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Run Coaching

Custom training plans and coaching guidance for road runners and trail runners of any level

Do you have a running goal you'd like to conquer? Whether you're training for your first ever 5k, hoping to qualify for the Boston Marathon, or tackle a trail race, we can help you be the best runner you can be! 

Working with a coach takes the guesswork out of training and provides structure and progression. A sound training program reduces risk of injury and puts you in the best position to reach your potential. One-on-one coaching guidance empowers you to get the most out of your training sessions and races.

Grit Coaching's run coach Jess combines her experience as an Olympic runner with a Master's degree in Exercise Physiology to provide thoughtful, evidence-based training programs and coaching advice stemming from first-hand experience. With seven years of online run coaching behind her, Jess has helped hundreds (!) of people run faster and train smarter.

We specialize in coaching:

  • road and trail racing 

  • marathon training

  • ultra running up to 50 miles

  • endurance training for OCR and Hybrid events

  • track and cross country (contact for more info)

Grit Coaching makes high quality coaching accessible. We create 100% individualized training programs based on your goals, training and injury history, available time, and location.

There is undeniable evidence that proper training WILL make you faster and less likely to become injured. We can help!!

Coach Jess O'Connell


Jess O'Connell is a 2016 Olympian in the 5000m and 15x national team member in track, cross country, and road running. While competing as a professional runner, she also completed a Master's degree in Exercise Physiology. Combining her lived athletic experience and learned education in sports science, Jess coaches track and cross country at the University of Calgary. 

Jess LOVES creating training programs and sharing her wisdom with goal-oriented runners of ANY level, and gets just as much enjoyment from helping an elite runner to a podium finish as she does helping a beginner achieve what they formally thought was impossible.

Jess prioritizes recovery and wellness in her coaching and believes that patience, consistency, and FUN leads to incredible results.

Run Coaching Includes:

Holistic Program

Each program balances training and recovery and is designed around your goals and limitations.

Warm up exercises, a recovery routine, and resources on pacing, fueling, and more are provided to ensure you have the tools to be successful. 


Training is delivered via Final Surge, an app which:
  • Clearly lays out training details
  • Syncs with smart watches and Strava to import results
  • Has the option to export structured workouts to Garmin
  • Enables coach-athlete communication 

Coaching Guidance

Receive advice and feedback from an Olympian who's experienced it all! 

From injury recovery to pacing and fueling to mental skills, coaching helps you get the most out of yourself.


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GST added when applicable

Run coaching
Program design + communication

Work with a run coach to bring your training to the next level! Custom programs are delivered in 4 week blocks. There are no start up fees or term commitments.


Run training is delivered through the Final Surge platform which integrates with Strava, Garmin, and other GPS platforms. Final Surge allows for easy training delivery and analysis by both you and Coach Jess! 

One-on-one Coaching: This service is for athletes of any ability - from beginner to elite, recreational or competitive. You will receive a monthly training plan designed just for you based on your history, goals, and lifestyle as well as ongoing feedback, training and racing advice, education on training principles, and motivation from Olympian/Exercise Physiologist Jess! 


Between each training block, you'll have the option of a coaching call, zoom call, or email with Jess to review, assess, and plan. Training communication is provided regularly (daily or weekly) through Final Surge along with options for mid-program adjustments and pre-race strategy calls.


Custom Training Plan: Looking for a structured training plan to follow while training for a big event, but don’t need regular communication? This hands-off service is ideal for experienced athletes who are looking for the accountability provided by a structured, expertly-designed custom training plan but are comfortable without regular advising. A custom training plan includes an initial phone call to discuss current training, lifestyle, schedule, and goals. Plan is delivered in four week blocks with monthly email correspondence to check in and tweak training as necessary. 


This is NOT recommended for new athletes, those who desire coaching feedback, or those recovering from an injury.

run coaching options

Custom Strength program


Runners looking to level up your training with a custom strength program - this is for you! Strength programs are created by kinesiologist (and accomplished runner!) Faye Stenning.


Each program block is created based on YOUR goals, history, and equipment available and includes elements of strength, stability, mobility, and injury prevention. Strength training is designed to compliment your run program.

Strength training is delivered through our own app with videos and detailed written descriptions of every exercise. The app also allows you to record your results and video yourself to review your form.

strength for runners App

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A streamlined, highly accessible strength training program for runners of all levels.


Unstoppable is a hands off  (not custom) monthly strength program designed specifically for runners to complete at home with minimal equipment in two ~30 min sessions/week. Run-specific mobility, stability, and core work are emphasized with a goal of improving run form (biomechanics) and performance while reducing risk of injury.

Price: $17 USD/$19 CAD per month 


There is undeniable evidence that proper strength training WILL make you faster and less likely to become injured.


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After qualifying for the Boston Marathon, I struggled with injuries for several months and became concerned I may not be able to compete in the race. At the recommendation of my physiotherapist, I reached out to Grit Coaching and I couldn’t be happier. In 6 months with Grit, I went from not running at all to hitting a PR in Boston! Jess and Faye provide thoughtful, science-backed, programming that's personalized to my needs and schedule. I've learnt so much from them and can't wait to hit my next PRs with them in my corner.

Johnny T, Running



Want to become a Grit Athlete? 

Step 1: Pick the plan that is right for you (see above)

Step 2: CLICK HERE to fill out our intake questionnaire

Step 3: Check your inbox - you will receive an email with a link to book a FREE (no obligation) coaching call to discuss your training and ensure we are a great fit

Step 4: Work hard and crush goals, empowered by your custom training plan!

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