The son of an avid runner, James McKirdy grew up watching his father train and was naturally turned on to sports, falling in line with the family activities. Starting off as a cross country runner in middle school, McKirdy went on to assist his team in winning two state titles and hold a 42-2 record through 4 years. Now in his thirties, McKirdy is looking to put his training to the test at the Philly Broad Street Run 10 mile and later in the season is pushing for a 2:25-2:30 marathon and will likely dabble in a USATF Championship event between now and then.
Alongside his own personal athletic goals, McKirdy, who has been a coach for over 13 years is currently focused on his new company, McKirdy Trained, specializing in private coaching for runners. “The main concept of my coaching is to teach athletes what it takes to find their own “Olympic effort”. I currently work with Olympic Trials (marathon) qualifiers, Team USA Modern Pentathletes, Team USA Triathletes, all the way to the athlete who has never run a 5k and wants to lose 50+ lbs.” Offering one-on-one running specific coaching and programs for a wide range of fitness levels, McKirdy proudly stated “Some of my greatest success stories are not of the “fastest” athletes but of those who never thought themselves capable, only to find out that they have more strength inside them they ever knew”. Feeling fortunate that his passion for running enabled him to couple his professional life with his training McKirdy expressed “I’m truly honored that my clients have placed their goals in my hands. It’s a privilege I do not take lightly which is why I pour my soul into each clients’ training”.
The First Endurance VIP Athlete calls MultiV, Optygen, Ultragen and Pre-Race Powder his nutritional “Big-4″, acknowledging “my favorite tool though is the Ultragen Recovery formula. 3-4 days a week this plays a part of my calories and my recovery is spot on because of it. After any major speed session, long run or race, this is the first thing I grab”.
In response to trying to balance training with starting his own business as a private coach, McKirdy stated “With my hectic lifestyle that includes coaching and trying to train, there is no doubt I have stress. I know how critical it is to keep my cortisol (stress hormone) in check so I get the most out of my training. Because of this, I test my cortisol 3-4 times per year. Since starting on Optygen I have been able to keep my cortisol levels considerably lower than when I am not on the product.” Initially introduced to First Endurance products when he competed on the Running2Win team, McKirdy was looking to find the right nutritional products to complement his training. “I communicated with Robert Kunz (First Endurance VP of Science and Technology) about my plans as an athlete and sought his advice on what I should do. The information he provided me gave me complete confidence in the company and now I rely completely on First Endurance products in my training. I used to suffer from upset stomach issues, fatigue and now, understanding what I was doing wrong and what I need now to succeed the relationship between my nutrition and my training is easy to see and First Endurance plays a vital role in my development.”