John Istre: Member of the Month

October 19, 2021
John Istre: Member of the Month

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What brought you into enduraLAB in the first place? Every time I ran by the gym on the levy it seemed like everyone was “enjoying” their struggle through their workout so wanted to see what it was all about. Plus, my wife had some friends who were members and had really good things to say about the experience.

What did your run routine look like before joining the LAB? Before I joined the LAB my run routine was very basic. I was not incorporating any speed work, strength training, or mobility work and was generally running the same speed each day of the week with no variation. I was not seeing any improvement and was starting to get more nagging injuries so wanted to try a change. Basically, I had hit a wall and running was starting to be a chore instead of something I looked forward to.

What healthy changes have you made since joining the Run Club? A more balanced training approach is certainly something that has changed. Incorporating speed work, hill training, running at different paces, and then adding strength and mobility have all been extremely beneficial for me. During my time at the LAB, I’ve had some great races that I’m proud of and the improvement is definitely a result of the programs and training schedule Coach Lee provides. I’ve also really focused on hydration for longer runs which has been a great help.  We’ll leave the diet part out of this question since burgers or nachos at times are part of my “unofficial” training plan.

Tell us what you do outside of the LAB? Outside of the LAB I work in auto finance. I work for the captive lender for GM and our group provides reporting and analytics to understand customer payment behaviors and portfolio expectations. It’s certainly not as cool as being a pilot like I wanted to be, but I’ve been doing it for 20+ years so I’m pretty lucky. Maybe I can take up flying when I retire.  Outside of that my wife and I spend the bulk of the rest of our time trying to find the perfect hike and with our 13 year old Boston terrier and our new addition to the family, a 2 year old Visla Mix from a local rescue.

How have you grown as an athlete since joining the LAB? Since joining the LAB I’m proud of the improvements I’ve made in my endurance for marathons but also at the increase in pace. I now have segments where my time for a 10K split during a marathon or half marathon is better than some of my pre LAB 10K races and I’m really happy with that.

What is a goal you have set for yourself in the next 6 months? Honestly my goal for the rest of the year is to focus on spending more time on strength and mobility. Since my races were cancelled this year like everyone else, I’m taking the time to reset by focusing on shorter runs at new spots in the city, more mobility and strength, and just enjoying not having those 20+ mile runs hanging over my head. Towards the end of the year I plan to pick the mileage back up and plan for some spring races.

What is your favorite enduraLAB event or program? My favorite program is the 30/30 run series. It’s part of the mile time trial progression and it’s a really good way to focus on your speed work. I’ve seen really positive results and it’s a nice change from just hitting the trail on long runs.

What advice would you have for a new person starting at enduraLAB? Don’t be afraid to try something new.  The coaches and members are great and tremendously supportive.

Favorite cheat meal/restaurant in D/FW? I am a fan of all things chicken fried steak, so a couple of times a year we hit up Horseshoe Hill in the stockyards for their chicken fried steak. They even throw in an enchilada as a side. And who wouldn’t want that. I usually save this one for after one of those 20 milers....

Current read / podcast? I really enjoy books about people that have done extraordinary acts, overcome challenges, etc. Recently I finished You Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. I like stories like this because they basically hit you in the face and remind you that often life is hard, but we have a choice in how we respond. We all have different styles and mantras so we may not be as brash as Goggins is, but we can apply parts of his overall message to our circumstances.

Where did you go to college?  I started off with big NBA dreams at Southwest Texas State (now Texas State) and was there to play basketball but after about a month those dreams came crashing down so I finished up here locally at the University of North Texas. 

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