Tara Whiton

Tara Whiton


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Jonesborough, TN

BS Exercise Physiology
MS Exercise Physiology & Nutrition
PhD Student in Sports Physiology & Performance
ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist
Exercise is Medicine II
Brooks Sponsored Running Coach
USATF Level I Certified (pending November 2016)

Coaching Focus: 
Running: All Disciplines - Track, Road, Mountain, Ultra, and Trail. 
Triathlons: Beginner Level 


Background

I have a very diverse athletic background. :) While my primary sport was ballet, I also grew up playing softball, field hockey, and running track and field. After running track in college, I dabbled in triathlons for a few years completing distances ranging from sprint triathlons to the half-ironman, although admittedly, was not a gifted swimmer or cyclist!

My husband and I moved to Montana for graduate school in 2012 where I uncovered my real love and potential for distance running. We were absolutely spoiled with the trail opportunities there! I have my Master's degree in Exercise Physiology & Nutrition, am an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist and a Brooks Sponsored Running Coach. My Master’s research on Nordic skiing has won numerous awards and publications; with my husband growing up a competitive Nordic skier, it wouldn't be long before I picked up that sport up as well! 
 
This summer I am moving from Maine (my home state) to Jonesborough, Tennessee to pursue my PhD in Sports Physiology & Performance. I am very interested in a dissertation topic involving "running with power", a technique that I believe will take run training by storm, especially on the trail circuit! I am excited to take my education and coaching knowledge to the next level!

Personally, my current "focused" athletic endeavors include racing and training for distances ranging from half-
marathons on the road and ultra-trail races as well as short and fast uphill running races. 


Coaching philosophy

As a running coach, I employ techniques based on the most current scientifically researched methodologies as well as personal experience. Crafting training plans is my creative outlet and I strive to build whole, strong and healthy athletes. I cannot stress enough that run training is not just about running - it is about eating well, sleeping, recovery, strength training, plyometrics, mobility, and of course following the training plan. The ability to do all of these in a periodized fashion is what sets my athletes apart from someone who finds an online marathon training program. Run training requires a lot of dedication, but what I love to teach the most is that being flexible with yourself and being consistent will reap huge benefits!

I enjoy working with athletes of all abilities and am great at helping you figure out how to manage the balance between training and a busy life schedule.


Notable achievements
  • Marathon: 3:34:49 - BQ - Sugarloaf Marathon
  • Half Marathon: 1:42 - San Diego Rock'n'Roll
  • 50K: 5:45 - Siskiyou Outback - Top 20 Female
  • 50K: 5:57 - Vermont50 - Top 20 Female
  • Uphill Climb: 40:08 - Sugarloaf Uphill - 3rd Female
Athlete testimonials 

"I met Tara completely by chance a few years ago when I walked into the Bozeman Running Company and asked if anyone could coach me. We got started immediately: She honed my running form, taught me strength exercises that prevented injuries, and put me on a training plan that made me fast! She adapts the training program to my busy schedule and meets with me one-on-one regularly. These days I live in New York City and she coaches me very effectively from afar. I finished 5th in the Brooklyn Marathon and qualified for Boston with a time of 3:02. - Drew T.

A little over a year ago I was so badly wanting to get into shape for two reasons, for my health in general but also because I was planning a month long trip to Europe. I didn't know where to even start, I felt defeated before I even began and that's when I turned to Tara to seek her help and advice. It was one of the best decisions I could have made. She immediately started helping me. Finding out about me and my lifestyle and putting together a plan for me that I could easily incorporate into my life. I remember that she said to me "we'll get you so that you're easily walking all over Europe". Well she kept her word and then some. Over the last year Tara helped me with everything from knowing what to eat, how to walk, what exercises to do and how to properly do them, what shoes to wear, everything. By the time it was down to the last months before leaving for Europe, I told Tara that I wanted to start running but didn't know if I could. She told me that I absolutely could and she encouraged me to start, so I did! Today I've now lost a total of 80 pounds and I'm still going. Last month was my trip to Europe and every single day I was walking ALL over the place, ALL day long for an entire month. I can't tell you the amount of times I thought about the fact that if not for Tara I wouldn't be able to physically handle all the things the trip brought my way. About 2 weeks into my trip while I was walking all over London, I had a friend ask me "how are your feet holding up?", I said "fantastic! no problems at all, Tara helped me find the perfect shoes for my trip so that my feet wouldn't suffer" and because of all my walking I'd done in preparation, I didn't have any blisters even after hours upon hours. Another moment was when I was in Scotland and had to walk up these extremely steep steps, I know 100% that by starting the running regimen that she told me to do, that's the reason I was able to have the stamina to climb those stairs, and not only climb them but climb them as well other people that were with me and even better than some of the other people around me. That blew my mind. It's hard when you're so unhealthy to feel like you can become healthy, but knowing that Tara believed that I could do it was definitely a big part of helping me to believe it too. In January 2017 I plan to run a 5k per Tara's suggestion and I'm really excited about it, I never thought I'd say that! I've still got a long road ahead of me, but I've come a LONG way thanks so much to Tara's continued help." - Sarah H.

"Tara has been my coach for 3 months now and has improved my running 100%! Just ran the Old Port Half Marathon 10 minutes faster than my last half! She is such a supportive coach! She's tough and doesn't let me make excuses. One of the best things I have done as an adult athlete has been to hire Tara as a coach! Thanks Tara!" - Craig E.

"Tara has coached me for three years and helped me prepare for many big time events. She helped me take 5th in the Brooklyn Marathon, which qualified me for the Boston Marathon. She also helped me prepare for Boston and a number of other races including some long trail events. I am a busy professional who travels a lot and she adapts the training plan accordingly. She gives me lots of variety in my workouts and it makes it a ton of fun!" - Drew Tyger



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