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Jeremiah Maestre: a Filipino Runner with Huge Desires and an Even Greater Coronary heart | Runner Highlight Sequence

Jeremiah Maestre is a Filipino-born Orange County runner and martial artist, a father of two, and a person with huge goals and an excellent larger coronary heart. He’s helped construct boxing gyms throughout the US and coaches fight sports activities fighters and runners alike. This yr, he’s heading to the Marathon des Sables to push himself additional than ever earlier than.

Written & edited by Pavlína Marek

Rising Up in Sports activities

When Jeremiah Maestre was three years outdated, his household got here to San Francisco. He grew up within the Bay Space taking part in basketball with different youngsters. The sport caught with him by way of highschool and a baby’s play changed into an almost-adult’s aspiration. Maestre graduated highschool with a dream of turning into knowledgeable basketball participant.

Nonetheless, as soon as he left his sheltered neighborhood to try to play for small collegiate groups, Maestre discovered that others performed at an entire one other stage.

After just a few unsuccessful tries, he determined to change sports activities. At 18 years outdated, he turned to blended martial arts, a transfer he calls a “huge swing.”

“Manny Pacquiao was a well-known boxer and actually blowing up on the time,” he mentioned, citing the cultural affect that most likely helped drive this resolution.

A couple of fights and tournaments later, Maestre discovered his new ardour.

I fell in love with boxing,” he mentioned. “I wished to pursue a profession in boxing… I wished to compete professionally. So I dropped out of faculty, absolutely devoted to boxing.”

Jeremiah Maestre with boxing gloves poses for a photo.

As soon as out of faculty, Maestre wanted to “earn money and be an grownup.” He needed to reorganize his life and begin relying absolutely on himself. That meant discovering a superb job.

“So I began teaching those who wished to make use of boxing to get in form, simply within the health realm,” he mentioned.

Teaching, Competitors, and Group

Maestre needed to discover a steadiness between coaching and training. Fortunately, they complemented one another properly.

I improved technically with my boxing however I actually discovered a superb stride teaching it to the on a regular basis folks,” he mentioned. “I used to be all the time an athlete and a coach as I began my profession, however discovered extra momentum by way of the teaching.” Thus, Maestre obtained a job provide to go to New York and “align with folks to help share boxing all over the world.”

In New York, in partnership with an “wonderful group health studio” Rumble, Maestre helped open 13 places all through the nation. Throughout that point, he nonetheless competed professionally, coaching “below a two-time world champion” in Brooklyn. Then the pandemic hit.

With all of the studios closed, boxing courses have been taught within the digital kind and Maestre put his aggressive boxing profession on maintain as he needed to transfer again to California. Amid the uncertainty that 2020 had introduced, teaching proved to be the best way to go as soon as extra. Peloton approached Maestre with a request to “assist them design their boxing program and work with their instructors to place out extra boxing [classes].” On the time, there have been over 7 million members.

Though it was a “nice alternative,” Maestre discovered “vacancy on the aggressive facet.” Unable to discover a coach he’d be glad with after his transfer, “there was a void I wanted to fill when it got here to my aggressive boxing,” he mentioned. After transferring from basketball to martial arts, he was, as soon as extra, at a crossroads.

“From basketball to blended martial arts, to boxing, I’d all the time wished to compete as knowledgeable. Though I used to be nonetheless an newbie I might prepare like knowledgeable. So I began working. As a result of I didn’t like working.”

Don’t Like Working? That’s Precisely why You Ought to Do It.

I used to be in actually good boxing form. [It was] the final leg of me attempting to compete and I didn’t find yourself getting the skilled combat that I wished. It was nonetheless the top of the yr 2022,” Maestre mentioned. “I wished to do one thing that yr to, once more, fill that aggressive void—and it wasn’t competing in opposition to others however competing in opposition to myself… So I began working—as a result of I didn’t like working. It was very troublesome for me.”

He felt that his physique sort, the best way he was constructed from and for boxing, hindered endurance working. Nonetheless, that didn’t change something; he was going to run come hell or excessive water. No such factor as giving up existed for Jeremiah Maestre. He took on the problem and actually ran with it.

Maui Marathon

Maestre discovered himself in Maui, the place he’d traveled so much since he was a baby, with an entire free day and no plans. As a substitute of stress-free on the seaside, he determined to stand up at 5 a.m. and run a marathon. It was as unplanned because it was unofficial and it took him over six hours.

“It was painful, as you’ll be able to think about,” he mentioned. “I used to be so unprepared. I didn’t take water. I bear in mind passing by way of Lahaina and pondering, ‘After I come again by way of Lahaina, possibly I’ll seize some coconut water from the market there.’”

Regardless of—or possibly due to—the robust problem the run had changed into, Maestre observed that his thoughts was in nice form. Because the run mentally challenged him, all of the years he’d spent coaching in martial arts got here into play to maintain him transferring.

“It actually constructed my psychological energy as a result of, throughout these six hours working, it by no means crossed my thoughts to cease. It by no means crossed my thoughts to get an Uber or name my spouse to come back decide me up. I used to be all the time going to get the job achieved.

Maestre was very pleased with himself for finishing the marathon. Nonetheless, he hasn’t fallen in love with working but.

Fast Questions with Jeremiah Maestre

What’s your dream race?


The place is your favourite place to run?

“On the seaside by my home.”

Is there a runner you look as much as?

“Becs Gentry, my coach.”

What’s the most effective pizza topping?

“The perfect pizza topping… Man, I imply I gotta say pepperoni, however can I throw further cheese on there?”

Do you’ve gotten any pets?

“I’ve a canine named Freckles. He’s a tiny canine so he doesn’t run with me. He runs round the lounge barking on the squirrels although.”

Nonetheless don’t Like It? Simply Hold Going.

Quick ahead to about March 2023, just a few months later, and Maestre is signing up for the Los Angeles Marathon. One in every of his shoppers selected it as their aim race so, naturally, Maestre mentioned, “I’ll run it with you.”

He determined he’d put together for it. He requested certainly one of his pals from Peloton to assist him prepare and obtained “the primary glimpse of what marathon coaching was like.” Again then, he hadn’t but achieved sufficient analysis to grasp all of the nitty-gritty particulars of marathon coaching. Tempo runs, pacing, coronary heart price zones,… it was nonetheless a international land. Maestre ended up getting harm.

“I just about ran that race rattling close to no coaching once more. [It was] extraordinarily painful,” he mentioned.

After ending the LA Marathon in about 5 hours, his time was higher even with the little coaching he had achieved. A few months later, “I began working simply by myself once more, not falling in love with it but.”

After which one thing clicked in me that mentioned, ‘I wish to really put together to run the most effective I presumably can for this, actually giving my full consideration.’”

Having run his solo Maui Marathon in December, and the LA Marathon in March, he determined to do his third—and greatest but—marathon, the Orange County Marathon.

… You’ll Ultimately Fall in Love.

“I did that one. And that’s once I actually fell in love with working,” Maestre mentioned. “The pace work, the guts price coaching, the carbohydrate fueling and hydration main as much as my lengthy runs and my huge exercises, seeing my tempo drop down with a decrease coronary heart price,… that’s once I actually began falling in love with it.”

Boxing, as soon as once more, performed an enormous function. Similar to with psychological toughness for working, it additionally influenced how Maestre handled coaching.

“I got here to treating these marathon preps like a combat camp,” he mentioned. “Elittle or no element issues.”

Maestre ran the O.C. Marathon sooner than the LA Marathon, in just a little over 4 hours.

“As I turned obsessed, I mentioned, ‘What’s the following one?’ It simply so occurred I ran in Maui, which was an iconic place for me rising up. I ran in Orange County, which is the place I stay. I needed to get one other iconic place. I mentioned, ‘Let me run the San Francisco Marathon. I grew up in that space. That’s the place I first immigrated.”

Thus, Maestre spent his first yr of working by revisiting locations of significance.


(And It May Turn out to be a Life-Lengthy Affair)

   Jeremiah Maestre runs with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background

Main as much as the San Francisco Marathon, Maestre didn’t miss a single exercise. He skilled six days every week, generally twice a day. He nailed his energy coaching and restoration, self-discipline main him by way of this “phenomenal” preparation interval all the best way to a “phenomenal race.”

“I had an awesome expertise,” Maestre mentioned. “The town was stunning that day.”

With a 3:47 ending time, all of the preparation paid off. “And I utterly fell in love with it.” Maestre didn’t cease there.

“Tying into San Francisco, working these marathons the primary yr in all these iconic locations that meant a lot to me, it was solely becoming that I needed to run in New York,” he mentioned.

He credit his New York Metropolis Marathon 3:43 end to his Peloton buddy and coach Becs Gentry. The marathon tour of probably the most important locations of Maestre’s life was full, identical to his transition right into a runner.

“I fell in love with working marathons and the preparation and endurance coaching,” he mentioned. “I really like the coaching ingredient of it. I really like the way it checks my psychological pressure. It’s just like what fight sports activities did for me. And now, in April of 2024, I’ll be working the Marathon des Sables, which is a 250-kilometer ultramarathon by way of the Sahara Desert.”

Huge Hearts,…

“We have now huge hearts and relentless work ethic.”

How has being a Filipino-born American influenced your path in Fight Sports activities and working?

“My goodness. I simply obtained goosebumps whenever you requested me that as a result of an enormous a part of me working the Marathon des Sables and all these marathons is, that I wish to present the world that Filipinos are unimaginable athletes… We work extraordinarily onerous, however we have now huge hearts for ourselves and people round us. I wish to showcase that by way of working. I additionally really feel like I showcase that not simply by way of my aggressive boxing however my means to teach and share boxing with the world as properly.

I give it some thought each time I’m coaching for MDS and don’t wish to work out. After I don’t wish to prepare, the youngsters have drained my power, and I nonetheless must go. However that’s the tradition I grew up in. These are the Filipino folks. We really take care of others. We have now huge hearts, it’s onerous to maintain us knocked down. We’re relentless and we work extraordinarily onerous.”

… Huge Targets.

Maestre signed up for the Marathon des Sables in June 2023. By his latest races, he has been slowly however absolutely laying the muse for the large run.

“I’m gonna wish to point out her for a 3rd time: my coach Becs,” Maestre mentioned. “I’m very grateful for her as a result of she’s helped me prep for 5 marathons, laying this basis to guide as much as the MDS, which has been unimaginable coaching camp up to now.”

Maestre has accomplished roughly three demanding months of this ‘coaching camp’ and two even larger ones lay forward. From the February Surf Metropolis Marathon, he’s headed straight right into a 50k ultramarathon in San Diego. Will probably be his very first ultramarathon.

“I’m just a little excessive but it surely’s form of been who I’m,” Maestre mentioned, laughing.

Maestre additionally mentioned that “clearly,” he’s just a little intimidated and anxious. Though it’s “only a 5k greater than a standard marathon,” there’s a sure important climb that makes him nervous. On high of that, for him, this 50k is a coaching run, which suggests there gained’t be any taper interval main as much as it, as is the norm for many races.

“However I’m excited,” he concluded. “I really like consuming whereas I run.”

Why Marathon des Sables?

Maestre got here throughout Marathon des Sables roughly by likelihood. On the peak of his aggressive boxing profession in New York, amongst constructing companies and training skilled fighters, his outdated boxing coaching companion introduced the subject up. This April, the 2 of them will toe the MDS beginning line collectively.

After each our boxing careers, we get to deal with this collectively, which is unimaginable,” Maestre mentioned.

Why did you select Marathon des Sables?

“I wished to problem myself just a little bit extra exterior of the standard marathon… For me, [MDS] is probably the most uncomfortable factor I might doubtlessly or presumably do proper now. I imply, I bathe twice a day. I prefer to be just a little bit snug. However being on the market, stripping myself down and making myself run by way of the desert, cooking my very own meals, carrying all that I would like in my bag, sleeping in a tent, not showering for every week,… I wished to do that.

I [also] wished to place the coaching and my athletic profession first this time. Sure, I nonetheless coach fighters, however I pulled again from health teaching, coaching, and constructing these companies to place my working profession first and though I’m an newbie, I deal with it like I’m knowledgeable.”

Coaching for Marathon des Sables

I feel it’s all the time cool to see, regardless if it’s me or any person else, any person work onerous in the direction of one thing and see what occurs,” Maestre mentioned. Evidently, he’s working onerous in the direction of his dream of ending Marathon des Sables.

Roughly a yr in the past, he ran about 20 miles every week. These days, he’s placing in as much as 70 miles every week. Many of those miles embrace resistance coaching. Maestre runs on sand, wears a heavy backpack, does lengthy treadmill climbs, and checks many various sorts of fuels, mimicking race situations.

“They don’t owe us something,” he says about races. “I might work as onerous as potential, be probably the most ready I may very well be, and it could not yield me the outcomes I would like. But it surely’ll all the time train me one thing new about myself or about working and racing,… I might go on and on.”

A big a part of his preparations is planning to be away from his household and explaining to his youngsters why he’ll be gone for such a very long time.


How are you placing collectively coaching for MDS with your loved ones life? How are you planning to be away for such a very long time through the race?

“I‘m blissful you requested as a result of that’s one thing that I’m going to be away for 20-plus days for. I haven’t been away from my youngsters for longer than just a few days. So, fairly than simply me getting up and leaving, I’ve been actually communicative in regards to the course of with them despite the fact that they could not perceive it.

I share with them, ‘Hey daddy’s working this race within the desert for every week. I’m gonna be carrying this backpack.’ Typically, I’ll be coaching in my storage and my son will are available in and work out and mess around with me. I feel sharing one thing that significant to me with my household will assist them actually perceive why I’m gonna be away to do that.”

“The Finest Issues in Life Are Free”

Working might be an costly sport, particularly when the distances develop. Nonetheless, at its core, it’s additionally mainly free. All one wants is a pair of footwear.

“It’s the priceless reminiscences that we’re creating right here,” Maestre mentioned. “I take into consideration all of the essential issues that really give me achievement and happiness and make me really feel full. That void I used to be attempting to fill from aggressive boxing that I missed once I moved from New York? Working crammed that void.

It’s humorous the issues that fill us up are free, the most effective issues in life. Working on daily basis exterior within the sunshine? That’s free. Being current, spending time with my youngsters and my spouse? That’s additionally free, they don’t cost me to hang around with them. Working has actually put issues into perspective for me and I’m grateful for it. Therefore why I fell in love with it.”

In accordance with Maestre’s phrases, no person can really dislike working long-term. Ultimately, they’ll “find yourself falling in love with it in their very own particular person methods.” The marathon preparations have been what drew Maestre in—”and I fell in love with all the pieces else,” he mentioned.

Do Fighters Transition Effectively into Endurance Sports activities?

Maestre introduced up a query on Instagram solely to must reply it himself; do fighters transition properly into endurance sports activities?

“Sure, undoubtedly,” he replied merely.

In accordance with him, martial artists and endurance runners share one essential factor: psychological toughness. Throughout his combating profession, he “obtained knocked down so much.” Nonetheless, he by no means as soon as did not get again up.

“That is certainly one of my, I might say, superpowers,” he mentioned. “I’ve this means to all the time stand up after getting knocked down. To be relentless and hold coming after the aim that I would like. Combating has taught me a lot of that and that’s translated into working… I really feel like MDS will actually problem that talent set.

Jeremiah Maestre: The Final Coach

Teaching fighters and runners alike, Maestre has a novel set of experiences he can mix to assist his athletes attain their targets. Some issues are very related, just like the distinction in every athlete’s talents, experiences, and abilities. Others required just a little adaptation in his teaching strategies.

Does teaching fighters provide help to in teaching runners and vice versa?

“I might say so. It’s undoubtedly a step-by-step course of, understanding how the muse and fundamentals of boxing, like how you progress your toes and the principles of your boxing stance, translate into working.

The technicalities of the motion will not be as intricate intimately as boxing as a result of, and that is the attractive factor about runners, all our our bodies are completely different, and all our abilities to maneuver are completely different. We grew up taking part in completely different sports activities. We grew up doing various things bodily so we run otherwise. Due to this fact, sure, you’ve gotten sure tips however you see even elite runners with not probably the most prestigious working kind, proper? It’s all completely different and contributes to us.”

Remaining Phrases from Jeremiah Maestre

“If there’s something the readers take away from this, it’s… something you do, you do it to the most effective of your means,” Maestre mentioned.

This conviction comes from his Filipino tradition and background, nonetheless, dwelling in New York “actually ironed this out” for him.

“Whether or not it’s working, whether or not it’s teaching, whether or not it’s being a household man, a guardian, a buddy, doing a easy interview like this, something,… you do it to the most effective of your means.”

In accordance with Maestre, it’s not quite common to “see a fight athlete transition to endurance coaching.”

“That’s why I’ve been adamant about documenting the journey, the highs and the lows, many of the issues that I’m not that good at, and the way I attempt to conquer them,” he mentioned. “I do know each particular person runner has an unimaginable story to get on the market. Thanks for sharing mine.”

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Richard Stride
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