Phil “Panther” Carmical – Austin Running Coach

From: $85.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee

Helping beginners build a strong base for 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon, and helping intermediate runners fine-tune their training.



Austin running coach Phil “Panther” Carmical is all about building a strong, consistent base, and whether you’re a beginner or intermediate runner, he’ll help you get there safely and reasonably, whether it’s your first 5k or your 10th marathon. Reach out to Phil today!

Contact Phil

LEVELS: Beginner, Intermediate
TYPES: Road, Track
DISTANCES: 5k/10k/Half Marathon, Marathon
TRAINING PLAN: Individual, customized training plan
COMMUNICATION: Unlimited email, unlimited text, unlimited phone
RESPONSE TIME: Within 24 hours
IN-PERSON SESSIONS: Yes, meet at Yellowjacket Track in Austin, Texas. Reach out to Panther with any questions to make sure he can adjust the in-person session to your individual needs.


  • Ramping beginners up safely and reasonably, to build a strong base for 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon
  • Helping intermediates to “sharpen the saw” from base-building to working on speed and time goals for 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon
  • Designing plans for runners with special circumstances, like injuries or other health concerns
  • Training multi-sport athletes, like triathletes, duathletes, and cyclists
  • Training runners who want to cross-train at a high level


My coaching philosophy is rooted in building a “big base” first. That is the building block for everything else, whether it’s starting a beginner run plan, running a faster 5k, or running your first marathon. This means that you need to slowly build up your mileage over time, building a consistent routine for running, and following a plan written by your coach. I also believe in “easy weeks,” to give your body a chance to recover from the previous “hard weeks.” A fancy way of saying this is “periodization,” but it basically just means that your body needs recovery time. You can’t go hard all the time. This is the purpose of a training plan, and it’s up to your coach to write a plan that is tailored to fit your personal needs and goals, keeping you uninjured and motivated.



I coached adult runners, triathletes, duathletes, and cyclists for 16 years before “retiring” during the Covid 19 pandemic, when in-person run groups basically came to a halt. Many of my athletes qualified for Boston, went to triathlon nationals or even worlds, and won races. The majority of my athletes, however, were people who just wanted to run their first marathon, PR for a 5k, or come back from an injury. Probably one of my proudest moments as a coach was a certain 10k in Austin, Texas, when 20 out of my 22 runners PR’d. I took great pride in coaching a group that was very varied, from people running for the first time to veteran runners who were finishing 2nd in the Austin Marathon. Seeing the winner of a race cheering on her teammate, who was running his first race brought me and my whole team so much joy. This is what I love about coaching, and this is why I am so happy to be a part of Team RunRun!


People in Austin, Texas and elsewhere in the running community know me as “Panther.” It’s my running nickname that I picked up almost 20 years ago, and it stuck. I have appeared on local magazine covers, featured in the newspaper, and been on television as Panther, representing my running group, my non-profit (the Austin Duathletes), or the Austin Marathon. I coached runners and multi-sport athletes for 16 years, as well as raced, myself, winning numerous top 3 spots and some overall masters wins in marathons and trail races. I was Clif Bar’s “Cyclist of the Year” one year, and I have had training and certifications from RRCA, USA Cycling, and others. Coaching runners is my passion, and I am so excited to be a part of this team!


  • Arthur Lydiard (the godfather)
  • Jack Daniels (both of them, but mostly the running coach)
  • Steve Prefontaine (who else?)
  • Kara Goucher
  • Honestly, local running legends have influenced me more than anyone


I didn’t get into running until I was in my early 30s, something that I talk about in my book. So, I never ran in the Olympics, set any records, or was featured on Sportscenter. I have won countless 1st-3rd places in all kinds of running events, from the 5K to the marathon, road to trail, and everything in between, and I’ve fallen backwards into being an elite duathlete in my conference. I have a few overall masters wins in various races, but, to be honest, winning for myself was never my goal. I wanted to help OTHER people win. Whether winning meant crossing the finish line of your first marathon, qualifying for Boston, going to the world triathlon championships, or running 20 miles in a week for the first time after an injury, seeing other people achieve their goals after months of dedication has always, and still does, mean more than any trophy or medal that I might take home.


Since I “retired” during the pandemic, I don’t have any current certs, but I’ve been, in the past, certified by RRCA, USA Cycling, and others.


  • 5K = 17:50
  • Marathon =3:06
  • These are the only two distances that I, personally, have liked to race over my running career.
  • As I get older, I appreciate the 10k and the half marathon more and more.


  • 2nd overall masters winner in the Hogeye Marathon, 2020
  • 1st overall masters, 3rd male in the Chosen Marathon, 2014
  • 1st overall masters, 2nd overall in the Chosen Marathon, 2010, 2011
  • 2nd overall finisher in the Double Decker Marathon, 2010
  • 3rd overall finisher in the Double Decker Marathon, 2011
  • Overall winner for the 2006 “Run for the Future 5K” in Dallas, TX
  • Texas State Duathlon Age Group Champion, 2006
  • Third place for Clif Bar’s “Cyclist of the Year” in City Sports, 2006
  • Certified Level III Coach, USA Cycling
  • Coach Certification, RRCA (Road Runners Club of America)
  • ACT certified personal trainer
  • Placed in the top three places in my age group in dozens of running events and duathlons


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?



  • My Race Against Death: The Story of One Runner Who’s Running Further and Faster with Age, But Who Refuses to Listen to Reason, by Norman Lieberman and Phil Carmical, ISBN 9781619275324, 2013
  • Running with Riff Raff: An Intermediate Running Guide for Intermediate Runners and Coaches, by Phil “Panther” Carmical, currently being written


  • Running Room,” 2005-2006
  • Monthly editorials in Duly Noted, newsletter from the Austin Duathletes, 2004-2005


  • Presented at Runlab on behalf of the Austin Marathon, March 2021
  • Spoke at Rogue about my first book, May 2017
  • “Running Demystified,” a talk given on multiple occasions, such as health fairs, between 2013 and 2018



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