Runner's Zone Performance Coaching Cohort

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Cohort Leaders:

Joel Sattgast, PT, DPT, OCS Christopher Johnson, PT

Overview: This cohort is geared toward the rehabilitation professional, strength coach, or individual who is interested in pursuing performance coaching or expanding their ability to work with endurance athletes across the injury to performance spectrum. Over the course of this cohort, we will be unpacking various communication strategies, principles of motivational interviewing and client interaction, athlete case studies, programming fundamentals, providing reviews of programming platforms to include TrainingPeaks and Final Surge, as well as utilizing an extensive exercise library for review of common strength, mobility, and neuromotor activities we routinely utilize in our client’s weekly programming.

Format: This cohort will start the week of June 3rd and involve 7, weekly sessions lasting ~75’ in duration. All sessions will be recorded live through Zoom then archived for participants to access anytime. A private Facebook will also be in place for participants to communicate and ask questions. To foster an atmosphere of growth, provide 1-on-1 feedback and communication, and promote an atmosphere which enhances an open mindset for all participants this cohort will be limited to 15 registrants. Members of the Runner’s Zone will receive preference and a discounted rate of $495. Individuals outside of the Runner’s Zone will be considered at a rate of $595 once all Runner’s Zone members have had the opportunity to join. All files, articles, and related coursework will be provided to participants. An outline of the cohort is listed below.


Week 1: Introductions, Cohort Overview, Intro to Performance Coaching

  • Member introduction and overview of 7-week cohort (roadmap)

  • Intro to performance coaching – background and purpose, structure, and overview of who

    qualifies as a ‘coach’

  • Overview of “coaching practice” and behaviors

  • Journal Club (Required Reading)

  • Supplemental Resources

Week 2: Who and What are Coaches? Establishing Your Why
  • Introduction to coaching – review of common attributes and characteristics that enhance

    effective coaching; fostering athlete confidence and success through ‘compassionate care’

  • Determining your “why” – re-envisioning the ‘golden circle’

  • Discuss the importance of a personal “coaching philosophy”

  • Understanding the spectrum of coaching certifications (e.g. USATF, USAT, ITCA) – are they

    necessary, what do they provide, and can they enhance your skill(s)?

  • Journal Club (Required Reading)

  • Supplemental Resources

  • Case study

Week 3: Leveraging the Non-Specific Effects of Client Interactions

  • Understanding the underlying principles of motivational interviewing and keys to establishing

    an alliance with your athletes.

  • Review of the ‘common factors’ model and its role in developing ‘trust’ and ‘respect’ for the

    coach and the athlete

  • Introduce and discuss the primary ways we frame and construct successful athlete/client

    interactions (e.g. face-to-face, digital communication – phone, text, email, etc.)

  • Journal Club (Required Reading)

  • Supplemental Resources

  • Case study

Week 4: Programming Fundamentals – Performance Demands of Runners and Triathletes

  • Compare and contrast the performance demands of runners and triathletes to better appreciate

    the goals of programming (i.e. common denominators)

  • Review objective measures of performance in order to track athlete development and fitness

    (e.g. FTP testing, Balke field test, modified-Borg treadmill test)

  • Discussion of programming essentials – RPE (rate of perceived exertion), periodization theory,

    readiness to train, time under tension and load management

  • Journal Club (Required Reading)

  • Supplemental Resources

  • Case study

Week 5: Programming Design – Application of Programming Fundamentals for the Endurance Athlete

  • Discuss programming design for the age-group elite, master’s level, and youth athlete across the performance spectrum

  • Understand the taper process for various populations and performance categories (runner vs. triathlete; short course vs. long course)

  • Review injury to performance spectrum – when to coach and when to refer for medical consultation. What classifies as programming vs. clinical treatment? Respecting scope of practice

  • Journal Club (Required Reading)

  • Supplemental Resources

  • Case study

Week 6: The Data Driven Coach and Athlete – Overview of Programming Platforms and Training Data; Discussion of Coach and Athlete Equipment Needs

  • Discuss subjective and objective data metrics to determine readiness to train (RTT) and total stress score (TSS)

  • Overview of TrainingPeaks (TP), Final Surge, and discussion of technology to enhance the effectiveness of coaching

  • When is too much technology a hinderance vs. enhancement

  • Itemization of equipment recommendations for both the coach and athlete in order to foster successful athlete development

  • Journal Club (Required Reading)

  • Supplemental Resources

Week 7: Wrap up and Special Topics – Understanding Coaching Pedagogy, Next Steps, and Performance Culture

  • Unpacking the nature of efficient and effective coaching by recognizing the individual and vocational experiences which influence and guide various coaching styles and beliefs

  • Outline ‘next steps’ for beginning or advancing your coaching within varied populations

  • Developing and shaping your culture of coaching – the need for ‘situational flexibility’

  • Journal Club (Required Reading)

  • Supplemental Resources

  • Case study

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