Q&A WITH FRANCISCO BALAGTAS
Our resident running coach and race strategist Francisco Balagtas just landed the cover of Runner’s World in this Summer’s June issue. We had a chance to catch up with him after the issue was released (and before he went out for his 918th day of running).
How does this cover stack up to other achievements in running?
It feels great to be on the cover of magazine, especially THE magazine about running. In the scale of things in relation to my running "career" I think it’s close to the top of achievement list. It's not that being on Runners World isn't great, but feelings of nailing a new PR in the marathon for example, is a different exhilaration compared to getting the cover of magazine.
But I think being on the cover is a great opportunity to represent our running community here in NYC. Clearly the contents of the magazine isn't completely about me. I'm more than honored I am leading off an issue filled with NYC runners and friends lending their talents to print.
“I’m more than honored I am leading off an issue filled with NYC runners and friends lending their talents to print.”
When you started running did you ever imagine you were going to be on a cover?
Never in my lifetime did I think I would be on the cover on ANY magazine. Especially since my history with running as a teenager is only as long as my current run streak for @ProjectNoDaysOff. I got to a point where I hated running as a teenager enough that I quit. But when I returned to running as a 28 year old, it was different. From then to now, tracing my path to this position I've put myself in the running community, I got to where I am now by putting myself out there, showing up to everything and sampling everything that the NYC run community has offer.
What triggered you to commit to running the way you do?
I run the way I do because its what makes me happy. And sometimes, what makes you happy is going to change. Last year in 2018 I ran over 40 races because that's what I wanted to do. This year I wanted to run only 3 marathons and 2 or 3 select races in between.
I still continue to run everyday because running is more than just a means of exercise but is an integral part of life. Running has given me so much in terms of friends, community, upsides, downsides, but most of all, life changing experiences. I owe a lot to running itself and the community here which has shaped me into the runner I am today. As long as I stay true to honing my skills as a runner and continue to contribute back to the community I'll always be happy.
Keep up with any or all of Francisco’s projects through Instagram by following @IAmFranciscoB @ProjectNoDaysOff @DollarPizzaSliceNYC and @PizzaAndRunning. Any questions about bringing Francisco on as a coach for your next marathon, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.