The business of coaching ultrarunners is one of the least talked about, yet fastest-growing businesses in the running world. The growing population of ultrarunners means coaching services are exceedingly in demand for the niche sport and therefore, include a number of athletes who are stepping into the ring as professional coaches. However, not everyone is certified, and educational opportunities are limited. Head CTS ultrarunning coach and author, Jason Koop, and United Endurance Sports Coaching Academy’s founder and director, Rick Prince, hope to change that.
For years, Koop says, he noticed he was just one of a few coaches attending major ultra events like Ultra Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), but that’s no longer the case due to the increased popularity of the sport. With limited opportunities for in-person training, Koop and Prince decided ultrarunning coaches and aspiring coaches needed a chance to learn more about the specific demands of ultrarunning. That’s when the two developed the first-ever Ultrarunning Coach Certification and most recently, came up with the idea for the UESCA Ultrarunning Coach Conference.
Past coaching conferences, such as the Training Peaks Coaching Summit, have tackled broad running lessons that lump most endurance runners into one category, with speakers tackling topics like perception of effort and performance, and understanding carbohydrate chemistry. These conferences haven’t been specific to ultrarunning – a sport where athletes must manage excessive time on feet, nutrition management for races lasting longer than 24 hours and the mental side of both training and racing longer endurance events. Both Koop and Prince saw a need for an educational event where topics such as nutrition, recovery, crewing logistics, building an ultrarunning coaching practice, ultrarunning health consequences, injury prevention and much more were covered over a period of three days alongside a group of industry professionals.
Experts and experienced professional athletes such as Stephanie Howe, PhD, Nick Tiller, PhD, Lindsay Golich, MSc, and Justin Ross, PsyD will present topics at this first annual event based on their professional work and experience as athletes. Both Koop and Prince emphasized that the goals of this conference are to get more specific education about the sport of ultrarunning, but also for attendees to network with others in the sport as they pursue educational opportunities and increased professionalism in the world of coaching ultrarunners. The UESCA 2023 Ultrarunning Coach Conference will take place on September 29 – October 1, 2023, in Colorado Springs, CO at the Antlers Hotel. Registration is currently open and closes on September 20, 2023.
For more information or to sign up, visit ultraconference.uesca.com.