What is running coaching?

What are your fundamental goals in life?

Do you think you have to be a certain standard to have a professional running coach? Do you think having a coach is only the preserve of an elite few? Think again!

A running coach is someone who will work with you, whatever your level of experience and ability or aspirations, and prescribe the best training strategy for you to achieve them.

Your goal could be to run a faster 5k or 10k or to run your first half marathon or marathon. Alternatively, you could be an experienced runner, who is seeking to refine their training regime or improve their technique to achieve their ultimate goal or improve towards an aspiration which has thus far eluded them.

You could also be a complete beginner, who is seeking to take up running and would like the support of someone who knows what it feels like to be in your position, who will support and encourage you and gently move you forward step-by-step to becoming a confident and proficient runner, in a balanced and structured manner.

You may seek someone you feel accountable to, who can set the correct pace and give you the right balance and variety to your training regime to suit not only your goals, but also taking into account your lifestyle and day-to-day commitments, as well as keeping it enjoyable.

How I can help and my approach

In my opinion, the best coaches are what is referred to as “athlete centred”. Namely, everything is geared up to you, your level of knowledge, experience and fitness and your aims. I adhere closely to this philosophy at all times and the goals we set are all SMART: Specific to you, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based.

I will ask you to complete a comprehensive questionnaire, which will cover all of your running experience to date, your goals and lifestyle factors, as well as what you seek from one-to-one coaching. Ideally, we will then have a chat either on the telephone, by Skype or, where it is reasonably practical, face-to-face, to go through your goals and all of the important aspects in more detail. This information will then form the basis of how we will work together.

Training plans

On the strength of this, I will produce a training plan for you to follow and, depending on which level of package you choose, you will then have regular ongoing support and reviews of your progress, updating your plan in the process to take account of the inevitable changes which occur in any training cycle. A standard training cycle is 8 weeks and there may be several of these incorporated into your overall plan.

The packages I have on offer range from creating a plan and then checking in with each other a couple of times during its timespan (Silver), to a monthly Skype or face-to-face chat (depending on areas)(Gold), or a weekly chat to review the past week, to iron out any issues which may have occurred, and planning the next week’s runs, the correct paces for each and looking at all of the other important components which will help you achieve your goal, such as nutrition, ensuring you have the correct balance of rest and looking at the psychological factors involved in competing at your optimum level (Platinum).

Additional services

Depending on where you are based, I can undertake a video analysis of your running technique, which will indicate areas where you can improve to be a more efficient runner, as well as reducing the propensity to the most common injuries. I will give you full feedback, plus a series of drills or exercises to improve technique and form.

I also offer individual one-to-one training sessions, be they at a track, a hills session or on a longer run, to ensure you are getting the most from your training.

I can also arrange regular group sessions, such as setting up a running group for your place of work or for a group of friends. These can take the form of a beginners group, through to a more experienced group of runners. For each of these, sessions will be structured, with the focus on guiding all participants towards a shared outcome.

I have much experience in preparing people for their key race, so I can offer a pre-race preparation session or a group of sessions, including race day support, and these will also focus on sports psychology and attention to the important details which are often overlooked, to ensure you are not just physically fit, but fully prepared and mentally ready for the challenge ahead when you stand on the start line. If desired, I can also offer a package to be at your chosen race to provide support beforehand and during it, to take care of the details, so you only need focus on the running!


Qualifications and experience

I am Level 2 UK Athletics qualified running coach (endurance) and undertake regular courses and CPD with England Athletics, as well as working with a number of other coaches to learn off each other and to share best practices. As part of my coaching qualifications, I am fully insured by UK Athletics to lead sessions

I have been coaching within a large and fast-growing local running club for over four years and I have much experience both with working on a one-to-one level, as well as running group sessions.

I have a wealth of experience from working with complete beginners in a “couch to 5k” programme, as well as running a broad spectrum of programmes, from improving technique, to working on the fundamentals of Agility, Balance and Coordination, to running specialised High Intensity Interval Training.

I have coached many people on a one-to-one basis, from 5k and 10k improver programmes, to half marathon and full marathon plans. I also work with people on long term plans of more than a year.

I am also a keen runner of many years. However, due to challenges I have overcome in life, I am now in my second running “career”, so I can absolutely relate to those who are completely new to running or are returning after many years away. I also have a good understanding of many of the main running injuries which occur and can help you structure your training to avoid them, as far as is possible (pre-hab), or to resume training in a structured manner after an injury (rehab).

Articles & Testimonials


December 15, 2016Running Coaching, Running Testimonials

Mark designed a bespoke running programme based on my personal running goals, my busy lifestyle and working patterns. What I found most valuable about Mark’s style is his exceptional ability to build confidence through his...

By Mark Yabsley

I am not a runner!

December 15, 2016Running Coaching

How many of us went through school hating most sport, being the last to be chosen for any team activity and has shunned all forms of exercise since? Circumstances change and we change! How many people do you know who have chosen to get...

By Mark Yabsley


December 15, 2016Running Coaching, Running Testimonials

Enjoy & marathons are not generally words I would use in the same sentence. But that’s exactly what happened after I started training with Mark. I started working with Mark after running 2 marathons where I felt like I...

By Mark Yabsley
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Marathon plan 16-20 weeks
Silver £120 (initial plan & 2 catch ups)
Gold £250 (includes 4-5 chats, as outlined above)
Platinum £500 (includes weekly chats, as outlined above)

Half marathon plan 12 weeks
Silver £100
Gold £200 (includes 4-5 chats, as outlined above)
Platinum £350 (includes weekly chats, as outlined above)

5k, 10k and 8 week general improvement plan
Silver £75 (includes an initial chat & a training plan)
Gold £40 per month (includes a training plan and 1 chat per month)
Platinum £60 per month (includes a detailed training plan and weekly chats, as outlined above)

One-to-one sessions to focus on technique, ABCs (Agility, Balance & Coordination) £60 per hour
Video analysis of technique £60 (including a full summary and suggested drills and exercises for improving and strengthening key areas)
Race day support package £150 (plus travelling)


Let’s get started

I very much look forward to talking to you and seeing how I can help in your life.

All the best

mark@equinoxcoach.co.uk or call 07581 490 883