Athletes and Testimonials

Bonnie Hooker

I started running 12 years ago and finished my very first marathon in 2008. I was lucky to excel as a recreational runner, qualifying for and finishing Boston in 2011. I enjoyed every moment of beautiful places, wonderful races, random thoughts about life, and the friends I accumulated over time.


Life took a turn with breast cancer and other personal tragic events. However, I met Patrick about a year ago and with his guidance, I am determined to start back running. My goal is to qualify for Boston one more time. I am not sure if I can get back to my speed and endurance, but I am in pursuit and getting better with age.

Matt Vaupel

I have been working with Patrick Strong for over 2 years with fantastic results. I had a BQ time but didn’t make the cutoff for entry. Once I connected with Patrick, he built a plan that matched my ability level, kept me healthy, improved my marathon time by 10 minute, has me winning age group medals, and finally helped me achieve a BQ time that made the cut for entry. His clear and direct program and advice really made the difference.  He taught me how to train more effectively and integrated appropriate intervals and speed work as well as, stretching, rolling and appropriate recovery time into my training program.  He also helped with form and efficiency all while working around my constant travel schedule.


Strength training is an important part of my physical fitness.  Patrick encouraged me to continue training and allowed me to build a weight training program into my running program which worked great for me.


Having worked with other coaches in the past there is no question Patrick’s knowledge, personal engagement and interest in the athlete make him an outstanding coach.


I would recommend him to anyone looking to improve their running in anyway.

PR Progression

5 km - 19:41 to 18:50


1/2 Maraton - 1:34:00 to 1:24:51


Marathon - 3:14:44 post 3:05:52

Jen Makovsky

A couple years ago while getting fitted for a pair of shoes at a local running store, I was fortunate to have Patrick help guide me.  His expertise and patience in finding just the right fit for me did not go unnoticed.  My biggest supporter, Ray, who is also a "tough customer" and quite protective, suggested that I seek out Patrick to see if he would be willing to work with me to increase my efficiency and decrease my injuries while running.


That was two years ago, and Patrick has lead me through four marathons, several half marathons, and countless questions about training.  Whether it is about building strength, miles, or confidence, he is there with the same patience and expertise that we noticed in the beginning.  Patrick's attention to his athletes' needs, both physical and mental, makes him indispensable to my love for running.

Matthew Lambert

I've been a keen middle-distance and distance runner for many years, competing in the domestic NZ track and field scene as well as overseas tours throughout America and Europe. However, after suffering a string of persistent injuries I found myself frequently out of action and losing interest in the sport I once loved. I thought my body was never going to let me train to the level I required to be competitive and achieve my goals. However, after reconnecting with my childhood friend and training partner Patrick Strong, we've progressively built my body back to a level where I feel I'm starting to train again and zero in on some goals I truly believed had escaped me years ago. 


Although my running had dropped off and life had become increasingly busy, I found Patrick's approach to training refreshingly different from other coaches I've known. He truly puts the athlete first by considering all stresses involved in life (family, work, training, and other commitments) and fits the program around you, continually adapting training load on a weekly basis rather than hashing together a gleaming three month plan and then trying to follow it. Patrick has fantastic knowledge in principles and physiology of training, however I've found his most valuable coaching trait is his ability to develop my mental approach to training. As an athlete who'd always do more than less, Patrick was able to recognise this and through his ongoing effective communication has been able to change some life long running habits that continued to get me into trouble time and time again. 

I have 100% trust in Patrick's guidance and would personally recommend Patrick and Stride Strong Coaching to anyone looking for a knowledgeable coach who truly cares about you, your running and how it fits into your busy life. He's turned my running around, both physically and mentally, reigniting my passion for the sport. I'm excited to see where the next few months will lead us.