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Running Coach Sydney: Proven Programs for Runners of All Abilities

Running coach in Sydney_how does a running coach help you?

Looking to improve your running performance? A running coach can offer the guidance and expertise you need, whether you’re a beginner or aiming for an ultra-marathon. A running coach provides personalised training plans tailored to your skill level and goals, ensuring you make steady progress while minimising your risk of injury. This professional support can help you build strength, speed, and mental toughness.

Working with a running coach means you’ll receive more than just a generic training plan. You’ll have access to expert advice on technique improvement, tailored training plans, injury prevention and race strategy. Ben Liddy is a Sydney running coach and Head of Running Performance at Central Performance, a premier running coaching facility in Surry Hills. As well as being a Level 4 World Athletics certified run coach, Ben is also a professional running physio. He has years of experience helping running of all abilities maximise their performance and achieve their running ambitions.

Key Takeaways

  • Running coaching can maximise your running performance plus minimise your risk of injury
  • A personalised running training plan that is tailored to your goals is essential
  • Ben Liddy is a World Athletics Certified Sydney Running Coach who is also a professional running physio, providing runners with technique coaching, personalised training plans, and advice on injury prevention and race strategy

How Can a Running Coach Help You?

A running coach provides personalised coaching tailored to your needs, experience, and goals. Whether you’re a beginner or an elite runner, a coach can develop a plan to improve your performance. A key part of improving your performance is avoiding running injuries, and a coach will help you improve quickly while staying free from injury.

A running coach will help you set realistic goals, whether you’re aiming for a marathon or just getting started. An important part of your running assessment session is where we sit down and talk to you about your goals for running, and how we can help you achieve them. Based on these goals and your other assessment findings we then guide you through a structured coaching and training plan that adjusts to your progress and allows for setbacks.

A coach also offers consistent support and guidance. They help you stay motivated and accountable, which is crucial for development. You’ll get feedback on your progress and coaching cues to use while you run to improve your technique. Plus we video you regularly in your coaching sessions to show you how your technique has improved. This is often one of the most motivating and helpful things we do with our runners.

For recreational athletes, a coach can help you really enjoy running while avoiding injuries. Proper technique, form, and strength training can make a big difference. Being confident that you are training at the right intensity to improve your performance but avoiding the risk of injury due to over-training can help you get the most improvement and enjoyment out of your running.

At Central Performance our coaches have experience working with a diverse range of athletes, from juniors and beginners up to elite runners. Our clients and training squads regularly have athletes competing at national and international competitions. However, we also get just as much enjoyment when we help a beginner do their first 5k, 10k or City2Surf. For us it’s all about helping runners to reach their full potential, whatever that looks like to each individual runner.

Elite runners are also a big part of our running community. Even seasoned athletes can plateau without expert advice. A coach helps you push past these barriers and work on the small things – the “one percenters” – providing advanced strategies and new challenges to keep you improving.

It’s just the same as when you look at other elite athletes. The top tennis players, golf pros, and elite teams from the NRL to the NBA, all have coaches, even though the athletes are professionals at the top of their game. This is because an outside view can often see things that the athlete themselves can’t, provide insights from other previous experiences, and develop technical strategies needing special expertise. Plus a great coach can support you and keep you motived during the harder times like injury recovery or a slump in form.

By offering tailored coaching, a running coach helps you achieve your best performance and keep progressing while staying free from injury. Here’s a quick look at the benefits of running coaching for beginner, recreational and elite runners, and you can find more information on our RunRight Runnning Coaching page.

  • Technique Improvement: Your coach will analyse your running gait and help improve your form. This helps you run more efficiently, improve your running economy, and avoid running injuries
  • Motivation, Support and Accountability: Regular check-ins with your coach help keep you motivated and accountable. You’ll also set and meet new goals with their support.
  • Experienced Guidance: Coaches bring a wealth of experience. They have worked with all levels of runners, from juniors to elite runners. Their expertise helps you avoid common pitfalls and reach your potential faster.
BenefitHow It Helps
Personalised PlansEnsures programs are safe & maximally effective
Motivation and SupportKeeps you training consistently & enjoying your running as you improve
Injury PreventionAvoids injury due to training errors, eg overtraining
Technique ImprovementImproves running performance & economy plus reduces injury
Structured TrainingFocussed sessions produce predictable performance improvements
Goal SettingSet programs for specific events or performance markers; track progress

What To Expect From A Running Coach

The main thing to expect from working with a good running coach is for them to provide you with customised running training plans. These plans need to be tailored to your specific needs and goals, whether you’re a beginner, recreational runner, or aiming to be an elite runner. Coaches design these plans to help you achieve your goals while keeping you free from injury.

A good coach also offers continuous support and motivation. By pointing out areas where you have improved, and tracking your progress to highlight performance gains, they can keep you engaged and enjoying your runs. They can also keep you accountable and consistent for working through your sessions even if your motivation drops – which happens to us all at some time!

Experience matters. Experienced coaches have worked with various athletes – from juniors and recreational to elite athletes – and are familiar with proper techniques and injury prevention. Their knowledge can be invaluable in your development as a runner. Its important that they have experience working with athletes of a similar level to yourself. This is because it will help them understand how to progress and develop your running training, keeping you working at the right level of intensity to improve performance but not cause injury through overload or burnout.

Coaches also help with goal setting. They work with you to set realistic and achievable goals, whether it’s improving your time, increasing your distance, or preparing for a marathon.

Communication is key. You should expect regular check-ins to discuss progress and make adjustments to your training plan. Open communication helps in identifying any issues and finding solutions promptly. At Central Performance we offer regular in-person coaching sessions as well as communication online between and after sessions.

Feedback is another crucial aspect of running coaching. A coach provides constructive feedback about your performance and areas of improvement. This feedback helps you grow as an athlete and can include reviewing video footage of your running gait as well as discussing how your performance has been tracking during your independent runs.

In summary, a running coach provides structured training plans, continual support, valuable experience, effective goal setting, and ongoing feedback. All of these elements are essential to allow your program to be adapted to suit your progress and development.

How Does Running Coaching Work?

Running coaching is a guided way to improve your skills and reach your running goals. Whether you are a beginner, recreational runner, or an elite athlete, coaching offers tailored support to help you develop your full potential.

After your initial assessment, a running coach creates a personalised running training plan customised to your fitness level and goals. As well as your running program, a comprehensive running program should also include strength training sessions. Strength training has been proven to be very effective at improving running performance as well as reducing your risk of injury. For more information visit our page on strength and conditioning for runners.

Your Initial Running Assessment

Your initial running assessment includes discussing your goals, reviewing your injury history, determining your current fitness, and completing a gait analysis. Each step helps create a personalised training program to improve your running ability and performance.

When you meet with your running coach, the first step is to discuss your running goals. You might aim to complete a specific distance like a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon, or even a 100km ultramarathon. However, you might not have a specific race goal and instead be just wanting to improve your running for general health and fitness. Whatever your goals your coach will ask about your running history, establish where you are currently, and create a plan for what you hope to achieve next.

Understanding your goals helps tailor the training plan accurately. Whether you are a beginner aiming to finish your first race or an elite runner targeting a new age group record, clear goals set the direction of your training program.

Your injury history is crucial for developing a safe and effective training plan. Discuss any past injuries, from minor strains to major injuries that required extensive rehabilitation. Mention any recurring issues, such as knee pain or shin splints, even if they seem minor.

Your coach will use this information to avoid exercises or intensities that might aggravate old injuries. This step ensures that your training program includes strength training and rehabilitation exercises specifically designed to prevent future injuries. A major part of improving your running ability is keeping you free from injury so that you can train consistently.

Assessing your current fitness level involves discussing your recent running activities and performing certain fitness tests. Your coach will want to know how often you run, the distances you cover, and the intensity of your training sessions.

Fitness tests might include a timed run or covering a set distance at a steady pace. This assessment helps your coach understand your current capacity and endurance, which is vital for creating a training plan that builds on your existing fitness without causing overtraining or injury.

Running assessment Sydney_Surry Hills_Central Performance_Ben Liddy

A running gait assessment is conducted to analyse your running form and biomechanics. You will be videoed running on a treadmill, and then your coach will review the footage with you and discuss how we can improve your running economy and technique. This assessment identifies any irregularities in your form that could lead to inefficiency or injury. For more information you can visit our page on having a running assessment with us.

Your coach will look for aspects such as leg and arm cycling, stride length, foot strike, and body posture. Understanding your running gait helps in making specific adjustments to improve your technique, which is critical to achieve better performance and reduced injury risk.

After gathering all information from the initial assessment, your coach will develop a personalised training program tailored to your needs. This program will include specific workouts aimed at improving your running endurance, speed, and strength.

For example, your plan will commonly include interval training, long runs, and strength training sessions. Your coach will also factor in any current injuries, ensuring the training intensity is suitable for your fitness level. You’ll also receive guidance on recovery to ensure you maintain a balanced approach to your training. A well-structured and personalised training program helps you work towards your running goals efficiently while minimising the risk of injuries.

Creating Effective Training Plans

Creating an effective training plan is essential for runners of all levels. By focusing on clear goals, safety, diversity in training sessions, recovery, and ongoing monitoring, runners can optimise their performance and minimise the risk of injuries.

To start, identify your running goals. Goals might include completing a particular distance like a 5k or 10k, achieving a new personal best, or simply maintaining fitness. Be clear about what you want to achieve. This helps tailor your training plan.

For beginners, aim for realistic and achievable targets. Building slowly and ticking off progressive improvement markers keeps you motivated and enjoying your runs. For elite runners, goals may include setting personal best times or placings at major competitions. Whatever your running level, goal-setting is an important part of the process.

Safety is key in any training plan. Your initial running assessment session will establish your current fitness level, which gives a baseline for developing your program. Then your training plan should gradually increase your running load to avoid injuries while improving performance.

Incorporating strength training into your weekly routine brings large benefits to performance improvement as well as preventing injuries. Research shows that following a tailored strength training program can reduce overuse injuries by almost 50% – you can read more about how to reduce injuries with strength training. Plus strength training can significantly improve your running economy and performance.

Variety in running training keeps the program engaging and effective. A well designed program will include a mix of different types of runs such as long runs, tempo runs, interval training and hills. Also remember that you need to include some easier sessions in your program to help avoid overload injuries and build endurance. This approach helps you stay injury-free and able to run consistently, which hugely improves your performance over time.

For a half marathon, balance long-distance runs with shorter runs including speed work. Beginners might benefit from alternating easy runs with rest days. Experienced runners can handle more intense schedules. Ensure your training involves different terrains and paces to build versatility and strength.

Recovery is crucial to success. Allocate time for rest and recovery to let your body heal and grow stronger. Include rest days and active recovery days in your schedule. Pay attention to your diet and hydration as they play significant roles in effective recovery. Plus the importance of sleep cannot be overstated, so make sure you get enough quality sleep, especially during the harder or more intense periods of your training program.

Use tools to monitor your recovery status. This can include fitness tracker watches (Garmin, Apple watches…) which monitor your training and recovery as well as your sleep quantity and quality. Plus make sure you adjust your training load based on how your sessions feel and other lifestyle factors, for example if you’re fatigued and burned-out from a stressful week meeting a big deadline at work then pushing hard on a long run on Saturday morning is not a good idea. Proper recovery and adjusting your sessions as required prevents burnout and injuries, helping you maintain a consistent training routine.

Continuous monitoring and adaptation are vital. It’s essential to have a training plan set out, but it’s also important to adapt this plan based on how you feel during your sessions, how you recover from your runs, and to allow for other things that life throws at us like stress, poor sleep, injury or travel-related jet lag.

Track your progress with apps, fitness tracker watches as above, or journals. Review your performance and adjust your plan as needed. Pay attention to your body’s responses and tweak your training to better suit your needs. And remember that adapting your training isn’t just for when things go wrong. If you progress faster than expected then you may be able to accelerate your training plan, but just make sure you work with your coach to make sure you don’t increase your injury risk by pushing too hard.

In the weeks leading up to a race, focus on specific race preparation. Gradually taper your training to ensure you are rested and ready. Practice your race strategy during training runs. Familiarise yourself with the race course if possible.

Make sure your nutrition and hydration strategies are set, including getting used to using any energy gels you will be using. Plan your gear and practice running with it. The final days before the race should focus on rest, light activity, and mental preparation. An effective training plan will help ensure you’re at your best on race day.

Running Coach In Sydney / Surry Hills

Running in Sydney is more popular than ever, and our running coaches at Central Performance are here to help you be part of it. Whether you are a beginner, a recreational runner, or an elite athlete, we have specialised programs and experienced coaches available to meet your needs.

At the Central Performance Running Centre, you can experience personalised coaching sessions that boost your running performance. The sessions last 45 minutes and are designed to be dynamic and engaging. You receive one-on-one attention, allowing you to focus fully on your running technique.

Our coaches help you understand how to improve your running form, and you’ll really feel what it’s like to run with great technique. Each session is challenging and informative, and you’ll notice a difference even after just one session. Plus you’ll be given coaching cues and technique adjustments to work on in your runs during the week. Drills to help your mobility and strength will also be prescribed as needed.

Ben Liddy - Running Physio & Coach Surry Hills

Ben Liddy, the Head of Running Performance at our Running Centre in Surry Hills, is a very highly regarded coach with years of experience. He is one of the few Level 4 World Athletics Certified Coaches in Australia. Ben specialises in enhancing your running technique and structuring your runs to minimise injury risk while improving your performance. With an elite running background himself, he fully understands the demands of running and how to effectively program your training around target races, injury recovery and injury minimisation.

Ben has years of experience working with runners of all abilities, from recreational to elite athletes. He also coaches our invitation-only running squads (@centralperformancetrack) with athletes competing at state, national and international levels. Under his guidance you can expect to see significant improvements in your running efficiency and performance, no matter what your current level of running ability.

Strength and conditioning are crucial for runners. Following a tailored strength program will not only increase your running performance and economy, it is also the most effective way to reduce your chance of injury.

Strength and conditioning programs provide substantial performance benefits for runners, such as boosting muscle strength and improving your running endurance. With certified coaches guiding you, these programs cater to runners of all levels. Each program is adapted to meet the specific needs of each client, ensuring your program is safe as well as effective. Your receive technique coaching to make sure you’re confident with every part of your program, as well as tailored exercise choice and progression as you improve.

All of our strength and conditioning programs are provided by our exercise physiology team. These degree-qualified professional coaches specialise in programs to improve running performance as well as allowing runners to safely return to running after injury, especially if the injury has been chronic or recurring. We provide flexible program options for runners of all abilities from beginner to elite. You can read more about strength and conditioning for runners.

Having access to a dedicated running physio can be a game-changer for your training. The Central Performance Running Centre is one of largest and most highly regarded running clinics in Sydney. Our physios work closely with you to diagnose and manage all running-related injuries including runners knee, shin pain, ITB syndrome, Achilles tendinopathy (tendinitis), heel pain (plantar fasciitis) and bone stress injuries. Learn more about how a running physio can help you.

Our running physios integrate physiotherapy with your running training to ensure you stay on track without setbacks. This holistic approach is ideal for maintaining your running health and ensuring you can train effectively throughout the year. We always try to keep you running in some capacity as we rehab your injury. And if you need a referral for imaging or a sports doctor consultation we work closely with some of the best sports medicine and radiology practices in Sydney.

Running Coaching In Sydney With Central Performance

Sydney Running Coach – Frequently Asked Questions

Running coaches can help you improve your fun-run and marathon times, create custom training programs, and offer both online and in-person coaching options. At Central Performance we work with all age groups, from children to older adults, and runners of all abilities.

A running coach designs a training plan specific to your needs and goals. This includes workouts for endurance, speed, and strength. They monitor your progress and adjust the plan as needed to prevent injury and optimise your performance.

Look for certifications from recognised bodies like World Athletics. Experience in coaching runners at your level is also important. Plus you should try to find someone that you feel comfortable with, someone who “gets you” and understands your goals, and that you can talk openly with about your program.

Running coaches assess your fitness level, goals, and past performance. They also consider factors like injury history and lifestyle. This allows them to create a program that focuses on improving your weaknesses and building on your strengths. They can provide programs to target specific races for you, or work on a more long-term basis to improve your ongoing running performance and keep you free from injury.

Online coaching involves digital communication through emails or apps. It offers flexibility and convenience however, it doesn’t allow for a detailed treadmill-based running technique assessment. In-person coaching provides more hands-on guidance and immediate feedback. Both methods involve regular check-ins and personalised training plans.

At Central Performance we have a range of running coaching options to meet your needs. The first step is to have your initial running assessment, and then have your in-house coaching sessions through our RunRight running coaching program. During these sessions you can discuss options for ongoing coaching programs. You can call reception on 9280 2322 or contact us for our current running assessment and coaching prices.

Professional coaching can benefit all age groups. Young athletes can develop proper running technique early on which is highly beneficial, while adults can enhance their performance and stay motivated. Older adults can safely maintain their fitness levels with a tailored approach. Avoiding injury through training errors is a big benefit of running coaching for runners of all ages.


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