Ultramarathon Coaches

Why Work With An Ultramarathon Coach?
Ultramarathon coach Paul Dewitt left an insightful comment regarding the types of runners who would benefit most from an ultra coach. They are:

1. Somebody who has decided she wants to run an ultra, but really doesn’t have a built-in support system of other local runners to run with and learn from. Many of these runners mistakenly believe that, “If I ran 45 miles a week for that marathon last year, I probably need to run 100 miles a week to do a 50 mile.” For this runner, it is really a mentoring situation and giving reassurance that the amount of running they are doing is fine; they just need to work on some of the logistics and strategy aspects of longer running, such as fueling.

2. A good runner who is already putting in plenty of effort and getting good results, but has never had a structured training program (never ran in high school or college) and feels like he isn’t getting the most out of his efforts.

3. Somebody who has had a really bad first ultra experience and is very apprehensive about giving another one a shot unless they feel like they have a better chance of finishing, etc.

To those, I would add a fourth type of ultrarunner who benefits from coaching:

4. Somebody who, for whatever reason, desires to be held accountable in their training. This is little different from the many individuals who hire personal trainers for years on end. The possible reasons behind this desire for accountability are too numerous to name.

* * * * *

Whether or not you decide to training without a coach, you might want to pickup a copy of my book Relentless Forward Progress: A Guide to Running Ultramarathons.

There are 67 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Hello my name is George Velasco.I am a ultrarunner always in the back of the pack. Under Lisa Smith Batchens coaching in 2007 I finished 24 ultras.I completed 4 100s to include Western States 100,Grand Teton 100. Angeles Crest 100 and Javelina 100. In 2008 I completed The marathon Des Sables.Follow the program and you will suceed. GPV

  2. Anonymous

    GPVI am with you. Lisa coached me for 5 total years and at over 60 now I have never had any injury and getting up each day to workout was never a drag.Lisa is on top of it all the time.My vote is she is hands down the best coach.Stu

  3. Anonymous

    Hi,Just a comment about Lisa. She has been my coach since 2004- I have trained with her for a wide variety of events and expeditions. I've done 4 stage races, including the Marathon of Sands in Morocco, numerous marathons, some climbing, including Elbrus in Russia and Aconcagua in Argentina as well as biking events- including a trans-continental ride from L.A. to Boston this year. Lisa has helped me train for all of these- and considering that my goal is only to survive these events- she has helped me far surpass my dreams. She is not onle my good friend, but an excellent coach who I would highly recommend no matter your goal or athletic level.Jim Simone

  4. Anonymous

    I'll continue the pro-Lisa comments here. She's coached me for the past year, and I can't believe what it's done for me. In three months, I went from struggling with injuries during 5-8 mile runs, to WINNING my first-ever ultra, the 50-mile Rocky Raccoon. Then, while my original goal had been just to finish the Marathon Des Sables two months later, and I did better than I ever could have imagined.I'm not sure what it is, but she's got it. And she's a pretty darn nice and inspiring person, too.Ted ArcherSan Jose, CA

  5. Meredith

    Another Lisa student here :) She has been my coach for three years and I LOVE HER AND HER COACHING! I have benefited so greatly from her training plans, her race plans, nutritional information, cross training, pep talks and so much more.

  6. AnthonyP

    Well, I can also comment on Lisa, who I've been training with for several years now. I can't even begin to detail the tremendous benefits I've derived from having Lisa as a coach. One I can mention for sure – she also coaches my wife, which gets her out of the house, giving me some piece and quiet.

  7. Frank's Worldwi

    Hi, my name is Frank Fumich and Lisa has been my trainer for a number of years now. She has gotten me to the finish lines of many races..from Marathon des Sables to Badwater…from Ironmans to the tops of the highest mountains on multiple continents. She not only knows how to get me to top physical form, but knows how to train me when I'm injured, and get me healed. She's even in tuned with me enough to tell me to take some time off. So whether you're trying to run swim through Ironman challenges, run through deserts, or climb over mountains, Lisa has the knowledge and personal experience to guide anyone to their goals!!!!

  8. Trail Goat

    Lisa's students, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Peter,Thanks for the reminder re Howard. I was just on his website the other day and embarrassed that I left him off the list.

  9. Anonymous

    Lisa Smith-Batchen is great. I went to her with the thoughts of trying my first marathon. She coached me through it and now I am aiming at a 50 mile run. I never thought I'd even consider that. Lisa is such a great motivator. She has an enormous amount of expertise and is always quick to respond to all of my questions or concerns. It is well worth it to work with Lisa.

  10. Anonymous

    I met Lisa a year ago, when I was training for a half marathon and that was the height of my running goal. Since then, she has given me the courage and physical stamina to raise the bar and I have done 2 marathons and I'm one of her 5 clients headed to IMAZ in a couple weeks. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd do any of these. She improved my fitness while at the same time allowing me to recover from an injury I did to myself. I have been injury-free since then. She has an amazing ability to inspire people to dream big and she's remarkably intuitive about when you need to be pushed and when you need a break. She's my biggest support and my biggest fan (next to mom!). She is a gifted coach.Annemarie

  11. Anonymous

    I have been a client of Lisa Smith-Batchen since 2005. My original goal was to run the 2006 Marathon Des Sables – which I did. Then I did it again in 2008. I now focus on Ultras. Her training, insight and support is sensational. She has changed my life and I am so very grateful to have found such a talented coach and dear friend. Ed Kelly

  12. Derrick

    Hey Goat,Just thought I'd mention about a coach up here in Canada too. Me.I coach runners of all ability levels and all distances. I’ve been running since 1982 and coaching since 1990. I started coaching at the high school track level and have moved up in distance since then. Having a number of years of ultras under my belt, I am now offering my coaching services to ultra runners as well.For more information, please visit http://www.HealthandAdventure.com Take care,Derrick

  13. Caren

    I've been training with Howard Nippert for almost a year, and have seen an incredible improvement in my running and not an injury in sight. Not only is he a world-class athlete, as are the other coaches you listed, but I'm confident in his physiological knowledge. He's always available, always responsive, and willing to help in any way. Dude is awesome. Can't wait to see what he and his teammates do this weekend.

  14. AJW

    Hey Goat,Just thought I'd throw this out there: I would be happy to coach anybody who wants to finish a 100 mile race (I've done 20 since 2000). I don't charge any money but I do like beer. Interested people can email me at:awilkins@communityschool.orgUnless they live within an hour of Ketchum, ID my coaching services are only available over the phone or the computer.AJW

  15. Anonymous

    Lisa Batchen-Smith has coached me for two years through the MDS, the 100km del Passatore in Tuscany, Italy and most recently the 8-day Gore-Tex Transalpine Race. She is inspirational and I would recommend her to anyone who is looking to achieve their best.Ian ColesBermuda

  16. "Sherpa" J

    Signature wrestling move… I use to use it often and its known as "The Solid Slam." Ah the good ole days… Then I started running… what a combination!Happy to help at low cost!SJ

  17. Butler22

    Jamie Donaldson has been coaching me for over 6 months. I was able to complete my 1st 100K this year and plan to conquer my 1st 100 miler in the spring. Jamie has helped me go from go from a couch potato to almost an ultra runner:)

  18. Anonymous

    I ran my first 50 in 2006 and finished 15 min. past the cutoff. With Lisa' coaching I came in 2nd for my age group the following year. In 2008 I've completed:a second 50; MDS and my first 100. Lisa listens and gives you a plan.Steve Wolk

  19. Bob Becker

    Lisa has been my coach since training me for my first ultra in 2005, the Marathon des Sables. Then came a "50", a number of 100 milers and this year's decent finish at Badwater (35th out of 80). She has kept me injury free, has respected my training preferences when building a schedule and has gotten me ready physically AND mentally for each race. Lisa's coaching is very personal, and personally focused. She just gets it. When I consider how far I've come in the ultra game in 3 1/2 years, with a broken leg and a bout with prostate cancer in between, I'd say its the lucky few who have the privilege of training under Lisa's coaching genius.Bob Becker

  20. Footfeathers

    Is a coach necessary? Just curious. I've learned more from websites (Kevin Sayer's) and from reading reports and writings from hugely successful runners like AJW, M. Hart, J. Browning, Anton (not so much learned from AK, but, damn inspiring), etc. At $110/month for most coaching I've seen (which, by the way, is primarily email and phone based), it just doesn't make sense to a poor guy like myself when there is AMPLE material out there online. Anyone else have thoughts on this? The one time I listened to a "coach" I ended up with more salt in my system than the Dead Sea.Tim

  21. Trail Goat

    Tim,I agree that a coach is not necessary for many; however, they may be useful for some. Some folks don't want to take the time to do all the research and a coach is their expert, while others like the accountability of a coach. I've not had a "coach" since I began ultrarunning, but learned my running basics from high school and college coaches and then read a great deal about the top ultrarunners and talked to many other experienced runners.

  22. Ed Mafoud

    This past August, I completed my first 100 mile ultra – the Grand Teton 100. Three years ago, I couldn't even run around the block. I sought out Lisa Smith Batchen after reading about her in an ESPN Magazine article. My request to her was simple, 'Help me complete my first half marathon' – The Jersey Half. She got me through that one and then encouraged me to enter my first marathon. I entered the Anchorage Marathon and completed that too. She made me believe in myself and my ability to run not only marathons but also ultra endurance events. She urged me to try the Rocky Raccoon 50 this past February and coached me through that too. And just when I thought that a 50 miler was the end of the line for me, she urged me on to the Grand Teton 100 and helped me finish that too! Lisa has an amazing ability to bring out the best in people and all I can say to her is "What's next"!Check out her training camps. She holds them in some of the most beautiful places on this earth. I attended her camp in Death Valley as well as the one in Grand Targhee, Wyoming. I regret missing the one in the Galapagos. I've made many friends along the way and I've had many spiritual adventures. Thank you Lisa!!! You've given me a new perspective on the possibilities in this life time!!!Ed Mafoud

  23. Anonymous

    Lisa has talents and expertise that extend beyond simply "running coaching." Much of her knowledge and technique involves nutrition, clothing, pacing, and strategy for running/races. Many may not need a coach, but under her guidance, I was able to complete Badwater and MDS…two races I would not have wanted to undertake without having had the advice of someone who had been there…and won them. Kira Matukaitis

  24. Anonymous

    Seems to me after looking at all the coaching information on all the web sites that some call themself a coach. Just because you are a great runner does this make you a good coach? What credentials goes with being a coach?Paying for a coach is more than worth it if you are getting what you want and need out of the coaching. From the looks of it some of these calling themself a coach and charging for it have no education to back it up?Thank you for the information on all of the above.Josh in NYC

  25. Trail Goat

    Josh,Two important things. (1) I don't think that a great runner necessarily makes a great coach, although they can be. A great runner may be great because they are physically gifted or may not be able to communicate or work with students effectively. (2) I don't think the type of formal "education" that you may be looking for necessarily translates into being a good ultrarunning coach. For example, a USATF coaching cert that relates to track running ain't going to translate into knowing how to coach an ultrarunner. Not that formal education is bad, but there's a lot of ultrarunning that is self-taught and self-discovered and you'll only see their education by looking at the athletic resume.

  26. Anonymous

    I'm on the Lisa bandwagon! I signed-up with Lisa a few years ago after reading the wonderful testimonials on her website. It's hard to believe that she has so many students because Lisa makes you feel like you are her only priority (aside from her family!). I went from a jogger who had finished a marathon to doing ultraruns and completing my first 100 miler all under Lisa's tutelage. And no injuries! Lisa gives you a solid training plan and is so responsive to answering questions or concerns. I recommend Lisa 110% if you're serious about your training – she's the real deal. ~~Marcy

  27. Paul DeWitt

    Just wanted to throw a few of my thoughts in…Josh and others are right that a coach isn't necessary. Running ultras isn't brain surgery and part of the fun and challenge for many people is learning the ropes on their own. Finally, a good coaching relationship shouldn't be one that goes on for ever; the idea is to give a runner the tools necessary to feel confident about charting her own training and race stratagies going forward.That being said, here are the 3typical runner types that I've seen who seem to benefit most from a coach:1. Somebody who has decided she wants to run an ultra but really doesn't have a built-in support system of other local runners to run with and learn from. Many of these runners mistakenly believe that, "If I ran 45 miles a week for that marathon last year, I probably need to run 100 miles a week to do a 50 mile." For this runner, it is really a mentoring situation and giving reassurance that the amount of running they are doing is fine; they just need to work on some of the logistics and strategy aspects of longer running, such as fueling.2. A good runner who is already putting in plenty of effort and getting good results, but has never had a structured training program (never ran in HS or college) and feels like he isn't getting the most out of their efforts.3. Somebody who has had a really bad first ultra experience and is very apprehensive about giving another one a shot unless they feel like they have a better chance of finishing, etc. – Paul D

  28. Ultrachick

    Credentials? I have credentials! I'm a NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)and Road Runners Club of Amercica certified coach. I'm also a PSIA Level 2 certified Alpine Ski Instructor. Kelly Wilson

  29. Terry Madl

    I first heard about Lisa when one of my friends ran MDS 06 (he had trained with Lisa to prep for it). I was 52 and had run nothing but Chicago marathons each of the previous few years–and I had developed an alarming pattern of nagging leg injuries. So I started working with Lisa in the summer of '06 and I'd be hard-pressed to explain how incredible the transformation has been. Within 6 months I ran my 1st ultra (RR50 — 2nd in my age group), and then MDS later that spring, and then my 1st 100 mile ultra in Jul of 07 (VT100). Then in 08, RR50, MDS, KM100, and GT100. All with good results; and all with NO INJURIES. I barely have any muscle aches anymore, let alone any serious injury. I'm sure this is due to Lisa's approach which includes a lot of cross-training for me (spinning, yoga, stairmaster, ellyptical, jump rope, etc.). I also try to include at least one of Lisa's training camps a year into my program; they are a great way for me to re-focus, and to meet other runners from the ultra community. I would recommend Lisa to anyone who wants to get serious about fitness. You'll feel great physically, but you'll also get a mental, and even spiritual, boost as well. Terry Madl

  30. Anonymous

    Rumor has it Jamie Donaldson will head up an ultra running camp this summer in Colorado, focusing on training, nutrition and sports psychology.

  31. Jean Pommier

    Paul, thanks for clarifying the needs for coaching, makes a lot of sense. Although I'd add a key criteria: the ability of the individual to self-motivate, self-discipline and self-teach. Geez, I like Andy's cool position on the topic. Although I'm really not sure about the beer side. Sure it seems to work for you, Andy, but is this your best coaching advice? ;-) Is it what gives you this enthusiasm for running and competing, and this self-confidence? A carbo-loading trick or mental booster?Now that presidential debates are over, maybe we have you and Lisa debating over this fueling (aka drinking) dilemma! ;-)Good luck to all, with fun, with or without a coach!Jean.Farther Faster

  32. Bedrock

    Coaches certainly aren't necessary. Like Tim said, you can learn plenty by reading race reports, etc. from successful runners. That said, I have worked with Gill at Bad to the Bone for 2 years and remain a big fan. I am hoping to take things to the next level in 2009 and expect the advice I get will be a key factor. Just my opinion.

  33. Anonymous

    I emailed 'Sherpa' John and never heard back. I then looked up some results, and I don think he is qualified to coach…and wonder if he still is as he does not answer email. Maybe you should take him off your lost?

  34. Steve

    Hey All,I wanted to make a comment about "Anonymous's" and Bryon Powell's posts on May 29, 2009 about 'Sherpa' John Lacroix. Yes he is still coaching, but let's just say that life keeps him busy (like everyone else). Coaching is not his priority and he obviously doesn't do it for a living. IMO, he coaches out of pure passion for running, the love of helping others reach new goals and his own experience on the trails. Personally I can't believe that he would not respond, it is simply not his nature.That said, I am sure Lisa, Bryon, Karl and others are "better" coaches. Like others have already said, it depends on what the runner needs/wants.I personally fall into categories 1 & 2 of Paul D's list (Nov 11, 2008). I run because I love to run, I've never run competitively and I'm definitely not winning any races. I had no idea what it takes to run a marathon (let alone an ultra!) and I am also too busy/lazy to learn from the web.I met John by chance and we started running together once in a while. His motivation was contagious, and he quickly helped me realize that anyone can run an ultra if they want it bad enough and are willing to train outside their preconceived boundaries.I hired him to coach me through my first 50k having never run more than a half-marathon before. He also coached me through a second 50k. I finished both without injury and had some fun along the way. But I never would have imagined that I could do it if he hadn't worked out a training schedule that fit into my life, taught me the basics: food, hydration and just not stopping.That is what _I_ personally needed in a coach.Steve

  35. "Sherpa" J

    Sherpa John here… yes I am still coaching and always have been. Like Steve said, Coaching is not my priority and never has been. I am a full time student and my studies need to come first.That being said, No anonymous, I'm not one of the greatest ultra-runners nor do I pretend to be. I do not boast the most impressive times… but I CAN tell you that if that is what you are looking for in a coach I am NOT the person for you. I'm not interested in times… I'm interested in coaching for the "Journey." What I do offer is experience.. 2 finishes at Massanutten, 3 sub 24 hour buckles at Vermont.. and 2 Runs across NH (125 Miles) for shits and giggles. From what I've learned in ultra-running, you learn the most from those with real experience then you do from those who are simply "fast."I am an experiential and outdoor educator. I'm a few semesters away from a bachelors degree in this field. I do not have any specific coaching certifications nor do I think that you need any of the above to be a good coach. It's like in life.. I don't NEED a degree to accomplish what I want to in life.. but I go for it anyway. I do remember receiving your initial email which came across as quite rude. I knew right away that we would not be a good match where as I am more laid back. My mission in coaching is to help people get into ultra-running and survive their first race, as well as training, comfortably. I typically charge $50 a month.Lastly.. I find it quite insulting that anyone would use someone's "results" as a basis on if they are a good coach or not. Sometimes the best teachers in our lives didn't have a degree, any clinical experience.. they simply had something to share. This holds true in our sport. So no anonymous, it's not like me to not respond to an e-mail.. so consider yourself one of the lucky few.BP.. thanks for continuing to update this post.. it is much appreciated not just by us coaches.. but us runners. :)SJ

  36. "Sherpa" J

    I'd like to answer these questions someone else posted as well:How many ultra runners do you actually coach?Currently 2. Previously is was as much as 4 which is about my maximum limitOf the ultra runners you have coached, what percentage completed their races in first attempts?100%What is the best accomplishment of an athlete under your direction? One went from half marathon to 50K in 3 months. Another from Half Marathon to 100K in 3 months.. both without injury and with great comfort. You should have seen the excitement. Another student went from 50 miles to finishing the VT100 in 6 months. His enthusiasm and dedication to training was both inspiring contagious!Thank you

  37. Bryon Powell

    Sherpa John,Thanks for responding to other's concerns. While it may seem counter-intuitive for me, a coach, to post about the availability of other trail running and ultramarathon coaches, I realize that each runner who is looking for guidance is looking for different things and works best with different people. I'd rather ever such person find the right coach for him or her than try to grab every potential coaching student. :-)

  38. Anonymous

    Lisa's coaching services are excellent! Highly recommend!

    Dont waste your time with Sherpa John. He is not qualified but wants everyone to think he has been coaching for years when in reality he himself has only been running for a couple years. Maybe when he gets ten or so years under his belt he should consider coaching but for now he is not qualified. And yes basing qualifications on result is very normal.

    He should be removed from the list.

  39. Ken Zemach

    I found my coach from this website (Paul Dewitt), and he's been great. While I don't know if I NEEDED a coach, I figured it would be fun since a) I started running about exactly one year ago and b) I could appreciate the structure to motivate me and c) why wouldn't I want to spend my time most efficiently??? and d) it's a heck of a lot less money than most spend on going out to dinner, or even their training run goo for the month!

    Totally been worth it. I just finished my first ultra, one year after starting running (the AR 50) and cripes, finished 68th! Not winning anything in the future, but WAY better than I would have done otherwise. And, far more importantly than my time, I went into it confident and strong and knowledgeable which resulted in me having way more fun than those around me (I was smiling the whole time, they were hurting).

    One thing to note: while you certainly can get a lot of information about ultra running off the web and without a coach, many don't seem to bother. I was pretty shocked after the race to talk to so many multi-run veterans who didn't seem to have any clue how best to feed, what to feed on, how to drink, pace, plan, deal with aid stations, pre-race strategize, etc etc. Which is probably why I beat them not only in time, but in fun factor. Again, for those of us in the back of the pack it's not about how fast you are and who you can beat, it's about enjoying it and doing your personal best. It's just that with Paul's coaching, my personal best was great, and I had fun the whole way. Am looking forward to him helping me knock down my first 100 next.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Ken, I'm so pleased that you've had great success with Paul and that we helped you find him. While I coach, I acknowledge and embrace that different pair best with different coaches and I want to help folks make the best possible pairings.

      As for some folks being "unprepared," I think that's a bit more complex than it seems at first blush. One thing is that many folks run ultras for the experience and embrace a simple, take it as it comes approach. It's the blissful, willful ignorance approach. There's probably a spectrum along those lines from the sauntering adventurer to folks who simply don't want to rush through aid stations or sweat the details. On other hand, there ARE plenty of folks out there who could stand to know more about what they're doing whether they receive that education on the internet, through chatting with others (who isn't willing to share in this sport?), or a coach. Any of these forms of engagement greatly reduces the time and suffering associated with the learning curve!

      Thanks again for your comment. Best of luck with your first 100!

  40. Gene Andrews

    Hey, I have been reading the above and am looking for a Running coach. Im still really new the whole Ultra thing, having completed 5 Marathons and only one 80k Ultra at this stage I am very much hooked.I am wanting to find a coach to help me train and push myself as I am very competitive and wants to get to the stage where I can compete instead of coming in the bottom half all the time. Im based on the Northshore,Auckland, New Zealand…any ideas of whos out there whos keen to coach?Thanks in advance

    Gene Andrews

  41. Bryon Powell

    Gene,

    I think most of the folks listed above would be keen to coach you toward your ultra goals. I think the biggest questions are: What sort of personality and training philosophy are you looking for in your coach? What degree of contact/interaction do you want? and What are you willing to pay? I'll be happy to point you in the direction of specific coaches, but first I'd need you to share some more info.

  42. Gene Andrews

    Hi Bryon thanks for your reply. I guess I like to be pushed and pushed hard. I get the most out of myself when I am pushed to breaking point, then pushed a little more. My sporting philosophy is, "you get out what you put it" so im a strong believer in training hard and having a set schedule and sticking to it. My running goals over the next 12 months are: Running Rotorua and Auckland Marathons in sub 3:55, running the Tarawera 100k in 13 hours and also doing the The Northface 100k in Sydney next year (unsure of time for this) there are other various events I will be doing as well but these are the main ones.

    Any thing else you are needing to know please let me know

    Regards

    Gene

  43. Jonny

    Hi Bryon,

    You have a list of elite coaches here . Karl Meltzer is awesome! Lisa is also excellent!

    It is an insult to Karl and Lisa to even include them on the same list as this Sherpa Jon guy. He has been thrown off teams because of insulting team members. Guy put offs like he is a major race director but he only has done two and that may not even be true. The one I ran at was the worst set-up race I have ever done. Many have complained about his coaching skills and attitude towards others. A coach he is not and does not belong on the list.

  44. Joe

    Bryon,

    You have some elite and excellent coaches listed here. Karl and lisa are top notch, but including Sherpa Jon on the list is an insult to all these elite coaches. The guy is not qualified at all and acts like he has been directing racing for 50 years when in truth he only has directed 2 races which were both flops.

    On top of this he also was thrown off a team for insulting other members..

    Not the makings of a coach

  45. Utah Running

    Bryon,

    There is NO way you can have a coach listed on your blog the publicly attacks runners! A good coach respects all runners of all levels. Reading his blog reveals a endless list of insults towards other runners and running organizations!

    http://sherpajohn.blogspot.com/2010/09/liberty.ht

    This is not the makings of a coach and in no way is sherpa john a representative of the ultra world!

    Please remove his name from the coach list and do the ultra world some justice! You should not be promoting him on your blog.

  46. KenZ

    Hey Brian,

    Now finished that 100 (Javelina). Since this is apparently the place to rave about one's coach (or complain about them…), I'll throw another "Go Paul!' in into the mix. His training schedule for me was flexible, and geared towards where I was, my goals, and what I wanted to do. When work would come up, he'd modify the schedule around it and we'd get through the tough training periods.

    For the races (now three 50s and one 100, no DNFs) we'd talk strategy, pacing, how to handle in-race strategy changes if required, basic feeding/hydration/electrolytes, etc. His repeated wisdom on the slower paces to start my races based upon training ability really paid off.

    He took me from a guy who started running now less than two years ago, have never run a marathon, through my first 100. Could I have finished a 100 without a coach? Probably. Could I have done as well as I did (broke 19 hours and came in fourth)? Not a chance. And again, it wasn't just about the pace or the place, it was that I'd look around me during the last six hours or so, and everyone else seemed to be suffering way too much (due mainly IMO to poor initial pacing and really bad aid station eating/hydration habits). I'm darn glad I got to get through that sucker with a minimal suck factor. Having a coach definitely played a part.

  47. Brandon Dey

    Andy (AJW) has been training me for a while now. Very happy with the results. Very no nonsense program, you do need to be a self starter/motivator but if you are, the results will be there.

  48. Corrinne Wallace

    Bryon,

    My training partner and I have been coaching beginners from 5 miles up to 50 miles on the trails now, and have a website. Please check it out. Is there a way to get on this list? We are also coaches for A Snails Pace in Laguna Hills. We are currently training a group for the Peters Canyon Series, and just finished a group for the Leona Divide 50 miler. They all did Awesome! :) Btw, i think i met you for one of Baz's races when you came out last year, or the year before?? :)

    Thank you

    Corrinne Wallace

  49. Phillip Senter

    Bryon, I've just started running. I'm 54, reasonably good physical condition. I haven't run any races yet, but do plan to run my first 5K in August. My long term goal is trail races, but for now just want to get a good base. Do you think a coach would benefit me at this time or should I wait until I can at least run a 5K without stopping.

  50. Marc Krejci

    I'm on the hunt for a coach (virtual is fine) that can provide some good workouts to help me get over a plantar fasciitis issue, as well as help develop a good training plan for my upcoming expedition where I'll be running 30-40mi per day for 300mi straight. I've done this distance before, but not while combatting PF issues.

    Not looking to get plugged into an out-of-the-box 50m/100m training program, but something more specialized to my running style, injurys and goals.

    Any idea what coach/trainer listed above (or not) might fit these requirements best? Thanks for any connections or resources you can point me towards!

  51. KenZ

    I'd start with Bryon himself, since he has battled PF. Next up is Andy Jones Wilkens, who's also battled it. Next up would be (the list goes on…) Joe Uhan, who while not on the list, does coach and is a PT as well; he's written a lot of the PT articles here so you can get a sense of his style. He'd obviously also be able to help you through that.

    And, I'd wager there are many more on this list that have had PF…

    I still use Paul Dewitt, who I think is great, and definitely works with me through injuries so he'd be good as well, but in your case I'd start with the list above.

  52. Jeremy

    Are there any coaches in particular with whom I may be able to consult regarding training with runner's knee (three months into a six month training plan leading up to a 125k ultra)?

    Jeremy

  53. Nick B

    Hi there, I know this is a somewhat old post but I'm looking for a coach and it'd be great to get a couple of recommendations based on my current ability and what I'm aiming to achieve. Thanks in advance.

    Quick bio: Been running consistently since 2010; 4-5 half marathons and 2-3 marathons per year – PB's of 1hr30 and 3hr45 … would love to get faster!; have run three 50-mile trail races, plus Comrades (around 11hrs); I've got two more 50-milers coming up this year and I'm keen to do my first 100-miler in 2014.

    Luckily I've finished all the races I've entered so far … but I'm not happy with my pacing or general performance, especially in the second half. I've never followed a structured training programme hence my interest in proper coaching for both the insight and discipline.

    In terms of personality/training philosophy: I like to be pushed … but I also like an holistic approach to training – the stuff that Phil Maffetone talks about in relation to training and nutrition is of interest. I like structure and a bit of science to back things up. I'm motivated by progress and an pretty dogged at sticking with something that I know is working. Most of all, I want to be right up there in the races I choose to compete in – I'm finishing in the top third of the ultras I've entered so far but I'm sure I can do better.

    Final thing – I'm based in the UK but more than happy with online interaction etc. The most important thing is working with the right coach that can help me get to where I'd like to be.

    Thanks all!

    Nick

  54. Dr Adrian Mulholland

    My coach is Hanny Allston who has a coaching business Find Your Feet. She specialises in the TNF100 here in Australia but will coach elite to beginners. She is magnificent. Does camps/worshops/net coaching and in person if you live near by.

    She has form on her feet and in the classroom. (World champ orienteering and real degrees from real universities). I have found her very very helpful in all the ways you would want a coach to be and also in others. She has taught me to rest, recover and also balance my training to get more out of it.

    A professional coach is a must for me and I think anyone doing this for fun. The internet allows us to look all over the world for a coach, I am lucky enough to hit the right one for me first stop.
    http://www.findyourfeet.com.au

  55. runtrailsrun

    WARNING – Terri Schneider should not be hired as a coach. She has scammed people out of $112,000 on Kickstarter! The money was supposed to be used to make a documentary about a trekking trip she did. Now 3 years later no film or transparency to where our money went. However, she has managed to take multiple extensive long trips to far off places and buy loads of camera equipment for her new quest to become the next Ansel Adams, since she is no longer capable of being any type of athlete (although she will tell you all day long how great she was!) She should be deleted as a reputable coach!!

  56. Erik Seedhouse

    100-km and ultra-endurance coaching is also available at TriathlonPro where the head coach is Erik Seedhouse who placed 3rd in the 1992 World 100km Championships and has held the Canadian 100km record of 6h 33m for 26 years. Erik ran under 7 hours 14 times before going on to be a world champion ultradistance triathlete.

  57. Jon

    I contacted Jack Pilla. He coaches through a company called The Run Formula. One on one coaching with him is listed at $185 per 4 weeks with 16 week commitment (more if you include nutrition).

  58. Jon

    I contacted Howard Nippert. He said he is “winding down my coaching duties. I don’t want to take on new athletes if I’m not able to dedicate the time and effort I feel that is required to adequately serve them.”

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