ETA Coach

Athlete Testimonials

“’Look and you shallLook and you shall find”“’Look and you shallLook and you shall find” or in this case “Stop looking and Jason will find you’ I’m a runner, have been for over 20 years. Weirdly enough, my most beneficial coaching experiences have always seemed to find me. I was fortunate enough as a young lad where my high school coach took me far and wide for exposure to good competition. And at St. Joseph’s University, Mike Glavin showed me an unmatched passion for the sport. But after college, I was having trouble finding a coaching philosophy that seemed to fit my strengths and my personality. For seven plus years, I tried different coaches. I stuck to their playbook but kept losing that edge to compete and, more importantly, kept losing that drive to find that buried potential. I succumbed to training myself and becoming content with my ‘par for the course’ results. But in 2009, well past my search for the perfect coach, I met Jason Kilderry. Coach Kilderry threw the brakes on my scrambled training and broke me down, both mind and body. His initial evaluations, time trials, and training zones were freaky good predictors of my potential fitness. I was convinced that he looked up all my PR’s, called my previous coaches, and possibly my mother for insight. None of this was true, of course. He just knows his stuff. I’m a ‘Results Now’ type of athlete and Jason proved to me that the gradual, progressive, and more controlled workouts, would garnish a ‘Bigger Bang for my Buck’ than my ALL OUT sessions that I was used to. I was able to ride my peak fitness longer, recover faster, and, most importantly, stay hungry in the head. Since being with Coach Kilderry, I’ve made three USA Mountain Running Teams, finished 3rd in the 2009 US Mountain Running Championships, and come within seconds of my 9 year old marathon PR of 2:21. I’ve found a new passion for the sport that is now integrated into a lifestyle rather than being the extra activity to my life. Thanks coach!”

– MB

“After my second year of competing in triathlons, I had reached a tipping point… My first year racing was successful; I was learning something new and was always seeing improvements. However, I didn’t know how to pull back on the reins and experienced extreme burnout that made my 2nd season less than enjoyable. Due to the burnout, I didn’t follow any training plan, I dreaded going to races, and I stopped seeing improvements. At the end of my second year, I didn’t know if I wanted to invest another year in the sport. Do I stop now, or give it just one more shot? I felt like I had something more to prove to myself and decided to give it just one more year- just to see what happens. I started my third season much like my second: No plan and no direction. It was mid-March when I decided to hit up a local track workout when I met Coach Jason. He introduced himself and we chatted about my background, past results, etc…He wanted to coach me and I knew I needed a coach if I wanted to improve. I am a naturally analytical person who values statistics and research, so I appreciated Jason’s evidence-based scientific approach toward training. I could hear his passion when he spoke and was interested in his methodology. I was eager to start my training plan and to gain the direction and guidance I was missing. I knew everything was working according to plan after my 1st 70.3 distance race. I finished 1st overall female (12th overall finisher) in my very first 70.3 distance race. I had the biggest smile on my face when I broke tape for the first time ever. The rest of the year followed this trend: I qualified for the 70.3 World Championships on my first attempt. I proved I still had leg speed by winning some local sprint tri’s. I placed 4th at the 70.3 World Championships, and I even qualified for my Pro Card by finishing as the 2nd elite female at the Philadelphia Olympic Triathlon. It’s safe to say that I have no thoughts or desires to stop competing in triathlons now. Instead I am eagerly looking forward to the future and reaching my goals because I’m working with a coach that actually “gets it.” I have evidence! I look forward to each and every workout because I know it will get me one step closer to where I want to be. I couldn’t have done this without Jason’s expertise and support along the way. He is personable and communicative and takes into account the person – as well as the athlete. His knowledge and approach are a winning combination.”

2011 Race Results

70.3 BassMan – 1st Overall
Jersey Shore Sprint – 1st Overall
70.3 MooseMan – 2nd AG, 5th Amature
Philly Olympic – 2nd Elite
NJ State Olympic – 1st Overall
70.3 World Championships – 4th AG

– HG

After being coached by Jason for 3 years now I can confidently say I would be nowhere near where I am today without his guidance. Coming off my season in 2013, which ended on an operating table repairing a shattered collar bone, I was ready to get back into training with the hope of stepping up to longer distance racing. Jason shot down that idea right away; knowing that the best approach for me would be to build speed over short course triathlon before moving up to the big leagues.
The first year of being coached by Jason was a bit of a learning experience. I had always been coached in the pool but never on the bike or run. I had to learn Jason’s methodology behind his workouts, as well as how to fit everything in. Being an engineering student, I could grasp Jason’s ideas relatively easily due to the research behind the workouts. At the start, some of Jason’s workouts seemed a bit farfetched. In swimming I always went by “more is better”. Going for a 20-minute run when I felt great seemed insane to me. Why can’t I run longer or harder? Shouldn’t this be all out? These were the questions I constantly asked at the start. While my understanding of Jason’s process began to develop, the questions to this day have not stopped. The biggest thing, in my opinion, that sets Jason apart from other coaches is his ability to break down the science behind the workouts to his athletes. Just about every time I ask Jason a question he doesn’t just give a simple answer; he answers the question, explains it, and then backs it up with research that has proven the method to be effective.
A phrase I hear from Jason just about every week is “long term development”. This is something else that sets Jason apart from other coaches. While some coaches are more interested in immediate gains, Jason sets his athletes up for success not just for the current season, but for 5 years down the road. From the first time I spoke with Jason, I could tell he had a plan for me. Being 5 weeks into my first term of college at the time, this seemed nuts to me. I was just worried about finishing the term with a respectable GPA and he was already talking about races 3 years away.
To this day, Jason’s understanding of physiology and how his athletes will perform amazes me. The longer he works with an athlete, the better he gets to know them, their training habits, and how they race. This past fall I was racing Ironman 70.3 Austin, which was the collegiate national championship for the distance. Going into the race Jason knew I would get too excited on the bike, hammer it much than I should, and then blow up on the run. Because of this, Jason gave me a target power of about 10 watts lower than he thought I should be at. As usual, he was right. I went a bit harder, which ended up being the power he actually wanted. This set me up for a run that would be good enough to take home the collegiate win.
If you are looking for a coach who has the scientific background and can tailor the workouts to you as an individual, Jason is not the only coach out there who can do this. However, if you want a coach who will take the time to get to know you, your strengths and weaknesses, and what makes you tick; Jason is the coach you will have the most success with.

– AK

When I graduated from college, I was not sure what I planned to do in terms of running. I had a decent college career and knew I could get faster, but I did not really know how fast. During my internship with ETA Coach, Jason Kilderry must have told me 7 times a day that if I took my training a bit more seriously and used the information I learned from the internship, I could be a lot faster. At first I thought I would coach myself, but having the accountability of a coach is much more valuable to me. Naturally I asked Jason to coach me, because while interning I really was fascinated by the simplicity of his methods: no secrets, just basic applied exercise physiology. After being coached for the fall and spring seasons, my personal records all improved; I went from a collegiate PR of 33:40 in the 10k to 32:39, 8k from 26:43 to 25:01, 5k from 15:52 to 14:44, and 1600 from 4:39 to 4:21. The thing that really blows me away is that Jason will tell you the logic behind his methods of progression of an athlete (even if you don’t want him to), and the approaches are not rocket science or bullshit. Often when Jason’s name comes up among athletes or other coaches, the phrases “science-based” or “evidence-based” come up as well, but what not everyone mentions is how he communicates with athletes. He is not only your coach but your friend and motivator. Personally, that goes a lot further with me than telling me the physiology of mean lactate state and its role in running economy. I look forward to the upcoming season and working towards more personal records under Jason’s coaching. I also hope to download 1 GPS file this time around, so he will pipe down. Thanks for all your help, Coach.”

– BQ

My 2015 season was about redemption. It fueled every workout. It got me in the pool, on the bike, out on the track and road on days when my head and heart weren’t into it. I had a goal and I had a plan. A plan that was tailored for me, by a coach that knew my history, knew my goals and wanted redemption as much as I did. I’ll admit it. I didn’t plan to be an ETA athlete for the long haul. (Sorry Coach!) I knew I needed some expert help when it came to training for my first full Ironman, but I figured once I had my plan (which included a 70.3 prior to the full) I would be set. I would just use that plan to train for any future halfs and fulls. Seemed like a logical idea…..at first. And for some coached athletes, it might work. If their goal is to “just finish” and they have no hopes or dreams of improving their performance, it might work. If they are using a coach with a cookie cutter planning scheme – it would probably work just fine. But ETA Coach is not a cookie cutter operation and if I didn’t appreciate that following my 2014 season, I certainly appreciate it now. When the calendar turned from 2014 to 2015, Coach Jason didn’t throw away my past training plan and start from scratch, nor did he just cut and paste from one year to the next. If you compared my 2014 plan to my 2015 plan it is obvious that changes were made to illicit more growth, greater strength, more speed, greater endurance. The plan for my season ‘A’ race was tailored around what I needed to do to become more competitive. Where could we make up precious minutes? Where could we go to take it to the next level? Running was a strength. We learned that I can run a strong leg on a lower mileage plan, so we focused more of my time and energy on improving my bike leg and threw a little more swimming in there for good measure (just what every runner-turned-triathlete likes to hear J ). At the same time, Coach Jason made sure that my running didn’t suffer. There is no point having a killer bike leg if you no longer have a killer run to follow it up. Many of my running miles came from brick workouts. By the end of the 2015 summer, I had gotten faster in all 3 disciplines and my overall race times show it. My stand-alone running event performances proved that my strongest discipline did not suffer as a result of my triathlon training. In 2015, I PR’ed and broke the 18 minute barrier in the 5k (twice) and ran another sub 30 minute 5 miler. In triathlon, I podiumed at every one I entered, including the highlight of my triathlon career so far, a World Championship qualifying race at IMMT 70.3, where I set a 70.3 PR, and followed that up with the overall win at the New Jersey State Olympic triathlon. There is no doubt in my mind that there is no way I would have achieved this level of success and personal improvement had I just coached myself using my plan from 2014. My ‘A’ running race of the year was the Philly Rock n Roll half marathon – a distance I have not run as a stand-alone event in over 10 years. For roughly 2 months, my focus shifted to running, but my plan kept a bit of swimming and cycling in there so as to not lose touch with those disciplines. My long runs included lots of race pace work and it paid off on a picture perfect day with a top age group finishing time of 1:20:21. Along the way to the finish, I also PR’ed in the 10 mile by 13 seconds. But it isn’t just my results that keep me on the ETA Coach roster. I love having a coach to talk to about my long range plan. I like having someone to ask about what and when would be a good time to race. Coach Jason knows a lot about exercise science, coaching and triathlon, but he doesn’t claim to be an expert in all aspects. If I have a question about a specific course or rule or gear/ equipment or nutrition, he doesn’t just give me the best answer he can come up with on his own. Instead, he will reach out to one of the contacts he has accumulated over the years who is better equipped to have the right answer or dig through scientific studies done by professionals he has come to trust. I also like that he is constantly (and by that, I mean on a daily basis, not just 2 or 3 times a year) reading and researching about how to train his athletes and using that knowledge to tweak and improve our plans. As I head into 2016 and my third year with ETA Coach, my focus is on tackling the Ironman distance again. Coach Jason and I have already talked about what I need to do to accomplish my goals for that race and it wasn’t just hypothetical talk. Our conversation didn’t start with “well, this works for some athletes, so let’s try it with you.” Instead the plan will be based off of how I have responded to his plans over the past 2 years as an ETA Coach athlete. With 2 years of smart, focused, specific training under my belt, I have a much stronger foundation from which to start my Ironman training and I couldn’t be more excited!”

– NS

Everyone knows that great coaching is part art, part science. The difficulty, however, is determining exactly how much art and exactly how much science should go into coaching.
For me personally, that concept is absolutely critical. Not only do I compete at the professional level where performance impacts my ability to earn a living, but I also suffer from a genetic heart condition that requires consistent monitoring by medical specialists and a constant focus on my health. As a result, I needed a coach that (a.) could do the requisite research to understand my condition, (b.) communicate properly with my doctors, and (c.) coordinate all of that information to integrate it into a training program that worked for me and my objectives. From my perspective, Jason Kilderry checked each of those boxes.
He uses science heavily to form the foundation of the overall program, laying out a proper progression for both short-term and long-term growth and performance gains as an athlete. After that foundation, though, Jason uses “art” and takes the time to investigate the athlete individually — to determine how a person responds to certain types of training, to figure out how a person ticks, to analyze the strengths and weaknesses (which, as in my case, can sometimes be medical) of an athlete, and to discover the true underlying motivations for each person — that places each athlete on the correct path to reach all of his or her objectives.
Many coaches have their own approach and attempt to apply that particular philosophy without flexibility to each person they coach. Jason has his beliefs, but he never hesitates to question, think critically, and alter his plan should new evidence come to light. Countless times during our conversations I would make a suggestion about a particular aspect of training. In most instances, rather than making any quick judgment on my suggestion, Jason would take several days to evaluate my thoughts fully. Sometimes he would agree, and sometimes he would not. But simply the fact that he took the time to really consider things created a level of trust that every athlete should aspire to have with his or her coach.
In short, Jason knows what he is doing. He is both an athlete and coach, and having both of those perspectives is invaluable when leading others towards their goals.”

I’ve known Jason Kilderry for ten years. In 2002, I was filling in as a volunteer triathlon coach/mentor for Team In Training and Jason was one of the athletes signed up to do the LA Triathlon. I was surprised and impressed that a 20-year-old had his mind set on doing an Olympic distance triathlon, not to mention a destination race. It was easy to hit it off with Jason because he was as excited about triathlon and racing as I was. I remember the first training ride with him out in Atco, NJ on a chilly 40 degree, cloudy afternoon. I showed up well prepared with winter riding gear while Jason showed up ready to bike in summer gear. I figured he was either a tough guy, a fool, or just didn’t have the cash to buy warm biking gear, so I gave him whatever extra gear I had with me. Jason also didn’t know he had to pump up his bike tires so that was lesson number two of the day. The ride went well and it was good because I was able to teach him the basics of road bike safety. It’s now a decade later and the roles have changed as Jason has become my mentor. This past year I was preparing myself for Ironman NYC. After my good friend Steve and I signed up for the race, I realized it was going to be on the 10-year anniversary of the day my father, Buddy, passed away from brain cancer. It was the perfect date to celebrate and honor my father who was a lifelong competitive athlete. I watched my first Hawaii Ironman on TV with my Dad back in the early 80’s. After explaining to my youngest brother Ryan about the special date of the race, it was all it took to motivate him and our good friend Jeff to sign up for their very first Ironman. This also forced our brother Drew to sign up for his 2nd Ironman even though he had previously vowed never again. It was easy to find high motivation to train and focus for this race some 10 months away. I had already decided how I was going to improve from my last Ironman race when I got the call from Jason Kilderry, head coach of ETA Coach. He and I had been discussing bringing me on as an assistant coach for a few months and he thought this would be a great opportunity for both of us if he coached me for this momentous race. I had coached myself in 6 Ironman races improving from a 13:55 on my first finish down to an 11:19 in my 6th IM finish. I had full confidence that with Jason’s coaching expertise and objective view point, I would easily PR and break 11 hours. On the bike I became faster and more efficient through Jason’s training plans and learned how to properly train with a bike power meter. Comparing the data with long rides from previous years, I found my bike speed 1.5 to 2 miles per hour faster and the effort was the same. This was setting me up for a 30 minute PR on the bike. My long runs were feeling great, even with the intense heat from this past July. I was ready to set a PR and the rest of Team Buddy was ready for IM NYC. The race started off as one of the most enjoyable swims I’ve ever done in any triathlon and by far my fastest IM swim time. This was due to the fast currents of the Hudson River. Exiting transition with my bike I ran into my friend Jeff which was great because we had done all our long training rides together. I immediately got to business and focused on being safe and riding the wattage Jason prescribed for me. The bike course was on the Palisades Parkway which is a highway with very large expansion cracks that caused violent jolting to bikes on the fast downhills. It created a dangerous situation because bottles, gear, bike cages were falling off bikes and bouncing all over the road. It caused an issue with my bike that I would not realize until mile 90. However, the first few miles were a breeze with Jeff and I passing each other back and forth, although I realized that trying to keep his pace was putting me above the wattage Jason and I had planned. This was unusual because normally it’s easy to keep pace with Jeff. I thought he was overly excited and riding too fast, so I told him to ride his race and he took off. I stayed in my power zone for the first loop of 56 miles and my bike time seemed a bit slower than what I had calculated pre-race. By the end of the 2nd out and back section I started to feel like something was wrong with either me or the bike. My splits were getting slower and slower even though I was starting to push above the watts I was to ride. Something was wrong; my speed was not matching the watts I was putting out. I finally stopped to see if I had a flat tire, but both tires were full. I was now struggling to bike up the hills, to the point where I thought I was going to have to walk. I had done Ironman France in 2010 and that course had a much more challenging bike course with a 13-mile continuous switchback climb that took almost an hour and half to summit. Not once on that France course did I feel the need to walk the bike, so how could I possibly be struggling so much to make it up much easier rolling hills in NJ?? Finally, I stopped to do a quick bike inspection. My back wheel was full of air and had no problems spinning. I checked the front wheel and it was full of air but when I went to spin it, fear and panic rushed to my head. The wheel would not spin. I shook my head in disappointment. My brake was out of alignment and rubbing on the wheel, causing so much friction that the wheel would not spin. I believe it happened around mile 10 on a fast downhill; after hitting an expansion crack, the front wheel started wobbling and making unusual noises. I realized that the brake must have been knocked out of alignment. It took me 5 seconds to fix the problem. I got back on my bike and for the first time in a while started passing people. I started thinking about how over the past 8 months I had trained so hard on the bike, only to have it ruined by a mechanical issue that I could have controlled. At that point, it would have been easy to get down on myself, but I thought about what I could control: my attitude. I thought about how fortunate I was to be doing what I was doing along with all my family and friends cheering in our light blue Team Buddy t-shirts. We must have had 40 people wearing the same t-shirt. As I changed my attitude, I also changed my goals. My new goal was to finish the bike and see what my legs would do on the run. It was great to find out that my brother Drew was ahead of me because that became another new goal—run down Drew! It was great to see Steve and Jeff flying on the run course and within seconds of each other. It was so uplifting to see my family and friends on the run course. The run course was the toughest run course of any race I’ve ever done; it was extremely hilly and the weather was hot and muggy. The conditions were tough—the way they should be. I did not achieve the time goals I set, but that was not important because in the years to come, the memories of training and racing with friends is what will remain with me. Having Jason train me was a great learning experience. It kept me motivated and had me well prepared for a PR. Regarding IM NYC, I was most disappointed for Jason, because he was my coach and I was unable to produce a result that was a reflection of his prescribed workouts and advice. I’m already looking forward to learning more from Jason and getting that time PR in 2 years at my next IM. It’s been a decade since I first met Jason and biked with him in Atco. Back then, he was the one making the rookie mistakes. Hopefully this past Ironman will be the last time I make a rookie mistake.”

– CW

Jason is unique in his ability to combine a scientific evidence-based training with his social personality to create a great coach-athlete environment. I struggled to maintain a consistent training regime after college, but with Jason’s help I was able to progress and grow as an athlete. Under ETA Coach I was finally able to break my old college PRs from 2005-2006 in the 5K, 8K, and 10K between the Fall of 2010 and Spring of 2011. The most memorable moment was when I ran 15:17 on the track at Princeton shattering my old PR by 11 seconds. He was right there at the meet giving me splits and supporting me the whole way. I am looking forward to continued success with ETA Coach.”

– ND

I’ve been “competing” in triathlon for three years prior to meeting and working with Jason. In 2012 I decided to take the plunge into the Ironman 140.6 level and I needed to find the right coach to take me there. Jason was that and more. I can honestly say I believe it was the best decision I’ve made since I entered the world of triathlon. Jason was extremely attentive and responsive, as well as knowledgeable and flexible. He truly understands that every athlete is different, and there is no “one size fits all” method to training at any level of this sport. My two friends and I were all training for the same races and coached by Jason, including Ironman Lake Placid as our ‘A’ race, and we all had different training plans, zones, distances, and times. Jason treats each athlete as an individual and understands what it takes to hit your goals and still maintain a happy life outside of triathlon. These are all important fundamentals to being a quality coach. I’ve made incredible gains while working with Jason, and not only did I get a great coach but a good friend to work with. I look forward to what the future holds as we continue to build on my speed and get to the point of really being able to compete in triathlon.”

– SM

I have been training under Matt since the beginning of 2012, this after knowing him since my freshman year at Rider back in 2005 when he was team captain. As a member of Rider’s distance team for four years, I had personal bests of 14:39 in the 5k, 25:40 in the 8k and 32:00 in the 10k. However, shortly after graduating from Rider, I slowly moved away from running, and actually ended up going 16 full months without running a step. Sometime around this point I had been discussing with Matt a return to training, and with his success as both a distance runner and a coach, I knew he would be perfect for guiding me in such a return. In the past two years, we have worked through multiple training stages, all leading up to my long term goal of running the Philadelphia Marathon. In that time Matt has successfully gotten me back under 16 in the 5k (15:27) and also coached me to a 2-minute PR in the half marathon (1:15:05 in 2012 to 1:13:04 in 2013). Running 2:40:16 in the 2013 Philadelphia Marathon in my marathon debut will definitely go down as one of my favorite memories in all these years I’ve spent running, and without Matt that day would not have been possible. Matt’s understanding of the sport and passion for distance training shows in his coaching, and I look forward to continue training under his plan to find more success.”

– MD

I never referred to myself as an athlete, and until I started doing triathlons at age 25, I had never swam, biked, or ran in an organized or competitive environment. During my first season of triathlons, I suffered through, barely finishing the run portion of each of my races. I had to sit out my entire second season due to injury. When I healed up, I vowed to come back strong for my third season, and enlisted Coach Jason to help me reach my goals. I ended up placing top 3 in my age group on two occasions, I qualified for Age Group Nationals with a better-than-top-10% finish in my AG and overall at the Philly Tri, and I reached the goal of going sub 6 hours at my first half ironman. I posted among the fastest bike splits in a few of my races, and held running paces I never thought imaginable. The following year, Coach Jason coached me to a successful finish at my first Ironman. Despite suffering a torn tendon seven months before the race, Jason helped me achieve my goal of finishing through a creative schedule that not only accommodated five hours of physical therapy each week, but also included an intense aqua jogging regiment to make up for my inability to run on dry land, and squeezing in bike and swim training around aqua jogging, physical therapy, pool hours, and my full-time job. Jason is one of the best coaches anyone can ask for. He knows how to strengthen an athlete’s weaknesses and how to push them harder and take them to levels they never could have imagined. He’s very easy to talk to, extremely motivating, and cares very much about his athletes’ training, racing, health, life, etc. And, he’s always there when you need him”

– LM

I began looking for a coach after one full year of competing in triathlons. Through some recommendations I gave Jason a call and we talked for over an hour about anything and everything triathlon and coaching. Considering he coaches many athletes and his time is valuable, I was impressed that he was excited to talk about the sport with me before he ever met me. His enthusiasm was genuine and I was hooked. Even though I thought I knew how to train, it was very clear after talking with Jason I didn’t know the first thing. Jason easily explained his methods and how we would attack training. The races and distances were my choice and he knew I had a full time job and commitments that we had to work into my training. I had already signed up for a handful of races including my first Ironman. Once I signed up with Jason he broke down each section of training and how we would attack each distance. I started working with Jason in February of 2013 and by last weekend (Aug 17th 2013) I had raced a PR in every single distance of triathlons. Sprint, Olympic, Half and full distance Ironman. Not only was I racing at speeds I never thought possible, but I was completely injury free the entire season. Jason knew that even though I wanted to do everything at full speed and never slow down – he taught me the benefits of active recovery and the logic behind each day of training. I am positive that without his coaching I would not have achieved the same results. I would recommend Jason to anyone in the endurance world. He knows his stuff and is awesome to work with.”

– AH

I was inspired to call Jason after watching the Ironman Championships last year. I had been a triathlete for 7 years, competing in all distances up to 70.3. I had never considered the Ironman distance, however, due to my constant battle with injuries. I actually watched the Kona race with a boot on my left foot. But as I watched a woman finish the Kona race with a boot on her left foot, I thought, “Hey, I can do this! And I already have the boot!” IN order to avoid injury, Jason’s plan was to bring me along slowly. Very, very slowly. So slowly that at times I felt tortured. But with a lot of encouragement and constant contact from Coach, I stuck to the plan and had a successful and healthy 2011 tri season. A season that was capped off in September with my first Iron-distance race, Chesapeakeman. Not only did I finish, but I raced about 90 minutes faster than I had expected, won my age group, and smiled every minute of the day! Jason provides constant encouragement, a positive attitude, and confidence to his athletes. He is always available via email, phone, and text. We even rode and swam together a few times. But for me, what really makes him rise above all the others is his devotion to being on the cutting edge of the science and research of endurance athletics. Every decision that Jason makes is based on science. I can question him on any workout he assigns, and he comes back with several reasons that are scientifically sound and research-based. Jason and I have already laid out our goals for me for 2012: to race healthy and fast. I plan on spending some time on the podium this year, so if you’re in my age group, look out!”

– LP

When I signed up for the 2013 Lake Placid Ironman, the longest run I’d ever done was 10 miles. My longest bike was 56 miles, and I think I swam a little more than a mile once or twice. The bottom line is I had my work cut out for me. I knew that if I was going to do this race, I needed to find a good coach. I discovered coach Jason through a friend who had also signed up for IMLP 2013. After a 10 minute phone conversation with Jason, I knew I had found my coach. His enthusiasm was apparent immediately. Anytime I had a question regarding my training plan, Jason was a text, email, or phone call away. (None of that “1 phone call per week unless you pay extra” nonsense). He is very focused on the “why” part of training. Instead of “Do x, y, z this week”, he did a fantastic job of explaining “This is why you are doing x, y, z this week”. Jason also pays strict attention to an oft forgotten about aspect of endurance training: race day nutrition. We started working very early on in my schedule with what and how often I would be eating & drinking during the race. Each athlete’s preferences and needs are different, so there was a lot of trial & error until we nailed down what worked best for me. Training went very well until about a month from IMLP, when ‘disaster’ struck. An IT-band injury severely limited my ability to do any sort of running, so Jason modified my training to work around my injury. I spent the last month of training doing most of my running in a pool and going to physical therapy. He remained in constant contact with me regarding my knee, and gradually worked in some regular runs as I was rehabbing. This modified plan worked beautifully. My knee held up for the entire duration of the run portion of the race. I finished my first ever Ironman in 13:38:18 with a marathon split of 4:22:46 – much faster than I anticipated considering my previous injury. The experience of IMLP will be something I will never forget, and there is no way it would have been possible had it not been for coach Jason. His passion for coaching is matched only by his desire to see his athletes succeed. Anyone from the novice endurance athlete to a Kona qualifier would greatly benefit from working with him.”

– DR

I had been a dedicated basketball player. When the day finally came and I graduated college and didn’t have basketball to train for any more I didn’t know what to do with myself. I became interested in running. I ran my first half marathon and marathon in 2002 and never looked back. As the years passed, I got better and realized that I actually had talent in a sport I didn’t know much about. I made progress by reading on my own about training for this sport I was beginning to love almost as much as basketball. After consistently placing in my age group the past few years and improving my times every year I wondered how much better I could be if I actually had someone training me. Well I have found that out this year. I have had one of my best racing years with the assistance of Jason. It has been a great experience! I recently went back to Philadelphia to run in the marathon and couldn’t be happier with my performance. Not only did I beat my marathon personal best by almost 4 minutes running 3:09:44, but also I had improved my first marathon (2002) by an hour. Jason prepared me well, his training was challenging, and he was always available, even with my living in San Diego, to answer my many questions. Also, knowing after every workout that Jason would be waiting to hear how it went made me push myself just a little bit more. Who wants to disappoint their coach!? When friends and family ask what I did differently to run such a great race I say it was my coach Jason. I did things in my training that I had never done before that prepared me perfectly. I look forward to another training season with Jason and seeing myself improve even more.”

– MU

After completing my first Ironman triathlon this past summer, I can honestly say I would not have been able to do it without Jason. Three years prior to finishing my first Ironman, I attempted to take on the distance. The coach I worked with at the time was great, but looked over some key areas in my training that led to me dropping out of the race. Jason, on the other hand, was there every step of the way and always went above and beyond his call of duty to make sure I was ready for every aspect of the race. His thoughtful and scientifically-based coaching techniques never failed to be just right for me to continue to improve. Not only is his knowledge of nutrition, injury prevention, biomechanics, and the mental aspects of the sport at the highest level, but he continues to be a student. I look forward to continuing to work with him in the years to come and I would recommend him to participants of all levels.”

– JW

I have been racing competitively since age 13, or since 1978. Yes, that makes me 49. During middle school, high school and college I had numerous coaches who knew little to nothing regarding proven science based training. Of course they didn’t have the technological advances we have today. After seeing the Ironman on TV in the 1980’s I knew that this was my dream, to compete in Kona. So I took my “old school” way of training to the multi sport scene. By age 28 I had countless athletic achievements, which also included winning the NJ State Sr. Time Trial Cup in 1994. In June 1995 I literally quit everything to pursue a family and career. I never did an Ironman. Thirteen years later, the old dream was reignited. “Old school” worked before, so why not again. After countless injuries, setbacks and two Ironman’s later, I almost gave up. Kona just wasn’t going to happen. Then I met Jason Kilderry. He convinced me that almost everything I was doing was counterproductive. No way man! I knew how to train! But I knew I failed miserably twice. After much self debate, I gave Jason full control of my training. To be honest, for six months I questioned his methods on a daily basis. How could less be more? But I followed every workout as instructed. His proven science based approach to training was a mystery to me. The technology was a mystery. Jason shattered every “old school” idea I had about training. I doubted I would even be able to finish an IM let alone do well. IM Chattanooga is now over. After an incredible PR swim I hit the bike and kept it easy (22.1 avs) as instructed. I still doubted. Then the run. It was at this point everything Jason had said and done became clear. As I passed mile 15, feeling stronger than ever before, every doubt I had about Jason’s training disappeared. I finished the race in 10:35:00. No Kona, but a lot closer! Jason’s science based method of training not only helped me complete the race with a 45 minute PR, but also injury free from day one. He did this with only six months of training. His knowledge and passion of proven science based training is incredible. The passion that he puts into coaching his athletes is refreshing, exhilarating and motivating. With Jason’s help, I know we will get to Kona!”

– CH

Scott Ward is a phenomenal coach for beginning triathletes to advanced triathletes looking to get faster. In fact he was able to guide me to not only complete my first ironman, but to race well enough to win first place in my age group qualifying me for the Ironman World Championships. There is something to be said about a coach who can put together a unique training plan for someone with a busy schedule. He not only just writes training plans, he believes in his athletes, and pushes them to their potential. There is nothing more meaningful to know that your coach believes in you and wants you to succeed. Scott puts his heart into coaching, I believe that coaching is not a job for him, it is his passion because he truly loves to watch athletes grow to be the best that they can be. Whether you are looking to finish your first triathlon or an experienced triathlete looking to get faster, Scott Ward is sure to be a fantastic coach for you.”

– VE

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” — unknown “My story of how I came to work with Jason is a lesson in learning how not to fall into the pattern of insanity/repeated history. It’s only through making changes that we can really move forward, in life as well as in running. I started running again in 2009, after a 14-year hiatus from my high school running days. I did a few local 5ks and a 10k, felt good, and decided to do the Broad Street Run in 2010; unfortunately, I ramped up my mileage too quickly, got stress fractures in both tibias, and had to stop running for 6 weeks. Post-injury, I came back to running slowly at first, but as I started feeling stronger, I made the same mistake in 2011: too much mileage too soon for me, and again, a tibial stress fracture led to another 6 weeks off from running. Blood work and bone scans showed no underlying deficiency or disease; I was just getting hurt because of overtraining. I felt frustrated and dejected. I loved running so much; how could I keep doing it without getting injured? Clearly, what I was doing on my own wasn’t working, and to continue training the same way would be indicative of a certain level of insanity. I met Jason through the Wednesday night track workouts that he does for Fast Tracks Running Club. I told him how discouraged I was by my recurrent injuries and that I was ready to try something different. We started working together in November of 2011. My first Coach Jason workouts were excruciating, not in terms of their physical challenge, but in terms of testing my patience: I would walk for 10 minutes to warm up, do 10 run/walk intervals of 60 seconds of running/90 seconds of walking, then walk for another 10 minutes to cool down. No matter how good I felt, or how much I wanted to do all running and no walking, I had to adhere to the workout he had set for me for each day. The progression of my workouts was very much in the “slow and steady” school of thought. It took several weeks before Jason increased the amount of intervals he would have me do during each run, and then another several weeks before the running intervals started to get longer, and even longer before the walking intervals got decreased. Jason also emphasized the need to get evaluated by a physical therapist to identify any underlying musculoskeletal weaknesses or imbalances; once I had my evaluation, my PT exercises were built into my training plan on the days I wasn’t running. I followed Jason’s workouts to the letter, and eventually it just became second nature to do exactly what I was told and trust that Jason’s expertise would get me back to running longer distances and staying injury free. Through 2012 and into 2013, I did indeed remain injury free, and I was able to start training for my first half marathon without that seeming like a total pipe dream. But the thing that blew me away was that not only was I running more, I was starting to get faster. I began doing track workouts with faster-paced intervals. And I PR-ed in every race I ran in 2013, most dramatically in October when I broke my 5k PR from 20 years before. People started asking specific questions about my training, because it was becoming obvious that my training was paying off. I felt almost scared as I approached my first half marathon, because this improved performance was so radical and unexpected that it almost felt like it was happening to someone else. I ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon on November 17, 2013. Of course, I went into the race with a Coach Jason-approved race plan, which I followed to the best of my ability, even going a little slower on some of the first miles than the pace he’d recommended. But I did follow his advice about keeping my pace controlled, and I achieved negative splits and a finish time of 1:46:45. Most importantly, I had a blast. I was working hard to maintain my pace, but it was also so much fun to run through Philly, be surrounded by other runners and spectators, and to be racing and feeling strong the whole way through. I teared up as I approached the finish line, but by the time I crossed it, I was grinning from ear to ear. All of the work I had put in during the past 2 years paid off in that moment. My big race is over, but I’m not done yet. I’m still working with Jason because now I want to improve my half marathon time and eventually get to a full marathon. Will that happen overnight? Absolutely not—that’s not how good training works. Of all the things I’ve learned from Jason, the biggest piece of wisdom is that endurance athletics take time, patience, and the willingness to put in the work to achieve your goals. And that work DOES pay off. It’s good to be training hard, smart—and now, sane.”

– CS

ONE BIG QUIT – I have quit one thing in my life. High school. It is not something I am proud of however it is not something I regret either. That One Big Quit turned out to be the foundation on which I have built so many Big Finishes in my life. It has been a decades long journey to prove to the people I disappointed (including myself) that I am not a quitter! I saw possibilities that intrigued me and I thought ‘I would like to do or be that’ then I would turn that into ‘I will be that’ without knowing ‘how’ or ‘if’ I would get there. You embark on a journey of learning ‘how’ to become who you imagine yourself to be and you realize that ‘if’ is such a small and insignificant word. Fast-forward to July 22, 2012. Crossing the Ironman Lake Placid finish line is a pinnacle moment in my life. I know a testimonial is usually full of details about all of the guidance and support and how invaluable coaching was to reaching my goal and it typically chronicles the progress of race performance and split times. All of that is evident and documented in my race times and PR’s over the past year and a half since I hired Jason Kilderry as my coach. Beyond the numbers however, the true value of hiring Jason was to add his knowledge and expertise to my drive and desire, and to allow him to help me learn how to BE an Ironman. With his coaching I knew I was an Ironman before I toed the start line and with this One Big Finish I have finally erased my One Big Quit. For this reason I will be forever grateful to Jason for helping me become the Me I needed to be.”

– KB

Without a doubt, I can say that the gains that I have made as a triathlete can be attributed to both Jason’s coaching and guidance, as well as my persistent, consistent effort. When I first started competing in the summer of 2007, I was overwhelmed. I did not know how to train and as a result, I found only minimal success. However, with Jason by my side I made major leaps in all three disciplines of triathlon. As a teacher and doctoral student, time was always at a premium and training could be difficult at times. However, each week Jason would take into account the time I needed for work and study and then develop a training schedule that focused on quality workouts. These workouts continued to adapt as my body adapted to the training load. Season after season I progressed as a triathlete, improving both my times and as well as my finishing place. Through consistency and hard work, I went from barely cracking the top 10% of finishers to winning races outright. By the end of my triathlon career, I was placing top 3 overall as an amateur in every race and my cycling and running splits had never been faster. It was great to continue to progress and get faster after 6 years of training with Jason. Thank you Jason for 6 great years of triathlon and for your support as my focus in life as shifted to other pursuits.”

– GW

In October 2006, I had neuromas in both feet and a broken hand, and I just signed up for an Ironman. This might be a red flag for some, but Jason was more than happy to coach me back to health and across the finish line at Ironman KY. Jason really listened to my specific needs and goals and tailored my program to fit me. He never judged my fitness level or compared me to any of his other clients. He treats all athletes as athletes, whether you come in first or last doesn’t matter. My two peak races of the season went exactly as we expected them to. There was no doubt in my mind that I was well prepared to face the challenges of Ironman, and thanks to Jason, I crossed the finish line in great physical condition, great spirits, and standing upright. What more could you ask for?”

– CD

I have been working with Jason since August 2009 and I can say, with total honesty, it was the best decision that I have ever made as an athlete. I ran my first marathon in 2006 at NYC in 2:49:55 and set a goal of a sub 2:40 marathon. Six years later, I reached that goal, although it had many setbacks and lessons along the way. Without Jason as a coach, I am not sure I would have accomplished my goal of running a sub 2:40 marathon. He was there as a guide, sounding board, and coach to guide me through everything. His stellar feedback and communication helped throughout the training for the 2011 Boston Marathon and 2011 Chicago Marathon. At the Chicago Marathon, I missed my goal by a mere 5s, due to running ahead of pace early on. At our post race meeting, Jason was very constructive in what we could fix when I ran in the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. Again, that is a testament to his stellar feedback and communication. There was a lot of time between 2011 Chicago Marathon and the 2012 Philadelphia Marathon. Jason addressed this by focusing on other aspects of my racing and training that I was somewhat weak in. This part of the training focused on maintaining pace and finishing strong at the end of a marathon and shorter race pace work. These were characterized by long runs with a portion at both marathon pace and a slightly faster marathon pace at the very end of the long run, as well as short, intense track workouts. Both of these were aimed at breaking through “the wall” at the end of the marathon. Also at the 2011 Chicago Marathon, I did not follow Jason’s plan and went too fast, too early and it caught up with me. Jason’s workouts, which focused on staying on pace early and pushing at that faster pace only towards the end, were aimed at our planned strategy. As it turned out, Jason was right on as I felt the best I ever have late in a marathon and additionally my 18th mile was a 5:52 compared to my overall pace of 6:04. Most importantly I broke 2:40 by a full minute! Jason gave me a race plan that both reflected the workouts and catered to how I race and it was a 100% success. Looking back to the summer of 2009, and how I was initially reluctant to hire a coach because I was one myself, I consider myself grateful. I say because I decided to hire Jason as my coach. Due to my USATF Level 2 Certification, I had the knowledge to coach myself. However, I now realize the benefit of having a coach, even if the athlete is also a coach. Some people who are coaches themselves may have found this difficult. I realized during the time we have been working together that there are many benefits to this arrangement. It was good to not have to coach myself, due to my other coaching obligations, and therefore just go execute the prescribed workouts. It was definitely a load off my shoulders. Finally, this improved both of our coaching of our athletes. We were consistently discussing workouts, new training ideas, and other new ways to train a certain type of runner. In conclusion, I made a great decision back in 2009. Running 2:38:59 at the Philadelphia marathon, thus reaching my goal of sub 2:40, was a direct result of Jason’s exemplary coaching style which is characterized by a wealth of knowledge, positive communication and feedback, and a love for the sport and coaching.”

– MC

I am a former All-American sprinter who after having 2 kids decided to pick up distance running to relieve daily stress. For a few years I trained myself based on my own knowledge of running and was able to steadily improve. I got to a point where overtraining, injuries and lack of experience would stop my training and affect my racing. I began working with Jason three years ago when my personal bests were 1:30:53 in the half marathon and 3:33:13 in the full marathon. In the time we have worked together I was able to set PRs in each distance I ran and stayed healthy the whole time. My new half marathon time is 1:27:28 and 3:05:12 in a marathon, which I ran at the Wineglass Marathon in 2012 finishing as a 6th woman overall. I also ran Rothman 8k in 31: 36 finishing first in my age group. What I have learned from Jason is patience in training and that slow progression is the key element in my body staying healthy. He has been able to tame my sprinter mind (to an extent), which has made me a much better athlete in training and in races.”

– MB

Thanks to the help of Coach Jason Kilderry, I just completed my first Ironman in 12:58, under my goal of 13 hours! This is something I never would have thought possible just a couple years ago. Until about 2 1/2 years ago, I didn’t swim bike or run at all. I just lifted weights & basically hated cardio work. However, after a friend convinced me to sign up for a sprint triathlon, I was hooked & started gradually ramping up the distances. When I signed up for the Florida Ironman a year before the race, I knew I was going to need some serious help. I had no idea how to train for something like this, and didn’t think the books on the subject would be individualized enough for my specific needs. I had been having some problems with minor injuries; planters facitus, ankle pain, and a herniated disk in my lower back. Jason’s coaching technique took all of this into consideration. He is very focused on making sure his athletes get to the finish line injury free, which was really critical for me. He also has a very scientific approach to building up endurance and speed that is highly customized to each individual athlete. We worked together for 7 months leading up to the race. Jason’s weekly workout plans were not only customized to my results from the previous week’s training, but also designed in a way to fit my busy work travel schedule. By race week, I was ready and knew exactly what I needed to do. Based on Jason’s scientific approach, I knew what my wattage needed to be on the bike to be able to run a marathon, and what the optimal speed would be for me on the run, as well as when I needed to take walking breaks. Amazingly, my marathon time after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles, was actually slightly faster than my first marathon just 2 years before, while my bike speed was actually faster than I had ever done in even a half Ironman! Thanks so much for helping me achieve this Jason, I couldn’t have done it without you!”

– RN

I decided to work with Jason to become more competitive in my triathlon age group finishes. As a triathlete for 7 years and runner for over 30 I was hopeful that I could make improvements. Sure enough, this triathlon season I was able to consistently place in the top of my age group. Here is how it happened: Jason gathered a lot of data initially to evaluate my fitness through interviews, time trials, and a thorough questionnaire. He also had me carefully think about my long term goals specific to each sport. From there he crafted a detailed daily training plan using Training Peaks software. He also stressed how important frequent communication and feedback would be. I have to say that I was able to follow my daily training schedule almost perfectly over 7 months time. Jason always made himself available to answer every question I had and made sure I understood the purpose of a particular workout. Every time I recorded how a workout went, he would comment in a way that showed his attention to detail. Many times I would question the “why” behind the workout and Jason always gave me a researched based response. If you are looking for a smart, resourceful, patient, and detail oriented coach you will find all that and more in Jason Kilderry.”

– ML

Most coaches are probably capable of building a generic plan to help their athletes prepare for a key race, however, they lack the knowledge to be able optimize that training in order for those athletes to maximize their performance. Coach Jason has a deep knowledge of how the body responds to different workouts and brings a very scientific approach to his plans. i appreciate his attention to my progress, his unique workouts that are both challenging and stimulating, and his ability to modify workouts to decrease the risk of injury and increase my chances for success. He is both accessible and very generous with his knowledge. Jason has been instrumental in helping me successfully complete my first IRONMAN this season. His training prepared me for the event and his race day plan allowed me to finish without any issues. I will continue to work with Jason as my focus shifts from completing events to competing in events. I am confident Jason will help me achieve my new goals just as he did my previous ones. I am very happy with my decision hire Jason as my coach.”

– SE

Consistency in training has always been a struggle for me. I also travel frequently, so my schedule is unpredictable and tight. So last summer, when I decided to improve my triathlon fitness, I did not know where to start, or how to maximize my training time. Based on a friend’s recommendation, I turned to CJ (Coach Jason), and it was the best decision I could have made. CJ wrote detailed training plans that were achievable for me, and helped me develop consistency in my training. When working with CJ, I was more consistent in my training than I had ever been before. He was always encouraging and supportive, even through the times when I was less than perfect in following my workouts. And he did an excellent job helping me fit the workouts into my crazy schedule, so that I was able to stay with my training plan. My fitness increased noticeably while working with CJ. My running times and distances improved and I developed into a stronger cyclist. However the most dramatic improvement came in my swimming, in part because I attended CJ’s fantastic swim clinic. My swimming times improved about 20%, and my kick boarding times (my kick was laughable) improved 100%! I am now a much smoother and faster swimmer, and it’s totally because of CJ’s excellent coaching. I highly recommend CJ to all of my athlete friends. His knowledge, enthusiasm and support are incredible, and he was always available for questions and encouragement. Working with CJ was one of the best athletic experiences I have had, and I would highly recommend him to anyone who is serious about improving their fitness and athletic ability.”

– LL

What I like best about Jason’s coaching is that every conversation–whether we are discussing the next days workout or an entire training cycle–begins with him asking what other things I have on the table. As a full-time graduate student balancing running along with classes, research, and teaching responsibilities this is essential. In HS, college, and after, I have had the tendency to overtrain if left to my own devices. With Jason I can be confident that my workouts and volume will be carefully planned and monitored to consistently compete at my best and improve from one goal race to the next.”

– DB

The individual aspect of a sport like Track and Field inclines one to believe that self-motivation is the key to success, that an athlete who pushes him/her self will undoubtedly excel. While this view of the sport does not go unwarranted, it has the unfortunate consequence of dismissing the coaching element, especially at the high school level. The reason I single out high school coaching is because, in my mind, high school is the most crucial period of time for the development of a runner and coaching is vital to this process. Although physical development in the sport is the goal, what high school coaching does, or at least what it did for me, was to foster a mental approach to this difficult training oriented sport and get to me to a level where I could continue to develop my abilities in college. Without Coach Matt, this never would have happened. See, together, we had the unique perspective of being completely new to the sport as it involved each of us, I had never competed in track before and Coach Matt, although being a D1 athlete in college, had never coached the sport before. This created a fun and interesting experiment, one that was more trial and error than science experiment. After starting in 10th grade, I quickly got better under Matt’s guidance, breaking 2:00 in the 800m and 4:20 in the mile by the end of my junior year. We also made it to outdoor nationals, where I proceeded to bomb in the emerging elite mile (I must have run 4:30 or something). But Matt and myself saw the race as nothing but experience, after all, there was no reason to imagine that I wouldn’t be back at nationals next year. Unfortunately, senior year amounted to a series of me hitting my head against the 4:20 barrier in vain, I wouldn’t match my PR from junior year, and I wouldn’t go back to outdoor nationals. However, and this is the virtue of having a high school coach like Matt, I realized that getting better in this sport is difficult and it never comes easy. To truly excel you have to always work harder than you think you should, while at the same time listening to your body in order to avoid falling into the abyss of over-training. Matt taught me these lessons, he helped to bolster my fragile ego that can so easily be discouraged in a sport that doesn’t always yield the rewards you’re working towards. Most of all, Matt helped to get me into a college program at Cornell University, and from there I really started to reap the benefits of hard work. In high school, my PR’s were 1:57 in the 800m, 4:19 in the mile, and 9:59 in the two mile, not great but good enough to get some D1 attention. Since being at Cornell, however, I’ve dropped my PR’s to 1:52 in the 800, 3:49 in the 1500m, 4:07 in the mile, and 8:19 in the 3000m. Some may make the ignorant statement and say that these times show that I was poorly coached in high school and had more potential, but in reality, I never would have even dreamed of running these times had it not been for Coach Matt instilling a desire to excel within me. I have seen countless athletes in college, who were far more talented than me in high school, fall by the wayside because they did not have the mental fortitude to deal with disappointment. As Coach Matt gets more experience I’m sure he will see greater success out of his high school athletes, but the one thing that will remain a staple for his program is how he can make kids believe they are great. This is, in my opinion, is the greatest gift a coach can have.”

– AA

I am not your typical athlete and no one would mistake me for one. But I began running, making it up as I went along and hit hurdles in the form of injuries. A year ago I did a triathlon relay (just the 5K run portion) and was so inspired by the people competing that I decided I wanted to do one myself. But I knew there was no way I could fake my way through training for a tri, especially since it had been no less than 20 years since I had really swam and about 15 since I was on a bike. Then I met Jason and we began working together right away. I had worked with personal trainers in the past, but immediately I knew Jason was very different. He treated me as an individual and began designing a program that at first seemed impossible. But in the time I have been working with him, I have never once faltered and I have seen amazing changes in myself. Of course physical changes came but also mental ones. I am still in awe of the accomplishments I have to my credit now, all because I have a coach who cares about how I perform, not just in races, but in each and every workout. In July I completed my first sprint tri and it is an experience I will never forget. I never would have gotten that medal if it weren’t for the hours Jason put in, the phone calls, the emails, the words of encouragement. The best advice Jason gave me was he said I needed to decide if I just wanted to train for a race or train for life. I am definitely in this for the long haul, in large part due to a tremendous coach!”

– LT

Jason coached me from an Ironman Lake Placid finish to a BQ at the Steamtown Marathon in 10 weeks! That pretty much encapsulates my experience working with Jason. As a runner since college and a relatively recent convert to the sport of triathlon, I had always dreamed of being an Ironman, and I always dreamed of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. But I never dreamed that I could, and would, accomplish both goals within 10 short weeks of one another and do so injury and stress free. I did so thanks to Jason’s coaching. As soon as I signed up for 2014 Ironman Lake Placid, I started researching coaches. As a full time lawyer and a single mother to two small children, I recognized that I needed help and guidance from a coach who would get me to the start of that race in both good physical and emotional shape. Jason took care of both. We started working together about 8 months before IMLP. Each week, he carefully crafted my weekly workouts in a way that built my strength and endurance (not to mention my confidence), but that also realistically worked with the demands of my schedule. When there were scheduling hiccups, he adapted and adjusted my schedule accordingly. He analyzed my data and provided helpful, supportive feedback. I knew that unless I took a year off of work and trained around the clock, I would worry that I didn’t do enough. So, hiring Jason and putting my trust in him and his expertise was a big step in getting myself prepared for the race mentally. I stood at the swim start before Ironman Lake Placid and was excited. A little nervous, yes. But I knew in my gut, in my head and in my heart that I could not have been more prepared to race. Jason’s guidance, support and enthusiasm kept me going throughout training. Rounding that final corner to the IMLP finish and the Olympic Oval was better than I could have imagined — truly beyond my greatest hope and dreams. What was once a dream and a goal became a reality and instead of looking forward, I truly just basked in the present, soaked up the moment and relished in it. There is absolutely no way I could have reached my goal and accomplished that amazing moment without Jason’s coaching. One week after the Ironman finish, I was back running again. Another testament to Jason’s coaching skills was the fact that my recovery from Ironman was relatively easy and the biggest post-race issues that I had to deal with were sunburn and some chafing. Recognizing that there would be a pretty big void once Ironman was behind me, I had signed up for the Steamtown Marathon earlier in the year. Steamtown was just 10 weeks on the heels of Ironman Lake Placid, so I wanted to train smart. I continued working with Jason and followed his workout plan to a tee. As the weeks went on, I could feel myself running stronger and faster, and on race day I had the marathon of my life, which culminated in a BQ time and a 15 minute marathon PR. I cannot speak highly enough of Jason’s coaching. As much as I know my body and know running, I was, and am, woefully uneducated about the science of training. Everything was carefully planned by Jason, and I put my complete trust in him. And I have never felt better – in training and in running that marathon or in racing my Ironman. I now view working with a coach, and in particular with Jason, as an essential part of my training. It’s an investment in me, in what I love to do and a little insurance policy that I am training smart and won’t hurt myself. Yes, I do the hard work. But Jason puts together the plan and listens to me and somehow makes things that previously seemed impossible be not only possible but transformative in every way.”

– SP

I came into triathlons relatively late in life with a very limited athletic background and osteoarthritis in my knees. After a few seasons of Sprint and Olympic distances, I signed on with Jason after a friend with a history of injuries had great success under his tutelage. With Jason’s guidance, I raced four triathlons this year and was stronger with each race. The highlight of my season was the completion of my first Half-Ironman race, something I had feared was out of my reach given the condition my knees. I am confident that with Jason at my side I will continue to make gains each season while staying focused on my long term goal of to being able to train and race for many years to come. Thank you Jason!”

– ES

Matt has trained my husband through a marathon, he has worked with my grade school daughter to improve her running stride and coaches my high school daughter in track. Matt is an outstanding coach! As an accomplished athlete himself he is able to share his experience and relate to the successes and disappointments of a training and racing regimen. He individualizes the workouts and listens to his athletes, always being available and responsive. Matt is willing to modify training as needed and is a great motivator and inspiration for those who he trains.”

– MK

I began running as a way to stay fit. After completing several races on my own, I wanted to run a marathon as a 40th birthday present/accomplishment for myself. I knew I wasn’t experienced enough to complete this task on my own and that is when I enlisted Jason’s help. He was very encouraging right from the start and available for any questions. With his coaching, I not only finished my first marathon, but enjoyed the entire course with a smile on my face! I have completed three marathons and two duathlons thanks to Jason’s coaching, and I am now training for my fourth marathon! I follow his customized workouts which take into consideration my time and family commitments. I am confident with his extensive experience, vast knowledge of training and attention to detail, that I will be more than prepared to tackle any goal I set for myself.”

– LR

When I was a kid, I was a terrible athlete. Thanks to Jason, things have changed. In grammar school, I was always picked last for kickball. In middle school, I walked the 100 yard dash for fear of being made fun of. I even used to hold my nose when I jumped in the pool. In 5 years of baseball, I almost made it 2nd base; one time. I even beamed my own mom at the parents/kids baseball game. I played one year of high school football, and quit after Sophomore camp. I just didn’t enjoy getting hit! That’s when I found golf, and the love of competition and self-motivation. At 29, like Forrest Gump, one day I just decided to run. The only problem is that I was 15 pounds overweight, and still a terrible athlete! In 5 months, I went from never running further than a mile, to completing my first marathon…in 5:25. It was a complete disaster! I had picked a “beginner to marathon” plan out of a magazine and jumped right in. I tried a few more half marathons and 10Ks, but never got any faster, and every step was a challenge. When my friends and I decided to sign up for the Philly Triathlon, I knew I was in trouble. I had no idea how to swim. I still couldn’t run, and I was pretty sure that I would be slow on the bike. However, my friends were athletes, and I was not going to be shown up! I found Jason, and everything changed. Being an engineer, I love numbers, working with a plan, and most importantly doing something that has been proven to work! I spoke with Jason for 15 minutes on the phone, and knew that he was the guy for me. He wasn’t going to just put together a plan and leave me on my own. He was going to constantly adjust based on my feedback, my short and long term goals, and use proven strategies. In short, he did just that. My immediate goal was to finish this Olympic distance race. My goals then changed to getting faster at the Olympic, and possibly a half-Ironman. Was an Ironman possible? Over the course of 2-3 years I was actually ready for an Ironman. It was a tough journey, and I worked my butt off, but I was never overtrained! I can’t tell you how many times, before Jason, I had overworked myself and got injured. Not once, while working with Jason, did I ever get close to being overtrained. I used to beg him to go harder! Don’t get me wrong, I worked really hard, and everyone once in awhile, couldn’t complete the workout. But, it was all planned, and it worked! Three years after I started with Jason, I arrived in Mexico for Ironman Cozumel ready to go. Long story short, I couldn’t have been more prepared, but ended up DNF after 30 miles on the bike! It turns out, you should watch what you eat in Mexico before an Ironman! Twenty miles into the bike, I was projectile vomiting and ended up passed out on the side of the road only to wake up to Mexican paramedics speaking Spanish a mile a minute. I battled on for another 10 miles, but found myself in the back of a steaming hot converted Econoline van with an IV in my bicep (wrong place) and my skin blowing up like a balloon with saline! After a few depressing weeks, Jason got me back on the horse, and the next year I completed my first Ironman. It was an awesome experience, literally, thanks to Jason! It was actually easy! I feel like I didn’t even work that hard, and came in with a pretty respectable time (for a fat kid) of 13:20. My marathon time (4:50) was a full half hour faster than my first standalone time! Twenty five years after being picked last, I had my revenge. A few months ago, I was golfing with a cornerback in the NFL and the topic of running, and triathlon came up. When he found out I completed an Ironman, he literally got down on his knees and starting worshiping me! Thanks to Mr. Jason, I’m no longer the fat kid.”

– JP

I competed in my first triathlon during the summer of 2009, the summer before entering college. When I got to school I decided to join my school’s club triathlon team since I had been a competitive swimmer since I was five and ran during high school. This was a perfect option because I wanted to stay competitive throughout college but was an injury prone runner and wouldn’t be able to compete collegiality in swimming. During my first year at school I struggled to fit in and manage training on top of school and an on campus job. Along with that, I really didn’t know how my training should be broken up between the three disciplines being good at one, injury prone in another and brand new to the third, cycling. During the next summer I decided to take the guessing and worrying out of how, how much and when to train so that I could improve but still live the life of a typical and time limited college student. Working with Coach Jason that first summer I felt at ease know that he took my individual needs and concerns very seriously and carefully and was thrilled with how my training and racing we progressing over that first summer. When it came time to go back to school and again juggle training with social, school and work life, Coach Jason was able to work with me and my college student needs to create a training schedule. He took my course and social load into consideration and also my need for flexibility. He put together a schedule that was focused on quality rather than quantity and one that would allow me to be flexible with the placement and length, if necessary, of my workouts. This was important for me because school work comes first and it can sometimes take longer than expected and often times things will just come up, that for me, take precedent over training. I was able to perform well in school and still see significant improvements in my training. And I knew I was improving on this type of “minimalist” training regimen because of the time trails and progress tests Coach Jason would have me do periodically. Since starting to work with Jason I’ve never been a happier athlete and have seen a lot of success with his guidance and knowledge having been able to place very well and win some local races as well as just knowing that my training pays off and that I feel good and am enjoying both training and racing.”

– CN

When I was growing up I was super active, competitive, and loved sports. I was a slow sprinter but could find another gear when I would run for longer distances. Around the age of 10 I developed asthma. I became a goalie and always lagged at the back of my soccer and lacrosse runs in high school. When I got into my twenties I outgrew the asthma and began running. I took up racing because it gives me a goal to keep motivated. Year over year I enter the same races and try to put up better numbers. I would usually be within a few seconds or a minute of previous efforts…until I started with Jason in April 2010. After training with Jason for 2-3 months I started seeing results, SERIOUS results. I placed top five in my age group in every triathlon I entered this past season at the Sprint, Olympic, and Half Iron distances. I won my age group in one Sprint and bested my previous time by over 7 minutes. I won two Clydesdales before I lost enough weight to no longer qualify for them (17 pounds in 4 months). I did the Philly Half Marathon, and came away with a 13 minute PR. Jason has helped me get to another level. Before I started training with Jason I felt like I was wasting time with my workouts because I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing, how hard I should be going, or how much time I should be putting in. Jason assessed my strengths, weaknesses, and goals and set up a routine for me to follow that made every workout meaningful. Jason has given me the road map to success as an athlete. My theory is that if you’re going to be doing this, you may as well do it right. I look forward to another season with Jason and can’t wait to take it to the next level!”

– PC

I began competitively running in my freshman year of high school performing cross country, winter track and spring track. Initially, I made gains in my speed and endurance due to the cumulative effect of my continued training and being relatively new to the sport. But I then began to plateau with my times and accomplishments during my sophomore year of running. Coach Matt became my coach at the beginning of my junior year of high school. This is when I started to experience sustained success with my running. We met to discuss my goals and he set a structured, individualized, training plan for each sport, with each season’s accomplishments building upon the prior season’s successes. Coach Matt’s entire season training plans included a gradual buildup of running volume and intensities so that I would “peak” for key racing events and set new personal records (PR’s); all while avoiding injury! His training plans are based on the latest scientific running research and the body’s response to exercise. As a result, I was able to achieve a level of success in my high school running career which enabled me to compete amongst the elite in the state and qualify for “Nationals” in Indoor and Outdoor track. Due to my high school running success, I have been able to continue my running career as a three sport athlete at a Division 1 college, Quinnipiac University, in the Northeast Conference (NEC). During my time with Coach Matt, he not only provided me with exceptional physical training programs but he also taught me important mental lessons including race strategies, running with confidence, the importance of a positive mental attitude, and on occasion, how to deal with race disappointment and use it as motivation to become even faster the next time. Coach Matt’s expertise, knowledge and love for the sport have developed me into the runner I am today. Thank you so much, Coach Matt!!”

– KM

My background stems mainly from team sports. I played competitive rugby from middle school through high school, winning two state championships and a starting spot on the all-state team for two years. I was always a fast runner and had great endurance for the sports I played, but I was by no means a competitive nor avid runner.
I was introduced to Jason the winter of my freshman year at Drexel, where I am currently a junior, by an upperclassman in my NROTC battalion. As a Midshipman looking to go into the special operations community, I decided that competing in triathlons would be a good way to hone my running and swimming skills. I have technically been training under Jason for the past two years. Although, I would argue that it’s been closer to 9 months. (I’ll explain why later)
As a studying mechanical engineer, I like to quantify things and see actual data. I’m no sucker for pseudoscience or “Get Fit in a Day/Week/Month” propaganda. This is the reason that I value Jason’s methods of coaching. Jason is well educated on what methods work and don’t work and is always read up on the latest studies regarding endurance athletics.
I mentioned earlier that I’ve been training under Jason for the past two years but only count the last nine months. The reason for this is simple: I didn’t follow his workout plan the way it was written for that first year and a half. Since I was essentially learning how to swim, I made sure to follow the swim workouts that were written, but for running, I ignored his workouts entirely. I figured that since I had become a decent runner by myself that I didn’t need his coaching. I continued to run on my own which typically involved running as fast as I could for a given distance. When it came to cycling, I primarily just fell back on my leg strength and athleticism that I already had. Did I see progress in that year and a half in my running and biking? Yes, but it was infinitesimal at best. In the past nine months (2 years for swimming) I have seen continuous, steady progress in my running and biking ability.
If you have unrealistic goals, Jason will let you know right off the bat. Nine months ago, when I started taking training more seriously, I wanted Jason to throw me to the wolves when it came to training intensity. I was adamant about wanting to train hard 24/7 and becoming highly competitive in a short amount of time. Jason responded by writing me workouts that seemed like the antithesis of intense exercise. He made me run at what felt like agonizingly slow paces and had me going for short bike rides at seemingly leisurely speeds. It worked, and it was a whole lot less painful than what I was putting myself through the prior year and a half. The key to my success and growth over these past nine months can be attributed mainly to one thing—consistency. If I had to describe Jason’s coaching methods with one term, I would choose that very word. (CONSISTENCY, in case you missed that) You do the workouts he gives you and see guaranteed long-term growth, or you find another coach. It’s really that simple. Jason does all the hard work; he creates the recipe for your success. All you have to do is follow it.
Over the summer, I made my first overall podium as an endurance athlete at a local sprint triathlon, finishing second only to another ETA Coach athlete. I just completed a great fall season racing in the North East Collegiate Triathlon Conference. I raced a 16+ minute PR at the Olympic distance and ended up finishing the season ranked 3rd in the conference. In addition to triathlon, I won my first 5k last November finishing with a 55 second PR from the previous year.

– MJ

“Jason started coaching me during my freshman year at Drexel in 2014. The summer before joining the Drexel Tri Team, I had done two olympics and one sprint distance triathlon. I’ve competed in swimming and running since I was a little kid, but overuse injuries in high school had me nervous about continuing to compete in college.
As an exercise physiology major, I have always loved the fact that Jason’s methods are backed by science. The frequency and quality of his workouts have improved my endurance and speed in ways I didn’t know were possible. In that summer before starting at Drexel, I probably had no more than 12 total hours of bike experience outside of racing. This is when I was introduced to Jason’s method that frequency is more important than daily volume. I think I spent every single day of that first year on my bike, even if only for a few minutes. Although I came from a high school swim program that had us in the water 20 hours per week, my times improved thanks to Jason’s quality swim sets.
As for running, Jason started me out slow with 15-minute endurance runs because of my injuries. For an entire year, the bulk of my runs were 30 minutes or less. A couple months before my first collegiate club nationals, I remember asking Jason when my run distance would increase to prepare for the race. All he said was, “it won’t.” To be honest, I was annoyed. All my life I have been taught that more is always best, but now I know that Jason is a coach who truly understands quality. After dropping 11 minutes off my olympic time at collegiate nationals, I decided to start trusting him.
Unfortunately, I got mono during my sophomore year and was unable to get back to peak fitness for the collegiate season. That infection has evolved into a disorder of the autonomic nervous system, which doctors haven’t quite figured out yet. Training seemed to be making my symptoms worse, so I decided to stop five months ago. The idea of not training is terrifying to me because I love it so much. And honestly, I thought not being able to keep up would result in losing all of the friends and connections I’ve made through this sport. If anything, Jason has made sure that my experience is the opposite. He calls and emails constantly to check on my symptoms and has been tremendously helpful in my search for the right doctor. Being so involved in the exercise science community, Jason has connections in both the medical and research worlds. He has set me up with specialists and sent my information to friends in the field who might have answers. He has encouraged me to be proactive every single day and advocate for my own health. Having his own experience with health issues, he advised me that the best way to get appointments is to “be annoying” and call every day. Following this advice lead me to get to important appointments sooner.
As all of Jason’s athletes know, he encourages us to “question often.” I’ve applied this tactic to my doctor’s appointments. I make sure to ask questions so I never leave confused, and call Jason right after to talk everything over. He has helped me get away from doctors who aren’t helpful and piece together the useful information. Another great thing about Jason’s coaching style is his fully integrated approach. It’s not just about completing the workouts on the schedule, but what you eat, how you sleep, and handling life. If you’ve been working overtime and getting five hours of sleep all week, Jason would much rather you take the day off to nap than head to the track and bonk. He constantly checks on my nutrition, my mental health and overall wellbeing, whether I am sick or not.
The other day, Jason called to check on me as he often does. Of course I jumped right into questioning how soon I will be able to train and race again. He stopped me, and reminded me that the goal is to heal first. He told me to put racing out of my mind and focus on myself. Right now I am nowhere near close to being in shape, or even to starting to train again, and Jason still treats me the same as the rest of his athletes.
I can confidently say that Jason does not view his athletes simply in terms of their times or abilities. He sees us all as individual people with different needs, and truly cares that we are healthy across the board. The past year hasn’t been easy, but what I’ve learned from being sick is that Jason and ETA Coach will always have my back.

– MS

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