How and Why I Started an Online Coaching Business

How and Why I Started an Online Coaching Business

Of all the things I thought I might do in life – starting my own business – an online business at that, would probably be pretty far down on the list.  Despite knowing that I wanted to help people for a living, it took me quite a while just to figure out I how I wanted to do that.  While figuring myself and the rest of my life out, I got myself into coaching at the high school level.  I started as a volunteer assistant and worked through the years to where I had my own high school program.  In that time, I soaked up information from every source possible on how to motivate runners, how to help them succeed, and most importantly, how to coach them to be smart runners.

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How I became an Online Running Coach

Becoming a blogger

All the while, I was blogging about my experiences.  I knew I was super passionate about running – I have been running competitively since March of 1999 – and I really wanted to help people.  So I wrote.  And apparently, people liked what I wrote about.

In late December of 2010, I was approached (online) to write a training plan for a runner.  I was totally new at this concept – of online coaching, but decided to I knew more than enough about coaching and had an idea about how I could communicate my training philosophy to a runner through the internet.

And just like that… TrainwithMarc started. Thanks Patty for getting me started!

Patty Rivas running on a treadmill


I started TrainwithMarc because I have always been passionate about running.  At the end of the day, I truly love running – and everything about it.  From training and racing, to nutrition and recovery tactics.  From the motivational standpoint to the injuries and struggles that plague runners.  I am by my every person’s definition a track nerd.

Coach Marc (in orange) at the Millrose Games, 2002.
Coach Marc (in orange) at the Millrose Games, 2002.

I didn’t get serious about running until freshman year of high school, but as soon as I did, I found success and was hooked on the sport.  I was very fortunate to be on a very good team and had coaches who were more than willing to share any and all their wisdom with us.  That continued all the way through my career as I’ve had the chance to be coached by some amazing coaches.

In my athletic career, I’ve raced in the Millrose Games Mile, won 2 NJ Meet of Champions titles, named All-American 5 different times, and then went on to have a decent career at Villanova University.

Villanova racing 4 miler @ Haverford College

There, I was a 2 time Big East Champion and a member of 2 Top-12 NCAA teams.  I finished college with PR’s of 1:52 for 800, 3:47 for 1500 (roughly a 4:05 mile), and 14:17 for 5k.


Coach Marc & his runner, Chris; 2015
Coach Marc & his runner, Chris; 2015

In all my years of running, I’ve had 9 coaches:

  • Steve Shaklee & Chris Callinan at Cherokee
  • Marcus O’Sullivan & Scott Tantino at Villanova
  • Andy Gerard & Juli Benson at George Mason
  • Chris Tarello & Steve Shaklee post collegiately
  • Self coached since 

These coaches each have their own philosophies about how to coach.  I’ve taken what I believe is their best lesson and I use it as my own.  These coaches are some of the best in the country at what they do.  And I’ve picked their brain and stolen their ideas.

These coaches gave me the training I needed to run as fast as I could.  I wrote down all my workouts and training plans (I still have my training logs from just about every mile I’ve ever logged) and I use them to formulate a plan to coach the current crop of runners.

When a new runner comes to me and asks me about my coaching philosophy, I reply with a simple response: I take a bit from a 101 time sub-4 minute miler, a bit from a coach who’s won an NCAA Cross Country title, some from a coach who has an athlete running 1:45, and a bit more from a 6x Group 4 NJ XC Championship coach.  My ideas are every bit of theirs and that’s why my runners are so successful.

Online Coaching

Online coaching is totally different from being track-side every day.  There are different dynamics that go into an online coach-athlete relationship.  A lot more trust and intrinsic motivation must be cultivated.  I’m not there to hold your hand.  It’s ALL on the runner.  And some people thrive on that, and others don’t. An online coach isn’t for everyone, I know that.  But it is for a lot more people than they give themselves credit for.  If you’re trying to become a better runner, invest in a coach.  It will be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.

Get a coach that understands you

Still need more reasons to consider an online running coach?

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TrainwithMarc through the years

1st logo
1st TrainwithMarc logo
2nd TrainwithMarc logo
2nd TrainwithMarc logo
3rd TrainwithMarc logo
3rd TrainwithMarc logo

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