“Speaking from 5 years as her client, if you are looking for a personal trainer who will return you (close) to the athlete you were in high school or college, Lena Placzek is the professional for you. Lena is an elite middle/long distance runner and translates her running success into transformational training sessions for her female and male clients. Lena listens to your goals and capabilities and creates specialized cardio, flexibility, strength and overall fitness workouts. She comes prepared to each session with the plan for the hour, and the plan for the balance of the year! She is 100% dependable, never sick or late for any session no matter the time of day – regardless of snow, rain or transit breakdown. And even though she pushes clients very hard, she never risks injury or strain and we always look forward to the next workout. And one extremely important bonus - she is a super nice person who takes a personal interest in the well-being and progress of all her clients. Female or male, regardless of age group or present physical shape, I unreservedly recommend you sign up for some lessons with Lena – you’ll quickly see improvement.”
Mark, 59 yrs old
“I started the year with the intentions of becoming a better runner, a stronger runner. While I thought strength training was not going to make me any faster, Lena has proved me wrong. Her talent, passion and knowledge of running has pushed my body to a different level, one that I wouldn’t have achieved alone. I feel (and look) stronger, and I am running faster!
Lena is not a gym coach. You will see people at the gym doing some of her series and exercises, but she has a very unique perspective on strength training. She will make your work on your weaknesses and imbalances holistically to help your body perform better. Being a long distance runner, this has been key for me as we tend to neglect that we need no only our legs to run well... Lena’s unique insight and deep knowledge of the body as well as expertise on running and strength make her session a must for anyone looking to improve. After only a couple months working with her, I can feel the difference in my body, and it has already translated into some running personal records!”
Marta, 36 yrs old
“Lena has been a game changer for me. I feel stronger, more resilient because of my time with her each week. As a sub-elite competitive runner, I train, in many ways, nearly as hard as a professional runner while juggling a full time job. But, the one thing many amateur competitive runners lack is the one-on-one attention in the gym that many pro's have. As a busy marathoner with a job, I spend a lot of time on the roads training, and often the first thing to go on the back-burner is strength, but I knew it was important to prioritize it. Lena has been huge in making me stronger and faster as a marathoner and overall athlete. 1-2 hours per week with Lena has helped me continue to shed minutes off my PR's on the road.
I came to Lena with weaknesses and a serious lack of mobility, and now I feel like a well-rounded athlete and ready to tackle any race with strength and power. I feel powerful in countless ways, and when I am racing, my form holds stronger as I get tired because of my strength training.
Lena is amazing with athletes. Not only am I getting stronger, but I am constantly working on mobility and PT exercises as part of my regimen. Lena has been a teacher, motivator and supporter and it has been absolutely efficient and beneficial use of my time every week to see her. With my schedule, if I can't see her in person a second time each week, she will write a workout and send me home with the knowledge and ability to do maintenance sessions on my own or while traveling as well. She sees the big picture and invests in my goals, and as a runner herself, she understands the demands of my running and racing schedule and adapts my strength based on it.
Lena invests in her knowledge, is constantly adapting new techniques and personalizing her knowledge. She is genuine and makes training fun and challenging!”
Carly, 28 yrs old (Marathon Olympic Trials Qualifier)
“I have been working with Lena for more than a year, and it has been very fulfilling throughout. Lena has deep experience as a personal trainer. She tailors her training mechanism to each individual based on her clients’ different goals and body condition. I have been very much enjoying her training methods, which combines rigorous traditional athletic workouts with fun interesting movements. I am fascinated by each session’s program because no session is the same. That makes each workout experience unique and fun but also results-driven. As Lena’s loyal client, I always appreciate her careful thoughts and efforts into creating a rewarding and fun training experience for her clients to achieve their goals.”
Lingbo, 36 yrs old
“Lena has truly changed my life. When I first started training with her, I was mentally in a very negative space and my confidence was all but gone. I told Lena the first time we met that my goals were vague but that I wanted to feel fit and strong and find a way to push through the negative self talk and trust her when I couldn’t trust my own capabilities. My workouts with Lena are always different and I never know what to expect walking into the gym; except that I know I am going to be pushed and it is always my toughest workout of the week. Lena’s approach is smart, and her methods almost sneak up on you. Certain muscle groups have gotten noticeably stronger since I have started training with Lena and all of the exercises we do focus on proper form and increasing strength with steady progress. I trust Lena and I feel proud knowing she is in my support corner and there to encourage me. There certainly have been times when I have told Lena I am not comfortable or nervous to do a certain exercise and she always understands and will adjust the workouts on the fly so that I feel strong and my body feels good. Not to mention Lena is one of the most positive people I know, and her attitude is always upbeat. She truly cares about her clients.”
Katie, 34 yrs old
“I have been running for the last couple of years and currently training for Brooklyn Half, followed by Chicago and NYC marathons. Strength workouts, particularly weight lifting, have always seemed daunting to me, but I am now looking forward to my Sunday sessions with Lena, which I participate in with my running partner Muye. The workouts are not easy, but their manageability increased my confidence. I sometimes feel sore afterwards, but I welcome those sensations with gratitude as I know it is part of my growth. Since I started working with Lena a couple of months ago, and in conjunction with some dietary changes, I have lost ten pounds, and I feel stronger. I hardly ever experience any pain my knee while running, which, I think, is incredible. My speed and aerobic fitness have improved as well, I believe. I keep coming back because I trust Lena and her expertise. The workouts are never dull, with different routine every week. More importantly, I want to keep improving my body strength, running cadence, and general performance. The overall experience with Lena has been truly wonderful. Lena is an extremely professional and knowledgeable athlete with years of experience in her field. Her attention to detail and genuine care she provides me with, including exercises tailored for specific needs, is everything I could only dream of. Not only does she pay close attention to us working out together at the time of the workout, but she always follows up with suggestions and questions post-workout. I admire her dedication and focus, and would recommend her to everyone, amateurs and elite athletes alike.”
Kala, 33 yrs old
“Lena is the best trainer I’ve ever had. I finally feel like I am training with some one who genuinely cares, knows what they’re doing, and is constantly educating herself. I started training as a way to become stronger again after neglecting my workouts in frustration for some years (post surgery). I worked out with other trainers on and off, but felt no difference and the frustration just grew. I had given up. With Lena I could immediately tell the difference. Every workout is slightly different, which keeps things interesting for me. I could feel how much stronger I was getting after her workouts when going to my yoga classes. She is motivating, listens, and describes why we do certain workouts and which areas we are targeting when I ask. She’s great!! She will create a well balanced workout for you, and will keep you motivated. She’s the best! Look no further!! “
Claudia, 27 yrs old
“Marathon Strength Training is what drew me to Lena. She has powerful knowledge on how to build upon core muscles, and strengthen weak muscles. Results are clearly in the numbers, as I went from running a 2:30+ half marathon to a new PR of 2:02, and a full marathon in Oct/Nov 4:46+ to a new PR in early Feb of 4:31 in just a matter of 2-3 months. I had weak ankle issues that would be a problem when the 8th mile would hit in a marathon and Lena taught me how to strengthen those muscles and be conscientious of my form and how to powerfully strike the foot with strength. I look forward to continuing to work further with Lena to chase after global marathon goals. My personal goal will always be to get stronger, smarter, and faster than my own PR. Thank you Lena!”
Karen, 36 yrs old
Muye, 30 yrs old
"When my friend recommended Lena to me, she said Lena is a game changer. I started training with Lena about 2 months ago. I’ve seen the difference. She not only helped me build muscles for running, but also manage my injury recovery. I recommend Lena and strength training to my friends now. I hope more people can start strength training in a right way and get benefits from it even you don’t run".
"Even if you're already strength training, Lena's style is very personalized and will probably break you out of a rut with your own program. She's friendly and knows her way around gym equipment better than anyone else I've ever met! Her sessions are very personalized and have introduced me to a whole range of activities I never have done before. She took the time to understand my functional strengths and weaknesses during the first sessions, and we've built on those with each session. She knows multiple ways to strengthen the same muscles, so it's rare that we repeat a move. She's very encouraging but also doesn't hesitate to correct form to ensure I'm doing the moves correctly.
Currently I'm mostly trying to get my fitness back after an 18-month injury cycle. Some of my injuries were the result of strength imbalances, weak glutes/hamstrings and poor mobility, and even though I was doing regular strength training and pilates on my own, I thought having a more purposeful, personalized approach to strength would help me gain functional strength, prevent injury and get faster as a runner.
I feel challenged and engaged during the workout - the way Lena designs the workouts is super challenging, in a good way. Most of the time we're working many muscle groups at once, which requires a type of physical stamina and mental focus I often don't tap into when working out on my own. After a session with Lena, I feel accomplished and like I've worked hard but not so sore that I can't run or workout the next say.
Since I started working with Lena, I'm much more knowledgeable about my weaknesses and lack of mobiliy in my spine, shoulders and hips and feel like I've learned a lot of different moves that I can do on my own. I've also learned a lot more about proper form while doing things like kettlebell swings, deadlifts, single leg squats and other moves that I used to do on my own but without as much attention to proper form.
Lena has been super flexible about scheduling, always happy to work around travel, work and even injury. She's incredibly easy to work with and very responsive via text and email."