We talk a lot on our website about communication, gps data, and training. These words and ideas need to be elaborated on and described in more detail so you really understand what it is the coaches at Trail and Tarmac actually do. Here is a glimpse behind the scenes in the Trails and Tarmac coaching kitchen.


Technology has changed the face of running drastically over the past decade. If you wanted a remote running coach in the 1990s you might correspond via email or phone calls. You’d talk about the workouts, and your coach would have a vague idea of what you’d actually been doing. Today data is king, we have tons of it, and it’s really informative. At Trails and Tarmac we see all of your runs. Period. We don’t just drop in a kudos and call it good, We go a lot farther than that. We look at the run in depth. We look at the terrain you are running on, we look at your paces, your cadence, your heart rate, and the runs elevation profile. Our coaches are experts at reading and interpreting runs on Strava so they can know exactly what their athletes are doing every day. We also work to help our runners understand the data they are looking at. Whether it’s explaining how to use your watch’s lap function to capture meaningful workout info or learning how to read and use the Grade Adjusted Pace function, as a T&T runner you’ll have a coach who is utilizing the data available and helps you understand it as well. Never used Strava before? Don’t worry, its super easy and informative!!


Communication about your training and racing is a two way street. Our runners log and write details of every run they do in an athlete/coach shared training journal. We push our runners to be thoughtful of how they are feeling, and describe what happened during their runs. This athlete training log forms the basis for our coaching decisions. The log gives us meaningful information to provide timely feedback to our runners. We don’t just check in once a week or once a month to see how things are going. As a Trails and Tarmac athlete you will know your coach is guiding the process because they will be responding to your training log 4 to 7 times per week. The consistency in communication this approach provides doesn’t let anything slip through the cracks.

Knowing Our Athletes

How many people can you really know well at once? We think this is a valid question. We decided when we started Trails and Tarmac that we wanted to know our runners well, even though that meant we coached fewer athletes. To truly know our runners well, to know what they are all doing this weekend, when their big races are, and how much stress they had at work last week, we limit the number of runners our coaches can take on. This helps our coaches have their runners in their mind all the time. When we are, researching training, working, and even out on our runs we are thinking about our runners and how we can best serve them. We write training that is 100% customized for each runner. When we write workouts for our runners we don’t just write the nuts and bolts of the minutes and miles. We write detailed descriptions to help our runners understand our thoughts and how to approach the workouts. We describe intensities with words and ideas that apply to each runner based on what we know about them. We don’t have templates or cookie cutter descriptions of generic workouts. As each runner is unique and has different goals, everything we do is customized for them to meet and exceed those goals.

Coach Experience and Collaboration

Science is important for providing a sound foundation to training, and experience on the road and trail on a daily basis is vital. All of the coaches at Trails and Tarmac have experience training and racing on the track, road and trail at a high level.  We talk to one another regularly and discuss topics ranging from why you should slow down when eating during a race, to when you should power hike or run on a climb. The sport is changing fast, and learning has to be done fast.  Don’t waste your time, learn from our mistakes.       
There are no barriers to entry at Trails and Tarmac.  If you want coaching your intro phone call is and always has been totally free, we give you a chance to ask questions and get to know your coach before making any commitment.  If you are interested get in touch with us on our coaching page or email with some info about yourself and your goals at info@trailsandtarmac.com

Posted March 9th, 2017 by Ryan Ghelfi