Mary Johnson - McKirdy Trained
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Mary Johnson

As a senior in high school, I joined the indoor track team to get in shape for lacrosse in the spring. The year prior, as junior, I was cut from the varsity lacrosse team…and it devastated me. So senior year I did everything in my power to get fit and in shape, because I REALLY wanted to make that varsity team. But after one season of indoor track, I quickly realized that my true passion was never really lacrosse; it was running that I loved.

Running made me healthy, strong, and for the first time ever, I had a coach who believed in me. Running was so simple: work works. Results are results. What you put in is what you get back. I had finally found a sport where my hard work and dedication paid off. So I decided to quit lacrosse and run one more season of track as a high schooler, competing in the 800, 1500, and steeplechase.

In college, I rowed 4 years of Division 1 crew at Fairfield University, but always had running on the mind. So when I found myself in a post-graduation fitness rut, I impulsively signed up for my first marathon, telling myself it would just be something to cross off my bucket list.

Marathon running quickly turned into something much more than just a bucket list item. I ran the Philly Marathon in 2010 and 2011 with sub-par training–yet both times came very close to qualifying for Boston. So, in 2013, I decided it was time to get that BQ. I hired a coach in NYC and trained for 6 months, losing 30lbs along the way. When I crossed the finish line at the NJ Marathon in a 3:22, I was hooked. I continued training for another year and ran the 2014 Boston Marathon in 3:08–over a 14-minute PR.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve battled numerous injuries. I started training under Coach James in the summer of 2015, coming directly off a femoral stress reaction. Working with James opened my eyes to a whole new side of running and I’ve been progressively getting faster than ever before and loving running in a whole new light.

As a full-time Strength & Conditioning coach, I’m absolutely thrilled to also coach running under McKirdy Trained. I hope to help people of all abilities realize how strong and incredible they really can be, both as a runner and as a person.


You can read all about the good, bad, and the ugly of training on my blog!

Marathon progression:

2010 – 3:44:10
2011 – 3:36:51
2013 – 3:22:56
2014 – 3:08:34
2015 – 3:08:47
2016 – 3:06:16


Half marathon PR:


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