Friday, December 23, 2011

Coaching for Grand Slam runners

Are you are one of the lucky, gutsy, few bright individuals taking on the Holy Grail of ultrarunning in North America in 2012- the Grand Slam?  If so, I salute you.  No one need remind you how monumental a challenge it is to take on the Grand Slam.  What I can only offer is how monumental a feeling it is to finish it.
In the last 14 years only 170 runners out of 390 actually finished the Grand Slam.  That is a finish rate of 44%.  I gleaned this statistic from  Prior to 1997 this data- yearly finishers versus starters- is not available but the same web page points out that since 1986 the Grand Slam has been finished 251 times by 221 people.  (252/222 if you include Pete Stevenson who finished in 2010 in stealth mode.)
The statistic above highlights what you already know: finishing the Grand Slam is hard.  Hard as hell.   I have a solution to make your chances of finishing even stronger.  Hire me as your coach.  Together, beginning in January, we will develop a training program specifically centered on you finishing.  A program that will deliver you to Squaw in June fresh and ready to rip, and then recovered and ready for battle by the time you reach Wasatch in September.  My number one goal for anyone I coach is to help them finish.  Period.  No if's, and's or but's.  I am an all or nothing kind of guy and that is what this coaching service will be all about.  The only requirement I have is that you are registered for the Grand Slam and that you are committed to finishing it.  That you know it in your bones you have what it takes to finish it and finish strong.  No matter what.
Some of you may know I’ve finished the Grand Slam.  I’ve also finished Vermont, Leadville and Wasatch twice each.  I’ve finished 12 100 mile mountain trail ultras in total and have only DNF’d at a race once in my life, and that was at mile three in a 50 miler where I sprained an ankle something awful.  Nor do I live and train at altitude.
In addition to helping you build strength, endurance, speed and mental toughness during the winter and spring months, I will help you prepare in many other ways leading up to each race.  Including, but not limited to, race goal planning, helping with travel, accommodation, pacing and crew logistic ideas, gear, nutrition, acclimatization and- the biggest one of them all- recovery.
How It Will Work:
Once a month for nine months (Jan-Sept) we will talk on the phone or Skype for 1.5 hours.  Or we can meet in person if you live near Charlottesville, Virginia.  Topics of conversation can range from injuries (I’ve had just about all of them…), to speed work, to nutrition, and on, and on.  No topic is off limits.
Pricing and Goodies:
Remember, this is an all or nothing deal.  Nine months of training.  The total for my service is $990, which equates to $110 per month, paid up front via a check or PayPal after the first training session. 
…BUT WAIT…There's more...  : )

In addition to coaching services you will also receive the following goodies from my sponsors.
  • Your very own Salomon products pro discount code that will last through your completion of the Grand Slam.  This code will afford you steep discounts on quality shoes, packs, clothes and gear of all sorts.  After all, I recommend a fresh pair of shoes for each race and you will need cold weather gear for the night running portion at Wasatch.  You can get all that plus much, much more with your Salomon pro discount code.
  • Two pairs of drymax socks.  You will want these puppies on your feet as you burn down Cal Street at Western States!
  • Clif.  I’ll hook you up with a few boxes of gels and blocks from my secret stash.  The gels will come in especially handy as you climb the front and back sides of Hope Pass at Leadville!
…BUT WAIT…There's more!

I am running Western States this summer.  I would like to invite each runner I coach and their crew to lunch on Friday before the race.  We’ll exchange war stories and discuss race strategy while fueling our bodies for the next day’s race.  Okay, okay... this isn't exactly a "goodie" but it will be fun to get together at Western States and shoot the breeze over a meal.

Getting Started:
To kick things off please email me (nealgorman .. @ .. a bit about yourself: your fitness/running history and goals, where you're from, what you do, how much time you're willing to commit to training each week and any other relevant pieces of information you deem important.  From there we will schedule our first training session.

If you’re not running the Grand Slam there are other coaches out there.  Sorry.  I’m not really doing this as a money maker.  I have a job.  I would like to make some money, however, enough maybe to help cover my travel expenses to France in August so that I may run UTMB and in the process hopefully make my fellow ultrarunning friends in the U.S. proud.  I want to earn my trip this way, by coaching other runners, and by giving back in a sense to the running community and to the Grand Slam both of which have given me so much.
Lastly, this coaching service is my idea and my responsibility alone.  The sponsors named above are not involved in any way other than simply wanting to see me help runners finish the Grand Slam.

1 comment:

  1. Neal

    My wife is looking to appoint an on-line coach to help her improve her focus and time in ultra road running. Over and above numerous marathons, she has competed in Comrades and the Washie 100miler and is preparing to start training again for this year's Washie 100 miler in S Africa. She has had an on-line coach before but she is looking for somebody with specific coaching qualifications and specific experience over the 100 mile length road running races. Can you give me some advice if you can be assistance to her?

    What is your coaching experience, training philosophy and qualifications and how much do you charge monthly (min 3-6 months)?

    Many thanks for your time to offer such feedback
    (She is based in Dubai)

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