Mark Cliggett – Seattle Running Coach

5.00 out of 5
(21 customer reviews)

$119.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee

New runner? Want to qualify for Boston? Run your first 100 miler? Let’s connect and see if I can help you achieve your goals.

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Description

Seattle running coach Mark Cliggett has both breadth and depth in distances and terrains, including fast marathons and multi-day stage races over rugged terrain. Whether you’re looking for a faster time or a new, scary challenge, Mark is your guy.

Contact Mark

LEVELS: Beginner, Intermediate
TYPES: Road, Trail
DISTANCES: 5k/10k/Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultra
TRAINING PLATFORM: Google Docs
TRAINING PLAN: Individual, customized training plan
COMMUNICATION: Unlimited email, unlimited phone
RESPONSE TIME: Within 24 hours
LOCATION: Seattle, WA

SPECIALTIES

I enjoy helping any runner regardless of their goals. That said, there are two things that are particularly interesting to me based on my own history: 1) Helping people take on new challenges that seem ambitious and a little scary, whether it is running consistently, taking on an intimidating new distance, or running faster. 2) Working with runners who have “more life experience”. Getting older has its challenges and yet some people keep going out and doing amazing things in spite of extra years of wear and tear.

PHILOSOPHY

Enjoy the journey: Training should be enjoyable over time as you improve and see results. There will be great days and hard days along the way – the experience of individual days may be fleeting but the satisfaction that comes as you improve is lasting. If you aren’t enjoying training most of the time and becoming a better runner, then we will adjust things so you do.

Do the work: Consistency over time is the key to improving as a runner. Easy running alone can bring big fitness gains. Throw in the right amount of faster running and some patience, and goals that once seemed outlandish suddenly become achievable. But the miles don’t run themselves – you need to get out the door and run them, week after week.

Train for you: Training that makes sense for someone else probably is not going to work for you. You want to train in a way that takes into account your current fitness, your goals in the coming months and years, and the many other things in your life that compete for your time. Finding that sweet spot is the key to keeping you healthy and happy, and making your training sustainable for months and years.

COACHING EXPERIENCE

I started coaching friends and family in 2011 and have helped people train to run their first marathon, qualify for Boston, transition from road races to trail races, and run ultra distances up to 100k. I have also coached people in a work setting for many years – watching someone grow be able to do more has always been my favorite part of working with people.

BIG INFLUENCES

I draw most heavily from the coaching philosophies of Jack Daniels, Greg McMillan and Steve Magness. That said, I’m familiar with most of the coaches/systems out there and they all have a lot in common – lots of easy miles, some faster miles (but not a lot!), appropriate recovery, and making the training specific to your goals.

RACING HISTORY

Although I have accomplished some pretty outlandish running deeds, I spent most of my life as a reluctant and infrequent runner. I didn’t start running seriously until my early 40s, and ran my first marathon in 2007. In 2012 a friend said “I’m going to run this 50 mile trail race in 6 weeks – you should do it with me”. I said ok, and ran my first ultra, ran my first trail race, and qualified for Western States all the same day, 6 weeks later at White River. Since then I have accomplished things that seemed impossible when I first started running regularly – running the Boston Marathon for 8 straight years, completing my first 100 mile race after being accepted off the wait list 45 minutes before the race started, and spending 3 ½ straight days and nights working my way 205 miles around Lake Tahoe. I have run 39 marathons (including Boston, New York, London, Chicago, Berlin, and Paris) and 41 ultras (including Western States, UTMB, and Tahoe 200). Lately I’ve start doing self-reliant running adventures, e.g. the Issy Alps 100M and Ultrapedestrian Wilderness Challenges. I may be old and lack meaningful running talent, but at least I am crazy.

PRs/RACE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Marathon PR 2017 Tunnel Vision Marathon (at age of 55) 3:15:22
  • Fastest Known Time 2017 Issy Alps 100 Mile solo/unsupported 38:26:57
  • 2017 Moab 240M 90:27:54 33rd out of 127 starters
  • 2016 Tahoe 200M 77:26:32 1st male 50+ finisher, 17th out of ~100 starters
  • 2014 UTMB 37:37:46 427th out of ~2300 starters
  • 2014 White River 50M 9:27:42

CONTACT MARK

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.

Give us a brief history of your running, and this can include what distances and/or races you’ve run, how long you’ve been running, any past or present injuries, if you’ve worked with a coach or a specific training program before, etc.
Any short term or long term goals?
Describe your ideal coach/athlete relationship.
Any questions/comments for Team RunRun or the Coach in general?

PUBLICATIONS

21 reviews for Mark Cliggett – Seattle Running Coach

  1. 5 out of 5

    hmcdermott

    Beyond grateful to have asked Mark to coach me. As his other athletes have said, Mark is attentive, knowledgeable, thoughtful, flexible, and incredibly detailed. (And extremely humble and quite funny, too.) No suggestion comes without sound reasoning and an open invitation to ask for clarification (which I’ve needed often and he’s always responded speedily and with kindness.) I heartily recommend working with Mark. Its been an extremely productive relationship and I only regret not starting sooner.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mark Washburn

    It has been great to work with Mark. He has a wealth of expertise and demonstrated success with running. He listened to make sure he understood what I wanted to accomplish, developed a custom plan and provides excellent advice and feedback. Mark makes it simple to stay on track and improve quickly. I had tried to get back to running after a few detours and found there was almost too much information and advice. Mark has made it easy to enjoy running again.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Peatman

    Mark is awesome! If you want to run long, he has already done it. He has lived the life that I am trying to work my way into. His coaching is no nonsense and not all geeked out with technology. I think a good coach brings wisdom as well as intelligence. He has both and is happy to share it. I have been happy with my experience so far and plan on keeping him in my running life. Thanks Mark, for the time and compassion you spend on me!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shabnam Shaik

  5. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Foster

    I’ve been running for about 8 years and have run several ultras. But I’m a back of the packer and am often battling cutoffs. I had signed up for the 2020 Sun Mountain 50 miler and wanted to work on my speed so I wouldn’t get cut off. My friend Christy Shelton had been working with Mark and recommended that I speak with him. I did, and signed up for coaching. Mark set up a training plan for me to fit my personal needs, strengths and weaknesses. It wasn’t a cookie-cutter plan, but one tailored towards me – a slower, 54 year old runner. In the short amount of time I had been working with Mark (before SM50 was cancelled), I was getting faster and stronger. Once that race was cancelled, I floundered a bit and put my coaching on hold. Even though I was in a holding pattern, Mark kept in touch and regularly checked in. Then I signed up for Walla Trails 12 hour Hamster Endurance Run. I contacted Mark and we got started with coaching again. He immediately restructured my training plan towards a very different type of goal race than the original. Mark is good about explaining the reasons behind the training plan, mileage and workouts and is very responsive to my emails and questions. He has given me confidence in my abilities and what I may be able to accomplish in my future races.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Hoffman

    Have been working with Mark for over two months. I reached out to Mark specifically due to his “bucket list” race history of ultra marathons as I am working toward a 100 miler. He worked up a great plan for me, very detailed workouts, and instilled confidence in me that I didn’t need to overwork myself to be ready. He is very knowledgeable and very responsive, and when I don’t reach out after a few days I usually hear from him. Also has sent me some reading material, exercises, etc which is very helpful. Very happy I chose to team up with runrun and Mark!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kyle McGourty

    Mark is by far the best running coach I have ever had. He has a deep knowledge of running science that he marries with practical, no-nonsense wisdom to give you the best running advice that there is out there.

    I thought my running career was over. Injuries hobbled me and I could barely complete a 3-mile run without painful aches . Under Mark’s guidance, I slowly built up my running capacity and today I am completing 11 mile runs without out pain, on my way to my goal of completing an ultra marathon. And, it was all thanks to Mark and his coaching.

    As a lover of running, I can’t emphasize enough that having Mark as a coach has been the best running investment I’ve ever made. I highly recommend him to anyone who wants to get serious about running, or is simply interested in the sport.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tony DeEulio

    Mark is great at assessing your abilities and then pushing you beyond. He is flexible and works workouts around your schedule. He brings a great wealth of knowledge to the training plan and always follows up on things he says to tweak and make better.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Spurr

    I’ve been working with Mark for 2 months now, and it’s been terrific. I trained on my own for my first marathon last year, and outsmarted myself. I hit 2 of my 3 goals, but also beat the tar out of my body in the process. I was injured one way or another for 6 months.
    I’m training for my second marathon in April, and I’m thrilled to be working with Mark. His knowledge about all topics is boundless — from injuries, to pacing, to fueling…. And he has the resources and citations to back it up. I have yet to ask about a topic that Mark doesn’t have information about.
    Moreover, he’s incredibly responsive and encouraging. It’s been a pleasure working with Coach Mark these last 2 months, and I’m confident he’s going to keep me healthy along the way.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Phil Benadum

    Mark has been great to work with and has kept in touch on a regular basis. I am still 88 days out from my goal race, and with Mark’s help it will be successful!

    Thanks Coach!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sachin Nayak

  12. 5 out of 5

    nicolejgeorge

    Mark is a great coach. He has been responsive to any and all questions that I’ve had as I prepare for my first 100. I feel that he has tailored my training plan to fit my experience and my life. I’ve already seen improvements in my running. I would highly recommend Mark!

  13. 5 out of 5

    stevenvl

    Love working with Mark. I needed someone with experience and a philosophy. I’m 44 and longtime endurance cyclist switching towards running. If it wasn’t for Mark’s easy and gentle approach I was injured again like I was pretty much each year when I tried running during winter months off the bike. I’m still not there, keep in mind that cycling condition transferring to running takes months, even years. Basically, you need to restart from pretty much zero. There is where Mark was a great help. (also please listen on Youtube for an interview with Mark and you’ll find an integer, patient and emotional man). If you want a “Hercules hammering it all down” approach Mark is not your friend. (meant in a good way)

  14. 5 out of 5

    JenRoz516

    I’ve been working with Mark for two months at this point and he has been absolutely fantastic! He provides detailed explanations of all training, is supportive regarding my upcoming races, and is always available to answer questions. Very happy so far!

  15. 5 out of 5

    rocky962

    Started training with Mark a couple months ago and am very pleased. He’s detailed, communicative, responds quickly to questions, and has worked with me to really understand my goals, my capacity to train, and has tailored a plan for me that I believe in.

  16. 5 out of 5

    rodneylbrownjr

    I am a long-time cyclist who wants to run a marathon or maybe longer. Mark has gotten me into running slowly and safely, which wouldn’t have been my natural inclination as someone who is pretty fit from cycling. I am now up closing in on half-marathon distance, and I feel great. I will keep increasing the mileage and getting faster as Mark directs. I am very confident that Mark’s training plan will get me to my goal — and happily too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    rswolf

    So I never really thought I’d ever hire a running coach. But then I never really thought I’d decide to run an ultra either. Since I have a job where I am very active and wasn’t sure how much to train to be ready for my 50k while also being able to pay the bills, I decided to look for a coach that could guide me around my work.
    Mark has been terrific. He listens to you and tailors your weekly run log to your needs. He’s easy to get a hold of and answers questions promptly and thoroughly.

    I have high confidence that, with Mark’s guidance, I’ll have nothing but fun during my race in September. He’s a great coach and I’d recommend him to anyone who’d like a running coach to assist with their training. For me, it’s taken all the guesswork out of training so all I have to do is run. Which is the way it should be.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathie Walters

    Mark has been coaching me (no easy task!) for about two months now and I have already learned so much. He is extremely thoughtful and analytical in his approach to my training program and takes the time to explain the logic behind the workouts. Mark does an excellent job of designing a program that fits into my schedule and accommodates my various aches and pains. He also manages to balance pushing me a little out of my comfort zone without making it so difficult I get frustrated or discouraged. Most importantly, he does this all with a great sense of humor which I really appreciate!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Megs230

    I have been working with Mark for almost two and a half months now and his coaching is absolutely stellar. From the very beginning when he met with me he listened carefully to what my goals were as well as my issues. Coming back from injury, with some ongoing issues, it was important to me to find a coach who would be able to work with these issues and be able to be flexible. Mark has given me a comprehensive programme, that takes these issues into account while still continuing to push and challenge me. He also knows when to hold me back and to gently remind me when I need to rest. The plan Mark has put together for me has fun and interesting workouts, while also giving me the flexibility to change the time and distance of some of my longer trail runs/hikes depending on what is going on in my week. Since I have started working with him I have definitely noticed a massive improvement in my run cardiovascular fitness and I am not constantly running injured. Not quite sure how he does it but Mark makes me feel like I’m his only client – he’s attentive to my fitness log, gives me consistent and excellent feedback and often emails me to check in with a particular workout, depending on how my training has gone. The support I feel from Mark as I work towards a very technically challenging 100K is palpable. I trust him and the programme he’s put together and I know with him on my team that I will be absolutely prepared to do well on race day. Mark’s dedication to his own running goals is incredibly inspiring as well and the fact that he’s still out there experiencing what his athletes experience, I think, makes him that much better of a coach. The shared training spreadsheet works incredibly well as a coaching tool. It is very detailed and Team Run Run is always making updates to it based on their coaches/athlete’s feedback and is a definite plus. I would highly recommend Mark to anyone who is looking for a well rounded coach – whether it’s a marathon you’re training for or a 200 miler. Mark definitely knows how to handle it all.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laura Rodde

    I have been coached by Mark for about two months. Mark has provided a realistic structure and the flexibility to work around my schedule. He has presented opportunities for me to challenge myself and push a little harder when I can (something I have found myself wanting to do). I already feel like I am getting faster! One of the things I appreciate about Mark is that he continues to pursue his own running goals and seems a continuous learner of the sport. At first, I was a bit worried that he might not be able to tailor workouts to someone who isn’t an Ultrarunner yet I quickly found that his experience adds to his credibility and understanding of how to create an individualized plan for me. I feel grateful to have Mark supporting me during my training and since working with Mark I have found a renewed inspiration for running and being intentional about my running in general. I appreciate his clear and thoughtful approach and I really enjoy working with him.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kentarleton

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