“I have seen great results in a short period of time working with Neil. Neil is very responsive and nurturing. He created a plan that was well customized and perfectly tailored to fit my needs. He is experienced and passionate about running and it shows through the energy and enthusiasm he brings to his coaching sessions. His easy going, friendly personality creates a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere. And he makes running challenging and fun! If you are interested in exploring a rewarding activity that will change your health for the better, Neil will help get you going on the right path.”
Runners are constantly looking to improve - to increase distance, to increase speed - but often don't look at how we run. Running softly can help with those goals while also potentially reducing the risk of injury. The focus of my training is to get you to your goal race or distance, all the while attempting to minimize the chance of getting injured. For beginner runners, this is a chance to try to get it right early in your running career (before you are habitually caught up in some bad habits). Before you know it you could be running it softly, but at the same time you could be killing it (softly) on the run.
Form is key. I have been a "barefoot" runner for 7 years but the principles apply for all runners.
I will assess your current level and goals to provide a realistic plan to get you to your goal distance and/or speed
To be successful you need to be happy - happy to be running, and happy with your progress. My aim is to make that happen.
About Coach Neil
Its never too late to start
I started running in 2010 at the age of 36, prompted by an increasing waist size and limited time to work out in my busy life. It turns out running is the best way to stay fit and healthy with relatively little time.
After a year and a half I was still running just a few miles at a time a few times a week, but made the decision to train for a half marathon. I joined a running club (RVRR), which definitely helped, and got me well and truly hooked on running. I have since become the club 40s men team captain and I am a member of the RVRR board. I am also now the race director for my local 5k - the Highland Park Run in the Park 5k held in May.
I became interested in coaching early on in my running career, with an interest in injury prevention (getting injured was one of my main concerns when I started), and it happened to be around the time when the book "Born to Run" was being talked about extensively. As I was still a new runner, I read about, and listened to advice about, transitioning to barefoot style running. Now, the shoe options to support this style of running are much more varied, and all my shoes (even my daily wear and work shoes) are zero drop. While I don't necessarily think this is the right thing for everyone, it has worked for me, as I have successfully remained injury free, and I believe there are many things I have learned that may help other runners achieve better running form.
I participate in approximately 15 to 20 races per year, in distances from 5k to Marathon (only one so far, but more to come).
“Neil was a really helpful running coach. He paced us well and expanded upon our strengths each session, setting reasonable goals that challenged us enough to see improved performance. I appreciated the feedback we received from our mid-week individual runs as well. The group dynamic also worked nicely to build motivation and support, even though we were all working on our own personal goals of speed and distance.”
E.AHighland Park, NJ
“Neil gives you just the right amount of encouragement and extra nudge when he sees fit. He is gentle and perceptive. His witty sense of humor is a good trait for a coach who loves his sport. He never puts anyone down for not exercising enough of pushing themselves enough, yet knows intuitively how to encourage them.”
A.MHighland Park, NJ
“The coaching and the comradeship of this group was absolutely motivating and helpful. Thanks to Running it Softly, I was able to handily beat my goal in a recent 5K. Now my sights are set on getting closer to where I was when I last ran competitively, 20 years ago.”