Need an Extra Push? 28 Great Running Coaches from the Great Lakes Area

For anyone who wants to make a new habit of running, or for anyone who needs a little help running faster and farther, a professional running coach can be very beneficial.

A good running coach can create a customized training program tailored to your goals and current level of fitness, and he or she will be able to correct any issues with your running technique.

New runners will benefit from having someone push them and hold them accountable for their runs. Seasoned runners will benefit from instructions regarding running form, new training programs and intervals, and tweaks to help them get closer to their running goals.

Below are 28 running coaches and run coaching companies in the Great Lakes area. From Milwaukee to Detroit, you should be able to find a qualified running coach near you who can push your running to the next level.




Chicago Endurance Sports
Chicago Endurance Sports just celebrated 14 years in business. CES has 25 running coaches on staff in addition to a number of cycling, triathlon and yoga trainers.

Max Multisport, Chicago
Max Multisport has the only run training program in Chicago exclusively for women. Training is done in small groups, so you get the benefit of personal attention plus the support of other runners.

Performance Running, St. Charles
PR is a not-for-profit company that has seven certified running coaches on staff. Barely a year old, PR already trains more than 160 runners.

Run JunkEes, Bristol
Run JunkEes reaches out to those non-runners who find the sport grueling and miserable. At the moment, Run JunkEes is mostly a running club, but they appear to be preparing to offer run coaching in the near future.

The Runner’s Soul, Elmhurst and La Grange
The Runner’s Soul is actually a specialty running store, but it just so happens to have four running coaches on staff who would be glad to help you develop a running program.

The Running Depot, Crystal Lake
The Running Depot is another specialty store that has running coaches on staff. Their list of training programs for 2014 can be found here.

Individual coaches

Bill Leach, Chicago
Coach Leach has headed up the track and field staff at four NCAA schools in his 30-plus years of professional experience. His coaching center is at Fullerton and Sheffield, by the DePaul campus in the middle of Lincoln Park.

Jennifer Harrison, West Dundee
Since 1995, Jennifer Harrison has competed in more than 200 triathlons and duathlons. She also maintains a useful running blog on her site.

Nick Larsen, Chicago
Nick Larsen is a runner, triathlete, yoga instructor and coach. He can train you in running as well as biking, swimming and yoga if you are feeling particularly ambitious.

Sarah Dudek, Chicago
Sarah Dudek is a former figure skater turned professional trainer and running coach. She and her husband both teach sports programs around the Midwest.

Special mention

Tiffany Dore, in Aurora, a running coach who is currently recovering from surgery. We wish her the best.

Great Running Coaches from the Great Lakes Area



3 Rivers Running, Ft. Wayne
Coach Mike and Coach Thomas at 3 Rivers Running are both experienced ultra marathon runners. They organize training groups and can also put together personalized programs for you.


Extra Mile, Valparaiso
Extra Mile is a running and athletic store that organizes training groups taught by certified running coaches. They also host an after-work group run on Mondays that starts at 6:00 PM.


Innovative Endurance, South Bend
IE offers multi-sport training as well as rigorous scientific testing. There are four running coaches on staff who can build programs for everyone from beginners to elite runners.

Memorial Health & Lifestyle Center, South Bend
The fitness center on Jefferson Blvd. is part of the Memorial Medical Group, meaning training is backed by medical expertise. Staff running coach Dave Woods has been a competitive triathlete for more than a decade.

Individual coaches

Deanna Grimes, Griffith
Deanna Grimes is one of the running coaches on staff at Extra Mile, above, and she also heads up the adult running programs for the Calumet Region Striders running group.

Jeff Mescal, Griffith
Jeff Mescal boasts a 2:37 marathon time he achieved in 2013. He, like Deanna Grimes above, is a member of the Calumet Region Striders.

Mark Archer, Lafayette
Mark Archer says that in the summer months he runs 100 miles a week. He is also the treasurer for the Wabash River Runners Club.

Great Running Coaches from the Great Lakes Area



Hansons Running, Rochester Hills
Kevin and Keith Hanson starting the run coaching company in 2006, after training a few customers at the Hanson’s Running Shops retail outlets for marathons and demand grew to the point that the had to start a second business.

PR Fitness, Ann Arbor
PR Fitness offers multi-sport coaching but has six coaches on staff who specialize in running. They also host group runs at 7:30 AM on Saturday mornings for the truly motivated.

Runner Academy, online / HQ in East Lansing
This is coloring outside the lines a bit because Runner Academy’s services are online-based, but founder Matt Johnson is a veteran running and track and field coach from East Lansing who has helped thousands of runners around the world.

Individual coaches

Katherine Kyle, Grosse Pointe
Katherine Kyle started running in 2005 to get in shape, and she got hooked. In the last decade, she moved up from 5Ks to marathons to training others to run.

Paul Barr, Oxford
Paul Barr has a great story: He was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder in 1998, and exercise was prescribed as part of his treatment. He has since become a certified running coach, track and field coach, and nutrition consultant.

Shanell Cleaveland, Haslett
Shanell Cleaveland specialized in helping women incorporate regular exercise into their daily lives. She is a certified running coach who is happy to create a specialized running program for those who get in touch.

Great Running Coaches from the Great Lakes Area



Momentum of Milwaukee
Momentum of Milwaukee specializes in marathon training, but no matter how far the finish line their coaches can create a custom program for runners of any level.

Run In Step, locations in Delafield, Hales Corners, Mequon and Milwaukee
Run In Step offers two program levels for runners, each of which includes weekly coaching and a biomechanical analysis so that your running technique doesn’t lead to eventual trouble.

SBR Coaching and Training, Verona
SBR has five coaches and trainers on staff whose specialties cover everything from running to swimming to physical therapy. SBR offers personal run coaching and gait analysis plus regular group running sessions at Verona High School.

Individual coaches

Ben Van Male, Milwaukee
Ben Van Male is a certified personal trainer and former track and field team member at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Matt Thull, Milwaukee
Matt Thull has five Top 10 USA National Road Race championship finishes in the 5K, 15K, and 10-mile distances. He offers coaching services to everyone from high schools to individual runners to boot camps for corporate groups.


More Resources

We also recommend checking out CoachUp, a nationwide directory of coaches available to train you in any number of sports and exercises. Here are the running coaches available for hire in Chicago, Northwest Indiana, Detroit, Grand Rapids, MI, Milwaukee and Madison, WI.


images by:
Vieira da Silva / Flickr
Gino and Sharon Photography / Flickr
Nidreas / Flickr
Nwardez / Flickr

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