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When compared to a generalized pre-documented training approach ,the LEAP approach offers a fully personalized, adaptable, and flexible training plan to better prepare the athlete for their goals.

Every athlete is unique.  Every goal is one-of-kind.  Life throws us curve balls.  Why follow a pre-fabricated plan that isn’t tailored towards your capabilities or adjusts to your fitness adaptions or life’s events?

LEAP-Coaching has no ‘cookie-cutter’ plan.  Every training plan is built to the current capabilities and goals of that athlete.  The coach adapts the plan based on observed athlete’s fitness gains.  With close observation the coach can also avoid over-training situations by adjusting the plan when fatigue indicators rise.

Within two weeks of the kick-off interview, LEAP-Coaching will publish the athlete’s Annual Training Plan (ATP) within TrainingPeaks.

The Annual Training Plan (ATP) works backwards, starting from the runner’s A race(s) to early base building.  The macro-cycle leading up to the peak racing period follows USATF standard phases: General Prep, Specific Prep, Pre-Comp, Comp, and Transition. Each phase has specific workouts with targeted physiological and mental adaptation goals. All plans move from general to specific training, depending on the individual’s goals.

The plan will be broken down into multiple cycles: Meso-cycle and Micro-cycle to help manage training load.

  • A micro-cycle consists of 7 days of detailed training plans
  • A meso-cycle is comprised of multiple micro-cycles.  Depending on the athlete, a meso cylce will consist of multiple micro-cycles followed by a recovery micro-cycle.  Meso-cycles will range from 3 to 5 weeks, with the final micro-cycle designated the recovery period.

Within the micro-cycle, Sports Periodization principles is strictly adhered to.   As recovery period is the key to reaching new levels of fitness, LEAP-Coaching puts as much energy into planning recovery as it does in planning the critical training days.  The formula to adaptions is simple: high training load + adequate recovery = training adaptations.

Sample Annual Training Plan, with 2:1 Meso-cycle

Training plans are broken down into multiple phases: General Prep, Specific Prep, Pre-Comp, Comp, and Transition.

  • General Preparation phase is focused at achieving maximal aerobic adaptations.  All distance, starting with the 800 meters, rely more on aerobic metabolism than anaerobic.  This phase is characterized by long runs around aerobic threshold (70% Vo2Max or HR Zone 2)
  • Specific Preparation phase is transition towards more event specific workouts.  Workouts within this phase are geared to provide the initial stimulus for  physical and metabolic adaptations required for enhanced speed development.  Typical workouts include Fartlek, Progression Runs, Lactic Threshold Runs, and Hill Repeats.  Aerobic development focus is still maintained.
  • Pre-Competition is race specific training. Focused workouts target physical adaptations required for the goal event to include Vo2Max enhancements, Lactic Acid clearance, Lactic Acid Tolerance, etc.
  • Competition Phase is fine tuning, often referred to the taper period.  This is characterized by a drop in workload volume, while maintaining high intensity.
  • Transition phase, which LEAP-Coaching refers to as the ‘maintenance’  phase.  This period is between seasons, where training volume and intensity are low to moderate.  Having a coach helps keep the athlete on track and in shape for the next season.

A solid aerobic foundation is vital towards achieving your challenging running goals.  The science behind aerobic training adaptations is well documented.  It takes approximately 20 weeks for the structural changes to be fully realized:

  • Increase heart muscle
  • Increased cardiac output
  • Increased mitochondria size & density
  • Increased capillarization
  • Increased fat usage for metabolism
  • Increased levels of Myoglobin
  • Increased Slow Twitch Oxidative Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers

Coaching legends like Arthur Lydiard, Joe Vigil, Dr Maffetone and so many others professed to the benefits of a long and slow aerobic base building phase and had success due to a lengthy aerobic base building period.

LEAP-Coaching follows the USATF guidance, which suggests that 2/3rds of the Annual Training Plan (ATP) should be comprised of the General and Specific Prep phases. During these phases, the cornerstone, and deemed most critical of each micro-cycle, will be two long aerobic (Zone 1 / Zone 2) runs. Before you move to ‘speed’, we will give you the opportunity to develop the aerobic horsepower to sustain higher levels of activity.

Depending on your racing goals, this would mean an ATP of 20 – 26 weeks for a marathon or more is recommended.  Shorter distances (10km, 5km), while benefiting from similarly long training periods, would do fine with a minimum of a 12 week ATP.



We have partnered with Semper Fi Fund as the organization’s recommended coach for their athletes competing in numerous races throughout the country. With over a 1,000 athletes fundraising to aid USA wounded active and separated military personnel, it is a cause near and dear to our hearts.

The best way we can think of helping is through our Semper Fi Giving Back Program. SFF registered fundraisers, coached by LEAP-Coaching, will receive 25%  of their monthly coaching fees back as a donation to their Semper Fi Fund fundraising page on race day.

Start your registration today and then let the coach know your SFF fundraiser page.


We are excited about our plans to attend as many Semper Fi Fund races as possible.   Look for Coach LaBranche at the Semper Fi Fund tent at these big events.

  • Boston
  • Historic Half
  • Chicago, October
  • MCM, October
  • NYC, November


Steve’s early running career success was based on the application of early 1980s eastern block periodization and neuromuscular training principles. This approach has gained a wider audience, and is now is at the core of the USATF training philosophy.

Coaching approach was instilled by previous coaches: Jeff Morin (Former Assistant @ USCGA and current Assistant @ Conn College), Jan Merrill-Morin (‘76 Olympics, World XC Champion, Former 1500m American Record Holder, Former Assistant @ Rutgers Univ) , & Norm Higgins (NYC Marathon Winner).

While training for his first Boston Marathon, he discovered trail running and ultra-marathons. For the most part, he has since given up road racing in favor of ultra-marathons and epic endurance weekends in the mountains.



  • Certified USATF Level 2 Coach
  • TrainingPeaks Level 2 Coach
  • Preparation for NSCA CSCS Strength & Conditioning Certification


Assistant XC and Track Coach at Methodist University (1996/1997)
Assistant & Head XC Coach at Montville High School (2015 to present)

  • 5000m Girl = 19:47
  • Accolades: 8x All-Conference, 1x Conference Individual Champion, 6x All-State, 1x New England Qualifier, 1x Foot Locker NE.

Indoor & Outdoor Track Coach at Montville High School (2015 to present)

  • 600m Girl = 1:40
  • 800m Girl = 2:18
  • 1000m Girl = 3:06
  • 1000m Boy = 2:41
  • 1600m Girl = 5:25
  • 1600m Boy = 4:40
  • 3200m Girl = 12:02
  • 4x400m Girls = 4:14
  • 4x400m Boys = 3:32
  • Sprint Medley Relay Boys = 3:48
  • Sprint Medley Relay Girls = 4:25
  • 4x800m Boys = 8:35
  • Accolades: 10x Conference Champions, 1x New England Qualifier

Running Career

High School

  • 2 x Connecticut All-State Honors (1000/1600m)
  • 1 x All New England Honors (1000m)
  • Former/Active Montville High School Record Holder 5 Track Events (800 – 3200m)


  • 2 x National Division III Qualifier (800m)
  • Former Worcester Polytechnic Institute School Record Holder (800, 1000, 4x800m)



LEAP Coaching offers flexible membership packages to suit all levels of training to help achieve your fitness goals.


  • Annual Training Plan within 2 Weeks
  • Weekly Training Plan Published Biweekly
  • Device Files Reviewed Biweekly
  • Unlimited emails, response within 24 to 72 hrs
  • 10% Discount Membership to RunningWarehouse


  • Annual Training Plan within 2 Weeks
  • Weekly Training Plan Published biweekly, Updated Weekly
  • Device Files Reviewed Weekly, Regular Feedback
  • Unlimited emails, response within 24 to 72 hrs
  • Unlimited Text Messages 6-hour standard response (8AM – 6PM EST)
  • Biweekly phone call (at request of athlete)
  • 10% Discount Membership to RunningWarehouse


  • Annual Training Plan within 7 Days
  • Weekly Training Plan Published biweekly, Updated Daily
  • Device Files Reviewed Daily, Regular Feedback
  • Unlimited emails, response within 24 to 72 hrs
  • Unlimited Text Messages 2-hour priority response (8AM – 6PM EST)
  • Unlimited phone calls (at request of athlete)
  • 10% Discount Membership to RunningWarehouse

Video/Phone Consultation

$991 hour
  • Skype/GoogleChat Video or Phone Consultation
  • Pre-Call Questionaire
  • You Select the Topic
  • Response within 24 hrs

Achieve Your Fitness Goals