LEAP Coaching, LLC
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Accountability is the key differentiator to achieving desired results.
March 2018 Announcement
We are excited to announce Semper Fi Fund has selected LEAP-Coaching as the only 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 LEAP APPROACH
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
- 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.
ABOUT COACH LABRANCHE
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: 3x All-Conference, 3x 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
- 1600m Girl = 5:23
- Accolades: 4x Conference Champion, 1x New England Qualifier
- 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)
REAL WORLD ATHLETES
"I've been running off and on for 25 years, and even during my "on" periods I was doing it without any structure, guidance, or direction, so looking back it's not a surprise I wasn't getting as much as I could out of my workouts. This summer I was lucky enough to find Coach LaBranche online, and in the 4 months I've been training with him I've taken a minute and a half off of my 5K time and seven minutes (yes, seven minutes!) off of my 10K. Coach LaBranche's approach really works, and the workouts are fun and varied (and tough) so it's never boring. He is extremely responsive whenever I have a question, and I'm looking forward to getting even faster!"Dan
"In an effort to be healthier after college I started running a couple miles a few days a week. A couple years later I decied to run a few local 5k's. They were fun but I always felt like I was so slow. As I ran more I decided to sign up for a half marathon and then a year later a full. I knew how serious the marathon distance was so I asked Coach LaBranche to help me prepare for the race. Not only did his coaching prepare me to run 26.2 miles, along the way I set PRs in the 5k, 10k and took 16 minutes off my half marathon PR from the previous year. Coach LaBranche's coaching showed me both physical and mental strength that I never knew I had and for the first time, made me feel like I was a real runner. Even on the days when I didn't have faith in myself it was encouraging to know that Coach LaBranche believed in my abilities."Britni
"As a coach, Steve LaBranche goes above and beyond for his athletes. Not only does he differentiate workouts and intervals for individual athletes of differing abilities with ease, he also personalizes strength and core workouts based on free weights and plyometrics as cross training. He is incredibly organized, maintaining spreadsheets recording race results and workout splits throughout the season. Having the data broken down in such a clear and concise manner proved to be very useful as the season progressed"Abby
Coach LaBranche does an excellent job of tailoring a plan to your individual needs. I had finished up treatments for breast cancer and was having a tough time getting back into distance running. After talking to me about my goals, he came up with a individualized training plan. But, his coaching didn't stop there. He checked in often through both phone and emails, and adjusted the plan as needed. In particular, tailoring the plan weekly around my 12 hour night shifts-which was not always an easy task. He also took into account my health status, adjusting where needed with regard to how I was feeling and allowing extra rest if needed. Throughout the whole season, I knew I could count on his coaching knowledge as well as support to help me reach my goals.Alena
"You know when you do something super cool that only a handful of people actually care about? But those people, they REALLY care. Massive shoutout to my coach, Steve, who made this possible by pushing me to believe that I could."Cait
What a year for cait! A new PR in every distance: 5k, 10k, 1/2 & full marathon. She most recently chopped off a full minute off her 5km. Sticking to the plan works. Now after a BQ! - Coach LaBranche
As a middle of the pack age group triathlete running has been my weakness of the three disciplines. Finishing several different triathlons distance races over the last few years including full distance Ironman I decided to hire a “run specific” coach to work on my run during the “off season” of triathlons. Luckily I found Steve. With great communication and experience understanding the run data from the workouts Steve helped me become a better runner in a very short amount of time. After only a few months I not only got a PR in a half marathon but also got on the podium for the first time in an Olympic distance triathlon. I continue to work with Steve and look forward to more PR’s and podiums. If you are looking for a very experienced running coach that will design workouts for your specific goals I highly recommend Steve. Happy training!Rodney
I have have been friends with Coach LaBranche for several years and also a training partner of his. Having come from a running family with 40 years of experience in the household, I seriously thought I knew about running and how to train properly...boy was I wrong. During our long training runs I would listen to him talk about his coaching philosophy, nutrition, running economy, strength training and quickly realized this guy is very, very serious about what he does and the knowledge and experience that he has is impressive. sometimes too impressive ...supercompensation, macro and meso what!!??Todd
I didn’t take me long to ask him to train me for the up coming New England trail race season. Off we went with a weekly training schedule (my 1st time ever at age 43). I immediately loved that he took the guess work out for me and I could focus on a specific training plan to prepare me to be a better runner. I also liked that he wanted my feedback and would have weekly conversations about target races and recovery. If only I could follow his advise on nutrition! I dubbed myself a “fat blueberry” one day and he did not disagree! Joking aside, I went on to have one of my best seasons ever: WINNING THE GRAND TREE SERIES, completing my first 50km ultra (6th place!!), and earning my BOSTON QUALIFIER with a 3:00 marathon. I was in such fantastic shape, I took an impromptu running vacation to the grand canyon (Running down to the river and back). I learned so much from him about training philosophy, nutrition, and race tactics. But these are things that happened from hanging around coach LaBranche. He taught me a lot.
I have had the pleasure of watching him with the kids at the local high school and have never seen a more passionate person in all of the running circles I have been involved in over the years. Truly a great coach.
We will be working together next year for my new adventure: mountain running!
I have looked up to Coach LaBranche since we were kids and through our high school years on the cross country team together. As young adults, Steve knew I wasn’t the fastest kid on the team but always took the time to come back and help me to the finish. I was diagnosed in my early thirty’s with Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and asthma. I am determined to not let this beat me, or hold me back, so in 2013 I reached out to the one person who I received the most support and had the knowledge of running! Over the years Cpach LaBranche has completed plans and tailored them to my medical needs at a moment’s notice. I am one of LEAP-Coaching’s first athletes since the start in 2016, and since then he has helped me accomplish 3 Marine Corps Marathons (one pushing an Athlete Rider for Ainsley's Angels), numerous half marathons, 2 Ultra’s, and 2 Triathlons. I am now planning for my first international tri and 100K in 2018. He is very passionate and devotes his times to his athletes (although I’m a shuffler), regularly checking in to see how he needs to adjust the training plan. I have seen my friend and Coach grow as he has learned to become a better-rounded individual who has adapts his coaching capabilities to help athletes at every level, and for that I am grateful and will always support LEAP-Coaching!Kelley
After months of watching Coach LaBranche work with my son and the high school track teams I decided to ask for his help to run a single 5k. I had a little over 3 months to train. Steven heard me clearly and helped set out a clear plan to achieve my goal. Gradually increasing or switching up activities to achieve the best results, he made sure that I didn’t sabotage my own efforts, while encouraging me to go faster than I ever thought I could. Steven uses the technology available to clearly show a novice like myself how data shows improvement when you still feel like a complete failure. He is amazing at communicating what needs to be done to see the results you are looking for, and his gift of encouragement and support as you reach for your goals is unparalleled. Never in a million years did I think I would ever hire a personal trainer, or run a 5k voluntarily, but I am happy that I took the plunge and have been working with Steven this year."Marlee
Steve LaBranche helped me achieve a goal that I thought was crazy and somewhat unachievable! I’m so glad I chose him to guide me in my first foray into ultramarathons. Not only did he stay current with my workout data throughout the process, he was also available to chat through text/WhatsApp (international) to help problem-solve any hiccups or issues along the way! A super supportive coach that delivered the results!! 5 out of 5 starsSusanna
I first met Coach LaBranche through the TrainingPeaks Find-a-Coach tool for help training toward my first ultra, and I am elated that I did. From the very beginning, he was supportive and encouraging. I wasn’t sure there would be enough time to prepare as I wasn’t in the best shape initially, but he assured me we could get it done. And get it done we did. Thanks to his help, I recently completed that first ultra, a 100k in northern Iowa. Immediately after the race he sent congratulations and kind words, so quick and timely that I couldn’t even believe it. He has been a pleasure to work with over these first few months, from reasonable yet challenging workouts to wonderful personal interactions. I look forward to completing more races and achieving more goals under his guidance. -Mike Cook Graduate Student, Michigan State UniversityMike
"I have been using Mr. Steven LaBranche as my coach since April 2018. When I started with him, I had some health concerns which included being overweight and diagnosed as prediabetic. Mr. LaBranche has been very supportive, caring and professional. He has always had my best interests at heart and takes the time to figure out the best routine for my workouts. Since I started using him, I have lost weight and am no longer prediabetic. Overall, I feel better than I have in a long time. I look forward to seeing what goals I will achieve with his help in the future and plan to continue using Coach Steven for the foreseeable future."Valerie
"I was far from an athlete, nor runner. But at 48 came my determination to finish a marathon at 50. Did my first two by joining a runners club in town (Jakarta, Indonesia). Many of them are younger or have been runners for much longer than me. I started using TrainingPeaks this year (in my 53), still learning, but so glad I found Coach LaBranche. He has been delivering customized running menu week after week and further throwing some strategies for the race. I felt I learnt much more in this short time for myself than 4 years in a running club. I am still running in the club, but continuously as for strategies came from Coach LaBranche. With Coach's help, I set my Personal Best at the Chicago marathon.Svida
I am well on my wait to completing my objective of “Major 6 - before 60”. It is great to be working with Leap-Coaching. His guidance is immensely appreciated."
"When I decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon in 2018 pushing my daughter, who is an Ainsley's Angels wheelchair athlete, I knew I would need help getting there. Coach LaBranche set up a personalized plan which took into account not only my age, but my tendency for injury and limited training facilities. His training plan not only prepared me to complete the marathon (five minutes faster than my non-pushing time two years earlier), but improved my overall fitness to new levels. In fact, three weeks after the marathon, I achieved a 5K PR that I had been chasing for ten years!"Susan
"I found Coach LaBranche when I wanted to set PRs in the 1600m and 5000m. In our first six months of training together Coach LaBranche has helped me shave a minute off of my 5000m PR and place in top 5 for the 1600m. All of this was done through his constant communication and focus on incorporating custom track work to help build up my lactic acid tolerance levels. At the same time, Coach LaBranche has introduced me to numerous indoor track events to test those new levels and get me ready and faster for the outdoor season. "Alex
"This one goes out to coach Steve!! I’m so grateful for all that he has done for me these last 6 weeks. He pushed me well beyond what I thought I could do and helped me prepare for a great spring season. He aimed to improve my overall endurance and fitness with individuals workouts that kicked my ass. I completed sprint interval training, high intensity interval training, along with running 2-3 miles a day. Even though we only worked together for my winter break, the program he created allowed me to improve my VO2 max as well as pass AND surpass my fitness test score by over 5%!! Steve, thank you for letting me hate you on the days that were tough, but never letting me quit when you knew I could do more. Can’t wait to see what we accomplish this summer! "Rachel
"As a longtime runner in my late 40s I began to notice my running was not feeling as good as it used to and that my pace was slowing. I also knew I wanted to run a marathon but it had been many years since I’d done one and with my busy professional and personal life I decided I needed guidance to help me train smarter and figure out the right work-outs to get me to the finish line. I reached out to TrainingPeaks and they got me in touch with coach LaBranche. I have now had the privilege of training with coach LaBranche for over a year and I am amazed at how much I have learned and how much my approach to running has changed during that time. I’ve never been terribly fast but he has helped me find paces that I did not think were in me, especially at this point in my life. He’s also helped me work on my strength and flexibility which I was sorely neglecting in my previous years of running. Steve is always happy to share his knowledge and explain his rationale for training recommendations. And he is kind and fun and encouraging and I find it inspiring to see that while he is busy with life and work like the rest of us he is also an accomplished runner continuing to pursue his own athletic goals. I’m happy I decided to train with coach LaBranche and I’d recommend his coaching services to anyone seeking to get to a higher level with their running and training."Gracie
"I PRed a 10K on Wedensday, ran a self-supported half marathon+ Friday and a self-supported marathon (plus a 5k) yesterday. Both the half- and full-marathon were on a tough mountain course. I felt amazingly good during Saturday's run. Knowing this course very well, I also know where I start to drag and was surprised multiple times at how far I was and how good I felt. I was also bombing the downhills and probably had a PR on this course. I really think the new strength regiment you have me on has given me a few missing gears"Joe
"Well, what is not to like about LEAP-Coaching and Coach Steve’s training program? As an 'average Joe' middle aged runner with a busy life, accountability and encouragement is huge for me, and that is exactly what you get. Nothing is better then nailing a huge workout, and getting an encouraging email or text after! At 45 years old, while most of my friends are slowing down, Coach Steve has me slowly improving in several areas. Specially hitting personal best in miles ran in a week and miles run in a month. The road miles combined with specific core and strength exercises have me feeling stronger and faster then I could have ever expected!"Bob
2018 Athlete Races
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LEAP Coaching offers various options to help you achieve your goals. You can elect to purchase a complete 20 week training plan tailored to your capability and goals, or you can pursue a more highly customized 1:1 Virtual Coach. For those athletes that are training on their own, or with a pre-made plan, we offer one hour phone consultations services. Maybe that is all that is needed to get you fine tuned for the big race! Whatever your capability and needs are, we are here to help.
Great News! LEAP-Coaching is now donating 25% back to all Semper Fi Fundraiser athlete’s payments on the day of their race!
- 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)
- $99 one time setup fee
- 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)
- $99 one time setup fee
Track, analyze and plan on the web.
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