© 2023 by GRIT Coaching. 

If you're thinking of getting into OCR and want to know how to train for it, be trained for it, with all the secrets passed on to you...or you want to be a faster runner, this dynamic duo is for you. 

Faye Stenning and Jessica O'Connell, track buddies from U of C, joined at the hip-types who feed off each other, and who have both become world-class athletes, are joining forces to start coaching.

Faye has unofficially been my coach for the past 2.5 years and I don't recall knowing an athlete as motivated, intense, resilient, positive, knowledgeable but still as fun as a barrel of monkeys with a leave it all out there and never quit attitude as her. She's continuously gunning to be the best, no matter what...all the time.

Want an example? 

I was at the Montana Spartan and getting ready to run in the competitive sprint. I was still in the experimental stage of OCR and just learning about how to race and do obstacles. I had no expectations for myself other than to learn and suffer greatly. 

Faye's elite heat, and her first race as a Spartan pro in the NBC Spartan Race Series, where she had to perform well or else...., was just ahead of mine and moments from being called to the start line. I coincidentally crossed paths with Faye near the start as she was warming up. I was hesitant to simply say, "Good luck!" as I didn't want to break her focus for such a monumental event for her. 

Faye stopped me and took me over to the course map to tell me the strategy I should have for the race and how to do the obstacles. It blew me away that she took the time for me, a total rookie, to do that right before one of the most important events of her life. But, that's Faye. She's a team player. 

I've always thought to myself, "Why aren't you coaching, Faye?" 

Well, now she is and I'm sure the talent is going to get much better because of it. 

 

-Dave, Calgary
 

What can I say about Faye and her training? Let’s start off with her infectious energy! The enthusiasm that she brings to the table ensures everyone brings their A game. The best part of all is that she does all the workouts and suffers right along with us. In one summer of training with her I was able to break through my running plateau’s, shaved almost 5 minutes off my 10K time to break 40 minutes, and PB’d my ½ marathon time, after doing the bike portion of the Ironman triathlon! With her background in university running, she is great at quickly understanding where people’s strengths and weaknesses are and caters workouts to work on my weaknesses while progressing on my goals. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for me in 2017!

- John, runner and OCR racer

I started training with Faye when I realized that casual running wasn't enough to see the progress I wanted. Faye's wealth of knowledge and experience instantly had a huge impact on my approach to training, and she has helped take my running to an entirely new level. Her positive attitude and ability to make gruelling workouts seem "fun" is contagious, and anyone looking to improve their fitness would be lucky to work with her.

-Kristian, Calgary

I’ve been lucky to work with Jess in the past on my fitness and athletic goals. She was extremely knowledgeable about training, and very inspiring. Working out was always a fun and rewarding experience. All in all Jess is everything someone could want in a trainer. 

-Mack, Elite Irish dancer

Grit coaching elevated my OCR goals and allowed me to discover that I was capable of more than I had imagined.  My plan started off with one Spartan Sprint and one Spartan Super and morphed into my first back to back race, first 5 Peaks Trail Run, a Spartan Trifecta, my first Beast distance and the Spartan World Championships in Lake Tahoe.  Jess and Faye are the epitome of grit, kindness and positive encouragement.  I can’t say enough about my professional admiration for both of them.
Since I live in a rural area and have never had a gym membership, they structured my workouts to be completed at home with max 1-2 times per week in a gym setting. They guided me through muscle imbalance issues and injury; helping me to stay focused and train smart.  They were consistently accountable and available. In fact, I sent them a message after the race in Lake Tahoe and said they definitely had themselves a client next year!
They gave me more than a few medals and some fun races, they gave me the gift of believing in my abilities.

-Sonya Elias, OCR racer

Where do I even begin to describe my experience with Grit Coaching? First of all, I love how this programming is personalized by two top-notch and knowledgeable athletes (Faye Stenning and Jess O’Connell). These two ladies took a great deal of time to understand my strengths and weaknesses and come up with challenging and fun programming specific to me! Every training day (and rest day, too!) is planned, with detailed instructions on how to do exercises and at what effort to perform them. It takes the guess work out of how I should structure my own training week and it’s so comforting knowing that it’s coming from two total athletic badasses!

The programming is challenging and amazing! I previously never thought it was necessary to have days dedicated specifically to strength-training, but given how Spartan Race continuously evolves and requires more strength endurance each year, Faye’s programming has more than adequately prepared me for anything Spartan throws at me! Whereas before, when I would try not to lose ground on the heavy carries, now I look forward to them because I know I can pass people! And of course, the extra muscle that I’ve put on since doing this programming helps me look and feel amazing.

Not only that, but with Grit Coaching, Faye and Jess programmed exercises specific to some mechanical issues I was having during my runs that was leading up to an injury. Thanks to these specific exercises (and revamped emphasis on proper muscle activation), my mechanical issue has been solved!

And let’s not forget about the most important part of the programming; THE RUNNING. Dedicated speed days. Long runs. An emphasis on not over-training and needlessly pounding the pavement and trails. It’s SO NICE to have two coaches with talent, experience, and charisma creating your running programming. These workouts leave me feeling gassed at the end, but not so totally destroyed that training the next day is a struggle. The programming is specific and targeted to help you achieve your individual goals.

Overall, I have LOVED my experience with Grit Coaching and highly recommend it to people who want a personalized training experience with two fierce athletes who will work with you to help you meet your goals! Thanks Faye and Jess! You ladies are AMAZING!

-Bill Brumbach, Spartan Racer and Co-Founder - BROCRMedia