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Getting Back in the Coaching Game!

Posted by on Jun 19, 2012 | 2 Comments

Barefoot Running University will once again be offering coaching services (page under construction) in the very near future. I haven’t actively coached since 2009… mostly because I didn’t have the extra time. As Shelly and I have acclimated to our nomadic lifestyle, we’ve become more efficient with our time. I also genuinely miss coaching. I do some very limited coaching at clinics, but the format doesn’t allow for more than about 5-10 minutes of work. I also started doing coaching sessions at the Down and Dirty races, but the time is limited there, too.

The coaching is also the first phase of a new running venture we’re just starting to develop. We’ll be sharing the details in the near future.

Anyway, back to the coaching. I’ll be offering two formats:

  • In-person coaching sessions: These one hour sessions are designed for individuals, couples, or very small groups. The exact goal will depend on your needs. Since Shelly and I travel around the country, these sessions will be dependent on our current location.
  • Online coaching: Online coaching will be offered on a month-to-month basis. Again, the goal will depend on your needs. Generally, most clients are either making the transition to barefoot or minimalist shoe running or preparing for a specific race. Online coaching will consist of a customized training plan developed on a weekly basis and a predetermined number of weekly contacts to support progress toward your goals. Since I am a firm believer in the importance of good running form, this will be the starting point when working toward any goal. At the current time, I will limit my online coaching to two clients.

My Coaching Philosophy

My coaching philosophy is a little different than most coaches. I’m a huge believer in self-sufficiency. Unless you’re preparing for the Olympics, you probably don’t need to hire a coach indefinitely. As such, I have two primary goals when working with any client:

  1. Help achieve whatever goal or goals you seek, and
  2. Teach you the necessary skills and transfer the appropriate knowledge to allow you to coach yourself.

That’s right- my goal is to help you accomplish your goal and make myself obsolete in the process. The most effective form of learning is self-learning. I’m willing to work with a client as long as needed, but I will always be preparing to “kick you out of the nest.”

I am also selective with clients. I believe the coach/ client relationship is critical to successfully reach your goals. Not all personality types will work well together. I am adept at identifying likely conflicts from the beginning. Trying to pound a square peg in a round hole is never productive. If this is the case, I will recommend another coach (I have some friends that are great coaches).

My Background

My background is a little different than your typical running coach. Many coaches have a background deeply rooted in athletics and the science of human movement. While I do have a background in both, my coaching style is derived from over a decade of experience as a high school psychology teacher. Most coaches will focus heavily on things like workouts, times, pace, and fueling and largely ignore the human element.

As far as my knowledge base, I’m a scavenger. I collect as much information from as many sources as possible. I continually work to add more tools to my coaching toolbox. When I work with new clients, I’ll go through a fairly lengthy process of determining exactly which tools will be most effective. In short, I tailor my methods to the client instead of forcing the client to accept my rigid methodology.

As far as credentials, I am a certified teacher (Michigan) with a Master’s degree in education. I taught high school for a dozen years. I have coached multiple sports for a number of years. I have been coaching runners individually and in clinics since 2009. I wrote ‘The Barefoot Running Book’ (Plume, 2012), run Barefoot Running University, and am a founding member of the Barefoot Runners Society. I am currently a consultant for Merrell and work as their barefoot running coach. I am also a freelance writer and have written for, Natural Awakenings magazine, and Ultrarunning Magazine. I am an experienced runner with a strong preference for long-distance trail running in mountains. I’ve run races ranging from 5ks to 100 milers.


The exact prices are still being determined as I calculate the likely time commitment, but these will likely be my starting rates:

  • In-person coaching: $100/ hour + $20 for each additional person. Contact me for groups larger than four.
  • Online coaching: $250/ month

I’m a firm believer in offering high quality services and have absolute confidence in my ability to do so. As such, I will be offering a 100% money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy at the end of the period, I’ll refund all of your money. Coaching is expensive and you deserve the peace of mind that you’ll get what you pay for. I will not be offing discounts at this time.

For More Information

If you are interested in my coaching services, contact me at brucoaching “at” gmail “dot” com. If you would like a sampling of my coaching, check our schedule of clinics and events. New events are added regularly, and I frequently announce new additions via Facebook.


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  1. Brian G
    June 19, 2012

    Hi Jason,

    Sounds really cool and glad to hear you’re back in the coaching game.

    How would the online coaching work? What would the trainee experience and how would s/he interact with you and visa-versa?

    • Jason
      June 19, 2012

      I’m working out the exact logisitics with my volunteer clients right now, but it would probably look like this:

      – Client answers basic questions about experience and goals,
      – Client take a battery of tests to assess things like learning styles, etc. (channeling my psych training),
      – Discuss exact goals and training preferences,
      – Work on maximizing efficient form,
      – Develop training plan to reach goal(s),
      – Work on mental skills/ physical training, communicate several times per week to discuss/ update progress/ adjust plans