Sign up for $175/mo
*** Price includes personal strength training program (see Specialties below). For run coaching only for $125/mo, use Coupon Code: 50oconnor ***
LEVELS: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
TYPES: Road, Trail
DISTANCES: 5k/10k/Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultra
TRAINING PLATFORM: Final Surge
TRAINING PLAN: Individual, customized training plan
COMMUNICATION: Unlimited email, unlimited text
RESPONSE TIME: Within 24 hours
LOCATION: Seattle, WA
Finding a coach who is a great fit for you is really important. We encourage you to email your coach prior to signing up so you can connect, communicate, and ensure a good athlete/coach fit.
Most runners know the multiple benefits of strength training: stronger connective tissue, improved posture, injury prevention, increased bone density, boosted confidence – the list goes on and on. The reality though, is that many runners are overlooking their strength work, and are, in turn, missing the benefits that routine strength training can add to their running. Maybe you have simply been neglecting strength training or are unsure of where to start or even what movements best benefit runners. Whatever your situation is, I can help build and design a strength training program that fits well within your training and which complements your running. I believe that having the ability to prescribe both running and strength workouts has been a huge benefit to my clients. Because I will be able to have the full scope and understanding of your training schedule, injuries and past goals, I am able to build a holistic training regime melding both your running and strength work in a way that couldn’t be possible with multiple coaches.
I have also had a lot of success working with runners who have been prone to injury in the past. I believe that there are two elements of my coaching style that have lead to this success.
Incorporating full body strength training, with an emphasis on posterior chain and core strengthening.
Taking a long-term view and approach to running, slowly building a large aerobic base and not rushing the process. If you think of your running as a lifestyle and life-long project, it is essential to always keep in mind that happy, healthy running over a long time period is more important than any temporary short term gains.
Integrating these two pillars of philosophy into my training has helped many runners who have been prone to injury return to healthy running.
Because I believe in the importance of strength training and cross training in a well-rounded running program, I pride myself on building strong well-rounded endurance athletes able to handle any type of challenge or work load put in front of them. Not only do I want to help build you into the best runner you are able to be, I want you to feel strong, capable and confident in your body. My athletes are not just strong runners, they are balanced, powerful athletes.
As a coach, I also believe that we must work together to build not simply physical strength, but mental strength as well. I often talk to my clients about the set of skills that they have. We work to cultivate those skills to help ensure success as endurance athletes. We can think of these skills as being different tools in a tool box. One of the most important tools you have as an endurance athlete in your tool box is your mental strength and mental control. As your coach, I will strive to empower you with tools that allow you to further expand that mental strength and control.
I have some key components that help to shape my training philosophy. The importance and order of these components vary from runner to runner, and vary over time depending on what role your running plays in your life. In over 10 years of working with athletes I have come to understand these underlying truths.
In order to become a better runner, there must be a certain level of consistency in training. This will mean different things to different runners, but almost all runners need some sort of movement on most days. To this end, as a your coach, I will strive to write a program for you that is both fun and repeatable. I want you to (on most days) look forward to your training, and really enjoy the process of growth. At the end of the day we run to have fun and find joy in the process. If I can help make your training fun and repeatable, you are headed in the right direction with consistency.
There is no “one way” to fitness
This idea stitches back to idea about the importance of consistency. As long as you are consistent in your training, there are many paths that will lead you to being a strong runner. If you put in the work, believe in the process and trust the training you are doing, then you are setting yourself up for success. It’s my job as your coach to help find and design a program that is best suited to your goals, your life, and what you want from your running.
Build a large cardiovascular base
I am a big fan of taking lots of time to build a big “cardiovascular base”. Almost all runners could benefit from doing a little more volume of easy running, and prioritizing this over speed and specialty work. That is not to say that speed and specialty work don’t have their place, they do, and are critical to building complete runners. However a little extra volume of easy work will go a long way for many people. I believe this process of emphasizing base-building has helped in coaching so many runners prone to injury, back to health as running athletes.
Being flexible as your coach
This is your journey, not mine, and I am part of your team to help you reach what you want to with your running. Because I know we can take many different paths to fitness, I will work with you when roadblocks and life events pop up, to keep you running and consistent. This is truly one of the perks of having an individual coach – we are able to adjust and modify plans, as well as keep you in track, when life happens.
I want all of my athletes to know I truly care for them and for their success. As one of my runners you have decided to trust me by investing both your time and money in the process of individualized coaching. Having that knowledge and opportunity is something that I hold closely to my heart. As your coach I want you to trust that I will always be fair, kind and compassionate with you.
In 2008 I realized I wanted to turn a lifelong passion for strength training and daily movement into a career that would bring me joy. I earned my personal training certification from the Cooper Institute in Dallas, Texas and in November 2008 I started training clients. From 2009 through 2012 I grew and expanded my client base, focusing on full body strength and conditioning through functional fitness. At the same time I began teach group strength classes, and spin classes. This experience was extremely valuable as I learned to train and coach people one on one in an individual setting, as well as train groups up to 50 people at a time in group strength classes.
In 2012 I decided to give running a little bit more of my time and commitment. After having run cross country in high school, and having done a couple of 1/2 marathons, I wanted to put more energy towards running. I ran both my first marathon, and trail ultra that year. As running and endurance become more a focus for me, more of my clients started to become endurance focused athletes. From 2012- 2015 I began integrating running plans into fitness programming I was developing for clients. In this time I was able to coach multiple athletes to new PRs from 5k to marathon distances, as well as inspire and encourage clients who had never tried running to begin.
In 2015, after moving to Seattle, I was hired by Always Running as the in-house strength and conditioning coach. This role included reading and understanding the training program of over 30 runners, and then designing individual strength programs for each. I then began to transition to writing running plans in addition to the strength programming I was doing. Under the guidance of Coach Tony Williams I was able further my understanding and knowledge of how to build individual running programs.
In 2017 I transitioned back to personal training in a gym setting, with an emphasis on training runners and endurance athletes. I continue to take a holistic approach to working with the clients designing both their running and strength programs. A few highlights from coaching over the last couple of years include: prepping an athlete for Rim to Rim crossing of the Grand Canyon, training and pacing a 67 year old client to a Cascade Crest 100 finish, training multiple clients for Mt Rainer ascents, and helping a client crush their expectations for the Rut 50k.
In addition to working with individual clients I continue to teach a couple of extremely popular spin classes a week. The opportunity to lead 40 people on a demanding and grueling workout is extremely gratifying – the energy can be electric. The group setting challenges me to make an endurance workout difficult yet appealing to a large group of people. Leading and challenging literally thousands of people through endurance work on the bikes has also helped build the experience I draw on as a one-to-one running coach.
I live in Seattle with my wife Leah, daughter Hazel, and our dog Pepper. When I am not running I love to take advantage of our beautiful natural surroundings by getting out to ski, kayak, camp, and bike. As a new father I am extremely excited to share my passion and love for movement with my daughter.
David Roche – I love the self-belief that he coaches. He helps his athletes believe that they are amazing and capable of so much! His energy is amazing.
Ryan Hall – America’s fastest marathoner who now coaches multiple athletes including his wife. He has an amazing insight to elite training and mindset. I admire his focus and intensity.
Steve Magness – He has incredible depth of knowledge in the sport of running. While I don’t always agree with all of his takes or ideas, his lifelong dedication to running, coaching, and learning is awesome.
Jack Daniels – A legend! He is straight forward, down to earth, and all about performance. I love how regimented, and concise his training programs are.
Tom Schwartz – I like his belief in the value of cross training and multi-sport training. His belief in his athletes and the belief he instills in them is admirable.
Sage Canaday – He really lives and embraces the any surface, any distance approach. From road racing to trail 100’s, Sage is just in love with running and it shows. I love his obsession with running and his willingness and dedication to share it with all of us.
Shawn Bearden- An incredibly detailed and thorough coach! It’s amazing how Shawn looks at all aspects of running, both the physical and the mental. Some of my favorite methods for strengthening the mind have come from Shawn.
Kilian Jornet – The GOAT! Not much need to be said about his impressive lists of accomplishments from running to climbing. It is his humble and caring nature as well as his connection to the natural world that inspire me.
Magdalena Boulet – Her love for running and the running community shines through her! Her kind spirt and fierce competitive nature, as well as her ability to translate road speed to trail success make her an amazing runner to follow.
Rickey Gates – His unique approach to running projects is so inspiring. I love how Rickey takes a running lifestyle and uses it to explore his surroundings in that are totally unique.
Kaci Lickteig – An incredibly positive runner, who seems grateful for every mile run, and she runs a ton of them! I think it is amazing how she has been able to be a competitive trail ultra runner, while living in the flats of Nebraska. Truly an example of what dedication and work can produce.
Racing is just one aspect of the whole realm that encompasses a running lifestyle. There is so much more to what defines us as runners than a specific race or time that we have run. The emphasis that we put on daily training, the recovery and sleep that we prioritize, our strength training, the dedication and structure we apply to our daily lives, really the whole approach we take to honing our craft of running is what defines us. Racing can be just one of those components if we want it to be. I have had quite a few clients who have thoroughly enjoyed running without ever racing. If you do choose to race I like to encourage my clients to race hard and free! I like to think about racing as a chance to ” let our training show itself”. We dedicate a lot of work both physically and mentally to build ourselves into strong runners, and it can be fun to let all of that work translate into a magical day on the road or trails.
My dad ran both trail and road races when I was younger, including Boston the year I was born, so I grew up around running. I ran my first race, a road mile, when I was 7. I ran track and cross country in middle school and high school, and worked out with my college team, though never ran competitively for them. In 2012 I ran my first marathon, The Avenue of the Giants, and I haven’t looked back since then!
While my true passion lies in the freedom and unpredictable nature of trail running, I really love all types of running and racing! I have raced road 5ks to marathons, I have run snow races, fixed time events, large classic races like Boston to small old school ultras, and everything in between. I love it all!
One of my favorite running experiences was not a race – it was my preparation and running of the Sea to Sky to Sea FKT in Hawaii. The route is 38 miles round trip and involves 10,200 ft. of climbing up Maui’s largest volcano, Haleakala. The trail is extremely remote and includes a lot of route finding/navigation. The challenge of training through a Seattle winter to prepare for this tropical FKT, and then executing my goal, is one of my favorite running memories. Read more about the FKT here:
TRX Level 1 certified trainer
HealthSport Certified Cycle Instructor
5k – 16:19 (11/28/2019) Eureka Turkey Trot
1/2 Marathon – 1:18:04 (3/3/2019) Lake Sammamish 1/2
Marathon – 2:41:34 (9/8/2019) Cascade Express Marathon
50k (actually 34 miles) – 4:52 (3/25/2107) Badger Mountain 50k
40 mile – 5:49:47 – (12/7/2013) Arcata to Willow Creek
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
Cinderella Trail Marathon (8/18/2012) – 2nd overall
Folsom Lake Trail Run (4/26/2014) – 2nd overall
Grasshopper Peak Redwoods Run (6/7/2014) – 2nd overall
Methow Snow Trail Race (1/24/2015) – 1st overall
Badger Mountain 50k – (3/25/2017) – 3rd overall
Sea to Sky to Sea FKT – (5-3-2018)
Snoqualmie Trail 1/2 Marathon (6-3-2018) – 1st overall
Bigfoot 40 mile (8/10/2018) – 1st overall
Deception Pass 25k (12/9/2018) – 2nd overall
Bigfoot 20 mile (8/9/2019) – 2nd overall
Cascade Express Marathon (9/8/2019) – 2nd overall
Maui 1/2 Marathon (10/11/2019) – 3rd overall
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Anatomy of 100 Mile Training Week Intro – 5/17/20
Beach from Seattle to Everett FKT Writeup – 5/14/20
Beach from Seattle to Everett FKT Video – 5/14/20
Mesquite Canyon 50K Race Report – 3/6/20