Tammy Kovaluk – Bend Running Coach

From: $125.00 / month and a $19.00 sign-up fee

50% off your first month! 5k to ultras, triathlon to obstacle courses. MS kinesiology + Experience. Strength, form, injury resilience, nutrition, performance.

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Description

Bend running coach Tammy Kovaluk draws on 20 years of experience and a MS in Sport Conditioning to help you build strength and speed in your running, whether it’s a 5k or your first ultramarathon, on roads or trails, she’s here to help.

*$50 off first month of coaching for 3 more spots – Coupon Code: 50kovaluk*

*$100/mo for run coaching if you attend Tammy’s Strength Class for Runners in person – Contact Tammy for more info*

Contact Tammy

LEVELS: 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: Bend, OR
IN-PERSON SESSIONS: Yes, meet at Central Oregon Community college (track). Options may include: Testing as required to set personal HR zones and current target paces, Form as required, along with corrective drills/exercises, Specific strength and conditioning session as required. Can be split by 2 athletes and still provided personalized training. Contact Tammy to confirm.

SPECIALTIES

  • 5k to marathon and beyond!
  • Especially for intermediate/advanced looking for that PR or achieving your best in a new distance
  • Triathlon
  • Obstacle course and adventure type of events (ie Go Ruck, the SUCK).
  • Specific strength training for runners and endurance athletes
  • Corrective exercise
  • Nutrition

PHILOSOPHY

I bring experience and education as a strength and run coach, but also listen and am adaptable. We are all unique: everybody is different and what works for one runner might not be the best approach for another. You might benefit from more speed work and your friend might need more stamina, for example. Some runners can tolerate higher volume, some can tolerate more hill work. When I was the speed and agility coach for high school football, for example, from day one I made sure the athletes could feel comfortable asking questions and addressed individual needs. To ask why, to discuss what seems to be working best. I believe a coach should be able to answer the why, have purpose behind training, and be approachable.

I believe strongly in working WITH you. We are a team!

I view coaching as a blend of science and art. I also believe in listening to your body, not just blindly following programs an. I have made those mistakes! They taught me vital lessons, and helped me to become a better athlete and coach.

A couple of things I think of when coaching:

  • “Everything should have a purpose.”
  • “Train like you play. ” This means, for example, if you want to get better at running the hills in your marathon necessitates incorporating some deliberate hill practice in training.

COACHING EXPERIENCE

  • 20+ years experience as personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, and corrective exercise specialist.
  • 8 years experience as a running coach, with a wide range of distances and ability levels. Example, I have successfully coached tactical athletes from the FBI applicant to special forces selection, was an assistant coach for middle school cross country, coached the first timer marathoner to successfully helping runners qualify for Boston, coaching the weekend adventurer who has a bucket list from Ironman triathlon to ultra trail races to “Sealfit”
  • “Footzone” marathon coach in 2019 (Bend, Oregon)
  • Asst Coach Esperero middle school cross country team (state champions in Arizona, 2017)
  • Founder of Bend Trail Runners
  • Corrective exercise specialist in an integrative clinic founded by Canada Triathlon’s chiropractor. Most of my work was with triathletes and runners.
  • Strength and speed coach for a wide variety of athletes and teams: Team Aggro cycling team (Tucson), Belmont High School Football (Canada), Salpointe softball (Tucson), hockey, lacrosse, Tyee swim team (Canada), and various other teams (too many to list!)
  • Small group strength training, specifically for runners

ABOUT ME

I did not grow up as a runner! Nor as an athlete! After a challenging upbringing involving trauma and veering on the wrong path, I made a change and hit the gym shortly after high school. Once I was 25 years old, I was challenged to running at the track when I started to train in boxing. Prior, I lifted weights. I did not run. At the track, I was given 4 x 400s, told to go hard, and hard I went. I felt like I was dying. It sucked and was not comfortable! I was a server at the time while attending college, and could not walk the next day! I still remember my fellow workers and friends laughing with me as I hobbled around. I hated running but wanted to beat it, so once recovered in a few days, I ran again. Of course, I ended up falling in love with running. And was fortunate to use my goals as projects during my undergrad in Kinesiology. The discipline, the drive within, best version of myself, the meditative aspect and of course, spending time in some amazing places in nature. Running saved me. It and made me who I am today.

My first 5km race, I literally showed up in a Rocky inspired attire. Sweat pants and sweat top. I remember all the runners in proper running attire, looking at me up and down, like I did not belong. I also remember their looks as I walked up to receive my 3rd place medal.

Since then, I placed 7th female in my first and only true marathon, placed in numerous triathlons, tried to make the jump as a professional as an Ironman triathlete (failed, overtrained and learned lessons). I have podiumed as an elite Spartan racer, placed 3rd female in my first 50km trail race, won the 36hr “Ultimate SUCK”, broke 2 burpee world records (pending), and am about to enter my first 100 miler. I like to challenge myself in a variety of events, ones that are a little scary but exciting. The variety of experiences and remembering what it is like to try something new, also helps me to be a better coach.

I am Canadian! Spent most of my adult life in British Columbia. Currently reside in Oregon.

I plan to travel to Switzerland! It has been someone I’ve wanted to go for years for many reasons. Being out in nature – especially running or backpacking in the mountains – is my happy place.

I love animals! Especially dogs and farm animals. In fact, some of my personal suffer fests have been for Harmony Farm Sanctuary, a local rescue sanctuary for abused and abandoned farm animals (I volunteer there). The past 2 years, I have been doing a personal sufferfest fundraiser for Harmony. One involved 50 miles (half with a 35# pack on), thousands of pushups and situps, one mile of burpees, and other tasks to set the record. It is becoming a yearly spring tradition.

I also host themed obstacle course races, including the “Rise Ranch Challenge” to support Harmony Farm Sanctuary. Besides coaching, I am the owner of Rise Challenge Events, putting on themed obstacle course races in Bend. I typically start my mornings with horse farm chores.

I suffered chronic pain for years, just when I was hitting my potential. It was very frustrating, as I had the capability of running sub 18min for a 5km within only a few years, but the extreme ongoing leg pain kept limiting me. I was literally limping at times through races and training, which made me have to run at a moderate effort as that made the pain bearable. Despite seeing many different practitioners and trying everything from rehabilitation exercises to various manual therapies, nothing helped. I was even told that I was perhaps not meant to run. That led me to continued education for corrective exercise, especially for runners. After finally being diagnosed correctly during my MS with the source being an “anteverted hip,” I began doing the right heavy strength work. This regime works for me and can run healthy.

I like doing things that are challenging, sucky at times, but competitive. Things that scare but excite me. Things that make me stronger, more confident, better. Not just as an athlete but as a human being.

BIG INFLUENCES

  • Dr Jack Daniels (World renowned running coach, professor during graduate school in kinesiology and sport performance). Pace training system, much of my coaching style / programming reflects Dr Daniels, his methodology and research.
  • Dr Matt Rhea (world renowned strength and conditioning coach, professor during graduate school in kinesiology and sport performance)

*Above professors are why I chose At Still for my MS

  • John Wooden. For blending in strength + skill + conditioning vs keeping them all separate.
  • Gray Cooke, for corrective exercise and focusing on ‘movement training not muscles’
  • Rocky!! Yes. Rocky. For inspiration. I don’t care if he is fictional 🙂

A few favorite runners *most not just for their incredible ability, but as incredible humans as I see it

  • Fiona Oakes
  • Haile Gebrselassie
  • Scott Jurek
  • Mario Mendoza (local runner)

RACING HISTORY

I have a racing history that is a little different than most runners. After a few running events, I delved into triathlon. So much of my events were multi-sport. Starting with the sprint distance, I said “never would I do an Ironman.” Well, that “never” did happen and that distance became what I was best at, what I tried to go professionally at, what I made mistakes and burnt out at.

Ironman Training

During Ironman training, I decided to race in the Victoria marathon. I trained and felt my very best could be a 3:20-3:30. But then changed the goal to a 3:10-3:15 (4:30/km average) per how my training was going. I also trained my mind, on how to switch it from feeling the pain and feeling tired to staying focused during that last 10km. I ended up with a 3:13 after messing up my nutrition and finally getting in some nutrition at 30km in. That was a proud moment, as I was able to set out my training plan, do the plan, achieve my very best and push myself to my limits.

Burnout Period

During the burnout period, I was able to qualify for IM Hawaii and ended up racing in it. Although the racing for me was at the end, it was a trip I will never forget. Not for the IM so much to be honest, for swimming with dolphins in the wild! A dream come true.

Other Races

Other races include multiple triathlons of various distances, 5km running races, 10km races, 1/2 marathons, duathlons. I have placed high in my age group or even overall female (depending on the competition) in many of these events.

Another event that sticks in my mind was a half Ironman triathlon in Invermere, B.C. Located in a mountainous area, I recall being so nervous about a steep climb. Most athletes had to walk their bike up. Well, right as I turned the corner below the climb, I crashed hard. My hip swelled up with a bump the size of a tennis ball, I had terrible painful road rash, and a banged up elbow. After wanting to cry and quit for a moment of time, adrenaline hit. I dusted myself off, climbed up that damn hill and ran my way back into 3rd. That race sticks out because I gained a lot of confidence that day, a lot of self belief, and strength.

My first 50km was in Tucson and shocked myself by placing 3rd female.

Of course, there were many events that did not end well or go well. I have bonked, felt the consequences of sodium depletion, limped through events with a chronic injury, got lost…But there are always lessons from the failures. Ah-hah moments!

Various weird stuff:

  • On June 5, 2021, I broke both the 12 and 24hr chest-to-ground pushup burpees for the Guinness World book of records, with 6116 burpees in 12hrs (breaking my goal of 6000 burpees and the previous records of 5229 and 5555 burpees respectively). Very challenging in a different way!
  • Won the 12 hour SUCK event. Never forget being like “what!? I am in first?” Then damn: A La Cholla! I fell and landed my hand right onto a cholla, and had to get it out of my hand without getting it all over the rest of me. I swore a LOT in the middle of the night on that event, by myself, in the mountains. It was self supported. And learned a lesson: Don’t be cocky. When the race director said we had to take tweezers or pliers in case of the cholla, I thought to myself “Not me! I lived in Tucson for 3 years and never got stuck with cholla.” Well, it was me!
  • 2020: Overall winner the 36hr Ultimate SUCK event, deemed one of the top most extreme fitness tests in the world where we had to do everything from trail run, go through a creepy river, carry sandbags, chop wood, climb ropes, lift weight, and numerous other tasks with no sleep over 60+ miles.
  • Previous elite Spartan racer, including placing 2nd master’s elite in the 50km world’s “Ultra Beast” in Tahoe (2017). Previous podiums at other obstacle courses including Spartan and Terrain race.
  • Currently training for my first 100 miler, Rio del Lago, on Nov 6
  • Next goals: Guinness WR for a marathon carrying a 40# pack (female). Badwater 135 in 2023 (hopefully? Am I really saying this!?)

CERTIFICATIONS

  • MS Kinesiology and Sport Performance (included exercise physiology and run specific training)
  • CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with NSCA)
  • FMS level 2 (corrective exercise specialist)
  • Speed and agility

PRs

  • 20:05 – 5k
  • 1:31 – 1/2 marathon
  • 3:13 marathon (Victoria marathon, after only 5 years or so as a runner and in midst of triathlon training)
  • 10:48 Ironman triathlon (fastest but most disappointing as I was over trained and capable of closer to 10hrs)

CONTACT TAMMY

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

Rio Del Lago 100 Race Report

SOCIAL

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