My name is Justin Williams, and I’m a personal trainer from Santa Monica, CA. I grew up in a very athletic family, which led me to a successful collegiate football career and my profession in fitness. As a personal trainer I consider myself a guide and motivator to my clients, and my love for training has grown into a love for running.
Growing up I was always actively involved in various sports (Basketball, Football, Wrestling etc.) and running was always apart of my routine because of the conditioning benefits. Now that I’m in the fitness realm, I view running as something fundamental that everyone can do within their own capacity. Which is why, I still run as part of my training routine till this day.
“This ensures my foundation is sound, and I don’t suffer the typical injuries that runners face.”
Ideally I like to just wake up, get dressed, lace up my shoes, throw on my Jaybird X3 headphones, and just go. Later in the afternoon or evening is when I incorporate my strength/resistance training. With my athletic background I definitely still take a certain level of enjoyment and pride in retaining a certain level of relative strength, but I genuinely believe my strength as a runner is literally… my strength. Even when I take “time off” from running on the road, I’m retooling my body in the gym. I’m lifting heavy, and incorporating stability and mobility work as well for when I do have a race or an event coming up. This ensures my foundation is sound, and I don’t suffer the typical injuries that runners face.
“It’s one thing to complete a race and it’s another to finish strong and still be physically healthy afterwards.”
Running has helped me discover a lot about myself, not just physically but mentally & spiritually as well. When it comes to being in the gym vs. running on the road, it’s almost two different personalities so to speak. If you could hear my music in the gym, I listen to stuff that pumps me up with heavy bass and hard, fast-tempo beats. When I’m on the road I prefer smoother, more mellow sounds to keep my heart rate steady and not overly excited, so I can maintain a certain pace. I’m very much aware I’m not the stereotypical runner and it’s not easy at all. There’s a point in every run where I’m mentally fighting with myself to stop or slow down because my body is getting close to its limit, but that’s when mental toughness comes into play and you push to finish that last mile or that last lap around the track. Every person can do amazing and incredible things, it’s just a matter of making your mind up and then executing! Check out my playlist below of some tracks that help me push my limits.
We also want to hear your stories. Share your motivation for running in a short story and hashtag #whyirunjaybird on Instagram for a chance to win weekly prizes including earbuds and a chance to be featured on our social channels. We’re inspired by every type of runner, so don’t hesitate to share your passion with us. To the parent that wakes up early before sending their kids off to school, the beginner seeking to finish their first 5k, and the marathoner looking to set a new PR, your passion inspires more people than you’ll ever know. Share your stories with us and #runwild. Find more info about the This Is Why I Run series here.
Keep in touch with Justin!