Custom coaching service giveaway

Photo on 8-20-12 at 2.25 PM

While thinking back to all of the thoughtful advice I have received from many coaches and runners over the past years I am going to make the month of February 2013 an experiment I have not seen and since I like being the first to do new things I am going to extend an offer to the next 15 people who comment on this thread a unique opportunity.

I am offering an opportunity to receive a month’s worth of free customized running coaching.

The coaching will begin with an interview about your running goals and background and within a few days I will have a week’s worth of training available for you based on your specific situation.  From there we will remain in contact and adapt your following workouts and training sessions based on how your body is responding to those workouts.

Why would I do this?

The reason for doing this is in the mindset of the “The Lean Startup” as written by Eric Ries.  While I currently do have a number of athletes I am coaching, with greatly varying goals, I am looking to gather feedback as to how I can improve my services as well as pay back to the running community all that it has done for.  If I coach those who come forward well, hopefully they will be impressed enough with the services they’ve been rendered to refer friends and continue on.

So if you are looking to take that next step, looking to fulfill that New Year’s resolution, or just ready to test what your body is really capable of (it’s more than you think) I invite you to join us.


Sample week of 5k training

Many of us have experimented with a number different running schedules while training for a 5k.  In my opinion there is definitely not one schedule that is going to work for everyone and to some extent there are multiple schedules that are going to benefit an individual runners.  The order of workouts can be tinkered with but most runners are going to benefit from running at a variety of efforts throughout the week and particularly hitting certain paces that are related to their goal race.


If someone were training for a 5k and were nearing their target race they would be best served by hitting as close to goal pace as possible and there are a number of ways to do that and also hit on all their systems but a sample week that will get most runners close to this is below.

Monday: Easy run + strides (distance will vary based on the runner but pace should be comfortable)

Tuesday: Intervals or tempo run (intervals are anywhere from 200 to 1200 at goal race pace, rest should be slighter longer than half the time the repetition took).  A 10 minute warmup and cooldown should be included. Tempo run is 20-40 minutes at a moderately hard pace.

Wednesday: Easy day again

Thursday: Do the opposite of what you did Tuesday

Friday: Easy + hill sprints (3-10 x 6-10 sprints uphill with full recovery between)

Saturday: Race or steady state run (similar to tempo run but more relaxed)

Sunday:  Long run of 90 minutes, give or take

Now, if the Saturday race were a big one I’d push the workouts to Monday and Wednesday for an additional easy day before the race.  There is obviously a lot of things not mentioned here such as stretching, nutrition, cooldown, strength and core work, etc. but a skeleton is in place with the week above.  It is nothing fancy and improving as a runner doesn’t depend on fancy, it is usually built on steady aerobic improvement over a long time coupled with adequate strength building to protect yourself from injury.  Adding time and mileage to your easy days over a long period of time is the way for steady growth.

Thoughts on what has best worked for you would be greatly appreciated in the comments.

Gift ideas for runners

Medal board

All my medals from the past few years


My wife found the directions for creating this fantastic gift idea on Pinterest.  We now have it up in our house.  If you have a runner that you’d like to get a gift for this idea will really light them up.  The board can also be used to hold bib numbers, which all finishers receive.

Please leave a comment with your most cherished running related gift below.  There will be a free month’s worth of personalized coaching to the first commenter.

Welcome to Mark’s running and coaching website!


Thank you for visiting my site! I am in the process of setting up (The thought process behind the name of the site to be posted soon) and wanted to get an online presence up in the meantime for those seeking to contact me.

In brief, I have been running since 1988 (approximately) with a few years off in the middle and absolutely love the sport. Running is a sport that can bring you great satisfaction and health benefits if you stick with it. This site will be a compilation of the tips, tricks, and advice I have gathered over the past 20 plus years from my previous coaches, fellow runners, books/magazines, trial and error, and internet research.

I currently utilize this knowledge to coach a number of runners at a wide range of ability levels and a wide range of goals. If you are interested in making the best of your time running (and not having to reinvent the wheel like so many of us have) please post a comment below and I will contact you to see how I can help you!