Patrick Strong - The Coach

Racing

I am originally from New Zealand. After winning numerous national medals in New Zealand, I came to the USA and ran for the University of North Texas in the NCAA Division One. My PRs include a 30:02 10,000m and a 2:30 Marathon.

Coaching

I have a USATF Level 1 Certification and coach USA-based and international athletes, from novice to elite, from the mile and 5 km through the Marathon. I am also currently the running coach for a nationally ranked Junior Elite Triathlon team.


My passion is developing relationships with athletes and seeing them grow, not just athletically, but also as people.

Philosophy

I believe that to be truly successful you must coach the individual as a whole. Too many running programs approach training as though every person is the same. Each person has different goals, strengths, weaknesses, and ambitions - as well as different life stresses.


I strive to learn about each individual and write a program tailored to their unique physiology, mentality, and life. As a result, training is both more satisfying and successful.

Heart Surgery

In March of 2017 I was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect which had led to congestive heart failure. I was told that I needed to have my aortic valve and root replaced as soon as possible, otherwise I would likely die in the coming year or two. My ejection fraction (the proportion of blood pumped out of your heart on each beat) was 35% whereas a healthy value is well upwards of 55% The condition had gone undiagnosed for so long because I was in very good physical condition.


By the end of April I had had surgery and was recovering well, albeit slowly. I had to wear a portable defibrillator called a LifeVest 24 hours a day, in case my heart went out of rhythm and needed shocking back. My ejection fraction had dropped to 25%. 


Through smart training and listening to my body I am now back running and feeling more and more like an athlete. My ejection fraction has increased from 25% to 45% and it looks like I will recover full function of my heart.


This experience has been humbling: going from running a 30:02 10,000m to genuinely struggling to walk 400 m. I have learnt a lot through the process and believe it has given me a unique perspective on training and coaching. I intimately know both ends of the performance spectrum, leaving me more able to help all athletes.