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Towpath Marathon 2011, between mile markers 21 and 22

My name is Greg Strosaker, and I’m a husband to a pediatrician, father to three boys (one with autism), product management professional, and, most relevant for this blog, an age-group competitive (and, most shockingly, a marathon-winning) runner in the Cleveland, Ohio area.  With all these balls in the air, I find it necessary to put extra hours in the day, and that is the concept behind Predawn Runner.

Why do I run? My life should feel full enough.  But after giving it up for several years, when sleep was a rarity and life was about constant adjustment, I realized that running is essential to my happiness and sense-of-self, not to mention my physical health and energy levels.  Running is “my thing”, the endeavor that not everyone in my life fully understands, but over which I have complete control.  I am responsible for my own results, for having the commitment to get out the door and get the required training in (plus, the flexibility to know when there are other priorities, and to adjust accordingly).

Predawn Runner emerges from the early morning musings of my wandering, and not always fully awake, mind (for more on this condition, please see my other blog, Constant Cogitation).  There is no better time to squeeze running in than in the wee morning hours, before most of the world is even thinking about getting up. Maybe I have been imbued with this attitude because my parents grew up on farms, where a lot of work gets done before sunrise, and where a strong work ethic is simply the entry fee.  My father still gets his run done before I get up many mornings, even though he has more time on his hands than he knows what to do with – it just becomes habit.  There is no feeling like knowing that you have accomplished a major goal for the day before 5:30AM.

I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to running.  I don’t try out a lot of different products, I don’t buy into trendy training techniques, and I don’t pretend that one technique or approach works for every runner. If you find me recommending a product, you can trust that it is because I have tried it and believe in it.  My only goal is to be the best runner and person I can, recognizing that the definition of “best” can evolve.

The coaching has come more recently.  With the amount of time and study I have put into the sport, and the help provided to many other runners through various means, it seemed a next logical evolution of Predawn Runner.  I enjoy helping other runners reach their potential, as I have felt the joy and sense of confidence that can come from setting and reaching aggressive goals.

2011 Towpath Marathon victory yell

If you are interested in more information on my background, training approaches, and results, you can visit this interview I gave on the Dailymile blog, listen to my interview on the Dirt Dawg’s Running Diatribe podcast, or peruse my running resumé.  Welcome to Predawn Runner, and I look forward to our conversations.

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  • Darin Armstrong

    Hello Greg, Just a quick message to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter. I am currently following you now and am awaiting for your follow-back. (#FYI I do RT’s ‘anytime’ for all #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners & #Marathoners who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned…) All the very best for the rest of 2012 and beyond Greg. Look forward to hearing from you.
    Darin
    twitter.com/DarinArmstrong
    #TeamLIVESTRONG

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  • Ricky Skilling

    Hi Greg, just stopping in to say ‘hi’. After a year or more reading PDR and not leaving any comments, I thought that the time and care that goes into it deserved a nod from this reader. I like the various themes that relate the day-to-day to a bigger and enduring running career; the curiosity that’s searching for incremental improvement; the dynamics with the rest of ones’ life; and the emphasis on hard work over the latest gear or technique. I first came across PDR when I was searching around for some structure to my marathon training when transitioning from 10k’s and halfs, and can specifically credit you with turning me on to Pfitzinger – your article that matched up Pfitz next to Higdon. I realised that I was doing something that resembled Pfitz but it was ‘made up’ and pretty unfocused.Thanks for that!
    Another aspect that makes the training-related content even more personally relevant is that your performance improvement over the last couple of years has resembled my own pretty closely, so I’m interested in what’s working for you. The ‘Gods n’Titans’ program has got my attention – like most, I just want to run so there’s a bit of core work in there as a necessary evil but it’s a chore.
    Finally, I take your general point about getting things done early but I must confess; I’m not a predawn guy unless it’s absolutely necessary. Mind you, running after work here (Scotland) through the winter months, it may as well be predawn in terms of the atmospheric conditions!
    And all the best for your 2013 running year Greg. I noticed somewhere that you’re going to re-focus on your half more over the next few months, and that sounds like the right thing to do. Particularly with the base you have over the last couple of years, you can carve several minutes out of that 1:23, no question. Another parallel, as I’m getting close to max-ing out speed-wise, and will have to go back and get the 10k/half stuff in order if I’m going to see improvements over the ‘magic distance’ down the road.
    Well, that’s enough, keep up the good work on the road and on the blog! Ricky.

  • http://predawnrunner.com Greg Strosaker

    Rick, thanks so much for taking the time to comment and for your kind words. It means a lot to know that I’m doing something that matters for at least some runners here (and by no means does it need to be limited to those who run predawn – many of us find our own ways to fit competitive running into our lives, and that’s what I really try to focus on here).
    As far as 2013 goes, I’ll get into it more in a bit, but yes, my focus for the first part of the year will be on a shorter distance (actually, a 10-miler will be my A race, with a stretch goal of under an hour), and my marathon training will start to show some influences from the Hansons and Renato Canova. It should be a fun year, and good luck on your own efforts, which sound similar. Thanks for following this blog!

  • Ricky Skilling

    Looking forward to more high-quality content on PDR, and good luck with the winter training! Interesting you’re looking at Hansons and Canova – right off the top of my head that likely means more hills, more quality, but still maintaining the mileage I guess. All the best.

  • http://predawnrunner.com Greg Strosaker

    Yes, more quality, may trim the mileage a bit, we’ll see – just gets a bit tiring to have to get up so early for such a long season to log the miles of the higher-mileage Pfitzinger plans. And that’s a big driver for not planning a spring marathon as well.

  • Cathy DeRonne

    Hi Greg

    Now that it’s cold outside, I’d love to have you share your thoughts on how we should bundle up for a great predawn run or brisk walk. Clothing technology continues to evolve … and it seems like it has become easier to stay warm and nimble even when the temperatures plummet. If you’re game, I’d love to have you share your thoughts on 25Hours.org, or I can simply link to your site along with some helpful tips. I’m so glad we’ve connected and appreciate your support! Best, Cathy DeRonne, the Early Bird

  • Laura Wright

    Hi Greg,
    I would like to discuss an advertising opportunity with you. Do you have a direct email that I can contact please?
    Many Thanks, Laura

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