty fall. But we had some perfect running weather last weekend, so I opted to use my Fox Valley flex entry to run the marathon instead of the half. It wasn't my prettiest race ever, but I placed second in my age group and qualified for Boston. I'm already looking forward to Tuesday/Thursday workouts next year. Jenny is amazing in her ability to recognize how to engage and inspire every runner in the club. I would not have been race ready without the Tuesdays and Thursdays.

John   Grayslake, IL

I participated in Jenny's track training for the first time in 2013. I began running the previous year when I was 48 years old, and I learned from experienced runners in the area that Jenny was a nice person with an Olympic pedigree who could also teach me how to run faster. Boy, were they right. Jenny gave subtle and helpful tips that ended up improving my breathing, pacing, and mental approach to training and running races. She also helped me improve from a 5K PR of 20:00 to 18:38. The people in the Wednesday night group had different goals, ages, paces and experience. However, it is fair to say that we all shared a desire to improve our fitness and times. We also had a sense of how training in a supportive group can be a lot of fun. I look forward to running my first marathon this year and I can't wait to continue learning and training with Jenny.

Eric   Libertyville, IL

I began following Jenny's structured training programs in the summer of 2009 and in the span of 18 months, I was able to achieve three marathon PRs, lowering my time from 3:20 to 2:50. My personal running achievements were not limited to the slow twitch marathon. In 2010 alone, I set 7 race PRs ranging from the 5K to the marathon. Jenny provides inspiration and guidance to all levels of runners. If you come across this running program and feeling intimidated about showing up, please know that I felt the same way before I attended my first session. I am glad I made the decision to show up. I hope you make the same decision.

Bobbe   Highland Park, IL

Although I'm slowing down in my 60s, Jenny's Tuesday night track and Thursday night tempo/distance runs helped me qualify for the Boston Marathon and the Ironman World Championship in Kona. I always look forward to her fun workouts and enjoy sharing this time in training with my friends.

Rob   Gurnee, IL

No one has had a more positive impact on running in Lake County than Jenny Spangler. Her track and tempo programs have provided the foundation and platform for runners of all ages to succeed. Her programs have helped athletes achieve countless PRs, forge great friendships, and raise the profile of competition across the Chicagoland area.

Anna   Riverwoods, IL

I've appreciated so much about Jenny Spangler's running program. Comparing the roster list to placers at area races shows what a strong group of competitors challenge each other every Tuesday night. What you can't see from that list of names and times is how supportive everyone in the group is of one another. I am not among the faster runners in the group, but the encouragement I received was equal to that provided to runners close to Olympic trial qualifying times. There were times when faster runners had finished their workouts, but did some extra laps at a slower pace to encourage the rest of us. I feel fortunate to have found such a great group of people to train with as I launch into focused running ... at 50!

Amy   Milwaukee, WI

The marathon went fantastic! I qualified for Boston with a PR of 3:37:16!!!!! I have to attribute most of my success to your running group! Last year my PR at the Milwaukee marathon was 4:13, so I shaved off 26 minutes from my time last year! It's amazing what speed work, and proper training will do! Your Thursday sessions are just such a great way to gain speed and meet other runners. I really enjoyed it and wanted to thank you for all of your help. I can't wait for Thursday sessions to start back up again. Thank you for all of your support and help!

Sarah-Maria   Antioch, IL

All the experts agree that the addition of a track workout can improve a runner’s speed and endurance. However, it can be very overwhelming to find a track workout that works, to stick to it, and to improve with it. This is where Jenny Spangler’s Running Program can help you. As a former Olympian, Jenny’s forte is running and she can help beginners, as well as experienced runners improve and advance in a professional yet familiar atmosphere. I have been running with Jenny for two seasons now and was able to improve on all distances from 5K to the marathon. I was able to shave over 30 minutes off my marathon time, and to run a PR at almost every race this year. If you have the will, the drive, and the desire to improve your running, Jenny has the expertise, knowledge, and the experience necessary to guide you and help you become the best runner possible.

Amy   Libertyville, IL

I am blessed to have Jenny as my personal coach. It is through Jenny's wisdom, knowledge, sense of balance, intuition and expert advice that I have managed to maintain health, strength and passion for the sport of running. All "life list" running goals that I have achieved in the past few years were made possible through Jenny. Jenny is a soft, strong, caring and intuitive person who cares about people and leads by example. The local running community is fortunate to have her presence and guidance and I am thankful to have her as a friend and personal coach!

Frank   Lindenhurst, IL

Jenny Spangler has been my coach for over two years. Before working with Jenny, I trained with purpose, but without any real plan. Jenny has given me the structure that I needed, which has yielded much greater consistency and faster times. I have had many PR's since I started working with Jenny. The biggest accomplishment to date has been my Boston Marathon qualification. Without Jenny, I do not know if I would have made it. As important as the results that Jenny has helped me to achieve is the type of person that she is. She is both tough and compassionate. She knows when to push you and knows when to back you off (even when you don't want to). Jenny brings "quiet" credibility. She only speaks of her accomplishments when she can use them in a way that helps you become a better runner. She is very effective because she listens to you, and gives you honest and effective feedback. Most importantly, I know that I can trust her.

Kate   Chicago, IL

After returning to competitive running after a break from college I was looking for a more structured approach to my training than the standard online training programs available. I was looking for additional guidance and motivation to "get to the next level". A friend introduced me to Jenny and I have been working with her ever since! She is a great motivator and helps to hold me accountable for my progress and goals. Her workouts are specially tailored to get you to the start line prepared and ready to race. With her help over the last three years I have PRed in nearly every distance I have run. Jenny's training programs have given me the confidence and speed I need to continue to strive for faster personal bests.

Alec   Libertyville, IL

2009 will be my 3rd season training in Jenny's track program. Even as I approach 40 later this year, I am continuing to set new PR's at all distances, thanks in great part to those speedy Tuesday night workouts. There is absolutely no better way to build speed and endurance than adding a well-coached track program to your training schedule. Even though the track workouts are short, they have allowed me to hold a comfortable 6:30 marathon pace, and I know I will crack 2:50 soon! My 5K times have come down significantly as well. Jenny is eager to answer all participants' questions pertaining to using the track, race prep, strategy, recovery, injury prevention and much more. From the novice racer looking to lower that 5K time to top local runners looking to qualify for the Olympic trials, Jenny has a track or tempo program just for you!

Cheryl   Vernon Hills, IL

I am back for my second year with Jenny’s running groups because her training programs are highly effective and inspirational. Jenny
provides good advice and tips throughout the programs such as running techniques, injury prevention and treatment of injuries. These have
definitely helped me become a better and faster runner. Her workouts are varied which keep each week interesting. The people in the groups
have a wide range of skills from elite to new runners, all with the common goal of improvement. Most important, Jenny and her group of
runners are very supportive which is exactly what we need to keep our training focused. Thank you so much Jenny!