Nick Stricklen – Akron Running Coach

5.00 out of 5
(5 customer reviews)

From: $90.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee

Assistant coach at Kent State. Let’s work together to help you meet your running goals, no matter where you are in your journey.



Akron running coach Nick Stricklen has an exercise science degree and he coaches runners of all levels, whether you’re just starting out, or looking for a breakthrough performance in the marathon.

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LEVELS: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
TYPES: Road, Trail, Track
DISTANCES: 5k/10k/Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultra
TRAINING PLAN: Individual, customized training plan
COMMUNICATION: Unlimited email, unlimited text, unlimited phone
RESPONSE TIME: Within 24 hours


I coach any runner who is looking for a coach to get you to the next level. From the beginner who is preparing to log their first mile to the advanced athlete who is looking to rise above their plateau, I will give individualized training programs tailored to your goals. With over 10 years of running experience and a degree in exercise science, I will use my knowledge of nutrition, strength training, periodization, and injury prevention to keep you healthy and strong. I am here for all questions and concerns related to running, confidence, and support.


A runner is more than JUST a runner. A runner might be a student, a mom/dad, a cyclist, a backpacker, an aunt/uncle, a husband/wife, a sibling, a teacher, a doctor — the list can go on for pages. A runner who is coached as though they are ONLY a runner will not be a sustainable runner. I believe in coaching the runner in a holistic way that allows them to meet their running goals while still being a human. This means getting to know my athlete on a personal basis and being willing to adjust, adapt, and change based off what one specific athlete needs, despite the fact that it might mean more work for me as a coach.


I am a volunteer assistant coach at Kent State for the men’s and women’s distance running program. This comes with the responsibility of developing division 1 collegiate athletes into fast 800m-10,000m runners. Outside of this, I have helped athletes reach their goals on the road in a range of distances.


I left medical school to devote myself to a career in coaching. As someone who built some incredible relationships with my own coaches throughout my career, I am an advocate for getting to know you as a person and an athlete.

I grew up in Mansfield, OH and graduated from Lexington High School. There, I lead our team to its first ever state championship title in cross county and a state title in the 4x800m relay, as well as earned myself two individual state titles in the indoor and outdoor 3200m run. Afterward, I went on to run cross country for The University of Akron, where I specialized in the 3k-5k distances and secured top 5 times in school history in these events. Now, I live in Akron with my girlfriend who is a Doctor of Physical Therapy at a sports clinic and my dog, Milu.

As an outdoor enthusiast, I am always looking for new places to explore. Some of favorite pastimes include running (of course), skiing, backpacking, biking, rock climbing, and hiking.


Both my high school and collegiate coach are huge influencers on my coaching style. I believe they both excelled in different areas and feel I have become a hybrid of the two in terms of coaching style. My high school coach, a 12-time state champ in New York, has developed a team to win four state titles in a row with three individual state champions in the past five years. My collegiate coach has coached three Olympians with one athlete winning the Bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

These coaches helped create a solid foundation of my coaching knowledge and instilled a devote passion for the sport in me.
Other notable influencers in my philosophy include: Mike Smith, Tom “Tinman” Scwhartz, and Jerry Schumacher.


Some key racing experiences came from lessons learned rather than performance. In high school, I was lucky enough to be very successful early on. This was followed with a year of poor performance due to an over-reliance on talent rather than work. Following my poor junior year performance, I learned the importance of consistency, a strong work ethic, and passion, which resulted in winning four state titles my senior year, which is a great segue into a key race from my early running years.

Going into my final Ohio state meet, I was number two seed in the 3200m and the number one seed in my 4x800m relay team. Being the anchor of my relay, I secured the state title for my teammates and I, crossing the line 10 seconds before second place. This experience taught me the importance of teamwork. The following day, I took the lead from the gun in the 3200m and crossed the line 14 seconds ahead of second place.

The most defining race of my collegiate career was not my fastest, nor my most impressive, but it was the race that gave me confidence, which is a key component of being a successful runner. It was the first indoor race of the season in the spring of 2018. I was set to race the 3k at the University of Kentucky, and my race was focused on developing a race strategy and executing it. The leaders in the race went through the mile at 4:24, while I went through the mile at 4:32. Over the next 5 laps, I moved up to the front pack to be within striking distance for the win. Though I walked away with a fourth place finish, it was one of the most electrifying and exciting races of my life, and it yielded a 13 second PR. After a bit of a valley in terms of running success as a freshman at Akron, this performance gave me a sneak peak into how fast of a runner I could be. It also highlighted the importance of patience in a distance race, even when it’s tempting to start the race with the leaders.

During the summer of 2020, I attempted a 90 mile fundraiser run with inadequate training for such a long distance leading up to the event. With pain setting in at 35 miles, I was concerned I would not finish the run. After falling into a dark state at miles 45-50, I was convinced I wouldn’t make it past 50 miles. After a short rest, support from friends and family, re-fueling, and a new attitude, I set out and was able to complete the 90 miles. I learned that our body is almost always capable of pushing just a little more. Our mental toughness is almost always the limiting factor in running just a little faster or just a little further.

It’s the failures/injuries/low points in the sport that can sometimes make the biggest impact on our running careers. Of course, my training will be aimed at avoiding these low points, but I believe it is important to have support, guidance, and motivation from a coach who has experienced peaks and valleys in the sport.


  • 800: 1:52.9
  • 1500: 3:58
  • Mile: 4:12
  • 3k: 8:10
  • Steeplechase: 9:06 (3rd fastest time in UA history)
  • 5k: 14:06
  • 10k: 30:06
  • Half-marathon: 1:09:55
  • Marathon: 2:25:07 (Akron Marathon, 2021)


  • 4x state champ
  • Mid-American Conference (MAC) Runner of the Week
  • Second Team All-MAC in cross country
  • 4th place at the MAC meet in the steeplechase


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?


5 reviews for Nick Stricklen – Akron Running Coach

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kaleb K

    I picked Nick because of his running accomplishments and similar running locations in Ohio. I’ve been following his plans for two months now and could not be happier. His plans have the variety that my body and mind need to grow, and his plan is personalized to my goals, capabilities, and feedback. Thank you, Nick!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erika B.

    I started working with Nick when I needed help training for my first marathon. I know a lot of people tackle this challenge on their own, but I was planning to run the race with my dad (an avid racer) and it was important to me to at least hold my own! I had also been running off and on for a while, but knew I could use some help with planning and motivation in the long months leading up to the marathon.

    Working with Nick ended up being the best training decision I could have made! We settled on an aggressive plan with lots of run days, and Nick was able to adjust times, distances, and workouts for how I was feeling, extra shifts working, illness, and any other factors that came up. He laid out strength training workouts for my off days and gave advice on nutrition and fueling for long runs.

    When race day came, I was dialed in and ready. I maintained a pace I was happy with and truly enjoyed my time on the course. The 26.2 miles was a challenge, but not the miserable gut wrenching experience I’ve heard from a lot of first-time marathoners. I know a huge portion of that was thanks to excellent preparation, which was all thanks to Nick. (Not to mention, I left my dad more than a little impressed!)

    I’m very grateful to Nick for helping me achieve my goal. If you’re like me and looking to take the marathon challenge, consider working with Nick to help you absolutely crush it 🙂

  3. 5 out of 5

    Heatherly Benedict

    I started working with Coach Nick a couple months ago, and I have only great things to say about him. I feel like my training is back on track and I’m quickly seeing the pay off of entrusting my training to someone with such expertise. He is a good communicator and works well with my hectic schedule. I never feel overwhelmed or confused as he is super explicit in instructions and gives great feedback and tips.

  4. 5 out of 5


    After over two months of working with Nick, I can’t recommend him enough. He’s super responsive, patient with all my schedule changes, and enthusiastic about running and training. The training plan has been great, and I feel like I’m making a lot of progress while having fun along the way.

  5. 5 out of 5

    seth rotz

    I’ve been working with Nick for about 2.5 months and it’s been a wonderful experience. He is incredibly responsive and resourceful and has been a joy to work with

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