Training with Lisa Helped Me Take 30 Minutes Off My Marathon Personal Record
If you are serious about improving your endurance, your speed, your form, or need a better training regimen that keeps you motivated and avoids injury, then you need Lisa. I have been working with Lisa for the last seven months and the results have been incredible. I was becoming frustrated with my middle of the pack status and my recurring injuries. After 7 short months, I am now a top third finisher in triathlons and races and I have been injury free! At 40 years old, I am now the fittest that I have been in my life. My endurance and my speed have dramatically improved. I can now hold a sub-8 minute pace during long runs where before I used to be a 9:30 pace guy on the same distances. I recently ran a marathon and I was able to take 30 minutes off my prior PR. Lisa made this possible.
My Body – and Mind’s – Unlimited Potential
Her focus on cross training, core strength, and heart rate monitor training has made a tremendous difference for me. This has re-energized me and made me much stronger in body and mind. With her help, I am now training for my first Ironman. This is something that I had not previously considered possible given my injuries and past endurance level. She has given me the confidence and the expertise to face increasingly longer distances without worry. I now regularly do 2-3 hour runs on a Saturday and turn around and do 80 miles on the bike the next day. She has really changed my frame of reference and taught me how far I can push myself, and how unlimited the body and the mind’s potential can be, once untapped.
Lisa’s Wealth of Experience
Lisa’s wealth of experience in her own racing career makes her invaluable. She has not only given me the training and the encouragement necessary to train at high volume levels, but she has given me incredibly helpful racing strategy tips for different distance races from sprint triathlons to marathons. She has also helped me with my nutrition and provided just generally very helpful advice on fitness. She is a great coach, but more importantly, she is a great lady. Lisa cares about you as a client. She understands your family and business situation and she adapts her training programs so you can maintain a balanced life, while still achieving your athletic goals.
The Advantages of Online Coaching with Lisa
As a potential client of Lisa’s, you may have questions about whether online coaching really works. My answer is yes, but with the right coach. What has made my experience with Lisa so successful is the fact that she is always available to answer questions or help deal with concerns. This is the key. As a result, the experience is the same as if she lived in the same town. Qualifications are also a key to choosing an online coach and Lisa’s vast expertise speaks for itself. This woman is amazing. With Lisa, you get the real thing, not a poser or a pretender. Her record speaks for itself and once you talk to her it becomes abundantly clear.
I am extremely happy with my racing results and with how far I have come in a relatively short period of time. Lisa helped me do this. I am extremely satisfied with her coaching and I recommend her to you without concern. She is terrific.
Follow-up Update from Juan
There are several people in my life that mean a lot to me and you are one of them. The impact that you have had on me over the last couple of years is amazing. I am particularly grateful for your confidence in me this year given the issues with my leg. You helped me to keep my focus to achieve my goals – it wasn’t easy and I worked very hard, but you were there with me every step of the way. I have had some disappointments along the way but you kept me on an even keel. I was really doubting myself (something that is very unusual for me) after FirmMan in September, and the meltdown in Chicago but your belief in me kept me going. I’m glad that I always listen to you. I did have such a great race at IM Florida. It was a great confidence booster, but beyond that it was further proof that anything really is possible. My 2007 season is now over and I look forward to several weeks of rest, recovery and moderate training before I refocus on the 2008 season.
Ironman Florida 2007: 12:30!!!! Personal best by 3 hours
Thank you for being such a great friend and coach.
I was given the gift of having Lisa coach me in December 2006. This has proven to be the single most significant gift of my life. It really has been the gift that keeps on giving . . .
I started training with Lisa after successfully completing my first 50 mile race which I entered on a whim and a bet with a friend. I wanted to know how to run ultra marathons “correctly” and Lisa was suggested as the best coach for helping me learn about the sport of ultra running. What I didn’t know, and have come to learn and appreciate, is that Lisa is a life coach and strives to achieve overall fitness for her clients. She has perspective and insight that are invaluable when it comes to having a very full life in which training has to fit.
I remember so well the first conversation Lisa and I had about getting me going on a training program. I have been told (and she had been warned) that I am a bit stubborn and “untrainable”. Lisa has a special talent of bringing out the best in her clients. She guided my training and lead me toward a path of athletic success by sharing her knowledge and experience all the time being patient, but firm; enthusiastic, but realistic; kind, but tough.
Lisa has taught me the value of quality training versus just putting in the time. Life is full and she makes certain that every moment of training is for a purpose and is not wasted time. In training with Lisa, she adapts the bi-monthly programs to achieve more success while life throws in unexpected twists and turns. She is constantly checking in on progress, response to activities, and how the spirit as well as the body is responding to the training program one is following. Lisa encourages and promotes balance in life; she doesn’t support losing perspective just to achieve lofty goals.
After working with Lisa, I now understand the importance of training and respecting the body for the long haul. Working with Lisa is not about over training or pounding out the miles; it is about respecting all the factors that must go into a successful athlete – cross training, nutrition, core work, rest, mental toughness. For me, the ultimate goal is to be healthy and an athlete for life; Lisa can make that happen.
Much more than a coach
I wanted to learn more about ultra running, with the gift of working with Lisa I have learned so much more than how to train for my first 100 mile race. I am motivated and encouraged by Lisa’s determination, enthusiasm, and giving spirit. I am grateful to call her a friend, mentor and coach.
My 60th Birthday Present
A week before my 60th birthday I learned that I was accepted into the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. My emotions were elation, then panic, then dread, and finally commitment to complete my first 100 mile event.
Training is Not Just About Logging Miles
Up to this point, my understanding of training was to determine the number of miles I needed to run each week to complete the next ultra, set a schedule that increased mileage by 10% each week, do strength training when possible, run the race and hope for the best. This was all about to change. Through a running friend and via the computer and telephone I met Lisa. Together we reviewed my history, strengths and weaknesses, and goals. At first, my weekly workouts seemed mild and included exercise and training that I had never tried before. As time went, by the workouts increased in variety and intensity. I found that I was getting in excellent shape without the usual problems of overtraining e.g. illness, injury and boredom. The workouts were both challenging and interesting. Ultras leading up to WS100 went well; my times were good and there were no injuries.
Advice at the Races
I finally met Lisa and Jay in person at Squaw Valley before the event. The training continued with last minute instructions, strategy, nutrition, drop bags, aid station protocol, etc. Lisa never stops coaching, even during the run. In Auburn, I crossed the finish line with little time to spare. The joy of finishing is indescribable, you have to live it. In the recovery area I reflected on the invaluable assistance provided by my wife, Marie and crew, the excellent training and preparation Lisa provided, the initial emotions I experienced when I learned I would be in the WS100, and the many wonderful people I had met along the way.
Long Term Training with Lisa
Lisa’s training didn’t stop there; she helped me through the recovery phase and continued to help me through WS100 the following year, and WS100 and Cascade Crest Classic 100 the year after that. It amazed me that my times decreased as I got older. Lisa has been able to train me properly in order to improve my performance, complete difficult events, have more enjoyment on the trails; all without crossing that fine line that leads to injury, time lost, the wheels falling off, and disappointment.
Training with Lisa has made the future look bright. I can look forward to continuing in a sport that I really enjoy.
Seeking Help with Cascade Crest Classic 100 mile run
About 5 years ago, I decided that I would like to attempt the Cascade Crest Classic 100 mile run. Having done Western States, Angeles Crest 100 milers, and finishing with little time to spare, I knew I needed help! A failed attempt at Cascade Crest, resulting from a fall, made me all the more determined to finish this wonderful mountain trail ultra-marathon, held in Washington every September.
Denise Jones, a long-time friend and fellow ultra-runner, knew Lisa from her Badwater successes, and recommended her as a trainer. Shortly after I had contacted Lisa, answered her many searching questions, I knew I had made the right decision to become one of her clients. She arranged a suitable training schedule that would ensure my being ready for the race in September.
Training with Lisa Has Changed My Life
What followed has become a prime motivating force in my life. Having now successfully completed Cascade Crest 100, two San Diego One Day race championships (Women’s 50 – 59 age group champion both times) and most recently the Rio Del Lago 100 mile and a multitude of other ultra-marathons, with her training schedule firmly clutched in my hand, I have no hesitation whatever in recommending her to any aspiring athlete.
How Lisa’s Coaching Fits My Life
The schedule arrives promptly via email every 2 weeks, and usually I am able to complete it all, as planned. My difficulties arise sometimes with my busy schedule (I am an operating room nurse, working full-time and taking additional call shifts as required), but we have always been able to plan around my work commitments. She is always available for an email conversation or a phone call, and is continually supporting my efforts.
I have been amazed at my continued improvement in endurance, strength and speed when I follow her program. Having taken a short time off, I am now ready to once again make the commitment to train hard for the next 100 mile event in 2006, followed by an attempt at Western States in 2007.
Lisa – My Coach, My Friend
Additionally, we have become great friends, and enjoyed their company when she and Jay came to Bishop to participate in the Bishop High Sierra Ultra-Marathons (www.bhs50.com) that we presented every May. If anyone has any questions about training with Lisa, I would be only too happy to answer them.
You don’t keep working with a coach for 3 1/2 years because the coach is a lousy one!
Choosing Lisa as My Coach
So why specifically is Lisa so great?
- Does everything in her power to work training around a difficult life, family and work schedule.
Incredibly knowledgeable on how to gain the best performance from an individual, despite that difficult schedule that must be worked around.
Always there when needed.
I’m sure there is more, but this is what comes immediately to mind. You can’t lose with Lisa backing you
Lisa knows how to build a person’s unknown athletic/fitness capabilities into their clear abilities.
How Lisa’s Training Has Changed Me
Having Lisa as my coach has increased my level of confidence and allows me to attain ultrarunning accomplishments I wanted to achieve, but didn’t know how to go after. Before Lisa coached me, my workouts were sluggish and monotonous. I didn’t have much confidence in my fitness level or my abilities. I felt like I was only doing the minimum amount of training to finish a race.
Lisa’s coaching definitely added a spark to my training. Her workout schedules keep me motivated, are thorough, and have built my confidence. Working with Lisa, I know I’m really ready for my race. I don’t feel I’m doing just the basics to get by.
Seeking Lisa’s Help to Cross the Desert
In the summer of 2005, a good friend of mine suggested that we attempt to run 150 miles across the driest desert in the world. It sounded like a good idea then. However, my endurance history was limited to 24-hour adventure races and one official marathon. I realized that to complete this goal I needed help.
Lisa Customized My Schedule
I came across Lisa’s website after scouring the internet and after my initial contact with her, it was clear she was a good match. Lisa differentiated herself with the level of custom training (both physically and nutritionally). I travel often for work and her ability to help me train in any situation from hotel gym to cross country ski trek was a huge help.
Why Not Throw in an Ironman and a 50 Miler for Starters?
I started working with Lisa about seven months before the race, which isn’t a significant amount of time given the level of endurance I hoped to reach. Sometime early in the training program I decided that I would attempt an Ironman as well given I was already working out so intensely. She adapted my program to include swim training (and swimming was a sport I had no experience with). I found the cross training and intensity of the workout schedules to be demanding, but doable. Her system worked brilliantly and I ran my first fifty-mile race in May followed by Ironman in June. In both events I felt extremely well prepared physically and nutritionally and finished the races faster than I had expected (including a top 8% finish at the Ironman). In July I left for Chile to run the 150 miles. Again, I felt very strong throughout the entire run and was able to finish in 13th place (out of 142 entrants). Lisa’s experience in running similar events including the MDS and Badwater were instrumental in preparing me to make it across the finish line.
Train with Lisa & You’ll Be More Prepared than You Ever Thought You Could Be
Beyond the training programs her gear, medical (blister/feet treatment) and nutritional advice were key and something you just can’t get from the generic workout schedules that are scattered across both magazines and the internet. I would highly recommend working with Lisa if you are contemplating a personal physical challenge. She will make you better prepared than you ever thought you could be.
Progress with Lisa as My Coach
The reason I chose Lisa as a coach is because she’s the best person in the business (and she lives just down the road from me). Since I have been training with her, I have made huge progress in my running and my personal life. My first ever marathon was at the Grand Teton Races. I figured that if I did a hard one right off the bat, the others wouldn’t seem so bad. I did ok. (a 5:47 I think) not what I wanted but I’ll deal and build on it. After that, I had the honor of pacing Pam Reed at the Wasatch 100 for a 22 mile stretch. Four marathons later and many miles with Lisa (and a few with Jay), I have shaved off 24 min. off my time (a 3:33 @ the Tucson Marathon). All thanks to Lisa (and a couple of Clif Shots along the way).
Lisa as My Coach
Lisa is the most inspiring person I have ever met. To know and train with her on a personal basis is a dream come true. She’s more than a coach; she’s a true friend that has given me a lot to look forward to. When you put in so many miles with someone, you really learn a lot about them, and yourself. Thanks for your inspiration and your friendship, Lisa. I can’t wait to put in many, many, many more miles with you
Why I Contacted Lisa
In April 2009, I contacted Lisa after reading about her great success in training ordinary people for extraordinary challenges like 50 mile endurance races. Her international reputation as one of the best endurance athletes in the world was only surpassed by her ability to motivate and ultimately train my body, mind and spirit to a new level of fitness.
What a Difference Four Months Makes
In four months, through a unique blend of cross training and increasingly long runs and without injury, Lisa changed my body type AND prepared me for a true test of strength & endurance. I finished the 50 mile Grand Teton Races, finishing 6th. The race featured snowstorms and freezing weather in the mountains of Grand Targhee National Park.
Attaining Total Fitness with Lisa
In 30 years of climbing mountains all over the world, I had never attained the level of total fitness that Coach Smith-Batchen had brought me to. Lisa is a superb coach, mentor and friend. Lisa is presently training me for both a 100 mile race and my first Ironman. There is no doubt of success under her watch.
Lisa Provides Knowledge & Experience about the ‘Extreme’
As I began what I call my “adventure life” not so long ago, I realized that I may have had the guts to get me to the starting lines, but I certainly didn’t have the knowledge and experience to get me through to the finish. I searched a good deal for the right person that I felt could give me the knowledge and guidance that I needed to take the next step and really enter the scary world of the “extreme”, because that’s the place I wanted to go. I knew I could run a marathon, or a triathlon, but running 50 or 100 miles and in places that many people would consider scary in the first place….was another thing.
Lisa Has Probably Done It!
Lisa is such an incredible person. Not only done she know how to get every kind of person to accomplish what they want….but she’s more than likely already DONE it herself!! It’s one thing to take advice from someone who knows a lot about fitness, but it much more of a confidence boost, to hear it from someone with the EXPERIENCE…that’s the key!
Lisa is right there with me!
Lisa knows how to train me, and sometimes even seems to sense when I need to take it easy. She pushes me, but encourages me not to go TOO hard. She gives me a workout schedule that mixes it up, so I don’t burn out, and this variation also keeps me from getting bored…as well as injured. And her sense of optimism is contagious. When I’m running a 100 mile race over a mountain, or through a hot desert, I may be the only person around, but I feel as if Lisa is right there with me.
Aran’s Words of Gratitude
Lisa…How does one start a message like this? I am so happy and so proud of you! You are and will continue to be an amazing person to me. So many of your clients are fortunate to have you coach them.
I am especially fortunate because you brought me back to where I am today. I’ll bet you now sense why my run in the desert (at the Marathon des Sables) was the way it was. It was perfect. I simply did it.
That said, and possibly like you one day, I am growing legs of competition, not just legs of completion. I’m still not sure about all of it yet, but we’ll see. I want to do something significant with my life.
In the greatest friendship,
Learning to Deal with the Heat
My initial reason for trying to find an on-line coach/consultant was that I was having a hard time adjusting to hot temperatures and I couldn’t seem to maintain my body chemistry balance in hot temps no matter what I tried. Considering I live in an area that is very hot for a good portion of the year, this was a fairly significant problem. While scanning the various options I noticed that Lisa is based in Idaho yet had won at Badwater and Marathon des Sables. This indicated to me she knew something about transitioning to very hot weather.
Fine-Tuning a Heat Training Formula with Lisa
After contacting her and telling her what I wanted to work on, she conducted a full interview and made a number of suggestions. We worked through what was successful and what didn’t work. We ultimately fine-tuned a formula that has consistently helped me to hold up training and racing in hot weather. This improvement in performance was significant; I could do a 30-mile training run on a 100-degree day without being covered in salt and feeling the need to guzzle a gallon of Coke afterwards. The recovery time post-run was also greatly improved as without the usual brain-fry, I was able to quickly bounce back from the training run without being a zombie for the rest of the day/night.
Dealing with an Injury
In addition to the fluids/electrolyte experiments, I was also signed on with Coach Lisa’s training schedule. Just prior to starting, I experienced a fairly severe ankle sprain and I had Western States coming up in one month. Lisa formulated a plan to keep me in 100-mile shape while at the same time taking care of the ankle. I still had problems on race day, but I was able to get to the finish line so that was quite an accomplishment for me considering I had been thinking I would have to drop out of the race.
Throughout the summer I followed her training program and capped everything off with a strong Fall 100 in the Grand Tetons. (editor’s note: Bill won the race!) I really felt the benefits of her training late in that race.
Lisa’s Personal Touch
The idea of an online coach may sound sterile and conjure images of bland, impersonal e-mails filled with mileage schedules, but with Coach Lisa nothing could be further from the truth. I always had the feeling that the achievement of my goals was of monumental importance to her and the fire she displayed in her own racing career dominates every communication with her. In my opinion, she is a natural coach and anyone who follows her training philosophy will become a better athlete and love the process.
Lisa Helped Me Achieve My Fantasy Ultrarunning Goal
In 2001, I set my fantasy ultrarunning goal as the Wasatch Front 100. I started working with Lisa near the end of 2003 and raced at Wasatch in September 2004 where I finished better than middle of the pack, while about a third of the starters DNFed. In the imaginary “Flatlanders Division” I was way up near the top. For an Ohioan with a wife, 3 boys, and a growing business, I was more than happy with that result in a race with almost 27,000 feet of climbing.
Why Lisa’s Coaching Works
The most effective component of the Lisa’s coaching for me is the variety of workouts and the way they are tailored to the goal races while maintaining a balance with the rest of my life. It also helps knowing that you have already done any race I am setting out to do.
I’ve done everything that I’ve wanted to do. If I had a goal I reached it. I’ve also had good, and sometimes surprising, results in the “fun” races and training races I’ve done in the last couple of the years. Thanks, Lisa!
My Personal Quest
Lisa did a fantastic job of assisting me in my personal quest, the completion the 2006 Western States (WS) 100 Mile Endurance Run. The odds were not good. I was a 51 year old rookie running my first 100 miler, and it was WS to boot! (18,000 elev. gain, 22,000 elev. loss) My two road 50-milers and one hilly 50K were all the ultra experience I had before enlisting Lisa’s help. But I was successful. While only 53% of the entrants finished this year due to course changes, snow, and high temperatures, I completed the run in 26:50 and could’ve kept going (but was glad I didn’t have to!).
Lisa Helped Me Get Ready – FAST!
It came to me a little over four months prior to the race that while I was training well and had upped my base mileage significantly, I didn’t know how to finish off the training. I had four main questions that I didn’t feel comfortable answering:
- What should my pace be in terms of heart rate?
- Was 24 hrs.possible or should I be aiming for 28 hrs.?
- What “races” should I run prior to WS and at what intensity?
- What should be the main thrust of my training in the last four months? Long runs or speed work?
WS is hard to get into (there’s a lottery) and I wanted to make the most of this opportunity. I felt that I would have a much better chance of success with professional help.
Lisa is a Coach I Trust
Lisa was a great fit for me and came through 100%. She answered my questions – and there were a lot more than my Big Four! She gave me varied running workouts that incorporated different run/walk strategies (a key to my WS success), she introduced me to spin classes and yoga (neither of which I had ever done before), and revamped my fueling schedule and products.
Having a coach that I trusted did two specific things for me. I could just concentrate on doing the workouts – this was much easier than making them and then second guessing them. Also, I felt accountable (you can tell that Lisa cares) to do them right, and this helped me to not skip them or just go through the motions.
Lisa Helped Me Get to the Race Start with Confidence
The bottom line was that when I started my run at 5am in Squaw Valley, I felt great. My questions were answered; I had a game plan, and I had done an incredible amount of training while remaining injury free. I knew I was prepared to fulfill my crazy dream of running 100 miles, and a lot of the credit for this confidence is due to Lisa. I’m forever grateful.
In October of 2005, I ran my first 50k, and had such a good experience that I decided to set a goal to run a 100 miler in 2006. Since I had no experience at running ultras, I looked for a training plan to help me out. I soon found out that there really weren’t any available since there are so many factors involved, and the most effective training really depends on the individual. An accomplished ultra-runner friend of mine referred me to Lisa. This is the best move I’ve made in my short ultra running career.
Lisa Creates a Personal Plan for Me
Lisa took a real interest in me and has been there every step of the way. She takes the time to understand my goals, my abilities, and my limitations (like time commitments, training preferences or how my body is reacting to the training). She gave me training schedules and race plans that really worked for me, and worked with me to adapt them as necessary. When I was injured for a month with a sciatic nerve problem, she continued to give me support and helped me cross train and get through it so I didn’t miss a beat. She not only gave me my workout schedule, but she’s taught me about nutrition, blister control and so much more. She taught me how to pace myself in a race, learn how to implement a run/walk strategy, and control my head (which has caused problems for me in the past)..
Lisa is Responsive
She responds to every question or concern right away, and offers encouragement whether I do well, or helps me learn when I don’t do as well. She also travels to many races to pace or support many of her clients, and she was there for my first 50M and my first 100M cheering me on. I feel like I can be totally honest with her about how I’m feeling, and she lends me experience that I often find myself sharing with others.
What a Difference a Year of Training with Lisa Makes
One year ago, I was an ultra-rookie, who just suffered through my first 50k. Looking back at 2006, I’ve achieved so much: winning my first 50M in February, placing in the top 3 in several other marathons and 50’s, and meeting my ultimate goal of completing my first 100 Miler at the Grand Tetons 100 in September, winning for the women. I also just found out that I made the 2007 Montrail Ultrarunning team, so I’m being sponsored after only 1 year of running ultras (I’m still having a hard time believing it). I couldn’t have done it without Lisa. I see her as not only an experienced coach, but a good friend as well. There are so many great emotions involved with completing something as physically and mentally challenging as an ultra, and I am grateful for how Lisa helps share that with others.
Triathlon Training with Lisa
Lisa’s been my coach for a year now. I hired her to train me for a Half Ironman triathlon. I’d worked with a local coach before and was hesitant to work with someone via the internet. No worries there. I get more immediate attention from Lisa than I got from the coach here. My emails are answered in a very timely fashion; my schedule is tailored just for me and the most important part of all of this – I successfully completed my Half Ironman.
Lisa not only provides an incredible training plan, but gives detailed advice about nutrition before, during and after the race – something that is overlooked by other coaches.
Now a Marathon?
Lisa is a compassionate, inspiring woman who has my best interests at heart. She continues to encourage me and push me in ways I would never have pushed myself. My next race is a marathon and I swore I’d never do one of those!!
I went from a Sprint Distance triathlete to a Half Iron Person – now add marathoner. What’s next???
Lisa is THE Coach for Marathon Des Sables
I am 53 years old and in June 2005, I decided to run in the 2006 Marathon Des Sables (MDS). I had not run a race of any type in 10 years and my last marathon was in 1985. I then found out that the only American ever to win the MDS was Lisa Smith-Batchen AND that she was a coach. After reading some of the testimonials on her web site, I knew I needed to have Lisa coach me.
Lisa Helped Me get Into the Best Shape of My Life
My initial concern was how can on-line coaching work? That concern disappeared very quickly. Before any coaching started Lisa conducted a thorough assessment of my exercise history and habits, work schedule, nutritional habits, medical background and my goals. The training program Lisa prepared for me is highly personal. She seems to instinctively know when to “dial up” or “dial down” my training regimen. She is highly accessible, very knowledgeable and promptly answers all my questions. I look forward to each and every workout. The variety of training schedules and her motivating influence keeps me highly motivated and focused. Sometimes I sit at my desk at 9:00 in the morning and can’t stop thinking about my training later in the afternoon. I remain as committed and dedicated now as I was when I started working with Lisa over 5 months ago. Lisa has put me in the best shape of my life as I remain injury free and cherish my daily training.
Results – that is the bottom line! Well, I ran 2 marathons in 7 days (I never even contemplated that when I was running a lot the early ‘80’s). The second one was my best. I knocked over 3 minutes off my first marathon but more importantly, finished the race with 4 consecutive 8 minute miles (for the first 22 miles I ran at a 10:45 pace). I could not believe how strong I felt at the end! I owe this TOTALLY to Lisa’s coaching and the strategy she had me follow.
I can’t wait for the MDS in April. Thank you, Lisa. You have touched me!
I chose Lisa as my coach because I had hit a wall in my training progress. Even though I had been consistently running for less that a year, I was not seeing any improvement in my fitness and performance while training. My long runs on weekends were pure agony and my recovery after the runs would rob me of enjoying the remainder of the day. I was hesitant to hire a coach that I couldn’t meet with face-to-face, but after reading many testimonials and giving it some thought, I contacted Lisa and she became my coach last June. It was a decision that I will never regret!
Lisa Mixes It Up
Lisa is extremely responsive in email and has never given me a workout plan that I couldn’t complete. Many of the workouts are very challenging, but she seems to always know what I need. Even though I’m training for ultras, she has integrated a lot of cross training into my workouts. This has been very helpful in keeping me injury-free. Within two weeks of being coached by Lisa, I experienced a miraculous transformation. My long runs became enjoyable, I was energized after each workout, and my recovery time was minimal. In seven months, I have gone from a back-of-the-pack runner to finishing in the top 25 to 30 percent. I have knocked 2 hours 32 minutes off a 50-mile race that I completed, for the first time, a year earlier. And, I truly believe I am capable of reducing my finishing times even further.
Lisa’s Experience & Motivation
Lisa is a great motivator and truly a one of a kind individual. If not for her, I doubt I would be running ultras today. Being accountable to someone else during training is very helpful. Her experience as an ultra runner and endurance athlete is invaluable. The training and race strategies she has shared with me would have taken me years to figure out on my own. She truly believes in who I am as a person and my capabilities as a runner. This has given me self-confidence I was lacking not only in my running, but in my personal life, as well.
Marathon Training on My Own versus Training with Lisa
When I decided to run my first marathon, I downloaded a training program from the internet. I made it to the finish line of the Chicago Marathon for four consecutive years. My times were getting a little better each year, but I was coming up with an assortment of nagging injuries. I figured that was the price I’d have to pay for running marathons.
Then I began training with Lisa. At that time, I was so frustrated and afraid that I’d never be able to run pain free again, let alone prepare for the Marathon des Sables (MDS). Lisa listened carefully to my history of injuries and then reviewed my gait analysis. She immediately got me into yoga and spinning classes. Then she included sports massages, stairmaster and elliptical machine workouts, an array of leg stretches, and upper body weight lifting. I was only running 3-4 days a week, which was very different from my prior running-only regimen.
My Race Day Goals Changed and I Still Set a PR
By the time race day arrived, I was expecting a finish time of about 4:20 (my previous best had been 3:54). Lisa had a very specific plan for running the race – in fact, it was so intricate that I had to write it down on a note card to keep it all straight. I was to run the first 5 miles at an easy pace, and then begin a 9:1 (run/walk) pattern until the 20 mile marker. At that point I would run until the finish with whatever I had left.
With all of the walking that Lisa had prescribed, I figured my splits would put me well over 4 hrs, and quite possibly close to 4:30. It was almost impossible to maintain my discipline, but I stuck with the plan. And then I started noticing how fast my splits were. Each mile, they were coming in consistent and almost as fast as my personal best. When I finally hit the 20 mile marker (while everyone around me was hitting the wall) I was really fresh and ready for a big kick. Not only did I cross the finish line with a personal best of 3:50, I also did so completely pain-free.
Getting Ready with Lisa for MDS
So now we’re into the serious work of getting ready for MDS. I’m running 3 days per week, with the same varied, holistic program I mentioned above to fill out the plan. I’ve never felt so fit in my life and my weight is down to my old teenage days, twenty pounds down from what I ran the marathon at only 2 months ago. I am totally pain-free throughout my complete weekly training routine, including the long Saturday runs (which are getting close to marathon distances now).
My times are getting progressively better as well and I am thrilled to find that I am perfectly rested and alert for my normal activities. In fact, I’m sure that I’m even more mentally alert than I was in the past. Lisa’s approach to fitness has become a big part of my lifestyle, and I don’t want to let go of these benefits whether I’m training for a specific race or not. I would recommend Lisa’s approach no matter what level of fitness you are searching for – it provides a wonderful roadmap for general health and well-being.
Lisa’s Badwater Coaching
When I decided to run in the 135 mile Badwater Ultra Marathon for a charity purpose, I sought help from someone who knew what this race is all about. I had met Lisa in the Sahara Desert a few years prior and I really appreciated her attitude and insight into the matter of extreme running, even though I was not fast. I was very impressed with her positive attitude, even when one didn’t or couldn’t finish a race.
Lisa Helps Me Tackle My Biggest Fear: Not Finishing Badwater
My biggest fear was not being able to finish the race. I was encouraged by Lisa’s personal running accomplishments and by the great “track” record she has earned by training so many athletes to successfully complete Badwater. Everyone who has been trained by Lisa has finished the race, thereby finishing their dream. The name Dreamchasers really describes what Lisa does for her clients.
My training with Lisa was successful physically, emotionally and mentally. There was a satisfaction in knowing that by following her step-by-step, day-by-day instructions, I would be earning a much greater chance of finishing the race.
Despite Less than Ideal Training Conditions, I Finished Badwater!
I didn’t have the best training grounds to prepare for Badwater. I live on the very flat prairie lands of Central Canada (no hills), where it gets very cold (minus 35 degrees in the winter). These challenges not withstanding, I was determined to accomplish the goal of finishing the Badwater Ultra with the help of Lisa. Lisa was so good to me, treating me well, listening to my progress and concerns, and providing me with training that was specific and personal, helping me meet my unique challenges and needs.
Thanks to Lisa and my amazing crew (featured in this photograph), I could not have finished the Badwater Ultra Marathon. Thanks, Lisa!
Lisa helped me complete the Badwater Ultramarathon in 38 hours, a time that was 10 hours ahead of goal. Her coaching was invaluable in many ways. First, by completing the race so many times herself, she was the ultimate inspiration to me to take a on such a tough event. Second, she gave me great advice about getting ready for Badwater, including crewing for another runner first, and what kinds of races to run as preparation. Third, her weekly running schedules were consistent and effective, and she tailored them for my calendar and based on my feedback. Those schedules pushed me to do more than I would have on my own. Finally, she was in telephone contact with my crew during the race, providing me with invaluable encouragement and advice.
I have just completed a world record (running 6 DESERT ULTRAMARATHONS in a single calendar year).. and I could not have done it without the help of my coach and friend, Lisa. When I told her last year that I was thinking of doing this she was supportive and encouraging… “You can do this!” she said. Lisa set up a plan for me and we forged ahead.
Attempting the record involved travelling to 6 different countries around the world, encountering different obstacles in each… sandstorms, freezing temperatures, heat, high altitude, salt flats, salt marshes, rocky terrain and dunes. I also struggled with various injuries from each race, and extreme reactions to certain medications I had to take to prevent disease.
Please see my schedule below – the six desert ultramarathons I completed and my final rankings.
When I set out to do this record, my only thought was to finish each event. But I placed extremely well in each one, except Libya, and had my best placing ever at MdS. It shows what you can accomplish when you have a great coach. In the time that I have been working with Lisa I have improved with each and every race. If that is not an endorsement, I don’t know what is. Of course, every person that works with Lisa knows this, but to those of you reading this that do not have a coach, or are looking for a coach… I would strongly recommend that you talk to Lisa if you want to improve your performance. I am happy to be done, and have enjoyed my off time so far. I have something major in mind for next year… and am just awaiting word as to whether I can get the required permission. I will let you know.
|May||Gobi March||Gobi Desert, China||150 miles||4th Place for Women|
|July||Atacama Crossing||Atacama Desert, Chile||150 miles||2nd Place|
|October||Sahara Race||Sahara Desert, Egypt||150 miles||2nd Place, 11th overall|
|January||Grand Raid||Sahara Desert, Mauritania||225 kms||3rd Place|
|March||Libyan Challenge||Sahara Desert, Libya||118 miels||8th Place|
|March||Marathon des Sables||Sahara Desert, Morocco||150 miles||18th Place|
Lisa Smith is phenomenal! I was introduced to Lisa by Marshall Ulrich while Marshall was running his quad at Badwater. I had met with dozens of trainers in Cincinnati and not one said I could be trained to run a marathon a day across the country with only 12 months to train. I flew from Cincinnati to L A, rented a car and drove to Badwater that year hoping to find a trainer that could get me in great condition in 10 months. Lisa took on the challenge immediately. I followed her training instructions to the letter. With her training I ran at least 26.2 miles/day 3 of every 4 days, completed my cross country run from San Diego to Washington DC in 2002 without any injuries! Unbelievable! Thanks Lisa, you’re AWESOME! There’s not a prayer that I could have accomplished this challenge without your training program. You are simply “AWESOME”!
Lisa Understood Me Quickly
Initially I was concerned that Lisa would not “get to know me” and my strengths and weaknesses over the internet. I am more of an in-person type of person. I was wrong. It took Lisa only a few weeks to understand who I was and to prepare me, a novice who had never ran longer than 13 miles, to finish 100 miles in under 24 hours with only 6 weeks of training, and finish Badwater after a ruptured appendix and 9 months of training. She is the absolute best! Feel free to email or call me at 561.274.9696 and I would be happy to tell you more about Lisa.
My Professional Challenges
While I have learned to never say never, my “Everest” or next challenge involves creating the first 9 figure spec home in the world. This would be a home with a value in excess of $100 million. This will take many years to create, with each day presenting a different challenge. I also have my 2nd book coming out at the end of the year titled Frank McKinney’s Maverick Approach To Real Estate Success -How You Can Go from a $50,000 Fixer-Upper to a $100 Million Mansion. This book is behind schedule and the publisher is not happy. Once it is released, we plan a 20-city bus tour that will take me away from home for over 2 months. These represent firsts for me, like Badwater.
You see, I had a dream to finish Badwater. A dream that consumed my every thought for an entire year. As I have always said, I feel most alive experiencing extremes found in first-time experiences. There is nothing like experiencing something extreme for the first time. It makes me feel so alive. Once done, it is time to move onto a new first time experience. The sport of ultra running was a means to that dream, Badwater.
I can’t tell you how meaningful Badwater has been for me. Lisa and her husband, Jay, made my dream come true. There will be no race that can compare. I run for the experience associated, not for the sport.
I now look forward to growing our friendship. Besides the experience of Badwater, the best thing to come of this pursuit has been the friendship we have begun with Lisa and Jay. Nilsa and I love you both. It goes so much deeper than running or Badwater. This friendship experience is something that we will cherish as each day passes.
Hi. My name is Randy Miller and this is my story. I am an endurance athlete. I have thru-hiked the Appalachian Trial. I have ridden over 200 miles in one day. I have competed in over 30 marathons and a number of Ironmans .
I had no idea what I was doing
I finished my first ultra. The TusseyMountainback 50 Miler using my own schedule. Yes, I finished but, now this is a big BUT, I had no idea what I was doing. I knew this was something I wanted to pursue but I needed to find someone to educate me, push me, and most importantly….believe in me. I searched the Internet and found a person named, Lisa Smith Batchen. I did the Google thing and I could not believe all of her accomplishments. She sets her eyes on a goal and then makes it become reality. This is how I have always worked. I knew then and there this was the coach for me.
“The Phone Call”
The next step was, “The Phone Call”. I remember coming home from work, nervous, thinking, “Would she really coach….. ME?” I dialed her number and within a few minutes I felt like Lisa and I had been friends for years. We talked about my past and where I wanted to go. Where, you ask? Well, I wanted to compete and complete the Vermont 100 Miler.
Challenged like I had never been challenged before
Through the next 6 months Lisa challenged me like I had never been challenged before. At times I questioned the workouts, wondering if I could do them to her expectations. I kept telling myself that she is the expert and must know what she is doing so I did each and every workout. Slacking was not allowed. I had a few shorter races before the big event … HAT 50K, Bull Run Run 50 Miler, and the Pittsfield Ultra Challenge to see where I stood. Lisa told me what to do at each event and predicted I would do really well. She was right. It was almost like she was looking into a Crystal Ball.
The Big Day…VT 100
Lisa, as usual, gave me my game plan. I asked her what the crystal ball had to say and she said, Top Ten. Inside I thought you better get a new crystal ball. Well, to make a long run short…….. I placed 10th overall. That is some crystal ball, and that is the end of my story. Well not really. Lisa and I will be working together next year. Any predictions?
P.S. All the other testimonials you have read I agree with 100%!!! She is not only a coach but a friend.
Lisa was my coach for over a year. Before working with Lisa, I felt like I got as far as I could on my own and needed some guidance so I could improve in shorter races and move on to my next big goal – a 100 mile race.
In just the short time I have worked with Lisa, I have seen dramatic improvement in my running and overall fitness. My first race where I finally got to apply her coaching was the Vermont 50M. Lisa helped me with everything from race strategy to nutrition to clothing choices and more! She even gave me a little pep talk the night before on the phone. During that race I felt strong. I ran more than I ran in my previous 50M race and felt better towards the end. I kicked out those last 8+ miles at what felt like warp speed.
Improving at the 50 Mile Distance
Less than 2 months later I found myself at the start of another 50M race, the JFK50M. I really let my downhill trail running skills shine on the 15 miles of Appalachian Trail that was in the race. Lisa had given me some tough training runs where I would power hike up a small mountain near me and then run hard down. I passed tons of people on the downhill sections swiftly and with confidence. The middle 26 miles of the race were on a flat tow path which she instructed I adhere to a strict 8/2 run/walk. I felt good for the majority of that section and finished the race with a small PR and a huge smile. I am now ready to gear up to my first 100M race.
Making Great Strides
The things that really changed with Lisa as my coach are invaluable. Before I would just go out and run xx miles per day. Now, I run, I power hike, I do the elliptical and the stair stepper, I jump rope, I lift weights, I do core exercises and I even do speed work. I am definitely seeing myself morph into a much stronger and well rounded runner, and with the varied workouts I no longer feel burned out. Also, Lisa has always been so supportive of me and my ability to accomplish the goals I have set for myself. Her never ending enthusiasm and support has really helped me through some emotionally low points that I had.
My Introduction to Lisa
A few years ago, my friend Frank Fumich introduced me to Lisa. Frank had talked me into running the Marathon des Sables. Up until this point, I had not even run a 5k. Lisa started to train me and six months later, I was on a plane to Morocco.
Training with Lisa for the Marathon des Sables
My original goal for Marathon des Sables was to finish. The day before the race Lisa said my goal should be to finish in the top 200. I thought she was absolutely crazy! I just wanted to survive, but I did listen to everything she said and as the race went on I got stronger and I started to believe I could finish well. I ended up at 161. Not only did Lisa prepare me physically but also mentally.
Results at the Races
Since the Marathon des Sables, Lisa has gotten me to the finish of Mohican100, Leadville100, and this past August I had my personal best time of 23 hours at the Vermont 100. At Vermont I did exactly what Lisa instructed and I can’t believe how strong I felt the last 20 miles.
Results Beyond the Races
Lisa has helped me attain some incredible goals physically. She has also helped me balance my personal life. She is an awesome coach and a great friend.
In less than two months she has transformed me into a runner who’d never run longer than 20 miles to an ultrarunner that completed his first marathon and his first ultra (the JFK 50 miler) in a span of 27 days. And in a few short months I will have completed my first 100 miler, thanks to Lisa.
She has an amazing ability to get the most out of you, far beyond what you even know you are capable of. And even though we communicate mostly online, I can tell you that Lisa is the most inspiring person I’ve ever known. By working with her for this limited time, I’ve learned things about myself that I never knew and I’ve created milestones that I’ll be proud of for a lifetime. I really can’t thank her enough. She’s always there for me and she’s the best coach I’ve ever had.
Seeking a Reference? E-mail Me!
Anyone who wants a reference for Lisa for online coaching can feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be more than happy to email and/or talk to you about my experience with her.
It all began when I was in elementary school back in the 60’s. I was always talking and my teachers would send me outside to run around the school for my punishment. I would yell as I went by my classroom window to let the teacher know that I was okay and still running. Little did they know that I would still be running some forty years later! I have run ultras for about ten years and still enjoy running the long distances. I have met so many wonderful people and have been able to travel all over the world to run! The most memorable race in my life thus far has been my first 48 hour race in Surgeres, France. I have always wanted to do a longer race than the 24 hour race so I talked with my coach, Lisa Smith- Batchen, and we thought this would be a great race to run and experience a multi-day event. This race is by invite only so I anxiously waited to see if I would be invited and I did receive my invitation.
Diagnosed as stress fractures
Lisa and I worked hard to prepare for this race so that I would be ready for my first 48 hour race. In January of 2007 I was working out and had severe foot pain – never experienced something like this before. I have run competitively since high school and have had no major injuries at all so this was something new to me – what was it and can I run? My doctor saw me first thing Monday morning and it was diagnosed as stress fractures. What was I going to do – I was in a walking boot for almost eight weeks and my main goal was still to run in the 48 hour race in May. Lisa worked with me and developed a training schedule that helped me maintain my fitness level so I could be ready for May. I also experienced many miracles during this time. The Lord taught me patience and perseverance. I worked hard and trained on my elliptical trainer, bike, and stair master (boot and all). I relied on my husband, family and Lisa to see me through! They prayed for me, helped keep my spirits up because this was one goal that I wanted to achieve. I steadily kept working each and every day and the closer to the race date the more I felt so ready to go and run! I knew that I had not run on the roads but I had been training and was prepared!
Ready to go for 48 hours
On May 10, 2007 at 4:00 PM I was standing on the starting line and ready to go for 48 hours. I just knew that I would be okay – I had trained with all my heart and had all the prayers and support from all the people who knew me. My husband, Ben, my sister, Cindy and her husband, Dan were there to be my support crew for the duration of the race. What a GREAT crew they were for me during the two days! They encouraged me, fed me and Cindy stayed in contact with Lisa. I was in great hands – and the Good Lord blessed me beyond words. I was able to run the whole race, never slept and just stayed focused. I truly didn’t want to the race to end! I loved the people of Surgeres – it is a race that is like a dream come true! I managed to run over 193 miles and had only run about 4 weeks before the actual race. I did not want for a thing – they treated you like royalty!! It was the most wonderful experience in the world and I got invited back for the 2008 year and can’t wait to start running on that 300 meter track again.
Lisa’s guidance helped me perform my best
I just want to say that Lisa’s guidance helped me perform and do the best that I could do given the situation we faced during the training season. We are working hard again and I am ready to go. I will be blessed
Your heart’s desires
To close I want to leave with you a scripture the Lord gave to me during this time:
“May he grant you your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers.” – Psalms 20:4-5
Previous Note from Sandy
Deciding to Run Again
As we all know, life can take some sudden turns and mine sure did!!! I had been running and decided, after my mom was diagnosed with cancer, again after 20 years in remission, that I needed to take a break and I did. When I decided to run again I kept thinking about Lisa and her coaching services.
Lisa Helped Me Find a New Focus
I remembered Lisa on the cover of Women’s Sport magazine and admired her for what she had just done at Badwater! Somehow that image of her stayed with me for years – her story was so real and down to earth! I knew I wanted to be coached by someone who had the same beliefs as me. So I emailed Lisa and that is how it all started! I had a new focus on running and someone who would guide me through the journey! I have worked with Lisa for a little over a year now and have improved my mileage in my 24 hour race by almost 10 miles. Lisa knows,and I know, that together we make the goals reachable!.
Distance is no barrier to my journey with Lisa!
Whenever I need advice or have a question, I email and within what seems like seconds I have a response! It has been great! I also know that she has pushed me beyond limits I thought I could not go to at 48 years old! Sometimes I think she forgets I am that old! But, I do my workouts and move on – improving a little each day! I have also found when working full-time with a second (part-time) job, Lisa is considerate of that fact and works with me! I make my living by working and running is something I do for pleasure! Together we work out what will be best for me and my future races.
The World 24 Hour Championships in Austria
The most wonderful experience I’ve had was running 133.22 miles this summer in the World 24 Hour Championships in Austria. I placed 6th in the world and we (the USA women) won the bronze medal. Lisa kept telling me to be patient and run my race! She said she knew it was in me to get into the 130 mile range! Lisa’s constant support and positive responses helped me reach my goal! As a teacher, I know just what a kind word or positive response can mean to someone and that is what I find most in Lisa! She is always so positive and upbeat!! What a lady!!!!
I could go on forever about how I enjoy my working with Lisa but just looking at my goals and what I have accomplished says it all! She has become a great friend and her family is wonderful! God has blessed her with a wonderful talent for coaching, caring and giving to others! As I said, my life took some sudden turns but, thanks to Lisa and her love and support, I reached some of my goals and together we will face whatever lies ahead!
Not only is this lovely individual an endless pool of knowledge, insight and encouragement when it comes to personal goals, fitness or otherwise, Lisa is a joy to be around. This joyful, committed and strong woman pushed me to run faster on the track, believe in my untapped ability and helped me find peace and control in my running. It has been a privilege to work with such a world-class athlete and human being. I am eternally grateful to Lisa for the life-long lessons of personal strength and achievement she helped me to realize; they resonate with me everyday.
Getting In Touch with Lisa
I originally contacted Lisa for two reasons: her reputation preceded her here in Jackson, WY (Jackson is full of “extreme” athletes, but Lisa is just on another plane) and I had read an article about her in Runner’s World. In that article I learned what kind of person Lisa was…her inner strength, her drive, but especially her “humanness”. This person who had achieved almost incomprehensible athletic goals suffered from depression, and felt the self-doubt we all feel. I realized she wasn’t one of those über athletes weighed down by her ego. Instead, Lisa seemed to be in touch with a more powerful force of goals, helping people push their personal limits. So I visited her website, which shattered any “I’m not good enough to contact her” doubts I harbored. Instead, I found that her message was, “whatever your goal is, I’m here to help…no goal is too small”.
Lisa Expects Commitment
I was at the point in my running where I needed someone to give me homework and check it. I needed someone who I connected with, that I would want to work with. I had no idea that I’d be able to have so much personal contact with Lisa. She expected results and commitment. Initially, I kind of thought, “Hmm…that would be nice, someone to tell me what to do each week”, but I got so much more from Lisa. I thought I was going to day camp and training with Lisa ended up feeling more like going to college.
Training with Lisa Crushed My Self-Imposed Limits
Training with Lisa really did open up a new world of running to me and crushed my self-imposed limits. If I said “I can’t do it”, she just didn’t buy it! As a result, I am stronger, more committed, faster, more confident and more willing. And I was even able to take 5 minutes off my half marathon time and I ran my fastest 200 meters ever at Lisa’s track workouts!
In 2006, Lisa provided me with both physical and emotional support in my efforts to train for and complete the Marathon Des Sables (MDS). Prior to the MDS, I had only run 2 marathons with no formal training. The leap to tackle the MDS was a big one psychologically for me.
I had actually never met Lisa until Morocco, the day before the race – as I had trained with her for 5 months by email and phone. Nonetheless I was confident that I was well prepared. The results of the training were remarkable to me. Lisa takes a systematic approach. She is firm but not pushy. She was sensitive to my availability to train given I have 2 kids under 4; my wife works full time and I travel over 200,000 miles by air annually. It was a challenge.
Lisa’s Coaching Style
Lisa’s style is simple and direct. She allowed me to build up my physical stamina. At the same time my mental stamina and ability to focus on long runs increased. This was a key fact for the race, as in the Sahara you are on your own and it is mental toughness that pulls the body through the heat, distance and fatigue.
More Help from Dreamchasers
Jay, Lisa’s partner, provided me with fantastic technical assistance for the race without which I would have been in trouble.
Lisa always made herself available by email or phone and, in spite of her busy schedule with family and work; I was always made to feel special and a priority.
Results and Future Plans
On completing the MDS in April 2006, I crossed the line on the last section number 184 out of over 740 odd starters. My final place overall put me in the 362 – at about mid way. I was very happy. I now see that I underperformed and so Lisa is training me for the 2016 event!
In 2003 I attempted to do Ironman Florida, but because of a poor nutrition plan and blistering problems I dropped out of the race with 13 miles left in the run. Not wanting to let my DNF stand, I registered the next morning for the 2004 race.
Prior to the 2004 race I contacted Lisa and she agreed to coach me. Unlike some of the cookie cutter training plans that I’ve had experience with, Lisa’s training was very personalized to match my strengths and weaknesses, and also my work and personal schedules. Lisa varied my training program to keep it interesting, and I always looked forward to the workouts.
Changing My Nutrition & Caring for My Feet
We worked on my nutrition plan for the race, and my blistering problem was resolved by Lisa’s suggestions. Lisa helped me with all questions that I had, and took personal interest in my training and success. After 5 months of training I went back to Florida. During the race, my calorie intake, hydration and electrolyte replacement was right on. Not only did I finish my first Ironman, but I crossed the finish line feeling great!
Going for the Ultra Distance
After the Ironman, we discussed the possibility of an ultra, and I decided to register for a 50 mile race that was to take place in 3 months. I never thought I would find myself at the starting line of a 50 mile race, but Lisa’s confidence in me bolstered my own self-confidence. I was able to finish my first ultra just 3 months after my Ironman.
What’s great about Lisa’s online coaching is that it gives a ‘regular guy’ like me an opportunity to be trained by a world class coach.
Chasing Down a 100 Mile Dream
I first began training with Lisa in 2009 when I decided to run the Oil Creek 100. It was my first 100 miler and Lisa trained me for the race and helped me cross the finish line. Training with Lisa for Oil Creek was a life changing experience. In the beginning, running 100 miles was a dream I did not feel was possible but with each passing week I was a different person following Lisa’s training plan. She not only prepared me physically but also mentally. She helped me achieve my dream.
Training with Lisa for the Brazil 135
Three months after I completed my first 100 miler I was standing on the start line ready to step off into the greatest adventure of my life – the Brazil 135 Mile Ultra Marathon. I would not have completed the Oil Creek 100 a few months before and I would not have completed the Brazil 135 if it were not for the training I received from Lisa. Her expert training plans prepared me for the 57 hours and 50 minutes it would take me to complete the course and I am proud to say that my second ultra marathon longer than 50 miles was the Brazil 135 one of the toughest in the world.
How it Works
The beauty of having Lisa as a coach is her ability to know how much you need each week to get you to your goal. Every two weeks Lisa sends me a new training schedule that increases in difficulty and ends when I am standing on the starting line of race. Each time I arrive there, I have the confidence to know that I have been expertly trained for the race. After each training period we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the workouts accomplished and move on to the next. I find myself much more committed to my training program knowing I am accountable to Lisa with my report every two weeks. It keeps me on track and keeps me training.
Who I am Today
One thing I did not expect from my training with Lisa is ho much my life has changed outside of running and completing ultra marathons. Thanks to her, today I am a better husband and father. I am deeper spiritually which for me is the excitement of the journey. I am better at my job. I have the confidence needed to be who I am meant to be. I am happy to say that training with Lisa has changed my life. I am not the same person I was and I am proud of who I am.
Would Lisa’s Advance Planning Work for Me?
My biggest concern was that I would be “locked in” to a schedule of weekly workouts that might not be appropriate based on changing conditions. I wondered how Lisa could know in advance what I needed for a two-week period.
Firstly, Lisa’s BRILLIANCE in knowing exactly what workout schedule I needed. Secondly, her ACCESSIBILITY and HELPFULNESS. She was always available and very responsive to email questions and concerns. Thirdly, her MASTERY in pushing me beyond what I thought was possible for me, yet at the same time effectively including necessary rest days, easy days, and my preferences for various cross-training elements.
Yes, and I Have the Results to Prove It!
I achieved the 50 mile and 100 mile race results that I wanted. I am still ecstatic with my last 100 mile race goal which I achieved one year ago. I achieved a belief in my ability to run beyond what I thought was possible (finishing in the top 10% in a 50 mile trail race and a 62 mile trail race just two weeks apart). I achieved the calm and confidence to maintain a rigorous training schedule for eight months (while working a stressful and demanding job) in order to achieve my 100 mile race goal.
Lisa Understood My Ambitions
My experience with Lisa has been fantastic. I am a long way from being a professional athlete. My dream was to break a 5 hour marathon. But with Lisa’s help I have been able to improve my performance, cut back on injuries and prepare for my events in a more complete and sane manner.
Lisa Provides a Personal Touch
My biggest concern about using an on-line coaching situation was the potential for reduced contact time and personal touch. This has proven to be completely unfounded. Lisa has been there whenever I needed her and has responded to all my questions, concerns and doubts in a way which has made me feel genuinely cared for. In addition, I was concerned that not being a professional or world class athlete that the coaching may either be too difficult for me or else would take a “back seat” to the pro’s . Both of these fears have also proven to be unfounded.
Lisa sets a schedule that keeps me at the edge of my own personal limits, yet pushes me to expand my limits beyond anything I would have thought possible. Sometimes I look at my schedule with a sinking feeling in my stomach and think – oh no – but I have yet to have a schedule I couldn’t complete. As for my schedule being less important than the pro’s, I have never had that feeling. My schedules always come in a timely manner, are personalized and all my questions and concerns are addressed promptly.
The results speak for themselves. This year I’ve set 3 PR’s in 3 different lengths, and have completed a number of very difficult activities. Between mid August and early October, I summitted Mt. Chegat (3600m) and Mt. Elbrus (5640m) in Russia, completed the Vilnius Lithuania Marathon and the Toronto Half Marathon. I set a PR in the Toronto half, taking 8 full minutes off my best time.
I would highly recommend Lisa as a coach, no matter what level of exercise you are looking to attain.
Here are my feelings about coaching. You know from day one I have been moved by the connection I have with you. Some think on-line training is impersonal and don’t understand how I benefit so much from it. I suppose it depends on the individual. I become more determined and dedicated when I know I have to report to someone. If you don’t follow your own schedule, then you are only cheating yourself. You need to be disciplined.
Lisa Made Me Realize I was ‘Elite’
My biggest concern about on-line coaching was that I wasn’t elite. I wasn’t anything. I thought I had to have some substantial base to start. Lisa’s on-line coaching provided a varied schedule of workouts, motivation and true belief that you can accomplish anything you desire. I was running 5/10k’s in 2002 and came across Lisa’s coaching through the Badwater website and contacted her via e-mail. I had read about a race called Badwater and became consumed with it and thought one day I would like to attempt something so extreme. During the next 12 months I progressed from the 10k to the 100 mile. I ran my first 100 in 2003, Western States in 2004 and Badwater in 2005 finishing in 41:31. Lisa has this power to make you believe in yourself and therefore, do anything you desire. Running has become my passion.
When I was first considering using an online coach I was concerned that being an older, back of the pack runner, that I would not be the type of client Lisa was used to working with and that an online coach might be too impersonal and that I would not get the motivation that I wanted. What has happened is that I have never felt more motivated about my running and over the year Lisa has truly made me feel a part of her running family.
Tailored Workouts from Lisa
My workouts have been right on, I feel that Lisa gives me just the right amount of running, mixed with cross training so that I stay injury free and get to the start line of my races with the confidence that I was ready to run. I also really appreciate how you have taken the time to tailor my workouts to fit my schedule.
Having completed the Angeles Crest 100, getting a 30 minute PR at Santa Barbara 9-trails, and then a 45 minute PR at the Ridgecrest 50k the following weekend, I feel that have accomplished more than I had even hoped for the year. To top it all, I am moving my way up to the middle of the pack, yea! I am eagerly anticipating working with you next year.
From Mark’s Blog: Grand Slam Success – Thanks for All the Help Along the Trail
I can’t believe it! It has been a couple of weeks since I finished Wasatch and completed the Slam and I am still blown away by how fortunate I was to finish. I had so much support through out the summer and I would like to mention a few of the many who helped me along the way. First of all I would like to thank my wife ; so many weekends spent training and all the time away at the races, I could not have done it with out her support. I promise I will get started on the home projects soon Mowing the grass.! My brother Brian who crewed and paced me at Western States and Leadville, the summer would not have been nearly as much fun without him along and I look forward to returning the favor. Special thanks to my training partners, Patty who encouraged me from the beginning and Drew my weekend training partner and pacer at Wasatch. Thanks to my friend Andy it was great hanging out with you at all the races; good luck in all your future races. Also thanks to all my C4P running friends, I really got a big boost every time I ran into someone at a race or when I received email wishing me well. And a special thanks to the one person who not only believed I could do it but more importantly got me to believe that I could complete the Grand Slam and that is my coach Lisa Smith-Batchen. Lisa has been my coach for the last two years and it has been one of the best moves I have ever made. One of the best pieces of advice that I received from Lisa before my run at Wasatch was to “Look up every so often and give thanks that you are where you are..live in the moment and each step that you are taking..smile though the pain…soak it all up Mark and know that you are now on top of the moon! ” Thanks Lisa!!
Congratulations to all of the 07 slammers, the ones who made it to Midway and the ones who didn’t, we where all on the same journey and I am proud to be one of you.
When I started looking for an online coach, my biggest concern was getting personalized service, having access to Lisa and seeing results.
Lisa’s Program is No Cookie Cutter Plan
Lisa has been incredibly accessible whenever I’ve had questions about workouts, technique and race strategy, and she is constantly checking in and providing me with much-needed motivation. Her service is definitely personalized. I’ve gotten very specific workouts targeted to my next race, available time/travel schedule and general weaknesses that we’ve decided to work on. She keeps the workouts different so that I never get bored and she’s constantly coming up with training methods that I would never had thought of, or thought would be as effective as they are. For anyone that doesn’t feel like they want or fit the textbook training regimens for marathons or ultramarathons, Lisa coaching and experience is invaluable.
I saw very rapid results, took over 20 minutes off my marathon time between April and July, have seen an incredible improvement in overall fitness level and most importantly. I have been injury-free and excited about training since starting with Lisa.
I met Lisa at the start of my first 100 mile race, the Keys 100. The race did not go so well but, amazed that an ultrarunning legend would take the time to talk with me, I contacted her the next week for coaching. Lisa pushed me HARD, taught me mental toughness and grit and brought out a drive and intensity in me that I didn’t even know I had. Under here coaching I went on to win that race the following year and the next, setting the coarse record both years.
When I decided to take on the challenge of a life time, the Marathon Des Sables, it only made sense to go to the only American woman to ever win it, Lisa. Again, Lisa didn’t sugar coat the training and went as far as to send me her own gear to use, all while preparing for her own life goal, RUNHOPE. I am very blessed to have Lisa in my life and am thankful to be able to call her a role model and a mentor for the past 5 years
I was first introduced to Lisa Smith during the summer of 2000. I had heard a lot about her through a mutual friend, of how she was very motivational and very inspirational. Little did I know how true those words were, and where those words would take me.
At the time, I had only completed a few marathons, but I had the goal of finishing a 50 miler. So I made the choice to start training with Lisa. My training immediately changed, and I put my faith in Lisa, and her extensive coaching skills. My mileage increased, and I was doing things I had never done before, which I found to be a great change to the normal routine of running. Within a few weeks, I felt myself getting faster and stronger, and set a marathon PR of 2:48 – something I never dreamed I could do. Shortly after, I completed my first ultramarathon – the GNC 100k – in 8 hours and 50 minutes. I was totally elated, within just a few short weeks of knowing Lisa, I had set a marathon PR, and completed my first ultramarathon!
Since then, I have completed dozens of marathons, and numerous ultras, including Badwater, a 208 mile solo run across New Jersey, the Grand Teton 100 miler, and the Ultracentric 48 Hour. Lisa provided me with not only the skills and training to do it all, but the belief in myself that I can do anything I set my eyes on! She is a wonderful person, coach, and friend! Thank you, Lisa!
Online coaching sometimes has the reputation of not being personal. I cannot speak for other coaches, but in the case of Lisa Smith-Batchen this could not be further from the truth!!! Training with Lisa online is like training with Lisa living next door! Her personal touch and in-depth follow-ups have been a blessing for my athletic career.
A Great Coach AND a Great Friend
I first heard of Lisa when I was adventure racing and met her for the first time in Morocco at the 2004 Marathon Des Sables. I knew right then and there I NEEDED her to be my coach! I cannot thank her enough. Over the course of the last year and a half she has taken me to the top of my game, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here! Not only a great coach, but a great friend too. How can you get more of a personal touch than that?
For years ultra-running seemed impossible a goal for me to achieve. I am the managing partner of a law firm and my practice requires extensive international travel almost every month. I have two very active kids for whom I coach and manage their soccer teams. And I don’t possess the athletic talents or build so common among ultrarunners (unfortunately there’s no Clydesdale categories in most ultra events).
Lisa made the impossible possible. With her careful guidance, she crafted a comprehensive fitness and running program customized to fit my schedule, lifestyle, and capabilities. Lisa created bi-weekly training programs that combined running, weight training, cross training, and even yoga into my busy personal and professional schedule. And Lisa is always there to provide me with pragmatic feedback, thoughtful guidance, and ass-kicking motivation when needed. With Lisa as my coach, I have been able to tackle 100 milers and the Marathon des Sables with confidence.
About 4 years ago I decided it was time to quit smoking. To help with weight control I signed up for Las Vegas Marathon and embarked on a training program. In December of that year I completed the Las Vegas Marathon but was extremely disappointed with my time. Once day while discussing with a customer my disappointment, he referred me to Lisa. Within a couple of weeks I was up and training with her full time. I signed up for my next Marathon and beat the Vegas time by 40 min! There was no question that Lisa’s training was changing my life. I signed up for two more Marathons under Lisa’s coaching and was extremely successful. Lisa changed my life!
In my dream of pursuing Badwater, I had come to admire and respect Lisa Smith-Batchen as I always knew she was a gifted and talented athlete and individual. When I was selected for the 2011 Badwater race, she was the person I wanted to be my coach and mentor. Along the journey from acceptance to completion of Badwater (43 hours and 50 minutes), Lisa provided me with the education and expertise to earn my Badwater belt buckle. She always responded to my many questions (and I asked a lot!) in a timely manner. Her coaching gave me the confidence and knowledge to be successful, and her answers often soothed my soul at all the right times! One time I asked her how she knew so much, and her response was simple – it was a gift from God. Lisa herself is a gift from God to all of us that have had the privilege to train with her.
Being coached by Lisa Smith-Batchen has made me a better athlete and a better person. When I signed up to be one of her students, I was an experienced marathoner who wanted to also be successful at ultramarathons. I had tried several coaches in the past but I always became frustrated and injured as I tried to fit into their specific coaching plan. Lisa is different because she completely customizes her workout schedules for each individual student every two weeks. She doesn’t use cookie cutter plans or workouts that are best for her body type, and she modifies each person’s schedule as family needs, illness, and life changes. She is always available when questions, illness or problems arise.
Because Lisa is so accomplished herself, I can run each race with confidence knowing that Lisa has been through this also and she has prepared well me based on her vast experience. With each step I run I am confident that I can do this because Lisa has trained my body, mind and soul to believe that my dreams are possible. Yes, there have been races that I wasn’t able to finish, but we used these to learn and to become stronger. Much of running a good race depends on what happens between workouts. Lisa helps me plan my nutrition and rest as well as training my mind to believe that I will be successful. We also share the same belief that God is most important in our lives. Because of our faith in Him, we believe that each step glorifies His name and accomplishes a higher purpose.
Lisa has coached me through many ups and downs in my life. I have had two heart procedures that complicate my training and I am a breast cancer survivor. Two months after I was treated for Breast Cancer, Lisa had trained me well enough to successfully complete the National Breast Cancer Marathon and a little over a year later, I finished my first 100 mile race. If she can work around all my issues and make me a successful runner, she can help anyone! Why not give her a try? I promise, you will be a better athlete and a better person for having worked with her.
I was introduced to Lisa through her husband Jay, when I signed up to participate in the Marathon des Sables . Lisa is a positive and energizing personality, and someone whose instruction you can trust. Her vast experience and knowledge, as a world class athlete, enabled her to put together workouts designed to push me to my outer limits while leaving me energized and pumped. Every two weeks she adjusted my program, which was never monotonous, depending upon my work/life schedule and other upcoming races.
>Lisa has a formula that makes you want to push harder to reach the goals you specify for yourself. She formulated a fitness strategy whereby I was able to maximize precious workout time, saw increased power and explosiveness in my core strength, improvements in form, and endurance while feeling stronger from the inside out. Lisa listened to me, helped me, and pushed me in a most knowledgeable manner.
Having known Lisa for over 8 years now, I can say with confidence that she ensures you live up to your full potential, deriving personal satisfaction from her clients achieving their objectives. She is fully invested in your success and encourages even the most avid and knowledgeable fitness buffs to levels they thought were unattainable. Whether you are new to fitness or a serious athlete, who has trained on their own for years, Lisa’s workout plan is challenging, yet fresh and exciting. Lisa practices what she preaches. She knows how to deal with each personality type, when to be firm, when to be patient, and when and how to motivate. Not only is she a consummate professional, but she is also an incredibly caring and loving individual.
I struggled with finding success completing my goal of running a 100 mile race. My training lacked the content that knowledge and experience would bring. So I decided I needed to get serious about my training. I decided I needed help from someone who not only knows how to complete such a challenging endeavor but someone who knows how to coach a client to complete an arduous event like running a 100 mile race. I wanted someone in whom I would feel confident, and moreover I wanted a coach with whom I would enjoy working.
I began asking around and checking what I could find on the web and it became very apparent Lisa Smith-Batchen was at the top of the list. My first call with Lisa convinced me on the spot that she not only knew her stuff, but she also was a very accomplished endurance athlete in her own right, and more importantly I knew I would enjoy working with her. It was obvious from that first call she had a very deep interest in my success.
Over the following year I grew a lot as an endurance athlete both knowledge and ability directly due to Lisa’s guidance and encouragement. Lisa was incredibly responsive to all my questions. She proved over and over she was completely committed to my success not only as a coach, but as a friend. Lisa not only educated and coached me, she also motivated and inspired me. She embodies not only the adventurous, caring, generous spirit I’ve come to experience from an endurance athlete she also possess the incredible knowledge and experience necessary to ensure her clients’ success in their ultra-running adventures. Lisa quite successfully got me through my first 100 mile race and the foundation she laid helped with succeeding 50 and 100 mile races. I highly HIGHLY recommend Lisa to anyone interested in improving themselves in their selected endurance sport.”
I hired Lisa in April 2014, for 4 months, to train me for a 80km race in August 2014. I didn’t run much, so it was like she was training a complete beginner to run an ultra in 4 months! She trained me so well, that I totally exceeded my goal of ‘just finishing the race’. I think she’s an excellent coach and have since run a tough 160km race, where again, I totally exceeded my expectations of what I could do (and came home with a very unexpected gold medal!) 🙂 I hired Lisa for 4 months, but she is still my coach now, a year and a half later! I’ve had so much success with her, I don’t want her to stop coaching me!
As far as how the online coaching works – at the beginning, when I first hired her, we spoke once on the phone to talk everything through and now, she emails me a training schedule every 2 weeks. I email the schedule back to her with how all the sessions went (times, distances, any missed sessions, any injuries/concerns, etc). She then emails me the next 2 weeks of schedule, based on my feedback. The system works well and I always look forward to receiving my training plans each month!
She regularly changes the workouts, so training never gets boring. When I’m tired, she eases it up and when I’m just being lazy, she pushes me hard. 🙂 As long as you follow her schedule exactly, you will succeed at whatever your objective is. She’s available to answer questions via email any time and her advice is brilliant. She is so experienced at running all types of distance that she knows exactly the right thing to say, at exactly the right time. Her schedules will get you physically ready AND mentally tough, too.