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How ‘GMA’ stars Amy Robach and TJ Holmes trained for a half-marathon

Page Six
Page Six
 2022-03-18

“Good Morning America” anchor Amy Robach has taken on a new role behind-the-scenes of the show — coach.

“I’m not sure we technically decided to run together,” Robach, an experienced runner, tells Page Six of how she and her “GMA” co-star TJ Holmes wound up running in Sunday’s 13.1-mile “2022 United Airlines NYC Half” together.

“I pretty much announced to everyone that TJ was going to run the half-marathon with me, and then publicly pressured him to join…. and it worked!” she told us via email.

Holmes — who will be running in his first-ever official race — humorously added when we asked why he signed up, “Great question. I’m still trying to figure out why I’m running in this race.”

He added: “I think ‘Robes’ knew that this was a manageable distance for me. Then throw in a little public shaming, a little peer pressure, plus she took advantage of my pride and ego, and here we are… I’m running a half marathon!”

Luckily for Holmes, Robach — who has run marathons in New York and Berlin — put the duo on a structured training plan to incorporate their workouts into their busy work schedules and respective family lives.

“We chose a ‘Hal Higdon training schedule,’ and stuck with it for the past few months,” she said. “I print mine out and tape it up on my kitchen wall and check off each run. [It] feels good to have a schedule and prioritize the training — that way I was able to work the rest of my work/family life around our runs. It wasn’t difficult at all, and I find that my favorite part of running a race is the training because we make it social and fun.”

For distance running newbies, Higdon is a famed writer and runner whose books include “Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide.”

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2gEFH4_0ejSY8DJ00 Colleagues and friends Amy Robach and TJ Holmes get in a training run. GC Images

Holmes added that, “Honestly, the trickiest part of the training schedule was the weather. I only trained outside, and it was during the coldest months of the year in [New York]. So, I based a lot of my run schedule on which days of the week weren’t as brutal.”

The NYC Half is the first New York Road Runners race back at full scale since the pandemic hit, with 25,000 runners participating — from Olympic and Paralympic medalists and elite athletes to celebs and runners from all age groups. The signature 13.1-miler will begin at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and end in Manhattan’s Central Park.

Holmes said that Robach’s training plan was bolstered by the fact they see each other every day on the “GMA” set. “I was totally committed to the training schedule that Robach put me on,” he said. “And it absolutely helped that I work with her every day. We literally have to sit next to each other for over an hour each day, so you have someone to compare notes with and someone who’ll hold you accountable.”

They each did their training runs along Manhattan’s West Side, and have documented their runs together on social media for fans.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0KE5WQ_0ejSY8DJ00
Amy Robach is an experienced marathon runner. ajrobach/Instagram

But while the anchors are on the same page training-wise — their goals on race day seem slightly different.

Said Robach: “I feel incredible, and I can’t wait to beat my best time. I’m aiming for a sub-two-hour half-marathon, and I’m confident I can do it.”

Holmes said of his game plan: “I’m beyond excited! Given the training, I’m confident I can handle the race and the distance. But I’m excited about the experience, to be a part of a race in New York! To see crowds, to see other runners — and yes, to be with dear friends who’ve been a part of the journey the past several months. Race day is the reward.”

Also running in the half-marathon on Sunday will be former NFL star Tiki Barber, sportscaster Nicole Briscoe, former Miss Universe Andrea Meza and Nev Schulman, creator of the “Catfish” documentary and TV series.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=4SuB62_0ejSY8DJ00 TJ Holmes followed a Hal Higdon training plan to get ready for his first official race. officialtjholmes/Instagram

Robach — who is a breast cancer survivor — has previously told Page Six that running has been instrumental in her mental, as well as her physical, fitness. “I loved how strong and powerful it made me feel,” Robach told us in 2019. “Over the years, running has been like therapy for me and helps me clear my head and my heart.”

She previously ran the New York Marathon with her husband, Andrew Shue. She told us at the time, “My six-year anniversary of being diagnosed with cancer just so happens to be four days before the race, so that will be in our hearts as we run together.”

For anyone prepping for their own race, Robach says that in her experience, “Training makes race day enjoyable, bottom line. You have the confidence and the physical and mental preparation you need to have fun during the race. You did the work — and now you get to put it into action, and savor the finish line, without too much pain along the way because you are ready to go!”

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